Starting a business in Finland – 4 things you should remember


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So you have taken the mental step from dreaming of setting up a business to actually starting the process – congratulations! However, take a deep breath and make sure you have made all the necessary preparations before registering your company and rolling up your sleeves, because there are at least four things you should take into consideration.

Contact your local development company

When the splendid business idea strikes you, the first thing you should do is contact your local enterprise agency or development company.

– In the Vaasa region, you should turn to Enterprise Agency Startia. We are part of a nationwide network of 31 enterprise agencies that help people transform their ideas into successful businesses. Our services are confidential and free of charge, says Tommi Virkama, Director of Startia.

Make a business plan

When you have your first meeting with a business advisor, you present your business idea to them, they go through different business forms, and you discuss your plans in general. Your advisor gives you user credentials to an online business plan platform, where you develop your business idea into a plan and get feedback from your advisor.

– It is important that you draw up a business plan because it helps you evaluate your idea and identify its strengths and weaknesses. Well begun is half done! Furthermore, you also need a business plan if you are going to apply for funding or start-up grant, Virkama states.

Contact your local TE office to apply for start-up grant

The start-up grant is an allowance granted by the Public Employment and Business Services (TE Services). Its main purpose is to encourage new businesses and promote employment, in other words it provides an income that allows a new entrepreneur to concentrate on getting their new business up and running.

– At the TE office, you will discuss your entrepreneurial skills and potential need of support, and go through the competitive situation in your intended line of business. There are certain preconditions that you and your business idea need to meet in order for you to be eligible to start-up grant. One of them is that you need to have a business plan, which is why you should contact Startia before contacting us, says Jaska Pensaari, Business Advisor at TE Services Ostrobothnia.

Another criterion for start-up grant eligibility is that the business activities cannot commence before you have had a positive decision for the grant. It is always best to contact the TE office for advice before registering your company.

Ask for help and advice

Remember that even if you are planning to become a sole entrepreneur, you do not have to know everything. It is okay, or rather, recommendable to ask for help.

– Statistics show that 90% of the companies that have been started with the help of Startia are still in business after 2 years and 80% after 5 years, while 50% of all companies in Finland are run down after 3 years. It is advisable to ask for help in the initial stages of entrepreneurship, Virkama says.

– Enterprise agencies, development companies and TE Services alike are here to help when you need advice with setting up your business, Pensaari assures.


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