Finnland:

FI - Who needs to register a business?

FI - Who needs to register a business?

Duty to notify
Today, most businesses must be registered at the Trade Register. A Start-Up Notification must be submitted for a new business, containing basic information on the business and the trade it carries on.
Factors such as the number of founders, the required capital and its availability affect any decision on form of business. There are no set of rules determining which form of business should be chosen. The most suitable and appropriate form of business must be determined individually in each situation.
When registering a company, an entrepreneur has to also find out about necessary licences/notifications that are required in different industries. For detailed information concerning necessary licences/notifications in different industries, visit the following website:

Enterprise Finland -> permits


Who is liable to submit a notification to the trade register
A basic notification to the trade register must always be made by the following groups:

  • a private entrepreneur who carries on a licenced trade, or who has a permanent place of business (separate business premises) for his/her business activities, or who employs a person other than his/her spouse or child or grandchild who is not yet of age or is under guardianship of the entrepreneur. Those engaged in agriculture or fishing are not subject to notification duty, however.
  • general partnership and limited partnership
  • limited liability company
  • cooperative
  • foreign entrepreneur establishing a branch in Finland

A basic notification may be submitted by an enterprise who is not subject to notification duty.
The basic notification must be filed before starting the operations. It should be noted that limited liability companies and cooperatives are only established for legal purposes when they have been registered in the trade register.

For more information concerning starting up a business and different company forms, visit the following websites:

Enterprise Finland or National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland.

FI - Purpose of business registration

FI - Purpose of business registration

As a rule, new businesses must be registered at the Trade Register. Limited liability companies and co-operatives are among the most common company forms that are created through registration.
Each day, some one hundred new businesses are entered in the Trade Register. Also many of those businesses who are not obliged to do so, register themselves. With business information available in the Trade Register, commercial exchange benefits from a better feeling of trust and runs smoother. Registration also safeguards one's company name so that no one else, for example a competitor, is able to monopolise it.

FI - Legal basis

FI - Legal basis

Important Acts related to Business Registration are only available in Finnish at Finlex.

  • Act on Trade Register (2.2.1979/129):
    • 26 §  Publicity of the trade register
  • Act on Business Name  (2.2.1979/128)
    • 2 §, 3 § Exlusive right for a Business Name

FI - Responsible authority

FI - Responsible authority

The National Board of Patents and Registrations is the authority registrar of the Trade Register and therefore the authority responsible for the registration of new businesses.

National Board of Patents and Registrations

FI - Process flow

FI - Process flow

Detailed advice on how to register a new company can be found at the following websites:

National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland or Enterprise Finland.

Here below you find information on some important steps when registering a new company in Finland.

Choose the right form of business
Factors such as the number of founders, the required capital and its availability affect any decision on form of business. There are no set rules determining which form of business should be chosen. The most suitable and appropriate form of business must be determined individually in each situation.
For more information concerning different forms of business, please visit the following websites:

National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland or Enterprise Finland.

Check your company name
If you have a name in mind for your company, you can check if it is available from the Virre Information Centre's Name search. Even if you do not find a similar name listed there, it is not guaranteed that the name can be registered. The actual company name examination takes place after you have filed your start-up notification to with the Trade Register. Therefore we advise you to wait until your company name is registered before you order advertising signs or company stationery. By registering a company name you get an exclusive right to that name in Finland.

Opening of a bank account   
A bank account must be opened for a new business during the establishment process. In the case of a limited liability company, a bank account must be opened before the company is entered in the trade register. The share capital of the company must be paid to the company's account in a Finnish deposit bank before filing the trade register notification and its entry in the register. It is only possible to make payments from the account after a certificate of arrival concerning the delivery of the start-up notice issued to the trade register and showing the business ID of the company has been delivered to the bank.

Filling in and sending a Start-up Notification Form and paying of necessary fees
Start-up notifications filed with the trade register are subject to a handling fee which must be paid in advance. The amount of the fee depends on the type of notification and company (see more in Charges). It can be paid at an online bank, by using a payment ATM or over the counter at a bank. The receipt must be enclosed with the form.
Notifications to the Trade Register have to be filed either in Finnish or in Swedish on official Start-up Notification Forms. Start-up notification forms and attachments can be downloaded at the website of the Joint business information system of the National Board of Patents and Registration and the Tax Administration.

  • Y1 form serves as the general start-up notification for limited liability companies, cooperatives and, branches of a foreign entrepreneur.
  • Y2 form is the start-up notification for general partnerships and limited partnerships
  • Y3 form is the start-up registration for private entrepreneurs

For the registration in the Trade Register, limited liability companies need to fill in the attachment form 1, cooperatives the attachment form 2 and the branch of a foreign entrepreneur the attachment form 3.

Download start-up notification forms and attachments


Using the same forms, you can also report a business to registers kept by the Tax Administration, which are the VAT Register, the Prepayment Register, the Employer Register, and the register of bodies liable for tax on insurance premiums. Further details on these notifications are available on the Tax Administration web site:

Website of the Tax Administration


Completed start-up notifications are to be delivered to the NBPR at the trade register PatRek-Customer Service (Arkadiankatu 6 A, Helsinki), the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (the ELY Centres), city administrative courts or tax administration service points.

Start-up notifications may also be sent by post to The National Board of Patents and Registration - Tax Administration, Business Information System, P.O. Box 2000, 00231 Helsinki.

When the start-up notification is filed with the NBPR PatRek Customer Service, city administrative court, the ELY Centres or a Tax Administration office, the person delivering the notice will be given a certificate of arrival, and the Business ID of the company noted thereon.

FI - Link to online service / legal form

FI - Link to online service / legal form

Start-up notification forms and attachments can be downloaded at the website of the Joint business information system of the National Board of Patents and Registration and the Tax Administration

Start-up Notification forms and attachments

  • Y1 form serves as the general start-up notification for limited liability companies, cooperatives and, branches of a foreign entrepreneur.
  • Y2 form is the start-up notification for general partnerships and limited partnerships
  • Y3 form is the start-up registration for private entrepreneurs

For the registration in the trade register, limited liability companies need to fill in the attachment form 1, cooperatives the attachment form 2 and the branch of a foreign entrepreneur the attachment form 3. These attachment forms are only to be filled in in Finnish or Swedish (2012).

Completed start-up notifications are to be delivered to the NBPR at the trade register PatRek-Customer Service (Arkadiankatu 6 A, Helsinki), the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment ( the ELY Centres), city administrative courts or tax administration service points. Start-up notifications may also be sent by post to The National Board of Patents and Registration - Tax Administration, Business Information System, P.O. Box 2000, 00231 Helsinki.
When the start-up notification is filed with the NBPR PatRek Customer Service, city administrative court, the ELY Centres or a Tax Administration office, the person delivering the notice will be given a certificate of arrival, and the Business ID of the company noted thereon.

FI - Required documents

FI - Required documents

The documents that are needed for registration vary according to company forms and individual cases.

An example of documents required in a start-up Notification of a branch of a foreign trader
What is a branch?
A branch of a foreign trader is a part of a foreign organization or foundation that carries on a continuous business or trade in Finland, from a permanent place of business located in this country, in the name and for the benefit of the foreign organization or foundation.
Duty to notify
The foreign trader must submit a Start-up Notification concerning its branch to the Trade Register before the branch commences its operations. If the trader opening the branch is from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA), it will also need a permit from the National Board of Patents and Registration for the establishment of the branch. Read more about permits to persons from outside the EEA.
Notification to the Trade Register
Forms

  • Form Y1 and Appendix Form 3 (Appendix Form only available in Finnish and Swedish).
  • The notification is signed by either the representative of the branch or the person authorised to sign the company name of the branch.

Details to be given in the Start-up Notification:

  • the company name
  • the postal address of the branch;
  • the company name (e.g: CDE Cargo Ltd.) and legal form (e.g. company limited by shares) of the trader as well as the company name of the branch (the company name of the branch must include the company name of the foreign trader together with a supplement showing that a branch is concerned, for example CDE Cargo Ltd., Suomen sivuliike)
  • the register in which the trader opening the branch has been entered in his home state (for example: The Registrar of Companies for England and Wales, Companies House, Cardiff) and the number of the trader in that register;
  • the type of activity carried on by the branch;
  • the personal details of a representative referred to in Section 6(3) of the Act on the Right to Carry on a Trade. The representative is a person who is entitled to receive summons and other notifications on behalf of the trader. If the trader is a foreign corporate body or foundation that is founded under the legislation of a country belonging to the EEA and has its domicile (designated in the statutes), its central administration or head office in a country belonging to the EEA, the representative must be resident in the EEA. In other cases, the representative must be domiciled in Finland
  • personal data on each person authorized to sign the company name of the branch and an account of how the company name must be signed
  • the persons authorized to represent the trader as a statutory body or as members of such body and their personal data (In many cases the body referred to in the law is the board of directors of the foreign company. The situation is to be interpreted in accordance with the law of the home state of the foreign organization or foundation.)

If a foreign trader opening a branch has his statutory place of residence, central administration or main establishment outside the EEA, the Start-up Notification must also indicate the state whose laws govern the trader, and the statutory place of residence, central administration or main establishment of the trader. If the foreign trader from a country outside the EEA is a limited or comparable company, the notification must also indicate the share capital or comparable capital unless it is given in the memorandum of association or the articles of association or in a corresponding document.

FI - Required enclosures

FI - Required enclosures

An example of documents required in a start-up Notification of a branch of a foreign trader:

  • evidence of the establishment of the branch
  • evidence of the appointment of a representative for the purposes of Section 6, paragraph 3, of the Trade Act
  • indication of the persons authorized to represent the trader as a statutory body or as members of such body and of granting of the right to sign the company name as well as the manner in which the company name must be signed
  • an extract from the register in which the foreign trader has been entered in its home state or other evidence of its existence
  • a Finnish or Swedish-language copy or a legally valid translation of the memorandum of association, articles of association, rules or other corresponding documents of the trader
  • if the organization or foundation establishing the branch is from outside the EEA, an account thereof that a permission to establish a branch has been obtained from the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland (Read more about permits to persons from outside the EEA)
  • if a person is reported for entry in the Register who has no Finnish personal identity code, the notification must be accompanied by a proof of the existence of the person (The proof can be, for example, a certified copy of his or her passport. If the person concerned is mentioned in the extract from the register concerning the foreign organization or foundation, no other proof of his or her existence is needed)

A copy of the minutes of a board meeting of the foreign company often serves as the evidence of the establishment of the branch, of the appointment of a representative and of granting of the right to sign for the company. The laws of the company's home state shall determine the body competent to decide on such issues, whereas the body representing the company under law often appears from the trade register extract issued by the authority of the company's home state.

If a document in a foreign language is attached to the notification, it must be accompanied by a translation of it in Finnish or Swedish.

FI - Charges

FI - Charges

Start-up notifications filed with the trade register are subject to a handling fee which must be paid in advance. You can pay the fee at a bank, online from your personal computer, or by using a payment ATM. You can also pay it at Local Register Offices; at Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres); or at our client service. The receipt must be attached to the notification.
The amount of the fee depends on the type of notification and company. The handling fees for start-up notifications are as follows:

Trade Register price list - handling fees

Start-up Notification by a private trader

€ 75

Private traders who already have a Business ID but have not been registered at the Trade Register submit their details to the Trade Register.

€ 75

Start-up Notification of a general partnership or a limited partnership

€ 180

Other Start-up Notification (for example of a limited liability company, co-operative or housing company)

€ 350

More information on the Trade Register web site

FI - Special service point / hotline

FI - Special service point / hotline

The Enterprise Finland website offers a comprehensive information service for start-up businesses.

Enterprise Finland

Enterprise Finland is an online service that is available to its users free of charge. It provides information about the kinds of assistance available to companies or entrepreneurs for establishing and developing their business. Enterprise Finland is particularly targeted at SMEs. Collected into a single location, the information is readily available, up to date and comprehensive. Enterprise Finland is coordinated by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.

Face-to-face service: The centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) can advise you on how to establish a business, help you to assess your business concept, and offer training in starting up a business and managing it. Furthermore, you can file your start-up notification at ELY Centres.

ELY Centres


Enterprise Agencies help you to assess the business potential of your idea; further your business concept; choose a form of business; sort out licence and notification requirements; draw up a marketing plan, and to find suitable premises.

Enterprise Agencies

FI - Further information

FI - Further information

Further information on business registrations and necessary licenses/notifications/permits can be found at the website of the National Board of Patents and Registrations of Finland and the Enterprise Finland.

National Board of Patents and Registrations of Finland and Enterprise Finland


For further information concerning company taxation in Finland please visit the Finnish Tax Administration.

Finnish Tax Administration

Further links: