According to the latest Global Startup Ecosystem Index, Finland has the 7th most attractive startup ecosystem in Europe and is ranked 13th globally.
The excellent startup ecosystem in Finland can be attributed to factors such as generous government support, a world-class education system producing highly skilled talent, a strong focus on research and development, and a collaborative culture that encourages knowledge sharing and networking. These factors create an ideal environment for entrepreneurs to thrive and turn their ideas into successful businesses.
For more information, visit StartupBlink's site: https://www.startupblink.com/startup-ecosystem/finland
Today, June 1, Finland has launched a new fast track service enabling specialists and startup entrepreneurs as well as their family members to obtain a residence permit within 14 days of applying. This service pledge is one of the Finnish Government's measures to streamline the immigration process for experts. “The global competition for skilled labor is fierce. This fast track service is one way to increase Finland’s attractiveness and facilitate international recruitment. A smooth permit process will be a help for both the experts and the companies hiring them,” says Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen.
In connection with the fast track, Finland is launching a new long-term visa. The D visa supports the implementation of the 14-day service pledge: specialists, startup entrepreneurs and their family members can travel to Finland immediately after they have been issued with a residence permit. They will no longer need to wait for a residence permit card abroad. Instead, they will receive it in Finland.
More information on the Finnish Governments site here and on the Immigration Service's site here.
Contact Companies House Finland if you need assistance with residence permits or other relocation services in Finland.
According to a recent report from Forrester, three cities in the Nordics - Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen - are the top European hotspots for businesses to recruit highly skilled talent.
In its report, "Navigating The Leading Skill Clusters Across Europe", Forrester ranks 50 European cities to help business leaders decide where to source the skills they need for the future. The report's key findings include:
The full report is available here.
What do you need to register a company in Finland? Well, you must think of a name for your firm, and the company will need at least one shareholder (a person or a company), eligible board member(s), a mail address, and that's about it. Of course you also need enough money to pay the Trade's Register's fee.
Regardless of what many sites tell you, one thing you don't need is share capital. When you find that claim somewhere, it's a sign that the site probably hasn't been updated for a couple of years. Since 2019, it's been possible to register a company in Finland without any share capital.
This makes establishing a business in Finland much easier than it used to be. Prior to this change, companies had to first open a corporate account in a Finnish bank, deposit the share capital there, and then file the registration documents. In order to open the account, it was usually necessary to visit the bank. With our help, the whole process of registering a company and opening an account can be done much faster and easier, and remotely from the beginning to the end.
You will find more detailed information here and if you need help in registering a company in Finland, you will find our contact information here.
The joint EU VAT reform will take effect in the entire Union today, July 1. The reform brings about changes to consumers, but also to businesses. The reform enables companies to register in the One Stop Shop VAT system in a single EU member state and to take care of their VAT declaration and payment obligations in a centralized manner. The One Stop Shop system can be used by companies that sell services or goods to consumers residing in the EU. In Finland, the VAT transactions can be done in the OmaVero online service.
When a company starts using the system, it can declare and pay taxes regarding consumer sales of goods and services through a single EU member state instead of declaring and paying VAT separately to each buyer’s country. If a company decides not to use the One Stop Shop system, it must still register as a VAT payer in all countries to which it sells consumer goods or services.
If an online shop’s consumer sales amount to a maximum of 10 000 euros for two consecutive years, registration in the One Stop Shop system is not required. When they so wish, companies with small turnovers can declare and pay VAT on consumer trade in their own countries.
More information available here.
If you are interested in registering a company in Finland and exporting goods or services to European consumers, please contact Companies House Finland.
Finland ranked number one in the United Nations' and the Bertelsmann Foundation's 2021 report on sustainable development. Finland achieved the top position for the first time, but it has been in the top three in earlier years, together with two other Nordic countries, Denmark and Sweden. The comparison assesses different countries’ progress on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the agenda's Sustainable Development Goals.
According to the report, Finland has either achieved or is close to achieving the United Nations' sustainable development goals related to poverty alleviation, health, education, water, energy, reducing inequality, peace, and the rule of law. The country's remaining challenges are related to climate change, sustainable consumption and production patterns and halting biodiversity loss.
If sustainable development is important for your company or if you do business in a sector related to it, you may want to consider getting established in Finland and registering a company in Finland. Companies House Finland will gladly assist you. Please contact us: www.companieshouse.fi/contact.html
The Sustainable Development Report is available here: dashboards.sdgindex.org/
OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) has published a report examining Finland’s foreign direct investment (FDI) trends and how Finland's regulatory landscape may affect its ability to attract foreign investments. The report compares FDI in Finland to other Nordic and Baltic economies and benchmarks Finland’s regulatory environment and broader investment climate against those of its neighbors.
According to the report, Finland’s economic and political stability, high quality of life, well-functioning institutions and transparent regulation have long been seen as important factors attracting foreign investment. Finland's solid research base, highly qualified labor force and strong culture of cooperation have brought numerous foreign firms to the country. The empirical evidence shown in the OECD report underlines the importance of FDI in supporting the country’s economic growth and job creation. The report also highlights how Finland’s relatively open business climate creates a favorable environment for foreign-owned firms, while identifying a number of areas where Finland might be underperforming in terms of attracting FDI.
In line with other recent studies and surveys, the results of OECD's business consultations show that access to technology and knowledge as well as a pool of skilled labor are important factors that attract FDI into Finland. Access to the Finnish or neighboring markets was also a significant motivator in many investment decisions. OECD's findings indicate that foreign investors have a positive view of several important aspects of the Finnish business environment. In general, interactions with public authorities were perceived as relatively smooth.
The businesses consulted by OECD had not experienced significant regulatory obstacles related to setting up operations in Finland. Processing times for registering a company in Finland were not viewed as an obstacle by foreign investors, but it was noted that without knowledge of the local language, the help of a local expert was necessary to assist in the process of setting up a branch of a foreign company in Finland. Some businesses saw potential in introducing a one-stop-shop for companies contemplating entering the Finnish market and registering a company in Finland.
OECD identified several factors that could improve Finland’s overall business climate and support efforts to attract and retain more FDI: fostering technology excellence, addressing skill shortages by facilitating foreign talent mobility, promoting the smooth arrival and integration of foreign talent, improving the flexibility of the labor market, further increasing regulatory transparency, and streamlining entry into the Finnish market (according to OECD, addressing certain aspects of investment screening, company registration and investment-related permit processes would facilitate market entry by foreign investors).
You can live quite comfortably in Finland without speaking Finnish, and indeed many expats do, because services are widely available in English. Also, most Finns speak English, so you can communicate with the locals. However, if you‘re planning to stay for a longer period and really want to understand the local culture, learning Finnish will open your eyes to many new things. And if your kids go to a Finnish school, it would be nice to understand what their report cards say, wouldn‘t it? The below content has been provided by BiCortex Languages (https://bicortexlanguages.com/).
"Living as a German expat in Finland is not that much different from living in Germany, mostly because of the relatively similar cultures of the countries. Nevertheless, there are some cultural differences which can be seen after a while of living in Finland.
Finns can sometimes be a bit introverted and quiet, especially at the beginning. There is normally no need for small talk in meetings or in business dealings and therefore it is fine to get straight to the point.
We also like to have our own personal space in our private life as well as in our working life. For this reason, getting to know new people in Finland at the beginning of the relocation process can be a little bit challenging. But when Finns get to know someone, they will be very helpful and friendly, also to foreigners.
When it comes to working in Finland, there are some behavioral aspects which are good to know. Generally, Finns are quite informal with their colleagues, but also with their superiors (i.e. formally addressing is rarely necessary, using only first names, titles are not generally utilized, etc.). It is even normal to meet business partners or colleagues in the sauna!
When comparing business life between Finland and many other countries, the most significant difference is the flat hierarchy, meaning a relatively low number of levels between employees and superiors. The communication is direct but casual at the same time, i.e. in meetings.
Also the following concepts are highly valued: punctuality, trust, honesty, individualism, modesty and equality. All this, however, always depends on the size and corporate culture of the company.
One thing which will always help to adjust to a new culture and adapt in a new country, is the willingness to learn the language of the country where the relocation takes place. Even though you can communicate very well in English almost everywhere in Finland, it is extremely important to learn the target language. Not only because it will help you with everyday life like grocery shopping, but also because of the feeling of social cohesion with others in the workplace.
Learning the target language will make you feel at home faster and it will also give you more understanding of the culture and people. Besides, it is a way of showing respect to the new country. As Finnish is one of the most difficult languages to learn in the world, everyone who makes the effort to learn our beautiful and rare but at the same time difficult language, deserves some respect and admiration!
You can learn Finnish either online or in person. I am sure we would all prefer face-to-face language training over virtual language courses, but due to the global situation and covid-19 pandemic, online training is a great alternative.
My name is Laura and I come from a small and tranquil Lappish town called Kemi, only 30 kilometers away from the Swedish border. I am bilingual, having Finnish as my first native language and Spanish and German as my second.
I am a private teacher, giving German language classes and Finnish lessons. I work as a Finnish language business trainer for BiCortex Languages. I teach a German expat couple who relocated to Finland, very close to my hometown. The Finnish training is online, one-to-one classes. As I know the region and its culture, I am able to tell them about the way of life and the people in this region of Finland as well as give some special tips about the area and what to do there.
Written by Laura García Aspegren
Keywords: Finnish classes, language training, relocation, cultural differences
Finnish startups attracted a record amount of growth funding in 2020: €951 million - almost twice as much as a year earlier (€505 million). 43 percent of the funds came from Finnish investors and 57 percent from foreign investments.
The largest individual investment was a €195 million round raised by phone manufacturer HMD, where the largest investors were Google and Qualcomm.
More information on Finnish Venture Capital Association's website: paaomasijoittajat.fi/en/a-record-year-for-finnish-startups-the-amount-of-funding-raised-nearly-doubled-in-a-year-and-is-already-approaching-the-billion-euro-mark/
Due to a new tax law effective January 1, 2021, corporate entities whose place of effective management is located in Finland are considered resident taxpayers in Finland. The place of effective management is where the corporation’s highest-level decisions concerning daily management are made.
In practice, the change brings Finnish corporate tax regulations more in line with many other countries, and it only affects foreign corporate entities whose place of effective management is in Finland. The change does not concern foreign corporate entities whose decision-making takes place outside Finland or corporate entities that are already treated as resident taxpayers in Finland.
Starting January 1, foreign corporate entities that are considered resident taxpayers must report their entire worldwide income to the Finnish Tax Administration by filing a tax return, and Finland has the right to tax their income from everywhere in the world.
To sum up, whereas the new law is a major change to previous practices, it shouldn't affect foreign companies' willingness to invest in Finland. As long as the international corporation's highest-level decisions are made in another country, the worldwide income will not be taxed in Finland. This is practically always the case with foreign companies who register a company (subsidiary or branch) in Finland and start their business operations in Finland.