Becoming a private entrepreneur
It is fairly easy and inexpensive to become a private entrepreneur. It does not require special formalities, and you do not necessarily need any initial capital. You can become a private entrepreneur by filing a start-up notification, after which you will get a Business ID. Enter your company also into the Tax Administration registers.
You can set up a private entrepreneurship in Finland, if you are a natural person and have a permanent place of residence in the European Economic Area. In other words, you should be a resident of an EU country, Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland.
If you live permanently outside the European Economic Area, you will need a permission from the Finnish Patent and Registration Office for starting up as a private entrepreneur.
If you are under the age of 18, you will need your parent’s or guardian’s consent for starting up as a private entrepreneur. Both you and your parent or guardian have to sign the start-up notification.
If you plan to conduct business activities for a minor or on your child's behalf, you will need a permission from the Local Register Office.
If you want to file the start-up notification electronically, you must be at least 18 years of age. In addition, you will need a Finnish personal identity number and online banking identification, a mobile certificate or an identity card with a microchip.
It is fairly inexpensive to become a private entrepreneur. You do not necessarily have to invest any capital when setting up your company as a private entrepreneur. Only joining the Trade Register costs money.
If, for some reason, you do not want to register your company into the Trade Register, you can become a private entrepreneur completely free of charge. Keep in mind, though, that the registration is worth doing. When your company can be found in the Trade Register, it is credible and your company name is protected.
Note, however, that you usually need some money for the initial acquisitions. You should also reserve some money to cover the running expenses for at least 2-3 months. You will also you need money to live on before your company starts to generate enough income.
You can apply for start-up money from the TE Services to secure your livelihood in the initial stages of your business. You should apply for the start-up grant in advance, in good time before setting up the company. If necessary, you can also apply for a loan, for example, from a bank or another financial institution. If your company lacks the guarantees required by a bank, Finnvera's partial guarantee, i.e. a guarantee that the bank can apply for your from Finnvera, can be a solution for arranging the financing.
It is fairly simple to set up a business as a private entrepreneur, as it does not require any special formalities. Usually, however, it is worthwhile to register your company in the Trade Register, even if it might not be mandatory in your case.
File the start-up notification to the Trade Register primarily electronically through the Business Information System. You will need to include the following: company name, place of business, line of business, contact information and the entrepreneur’s personal details. You do not have to submit several alternatives for the company name. You can submit alternative names for faster processing.
When you have completed, signed and paid for the notification, you will immediately receive a Business ID for your company. After that, you can join the Tax Administration’s Prepayment, Employers’ and VAT Register. You can do this in the same session in the Business Information System.
Alternatively, you can send the start-up notification on paper, but this way, it will take longer to receive a Business ID and the process is more expensive.