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Finland

Branches

Updated 07/2012

Legal requirements

Companies can extend their operations by opening a branch in another EU country.

For example, the Act on the Right to Pursue a Trade regulates such issues.

Types of secondary establishment

With no legal personality

A natural person living in the European Economic Area may work as a sole trader. Generally speaking, sole traders are also referred to by the forms "trading as", "t/a" or "sole trader". In the legislation, however, "trading name" means the business name.

Legally independent

For those outside the EEA, a sole trader's licence and licence to set up a branch are required from the National Board of Patents and Registration (PRH).

Many of the requirements and procedures for opening a secondary establishment are the same as for starting up a business.

Administrative procedures

Preliminary procedures

In practice, setting up a business starts with selecting a trading name . Setting up a partnership (general or limited) does not require a standard format, but there must also be a written agreement for the trade register. Limited liability companies and cooperatives are only established legally once they have been listed in the trade register maintained by the National Board of Patents and Registration.

A founding declaration for the trade register is made on a founding declaration form, in which the company may also notify the Tax Administration registers.

Registration

EU nationals and foreigners must register in Finland once they have been in the country for a certain period.

New companies must generally be registered in the National Board of Patents and RegistrationTrade Register. Many of the requirements and procedures for opening a branch are the same as for starting up a business.

Regular duties

Employers account for withheld tax and social security payments to the tax authorities.

General information tax information about business activities for all businesses and entrepreneurs can be found on the Tax Administration website. Matters relating to each type of business can be found in their own section. For example, entrepreneurs pay value-added tax on their sales to the State every month.

Resources

EnterpriseFinland offers free, comprehensive information to entrepreneurs on matters related to launching an enterprise, growth, going international, taxation and business development. Information is also available on transferring a business, public financing, and the roles of employers and employees.

Suomi.fi is the shared website for public administration internet-based services.

The Info Bank website, Infopankki.fi, has information about Finland in 15 different languages.

ThisisFINLAND is a network service managed by Finland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs offering general information on Finland.

The Tax Administration is a source of information on entering a company into various registers and tax-related matters.

The National Board of Patents and Registration website contains information about all business forms in Finland.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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