Doing Business in Finland: A Guide on Registering a Foreign Company


Doing business in the happiest country in the world sounds quite enticing, doesn’t it? Cooperating with friendly, as well as hardworking, and highly educated people, is a good idea. Yet, if you are a foreigner, and you’ve been thinking about setting up a business in this country, you are sure not to rush into anything. After all, establishing a company is not a process you should do on the spur of the moment, and it is certainly not a decision that you should make randomly, without taking the time to consider not only the reasons why you may want to do this but also the actual process of doing it.

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Over the years, Finland has established itself as a trend-setting global center for technology and design, and a lot of people are using that as an opportunity to do business in this country. Even if you’re not in those industries, though, you can still benefit from establishing a company in Finland, as it is quite suitable for trade and commerce. The country is perfect for corporate entities and it, of course, provides easy access to the Northern European markets.

Nevertheless, I get that you don’t want to make any hasty moves here, and you definitely shouldn’t. Rushing into things is never a good idea when it comes to doing business. As a foreigner, you have to know exactly how to register a company in this country, and I will take you through the process step by step below. Before we get to that, though, you probably want to get an even better idea about why you may want to do business in Finland in the first place. So, let us answer both of those questions for you.

Why Do Business in Finland in the First Place?

We are, naturally, going to begin with the question of why doing this may be a smart move. First off, as you may understand already, Finland is renowned for economic stability, so it is not a surprise that it has become quite an appealing spot for foreign companies. The high GDP, the consistent economic growth, and the economic policies that have been designed to support startups and foster innovation, definitely attract a lot of foreign investors, and it’s no wonder that you’ve become interested in setting up shop in the country as well. This is how it’s done.

Furthermore, thanks to Finland’s excellent infrastructure and its strategic geographical location, the country provides investors with easy access to other markets. Including, of course, other Scandinavian countries, the Baltic states, as well as Russia. So, if you have plans to expand in the future, the happiest country in the world is the perfect starting point that opens up a lot of doors for expansion and a lot of growth opportunities.

If you’re worried about what kind of workforce you’ll be able to find in Finland, you can stop. Why? Because the workforce in this country is highly educated, especially when we are talking of industries such as engineering, technology, as well as research and development. Due to an amazing education system and the high global education standards, your business will have easy access to highly talented and skilled professionals, which will make it easy for you to create the perfect team to run your company and lead it toward growth.

All in all, Finland is a highly business-friendly environment that not only offers quite some incentives to support foreign investors but also has an efficient and transparent regulatory framework. So, navigating the legal processes is not difficult. And, in addition to all of that, doing business in a country that is known as the global leader in innovation and technology, investing heavily in research and development, is certainly a good thing, as it provides you with plenty of opportunities for collaboration and for business growth.

How to Register a Foreign Company in Finland?

Now that you have a better idea about going through this could be right for you, there is something else you want to understand. In short, you want to know how to register a foreign company in Finland and thus figure out precisely which steps to take to do all of this the right way. So, let us now focus on that part of the story. As mentioned above, though, navigating the legal process when doing this shouldn’t be difficult, which is a huge plus.

Anyway, the first thing you will have to do is choose the structure of your business. Do you want to establish a Private Limited Company, a Branch Office, or perhaps a Representative Office? The last type of business is involved mainly in market research, and cannot engage in any commercial operations. The Branch Office is, as the name says, simply an extension of a parent company located in a different country. And then, the Private Limited Company is the most popular option nowadays, and it requires a minimum capital of €2,500.

Once you’ve decided on the structure, you should choose a unique name to represent your business. Checking availability is important here, because the name has to be unique, and you can check that through the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH). Having chosen the name, you’ll need to prepare the necessary documents to be able to register with the Finnish Trade Register. After the submitted application is approved, you’ll also have to register for taxes, as well as open up a bank account, and obtain any necessary licenses and permits, while also making sure that you’re staying in compliance with all the Finnish laws and regulations.

If all of this sounds a bit complicated, and it is bound to, especially if you’re doing this for the first time, here is a useful tip. There are companies out there established specifically to help people navigate the process of registering a foreign company in Finland. So, what you should do is cooperate with those professionals and let them guide you through all the procedures, thus making things much easier for you.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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