Business presence

Main vehicles for doing business in Finland:

Finnish company, the most used are:

  • Public Limited Company (“Oyj”)
    • Ideal for mayor investments.
    • Minimum share capital: 80.000 €
    • Shareholders liability limited to the value of the shares.
  • Private Limited Company (“Oy”)
    • Most popular one. Best for medium-small businesses.
    • Minimum share copital: 500 €
    • Shareholders liability limited to the value of the shares.
  • Private trader (“Tmi”)
    • Sole enterpreneur
    • Enterpreneur’s unlimited and personal liability for debts and other obligations of the trade
  • General partnership (“Ay”)
    • At least two partners who jointly carry on a trade
    • The partners are jointly and personally liable for the debts an other obligations of the partnership
  • Limited partnership (“Ky”)
    • Two types of partners: general and silent
    • Joint and unlimited liability of the general partners
    • Silent partners’ liability is limited to the amount of partner’s contribution agreed upon in the partnership agreement
  • Association (“Yhdistys”)
    • An association can be founded for the common realisation of a non-profit purpose
    • An association may only practice a trade or other economic activity that has been provided for in its rules or that otherwise relates to the realisation of its purpose
  • Joint Venture (“Yhteistoimintahanke”)
    • A business arrangement, in which at least two parties commit to undertake a clearly defined financial action together

Commercial agreements, such us:

  • Distribution agreement
  • Commission agency agreement
  • Franchise

Setting up a company

Setting up a company may take between 4to 14 days. The usual steps for a “Oy” are:

  • The shareholders sign the limited liability company’s memorandum of association
  • A copy of the articles of association must be enclosed to the memorandum of association
  • Documents showing that the shareholders have deposited the share capital in a bank account openened in the name of the future company and that the shareholders have paid the handling fee must be sent to the Trade Register together with memorandum of association and articles of association
  • The name of the future company is certified by the Trade Register
  • Before registration, a company cannot acquire rights or enter into obligations
  • Measures taken on behalf of the company before registration shall be at the joint liability of the persons deciding on the measures

Exchange Control

There is total freedom of capital movements. Capital, dividends, profits and any kind of incomes can be repatriated by foreign investors without restrictions.

Money Laundering

In Finland, the responsibility for the development of anti-money laundering legislation lies with the Ministry of the Interior. The Financial Intelligence Unit operating in connection with the National Bureau of Investigation deals with reports submitted to it on suspicious transactions. The Financial Supervisory Authority is responsible for ensuring that the procedures, risk management and internal control of supervised entities meet statutory requirements.

Labour law framework

Regulation: Labour relations are governed by the Employment Contracts Actand collective agreements between the employer or registered association of employers and the employees’ representatives.

Types of contracts

  • The rule is that an employment contract is valid indefinitely unless it has, for a justified reason, been made for a specific fixed term
  • All foreign employees, except citizens of EU/EEA member states and Switzerland, require a work permit to be employed in Finland.
  • Regular working hours: 8 hours/day and 40 hours/week
  • 13 National Holidays
  • An employee is entitled to two and a half (2,5) weekdays of holiday for each month. If the duration of the employment relationship has been less than a one year by the end of the holiday credit year, the entitlement is two (2) weekdays of holiday for each month,

Social Security
The employer is obliged to pay the employee’s social security contribution. The employer is also under obligation to arrange a pension for employees. The employer and the employee both pay their share of the pension contribution – employees share being 5,7 % for employees who are under 53 years and 7,2 % for employees who have turned 53 years.

The employer is also obliged to take care of a group life insurance, unemployment insurance contribution and insurance against the risk of accidents and occupational diseases for employees.

An indefinitely valid employment contract can only be terminated with a proper and serious reason. Proper and serious reasons can be either related to employee’s person or to financial and production-related grounds. Fixed-term employment contracts are automatically terminated at the end of the fixed period.

The cancellation of an employment contract with an immediate effect is possible only upon an extremely several cause. Such causes may be deemed to exist in case the employer or the employee commits a several breach against the employment contract or the law.

Minimum gross salary.
There is no general minimum salary in Finland. The collective agreements determine the minimum salary for most employment branches. If a collctive agreement is not applicable to an employment relationship, or the employer and the employee have not agreed on the salary, the employee shall be paid a reasonable and normal remuneration.


Corporate income tax:

Finnish companies and foreing companies with tax residency in Finland are levied with a corporate tax rate of 20 %

Standard VAT rate: 24 %.

Recognition and enforcement of foreign court decisions

  • automatical recognition without any further formalities under the the provisions of Regulation (EU) 1215/2012.

Intellectual property rights

  • The Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) registratestrademarks, patents, design rights and utility models.

Publisher: Asianajotoimisto Tempo Oy