How to Start
Planning to start a business in Finland? Please read through the following points:
Foreign entrepreneur's permits, licences and notifications
Permits and notifications required by a foreigner may include, for example,
- registration of the right to reside in Finland
- residence permit for an employee or self-employed person
- registration in the Finnish Population Information System.
In addition, a foreigner may need a permit from the Finnish Patent and Registration Office to serve as a partner in a partnership or in an administrative body of a company, for example. Read more on foreign entrepreneurs' permits, licences and notifications
It all begins with a business idea. We will help you to specify and refine your idea and plan a profile for your company activities. Book an appointment at Startia
Buying an existing business is one way to become an entrepreneur. Ask our business advisors for companies that are for sale or take a look at the businesses for sale in the region to see if there are any ads that interest you!
Plan your business activities in detail before starting your business! Lissu is an interactive Online Business Plan tool. It also enables comments from business advisors and other persons connected with your plan. Registration is required, user name and password are available from Startia.
Select form of business
Factors affecting which form of enterprise to select are, for example, the number of people establishing the business, the need for capital and its availability, responsibilities and decision-making, continuity of operations, profit sharing and covering losses as well as taxation. Read more about different forms of business
DO NOT start business activities nor register your business before you have applied for a start-up grant. Attach your business plan and certificate of tax debts to the application. Read more about start-up grant
Register your business
After choosing a name for your business and filling in the necessary documents, you need to register your business. This is done by filing a Start-Up Notification to the Finnish Trade Register. Read more on how to register your business
Apply for necessary licenses and permits
Before operations are commenced, it is important to check whether a special license or declaration is needed for the business. Specific requirements on the entrepreneur himself or herself, premises or business operations, can also exist. Read more on licenses and notifications
Look for business premises
Many entrepreneurs set up their business and work from home, while others have an immediate need for business premises. Note that your premises have to fill the authorities' regulations. These vary according to what kind of business you are going to run in the premises.
Protect your business idea
If you wish to protect your business products, do consider applying for a patent, design right or trademark from the Finnish Patent and Registration Office. If you have made a technical invention, you may apply for a patent. Your company name or logo will be protected with a trademark. For a product with a special design, you can apply for a design right to protect the appearance of the product.
Oy Kolster Ab offers Startia's clients guidance on IPR matters
Insure yourself and your business
Your home insurance will not cover your business, so go through what kind of insurance you and your business will need. Contact an insurance company and discuss the alternatives. Read more on statutory insurances
For more information, see
- Read more about the Finnish Enterprise Agencies
- Download the Guide to Entrepreneurship
- Entrepreneur test: Suitability to become an entrepreneur
Now your business is up and running, congratulations!
Questions, problems, anything you need assistance with? Contact us. We are here for you throughout the entire life cycle of your business.