Finland company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN FINLAND IN 2018

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted Clients with business registration in Finland. Our services include i) Finland company registration ii) corporate bank account opening iii) employee recruitment iv) employee visa strategies and v) office space rental solutions.

Summary table of Finland company registration

SummaryTax resident LLCBitcoin CompanyFree zone LLCRepresentative officeBranch office
Also known asOsakeyhtiö ja osuuskuntaOsakeyhtiö ja osuuskuntaOsakeyhtiö ja osuuskuntaEdustustoSivuliike
Best use of company?All products and servicesFinTechManufacturing and export activitiesMarketing & researchSpecific projects
How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?1 month1 month2 months2 months2 months
How soon can you hire staff?2 months2 months2 months2 months2 months
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?ImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediately
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks
How long to supply company registration/tax numbers?1 month1 month2 months2 months2 months
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?20%20%20%None20%
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesNoNo
Government grants available?YesYesYesNoNo
Government approval required for foreign owners?NoNoNoNoNo
Resident director/partner/manager/ legal representative required?YesYesYesYesYes
Minimum paid up share capital?€2,500€2,500€2,500NoneNone
Can bid for Government contracts?YesYesYesNoYes
Corporate bank account location?OP BankNordea BankDanske BankBNP ParibasCarnegie Investment Bank
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesNoYes
VAT payable on sales to local customers?24%24%24%None24%
Average total business set up engagement costs?€14,698Request a proposalRequest a proposal€12,530€15,880
Average total engagement period?2 months2 months3 months3 months3 months

Finland company registration summary

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  • Advantages and disadvantages

    Advantages of Finland company registration

    Finland business registration advantage

    1. A Finnish LLC can be registered with only i) 1 shareholder who can be of any nationality and ii) 2 directors, amongst whom at least 1 must be an EEA resident. The minimum paid-up share capital required is only €2,500 and our Clients do not need to travel to complete engagement;
    2. Finland has been ranked as the 10th most competitive economy in the Global Competitiveness Index of 2017/18. This is due to the nation’s stable institutions along with its good health and primary education as well as higher education levels. Moreover, Finnish financial market is very well developed and efficient.

    Disadvantages of Finland company registration

    1. Finland is a high tax country, as i) corporate tax is 20% ii) VAT rate is 24% iii) withholding taxes are up to 20% and iv) labor tax and social security contributions are up to 24.5%. In summary, effective total tax paid by multinationals approximates 40% of their annual earnings;
    2. Foreign entrepreneurs need to get accustomed to Finland’s seasonal pace of business because:
      • Businesses in Finland virtually shut down from late June to early August for summer holidays. During this period, Finnish businesses are likely to suffer from i)low sales, ii) lack of correspondence from Finnish business partners, iii) longer processing times by Finnish authorities and iv) most employees taking leave;
      • Office hours in Finland are slightly different than the rest of the world and change according to the season. In general, offices open from 08:00-16:15 in the winter and from 08:00-15:15 in the summer.
    3. Our Clients find that employee management in Finland is costly and complex because:
      • Finland has an extensive welfare system, due to which our Clients can end up paying up to 24.5% of gross amount of salaries in social security contributions;
      • Employers find it difficult to negotiate wages because they are generally set by trade unions. Finland i) ranks 143rd in the world for a company’s ability to negotiate wages and ii) has a trade union density of 70%.
    4. Our Clients’ earnings in Finland will be greatly damaged by the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine because:
      • Finnish based businesses can be severely hurt from tensions between Russia and the EU because i) 16% of Finland’s total imports are from Russia and ii) Russia is a very important source of FDI in Finland – it invested €583 million in the last 10 years;
      • Finnish businesses will face skyrocketing energy costs if Russia, the sole supplier of natural gas in Finland, decides to cut gas supplies;
      • Our Clients’ businesses in Finland are unable to sell food products, to Russia because of the food embargo that Russia has imposed on the EU. Finnish food exporters are expected to lose up to €400 million due to this embargo. Future sanctions on both EU side and the Russian side are highly likely.
    5. It is extremely tough to acquire credit by the Finnish businesses because there is no public registry coverage in Finland and the coverage of the private bureaus in weak. Therefore, Finland is not an attractive centre for new business ventures.
  • Best uses for a Finland company

    1. Finland is an ideal place to start a tech company because:
      • Finland-based tech companies can receive low interest loans of up to €1 million from the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes). Those eligible for funding are companies that i) have invested at least 15% of its costs in R&D during at least one of the previous three years, ii) are less than 6 years old, iii) have less than 50 employees, iv) have less than €10 million in annual turnover and v) have less than €10 million in assets;
      • Our Clients can benefit from a 200% tax deduction on salary costs for R&D personnel, if the total annual salary costs are between €15,000 and €400,000;
      • Our Clients need not worry about losing their best engineers and scientists to brain drain, because the well-educated and brightest Finns prefer to work in Finland itself. Finland is the 4th best country in the world when it comes to retaining talented workers;
      • Finland is a great option for companies looking to innovate because it ranks 1st in the world for i) availability of latest technologies and ii) availability of scientists and engineers. In fact, science and technology occupations accounted for about 40% of the workforce in Finland in 2012;
      • Although the market size of Finland is quite small with a population of only 5.4 million, Finns have a high purchasing power of US$47,000 per year per person.
    2. Finland is a great business hub in Northern Europe because:
      • As the only Nordic country which is a member of the Eurozone, Finland offers our Clients a strong currency and no risks from exchange rate fluctuations when remitting Finnish income to other Eurozone countries. Furthermore, the country does not impose any exchange controls;
      • Many EU multinationals use Finland as the gateway into Russia because of i) the rail link between the countries, ii) the historical trade link and iii) many employees in Finland speaking Russian;
      • Our Clients will find it easy to communicate with their employees, as almost all Finns speak English, with very high proficiency. In fact, Finland ranks 4th in the world for English proficiency. Furthermore, many Finns can speak both Finnish and Swedish, as they are both considered national languages in Finland;
      • Finland is an excellent distribution base for trading companies, as it boasts the 4th best infrastructure in the world. Amongst the Nordic countries, it has the best quality of roads, railroads, ports and air transport infrastructure;
      • Our Clients find Finland the most cost-efficient country in Northern Europe to import/export, as the cost to export and import averages €480 per container;
      • Dividends paid to EU holding companies from a Finnish subsidiary are legally tax exempt. Furthermore, the withholding tax of 20% on dividends paid to non-EU holding companies can be reduced by Finland’s broad network of 82 double tax treaties with countries including Canada, China, Singapore, UK and the United States;
      • Our Clients can obtain loans and bank guarantees of up to i) €35,000 or ii) 50% of the required financing if the company needs more than €35,000, from the Finnish state owned financing company Finnvera;
      • Our Clients can expect transparent and efficient transactions with the government since Finland is ranked the third least corrupt country in the world and the world’s fourth most competitive economy.

Company registration

  • Time to incorporate: Four weeks
  • Cost to set up: €14,698
  • Minimum capital: €2,500
  • Physical office required: No

Required appointments

  • Shareholders: 1
  • Directors: 2
  • Company secretary: No
  • Resident director: Yes

Key facts

  • Corporate tax rate: 20%
  • Corporate tax base: Worldwide
  • Shelf companies: No
  • Main company type: oy (limited company)

Frequently asked questions

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Contact us

For additional information on our business registration services in Finland, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Saidolim Kodirov, directly:
client relationship officer - Saidolim