Starting a business in a new country is always a challenge. The culture, laws and regulations vary by each country, even if in the EU many issues are similarly regulated.
Luckily Finland is a very well-organized society – also the business environment and working conditions are well organized. Issues relating to Finnish authorities and financial administration are handled with care.
How to start a business in Finland?
In the beginning, the main issue is to clarify the setup of your company. Are you looking for temporary project opportunities (as contractor or subcontractor) or have you decided to establish your company in Finland for the long term? Maybe even a branch could be the right form? Or are you a private trader and want to sell your knowledge in Finland?
It is quite common that many companies come to Finland and want to “try out” the business first. Nevertheless, all companies need to comply with the issues regarding Finnish legislation and following the rules of Finnish authorities (registrations and financial administration).
The easiest way to start a business in Finland is to register your company as a foreign company in the Finnish tax administration’s register. Most companies are registered to prepayment and VAT register; some companies are also registered to employer register.
Registration of a foreign company to Finnish tax administrations’ registers means in general that:
- Your company will be seen as a trusted partner to do business with in Finland.
- You show that you are in Finland to do business on the longer term (tax-at-source card can be used for one separate project).
- Your company can become a subcontractor to Finnish contractors.
- Your company complies with the Contractor’s Obligations and Liabilities Act.
- You are registered and have a Business ID and possibly a VAT number.
- If you are registered to the employer register, it means that you are taking care of the withdrawing of taxes on wages on behalf of your employees.
- It doesn´t always mean that your company has a permanent establishment in Finland.
If your company is doing long-term business in Finland and you want to be seen as a Finnish company, setting up a branch might also be a good solution. But, you can also operate as having a permanent establishment (PE) without the branch.
Econia takes care of business setups in Finland
For your company, it is wise to let a Finnish financial administration house to find the right business setup in Finland and let it take care of your company’s registration, payroll, bookkeeping and taxation issues. This way all the aspect of Finnish law will be followed, and you can concentrate on the growth of your business.
For details regarding working conditions (e.g. collective agreements) and other regulations, please see our accounting, payroll and tax advisory services and services for local representation for posted workers.
Contact us and we will guide you through the steps from start to further development of your business in Finland.