These are our ongoing projects to promote different business opportunities in Finnish regions. Please click the boxes below for further information.
The Business opportunities in Eastern Finland have begun to attract unprecedented interest from foreign investors in the last couple of years. Interest has been aroused especially by the region's expertise in the bioeconomy, technology and life science fields.
Invest in Eastern Finland is a EU –funded project being implemented jointly by three provinces (Northern Savonia, Northern Karelia and Southern Savonia) and their key cities and led and coordinated by Invest in Finland. The focus is in attracting industrial investments, strategic partnerships and venture capital money to the region. Additionally, developing the know-how on foreign direct investments among the local SMEs and Team Finland members and promoting the region's strengths. The purpose is also to find new ways of collaboration between Invest in Finland and the regional development agencies and implement the best practices to the rest of the country.
The degree to which companies in East ern Finland are ready to meet international investors is being raised within the project's own training programme.
Key results include the Binderholz’ investment in the two sawmills in Lieksa and Nurmes, the largest investment of this century in the region, Mölnycke’s M 60 € re-investment in Mikkeli and venture capital investment of Shell Ventures to Rocsole.
Southeast Finland offers excellent investment and business opportunities in Logistics, Digitalization, Bio economy and Tourism. Google has one of its largest Data Centers in Europe in the area. The densest forest industry hub in Europe has created many green opportunities. 13 000 islands and 15 000 km of waterline form a nature paradise for outdoor tourism.
Our location between the East and the West offers a market of 10 million people with St. Petersburg only a 2,5 hour drive. Northern Europe’s main railway hub and Finland’s leading export/import harbor located in the area make the region extremely accessible.
In Southeast Finland, there is a rapidly growing network of energy technology and environmental engineering companies. With their commitment to ambitious environmental objectives, the cities in Southeast Finland offer a great environment for businesses operating in the fields of bioeconomy, energy technology and environmental engineering.
One of the Europe’s biggest data centers (Google) is in the area, the region boasts well connected zoned sites for new data centers and excellent fiber connections to East and West.
For further information, please find contact information below.
International companies are warmly welcomed and enjoy high return on investment in Finland. They can access same benefits as Finnish companies. Setting up a business in Finland is quick and easy. Opening a legal entity takes only a couple of weeks.
1. Select a name for your company. To gain exclusive rights to the name, you should submit it to the Trade Register which is maintained by the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH).
2. Open a bank account for your business. The company requires a bank account to pay share capital, process payment transactions and support accounting.
3. File a start of the business notification. Establishing and registering a business requires that a notification be filed with the Trade Register and various Tax Administration registers. This can be done easily using a single form (“Y form”).
4. Take advantage of online tools. You can establish a limited liability company online through the Business Information System online service. You can also create a workspace at My Enterprise Finland. The My Enterprise Finland service gives you access to a wealth of useful services. These online services require you to log in with your online banking credentials.
We build lasting bridges between our clients and Finland. We work nationally and in close cooperation with our regional partners. Therefore, we offer a consolidated approach as to the value that Finland can bring to your company.
In most cases, the location of a business is critical to its future success. Location management is a key service provided by Invest in Finland. By tailoring our services to meet your precise needs, we identify locations with the best potential for your business operation. Once there is a short list, we can arrange visits and join you at the meetings.
As well as comparing locations, the goals of our location management service include identifying location-specific investment incentives, innovation programs and recruitment and training opportunities. We can guide you through all the steps in the site selection process and connect you with relevant networks and service providers.
People from many countries outside the EU can stay in Finland as tourists for three months without a permit. If they wish to work in Finland, they need to apply for a residence permit, even if the period of stay is shorter than three months. EEA and Swiss citizens, their spouses and children under 21 years of age (and dependents in their parents’ care) do not need a work permit.
Permits for entrepreneurs and employees depend on whether the person is from or resides in another Nordic country, an EU country or comes from outside the EU. The notifications and permits required can include registering for the right to reside in Finland, getting a residence permit for entrepreneurs or employees, or registering in the Population Register. Persons residing outside the European Economic Area (EEA) may also need a permit from the National Board of Patents and Registration to serve in a managerial position or to carry out other duties of responsibility in a businesses.
Finland is part of the Schengen area. Foreign nationals who need an entry visa are requested to apply at the nearest Finnish consulate. In countries where Finland does not have a mission, another Schengen country can represent Finland in visa matters. These states have jointly agreed on the rules concerning the movement of third-country nationals in their territories and have decided which countries’ citizens are required to present a visa.
Citizens of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland) may freely enter Finland and reside in the country without a residence permit. They can also take up paid employment without a residence permit for an employed person.
EU citizens and citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have the right to enter, reside, study, seek work, or practice a profession in Finland for three months without a residence permit. If the stay lasts longer than that, they must register their right to reside in Finland at a police department.
Citizens from non-EU/EEA countries should apply for a residence permit first. Everyone applying for a residence permit must fill in a separate form. This applies to all children too. The application is subject to a fee. In order for a residence permit to be granted, the applicant must have a valid passport or other approved travel document. The first residence permit for employed persons or self-employed persons costs 500 EUR in 2015.
Finland has an advanced social security and public health care system that extends to all permanent residents in the country. People moving to Finland have the right to buy real estate or rent property from the open market.
A foreign national in Finland who wishes to be employed requires a residence permit, which is applied for before arriving in Finland through a Finnish Embassy abroad. Private entrepreneurship or practicing a profession in Finland requires a separate residence permit intended for entrepreneurs. Residence permits for employees or entrepreneurs are not required for citizens of EU member states or citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
EU citizens and citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can freely work in Finland if the work lasts for a maximum of three months. After that, they must register their right to reside in Finland, but they do not need a special residence permit.
Foreign employees who are non-EU citizens and equivalent persons need a residence permit for an employed person if they intend to work in Finland. A residence permit can be granted on the basis of either temporary work or work of a continuous nature.
In employment contracts and employment relationships, employers must comply with the minimum requirements on employment terms and the conditions stated in a nationwide collective labour agreement considered to be representative of the sector. An employee posted to Finland is entitled to the salary determined by a universally valid Finnish collective labour agreement for the sector.
According to the Employment Contracts Act, an employer must provide employees with a description of the most essential terms and conditions of employment if they are not indicated on a written employment contract. An employment contract can be made for a specified period or until further notice. In an employment contract, the employee personally commits to working for the employer under their management and supervision against wages or other compensation.
An employment contract can be made for a specified period or until further notice. An employment contract for a specified period requires a justified reason. An employment contract can be made in writing, orally or electronically.
An employer must take out accident and pension insurance for their employees; employees must be provided with group life insurance and unemployment insurance in connection with accident insurance. An employer must also provide occupational health care.
An employer is responsible for paying any withheld taxes and social security contributions to the tax authorities, and must submit annual notifications to the tax authorities, and the pension and accident insurance companies. Information on the wages and salaries paid to employees must also be submitted.
Regular working hours are usually at most 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week. In a two week period, working hours are no more than 80 hours and in a three week period no more than 120 hours. The weekly hours may also be arranged in longer and shorter periods during which the average weekly hours do not exceed 40 hours. Working hours can take on alternative arrangements, for example in two or three week periods – this must be done according to the law or through collective agreements.
An employee also has the right to receive pay for the time he/she is on annual holiday. When employment has lasted less than 1 year, holiday leave is normally based on gaining 2 days or 2 1/2 days for each holiday credit month worked. Maximum amount of holiday per year is 5 weeks, if not otherwise determined in a collective labour agreement for a sector. Normal wages are paid for the time an employee is on holiday.
According to the law, an employee who is unable to work due to an illness or an accident is entitled to paid sick leave. Wages are paid for the day when the illness started and for the working days. If at the start of the disability, the employment relationship has lasted for at least one month, the employee will be paid full wages for the said period. If the employment relationship has lasted for a period that is shorter than one month, half of the wages will be paid for the same period.
Parental leave lasts 158 working days and is taken during pregnancy or in the period following birth. It is extended by 60 working days per child in the case of multiple births. Both parents can take the parental leave in up to two separate periods of at least 12 working days each During parental leave, Kela (The Social Insurance Institution of Finland) pays parental allowance..
Employer costs for a business
Required contributions by employers include:
• Employers’ health insurance (social security) contribution
• Unemployment insurance
• Earnings-related pension (TyEL) insurance contribution
• Group life insurance premium
• Occupational accident insurance
When your company hires employees, they must take care of the insurance of their employees as well as the payment of wages, withholding tax and insurance premiums. Statutory insurance and other payments include:
• employment pension insurance
• insurance against the risk of accident and occupational disease
• group life insurance for employees
• unemployment insurance contribution
• social security contribution
Following information updated in April 2017:
Employer’s pension contribution
Average 17.95 %
Employment accident insurance according to risk and the size of the company
Average 0.80 %
Unemployment insurance, total wages under 2 059 500 €
Unemployment insurance for the portion of the wage bill exceeding 2 059 500 €
Group life insurance
Employer’s social security contribution
Total wages under 2 059 500 €
Average 20.7 %
Wages exceeding 2 059 500 €
Average 23.2 %
Source: Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK)
When you need business services like bookkeeping, advertising, banking, employee recruitment and legal, we have the knowledge and the contacts.
We also work closely with our regional partners that have business service networks in their regions. We have listed five of the biggest service providers in each category.
Source: Alama Talent Oy / Balance Consulting
Source: The Finnish Association of Marketing Communication Agencies (MTL)
Source: Federation of Finnish Financial Services
Source: Statistics Finland
Source: Statistics Finland
Source: Vainu. io Software Ltd
We’ll help you set up a business in Finland. Whatever your needs are, Invest in Finland’s experts are ready to help you. Our services are free of charge and always tailored to meet your precise needs.
- Relevant information for fact-based decision making
At the business planning stage data collection is essential but time consuming. Invest in Finland has been supplying high-quality data collection services to a wide variety of international companies for more than 20 years. There's no need to tie up your resources – let us help you.
- Solutions for your business needs
Looking for growth for your business? Use our advisory services to ensure that you will be well positioned when you decide to make your move. Our professional advisors will be an extra resource for your business development team, providing valuable assistance and in-depth market know-how.
– Let us open the doors for you
Finland is ranked at the top in a number of international studies and surveys. One area in which our performance is considered particularly good is networking between private companies, the public sector and educational institutions. We can introduce you to the players who will be important for your business. We have the knowledge and the contacts – and will be happy to both organise and accompany you on fact-finding missions to all the key players.
- Evaluating most suitable market entry strategies
Localising your business plan requires careful evaluation of potential entry alternatives. Our fact-based advisory services provide extensive guidance on market entry strategy. We can answer your questions regarding the requirements for different types of business entities, registration and how the Finnish taxation system works. With a concrete entry plan in place, decisions on how to proceed are uncomplicated.
– Helping you select the perfect site
Location management is a key service provided by Invest in Finland. We can identify locations with the best potential for your business operation. Whether the issue is finding the best talent, choosing the right campus for a data center or finding international schools for the children of your expatriate employees, we will help you find a suitable solution. Once a short list has been compiled, we can arrange visits and accompany you to meetings.
- Tools and plans for establishing or expanding a business in Finland
Setting up a business in Finland is quick and easy. Our extended network of contacts with public authorities and service providers in the private sector simplify everything involved in starting up a business. Launching your new operation on schedule – with or without the media – will be important to your success. Let us help you make it happen.
Whatever your needs are, Invest in Finland’s advisors will be pleased to help you. Our services are free of charge and always tailored to meet your precise needs.