Setting up a Business in Finland
Finland’s central location in Northern Europe, its full membership in the European Union, its long-established connections to Russia, the Nordic and Baltic countries and experience in doing business with them are just some of the reasons why Finland is an ideal base for your business in this fast-growing Northern market area with over 80 million consumers.
In general, the following are the most common forms of businesses in Finland:
• Osakeyhtiö, suffix Oy (Private Limited Company)
• Julkinen osakeyhtiö, suffix Oyj (Public Limited Company)
• Ulkomainen sivuliike (Branch of a Foreign Company)
All these types of businesses have to be registered with the Trade Register and Tax Administration and have to have a registered office in Finland. With regard to Accounting legislation, all these forms of businesses have to keep ongoing accounting and annual filing of financial statements. At least one independent licensed Auditor is also required to be appointed.
How can Scandicorp help?
Scandicorp is able to assist and guide clients wishing to establish a presence in Finland. Scandicorp can also provide the following business support services:
Furthermore, we can assist you with providing the following services for your Business in Finland:
- registered office address facilities,
- professional directors and nominee shareholders,
- company administration services,
- company secretarial services,
- assistance in the day to day management of the company,
- assistance in opening and operating bank accounts,
- turnkey administrative service for client companies,
- trading and letter of credit services,
- accounting, financial reporting, and consolidation,
- payroll and VAT matters,
- virtual office services,
- the preparation of management and statutory accounts,
- liaison with external auditors,
- intellectual property, trademark, patent and royalty work, and
- arranging for the provision of legal and taxation advice and opinions,
Taxation in Finland
Finnish Corporate Income Tax
Finland, together with the other Nordic countries, is generally associated with high taxes, especially on the personal level. However, the general corporate tax rate is today at a moderate 20%. Companies resident in Finland are liable to tax on their worldwide income. Non-resident companies are taxed on their income derived from Finland, and if they have a permanent establishment in Finland, on all income related to the permanent establishment. There is no definition for corporate residence in the tax laws. The general rule is that if a company is registered in Finland, it is also considered a tax resident of Finland.
In general, expenses are deductible if they are incurred for the purpose of acquiring or maintaining income. The fact that it was the taxpayer’s intention to incur a particular expense for this purpose is usually the decisive test for deductibility. Typical types of deductible expenses are purchases of materials and services, use of inventory, wages and salaries, social security expenses, purchases of investments as a form of depreciation (there are maximum depreciation rates accepted), rents, support services and other operating expenses as well as interest payable.
Group taxation in Finland
Each company belonging to a group is taxed separately plus there is no joint group taxation. Finnish tax legislation recognises a group contribution that allows a transfer of financial resources and profit between group companies. Contributions from an affiliated company may be deducted from the taxable income of the contributing company and added to the taxable income of the recipient company.
Withholding taxes or taxes at source are also applicable on certain payments of interests, dividends and royalties to non-resident companies. The withholding tax for dividends to a non-resident company outside the EEA is usually 15% – 20%.
Political establishment of Finland
Finland (Finnish name Suomi) is a republic as a political establishment. It is a member of the European Union since 1st of January 1995. It became also a part of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). However, since 1999, the national currency unit markka was a unit for the currency Euro, with a fixed conversion rate 1 euro=5.94573 marks. Therefore, the Euro is the only valid currency since March 2002.
Before doing business in Finland
Learn more about:
- How to set up a Business in Finland
- Opening of a Corporate Bank Account
- Aspects to consider for a limited company in Finland
- Finnish Economy
- Law, regulations and Standards
- Government and Politics
- Taxation and Tax System in Finland
- Dividends, Interest and Royalties
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Finland is bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north, Russia to the east and by Estonia to the south across the Gulf of Finland. The population is circa 5.5 million. Helsinki, the capital, has 590,000 residents and if one includes its neighbouring areas, the Greater Helsinki region’s population is about 1.4 million. By area Finland is the fifth largest country in Western Europe – 338,440 km² with a population density of 17.9 inhabitants per km².
Forests cover three quarters of the country’s surface area. Other outstanding features of Finland’s scenery are around 190,000 lakes and almost as many islands and skerries. The principal archipelago and the self-governing province of the Aaland Islands lie off the south-west coast while the main lake district, centered on Lake Saimaa, is in the east.
Finland offers many opportunities for success, boasting both a highly educated and reliable work force and an infrastructure which functions exceptionally well. Finland also has a tradition of ranking high in the annual Global Competitiveness Reports published by the World Economic Forum.
Economy of Finland
Finland has a highly-industrialized economy with per capita GDP almost as high as that of Austria, Belgium, or Sweden. In fact, trade is important, with exports accounting for over one-third of GDP in recent years. Finland has traditionally been a small, open economy with a large export sector in relation to GDP.
Finnish economy focuses mainly on metals, engineering, wood, telecommunications, and electronics industries. Finland also specialises on export of technology for mobile phones as well as promotion of start-ups in the information and communications technology, gaming, cleantech, and biotechnology sectors.
The Finnish do depend on importing raw materials, energy, and some components for manufactured goods. Due to the cold climate, agricultural development is very limited to maintaining self-sufficiency in basic products. Nevertheless, Forestry is an important export industry, providing a secondary occupation for the rural population.
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Learn more about:
- Common forms of Business in Finland
- Corporate Tax Rate in Finland
- VAT Rate in Finland
- Accounting Period in Finland
- Foreign-Exchange Controls, Restrictions/Licensing Requirements
- and much more!
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