Registration - startup notification
Generally, all businesses must enrol in the Finnish Trade Register. This declaration has a fee and can be done by submitting a start-up notification Patent and Register office. Companies must thus submit a basic declaration / notification to the trade register using the start-up notification form with which they may also apply for registration in the trade register, prepayment register and/or VAT- register. For each type of business there are own notification forms, founding documents and activities. Forms can be downloaded here. In order to have all necessary documents attached to Your notification, check the information about establishment documents from various forms of business in Enteprise Finland’s pages.
Filled notification form (with required attachments ) needs to be sent to Patent and register office, address: PRH – Verohallinto, Yritystietojärjestelmä, PL 2000, 00231 Helsinki. Remember that You need to pay the possible registration fees before You submit the forms.
Read more instructions from Patent and Registry offices website here.
A new business will get a Business ID (Y-tunnus) as soon as the start-up notification has been entered in the Business Information System. Remember that the Business ID is like Personal Identity Code for your company.
The business and organisation ID is a unique ID that the authorities give to businesses and organisations. The business ID is provided once the foundation of a business is recorded in the Finnish Business Information System. A business ID consists of seven numerical digits, a hyphen and a check digit, for example 1234567-8. The business ID is required on invoices and contracts, and when using the Finnish Trade Register or dealing with the Finnish Central Tax Administration, among other things.
Choosing the name
The name of your company must be individual and differ from other names and trademarks that are in the register. If You have an idea for a name, check from Finnish Business Information System if the name you wish to have has already been taken. The name cannot just contain general words or a service description and the names of people or places. Registering the name of the business gives the exclusive right to that name throughout the country.
The type of business should also be visible from the name of the business. A sole trader may use the identifer "tmi" or "toiminimi", but this is not required. Limited partnerships can use the abbreviation "ky". The identifier for a limited company is "oy" and for a public limited company, "oyj". The identifier for a general partnership is "avoin yhtio". In this case you cannot use the abbreviation “ay”. The name of a branch will include the term "sivuliike Suomessa" or "filial i Finland" as well as the name of the foreign enterprise.
The name is registered either in the Finnish or the Swedish language. The name may include identifiers in other languages (Ab Company Oy or Oy Company Ltd). The name may also include parallel business names in different languages (translations of the Finnish or Swedish name). The possible parallel business names for a limited company must be included in the articles of association. The parallel business names for a general partnership or a limited partnership must be included in the articles of association, and those for a co-operative must be included in its regulations. The actual company name examination is carried out by the Trade Register as part of the processing of your notification. There is a possibility that Your suggested name will not be accepted, so wait for the official decision before You start Your marketing activities.
Here are more instructions to choosing a name for Your company.
Auxiliary business name
An entrepreneur may carry out part of his/her operations using an auxiliary business name, which is useful if the company operates in several different fields. There is a charge for registration of an auxiliary business name, and this name can only be used for those activities that it is registered for. Several auxiliary business names may be used. However, an auxiliary business name cannot be used for the operations of the whole business. However, there will only be one set of accounts and one business ID for all of the enterprise's operations.
Line of business
You must notify the Finnish Central Tax Administration of your main line of business. The enterprise may have only main line of business, and this must clearly describe what field the enterprise operates in along with the form of the operations: for example, repair, servicing and trade of motor vehicles.
Company’s line of business needs to be written when registering the company to the Finnish Trade Register and the Finnish Central Tax Administration. It is also possible to register so-called “general commercial activities", meaning that the business may engage in all kinds of lawful business activities that are accordant with good practice, but it is advisable to write down a more accurately chosen line of business.
Finnish trade register (Kaupparekisteri)
The Finnish Trade Register (Kaupparekisteri) is a publicly accessible data bank containing official information on traders and businesses Finland-wide. The majority of businesses are limited liability companies and private traders. As a rule, all businesses have to be registered at the Trade Register, and must notify the register of any changes in their details. Most businesses must also submit their financial statements to the register.
The Finnish Trade Register is a register for public use. Anyone is entitled to acquire information about the details recorded in the register. This principle of publicity also applies to all notifications and enclosures submitted to the Trade Register. Your notification becomes public as soon as it has been filed, even before your business is registered.
Please note that the Trade Register never updates its entries by phone. The only way you can update the details of your business in the Trade Register is by filing a written notification to the Trade Register
Once your business is entered in the Trade Register, you or your agent will be sent a Trade Register extract and possible organisation rules by post. The extract is sent by 2nd class post which is normally delivered on the second working day from dispatch.
VAT - Register (a register of those subject to VAT, value added tax)
Businesses that are subject to VAT enrol in the Finnish Central Tax Administration's register via their star-up notification. At the same time, such businesses also state the date of commencement of their operations that are subject to VAT. It is possible to enrol in the VAT register even when the business is not liable to charge VAT based on the law, for example if sales for the accounting period are less than 10 000 €. A business that is in the register may deduct the VAT included in the business's purchases from the VAT payable on sales.
A foreign business is subject to VAT in Finland if it has a fixed place of business in Finland. A foreign business is recorded in the register of businesses subject to VAT in the same way as Finnish businesses are. A foreign business may also apply to be subject to VAT in Finland. In some special situations, a foreign business is always liable to charge VAT.
If, in the opinion of the entrepreneur, the business is not subject to VAT, (s) he should mark a cross on the declaration of foundation against "Ei katso olevansa arvonlisäverovelvollinen" (= does not believe to be liable to charge VAT) and (s)he should explain the reasons for this. More information here.
A new business will pay advance tax on the basis of how large the enterprise's estimate of its taxable income for the first accounting period is. The business gives this estimate in its declaration of foundation. The Finnish Central Tax Administration determines the advance tax on the basis of the business's own estimate and sends the business an advance tax bill and bank-transfer forms for payment of the tax. In practice enrolling to prepayment register means that Your customers do not need to pay tax withholding. Usually it is interpreted in Finland, that if you have not enrolled to prepayment register, Your business is not “active”. More information here.
The Register of Employers is maintained by the Finnish Central Tax Administration (www.vero.fi).
The business must enrol in the Register of Employers, if it has:
1) at least two permanent employees during the calendar year, or
2) at least six temporary employees at the same time.
If payment of salaries and wages is temporary, or these are paid to only one employee, the business does not need to enrol in the Register of Employers.