Our regional projects

These are our ongoing projects to promote different business opportunities in Finnish regions. Please click the boxes below for further information.

 

 

 

Our regional projects
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Invest in Eastern Finland project

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.

Helvi Väisänen

Senior Advisor

Expertise:

Business Development

Email:

helvi.vaisanen[at]finpro.fi

Phone:

+358 40 3433 295

Our regional projects
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Invest in Southeast Finland project

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.

 

Southeast Finland in a nutshell

 

 

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.

 

Southeast Finland hosts world class digital infrastructure for data centers

 

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.

Jari Tielinen

Project Manager, Invest in Southeast Finland

Email:

jari.tielinen[at]finpro.fi

Phone:

+358 400 849 270

Our regional projects
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Setting up a business by help of Invest in Finland
Setting up a business

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.

4 quick steps to set up a business in Finland


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.

 

Online tools

 

You can establish a limited liability company online through the BIS online service (ytj.fi).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.


Types of business

 

In Finland, foreign companies most commonly conduct business through private or public limited liability companies, or through a Finnish branch office. Business can also be conducted through general or limited partnerships or co-operatives. A foreign organization or foundation can also establish a branch in Finland.


Setting up a limited company 

 

A limited company can be established by one or more natural or legal persons (founders). At least one of the founders shall be a permanently resident or, if the founder is a legal person, have their domicile in the European Economic Area – unless the National Board of Patents and Registration grants an exemption from this rule. The nationality of the founder is thus irrelevant. A legal person shall have their domicile in the European Economic Area when it has been established in accordance with the laws of a State which belongs to the European Economic Area and when its registered office, central administration, or head office is in a State belonging to the European Economic Area. A person who is legally incompetent or declared bankrupt may not act as founder.

 

If a permit is required, the application is to be submitted to the National Board of Patents and Registrations either in Finnish or in Swedish. An application fee (EUR 120) is paid for each permit decision.

 

A private limited company shall have a minimum share capital of EUR 2,500 and a public limited company requires EUR 80,000. The share capital must be paid to the company’s account in full before the company can be entered in the Trade Register which is maintained by the National Board of Patents and Registration.


New businesses submit the basic declaration to the Trade Register using the start-up notification form. This form can also be used for registration with the Tax Administration, registration of a VAT liable business, registration as an employer, and registration in the tax prepayment register.

 

Setting up a branch of a foreign trader 

 

A branch refers to a part of a foreign organization or foundation that conducts continuous business or professional activities in Finland from a permanent place of business in Finland in the name of and on behalf of a foreign organization or foundation.


The trade name of a branch of a foreign entrepreneur established in Finland shall contain the trade name of the foreign entrepreneur with an addition to the name which indicates that it is a branch – e.g. CDE Cargo Ltd., branch of Finland.

 

The application fee for a branch of a foreign trader is EUR 380. If the trader opening the branch is from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA), they will also need a permit from the National Board of Patents and Registration for the establishment of a branch. This permit costs EUR 120.

 

Acquisition of a business

 

Foreigners may also acquire Finnish enterprises, their business operations, or become partners in an existing enterprise. The object of acquisition may be, for example, a private undertaking; shares in a general or limited partnership; the entire stock of a limited liability company; or a majority of the shares. You can become a member of an existing cooperative by paying the participation share.


All corporate acquisitions in the defense and dual-use goods sector are subject to approval by the public authorities – approval will be based on an application. In the civil sector, Finnish enterprises considered critical for securing vital functions within society and corporate acquisitions will also be subject to approval.


Regulated trades
 

There are also commercial activities in Finland that are subject to a license. These include the serving of alcohol, debt collection and security guard business. There are also commercial activities that require registration in a register that is kept by the authorities. This registration obligation covers such activities as the package travel agencies, real estate agencies and housing rental agencies. An entrepreneur submitting this kind of registration must meet the prerequisites laid out for registration in the law.


There are also commercial activities in which the authorities must be notified of the start of the activities. Under the law, restrictions and obligations may also be imposed on commercial activities for which a notification is required.
In most cases, an entrepreneur can start their operation before the authorities have considered the notification.


Looking for a reseller for your products?
 

If you are looking for a reseller or a business partner for your product or service, please contact industry associations and the chambers of commerce for further information.


The Enterprise Europe Network was established in 2008 by the European Commission. It provides free-of-charge internationalization services to SMEs and operates in over 50 countries.

Our regional projects
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Finding the right location

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.

Location management


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.


 

 

 

 

Our regional projects
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Visas and work permits
Visas and work permits

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.


Applying for a visa to the Schengen area

 


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.


Residence permits

 


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.


Work permits

 


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.

Our regional projects
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Meeting about employment issues
Employment issues

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.


Accident and pension insurance

 


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.


Tax and social security

 


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.


Terms and conditions of employment

 

Working hours

 

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.


Holidays

 

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.


Sick pay

 

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

 

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 €

0.8 %

Unemployment insurance for the portion of the wage bill exceeding  2 059 500  €

3.3 %

Group life insurance


Average 0.07 %

 

Employer’s social security contribution

 1.08 %

Total wages under 2 059 500 €

Average 20.7 %

Wages exceeding 2 059 500 €

Average 23.2 %

 

Source: Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK)

 

Invest in Finland

Cost calculator

Start by picking an employee type:

Close

Employee costs estimation calculator

Employee

Local and income tax (26.8%)
857.6
Pension cost (5.15%)
164.8
Unemployment insurance (0.6%)
19.2

Employee receives monthly

€ 2158

Employer

Pension contribution (average 17.95%)
576
Employment accident insurance according to risk and the size of the company (average 0.8%)
28.8
Unemployment insurance (0.8%) For companies with total wages over € 2044500, unemployment insurance 3.3%
32
Group life insurance (average 0.07%)
22.4
Employer’s social security contribution (1.08%)
67.84
Monthly cost for annual bonus and holiday pay (15.9%)
508.8

Total monthly cost for employer

€ 4436

Average employer cost:
22,09% of employee wage for companies with total wages under € 2044500
24,99% of employee wage for companies with total wages over € 2044500

Our regional projects
Setting up a business Finding the right location Visas and work permits Employment issues Business services for companies Our services Our regional projects
Business services for companies
Business Services for companies

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.

 

Accounting

Source: Alama Talent Oy / Balance Consulting

 

 

Advertising agencies

 


Source: The Finnish Association of Marketing Communication Agencies (MTL)

 

Banks

 

 

Source: Federation of Finnish Financial Services

 

Bookkeeping

 

Source: Statistics Finland

 

 
Headhunting agencies


Source: Statistics Finland

 
Law offices

 


Source: Vainu. io Software Ltd

 

Our regional projects
Setting up a business Finding the right location Visas and work permits Employment issues Business services for companies Our services Our regional projects
Our services

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.

Data collection

- 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.

Opportunity analysis

- 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.

 

Matchmaking

– 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.

 

Entry alternatives

- 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.

 

Location management

– 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.

 

Setting up a business

- 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.

 

Our regional projects
Setting up a business Finding the right location Visas and work permits Employment issues Business services for companies Our services Our regional projects