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Establishing a company, starting a business

Finland is a good place for entrepreneurs to get started. There are several thousand businesses operating in Finland which have been established by people who have moved from abroad.

Why should You become an entrepreneur? To make a living. To be Your own boss. To determine Your own work tasks, working hours - and in best case make a financial success and even employ others. Personal qualities and skills are the foundation for a successful business, and topped with a good idea and a recognized need for Your product / service - You are on Your way.

Check out the prerequisities in establishing a business here.

When You have your mind set on establishing a business, You need to take certain steps to actually start up your company.

1. DECIDE ON YOUR BUSINESS IDEA

Running a business means You are responsible for Your income and you also have the freedom of working for Yourself. That is why You should take a moment or two to think Your business idea thoroughly. What is the product or service You wish to sell. Who do You Sell it to? How do You do that? Or would You rather buy an already operational company?

Read more about different options of entrepreneurship here.

2. MAKE A BUSINESS PLAN

Business plan is a document - paper that gives an idea of the profitability of the business's operations. It is a written plan describing how the business idea will be implemented in practice: Entrepreneurial skills, entrepreneurs working history, business idea, marketing…. Basically it describes the operating environment of the enterprise, and its working practices and objectives. It is a detailed presentation which includes profit budgets and cash-flow statements. There are several templates and models for making a business plan, and outside help is available to support on your planning.

With a business plan document, you can much more easily describe Your idea to financiers, officials etc. When choosing a name for Your business, You can do some research about whether the name You have planned has been taken or not from here.

Read more about business planning and calculations, and find templates to write your plans on here.

3. CHOOSE AN ACCOUNTANT AND INSURANCE COMPANY

Choose your accountant and, if required, an auditor. Check what insurance policies you will require. If you need assistance, ask your project manager. Read more about insurance policies here and  accounting here.

4. ARRANGING FINANCE

There are two main options (not excluding each other) in arranging finance: Own financing and external financing. Find out about funding possibilities for Your business in Finland. Read more about funding here.

5. CHOOSE A TYPE OF ENTERPRISE

Do You wish to operate on Your own or with a Partner? What amount of the business’ risk You are willing to take on personally? There are different ways to share the risks, benefits and responsibilities of business. You can affect this already in the phase of choosing the type of Your enterprise.

Business can be conducted as a private trader, as a partnership or limited liability company formed of one or more individuals or legal entities, or as a co-operative. You can find information about the different types and forms of business here. The most common type is a limited liability company (Oy). Read more about types of enterprise here.

6. CHECK BUSINESS PERMISSIONS AND LICENSING

Certain fields of business require permissions for operating. Investigate whether your field of business requires special permission or a license in Finland and if your business is eligible for business development or funding support. Read more about licence and permit issues here.

7. GET A BOARD MEMBER FROM EEA (in case of Limited company)

At least one member of the Board of Directors has to be a resident in the EEA (European Economic Area).

8. FILL IN THE REGISTRATION DOCUMENTS

Fill in the necessary documents in order to register the company. Read more about necessary notifications and registering the company here.

9. GO TO A BANK TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT

Go to the bank. Use the registration documents you have filled in to open a corporate bank account. In case You are establishing a limited company, deposit the minimum share capital for a limited liability company (€2500) in your newly opened bank account. Read more about opening an account here.

10. REGISTER YOUR COMPANY

Send the necessary registration documents to the Finnish Patent and Registration Office. Pay a registration fee to the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland and obtain your new Business ID (“y-tunnus”). Read more about registering the company here.

11. START RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS

Now you can begin searching for suitable facilities for your business. You can check out premises available for purchase or rent, as well as construction plots here.