We have made a brief and practical list of things you need to think through if you have decided to start a business in Finland.
Select your business form
- The options are basically to operate as a sole trader called “toiminimi” or to register a limited company called “osakeyhtiö”. There are also other less common business forms.
- The registration process depends on which business form you selected.
- Be sure to register in prepayment register (“ennakkoperintärekisteri”) and also in VAT register if you know your business is VAT liable. The employer registration is not recommended if you are not employing other people on a permanent basis.
Organize the accounting
- Basic bookkeeping is an essential part of the accounting and financial management. You should start co-operation with an accounting agency which utilises digital tools to keep your bookkeeping affordable and effortless.
- Taxation is based on the books and can be handled by the same accounting agency electronically when you have given the appropriate authorization.
- Invoicing software is very important tool if your sales are mainly based on billing the customers. Ask your accountant contact for help when choosing the software.
- If you’re planning to employ other people it makes sense to choose an accounting company who can also offer payroll services.
Open a business bank account
- You have an accounting liability concerning your business. As a part of that it is important to keep the private transactions and business transactions apart from each other.
- Choose the bank group and appropriate bank services based on your accountant’s advice.
Make the insurance agreements of at least the obligatory pension insurance (YEL)
- Your accountant might be able to recommend you an appropriate insurance company.
- If you will be employing you need also other obligatory insurances
- As a part of risk management it might be wise to consider other voluntary insurances.
Have a look if you’re entitled to the start-up grant
- More information at the TE Office
- Note! If you apply for the start-up grant you cannot start your business before the application is handled.
Be sure of other possible permits
- Some entrepreneurs see Finland as a bureaucratic country, some don’t. It depends on the line of business you are in. Find more information on the necessary permits especially if you are, for example, in the restaurant business.
- Remember that the most important thing is to know what you sell and to find customers! You also need to keep your archives in order and respect the deadlines of invoices. There is support available for business administration but you have to be careful and buy only affordable services.