Choose the type of your business

Here is a summary of the most common types of business.

Private trader General partnership Limited partnership Limited company
Number of owners Only 1 natural person
At least 2 partners
At least 1 general and 1 silent partner

At least 1 shareholder. At least one ordinary member and one deputy member in the board of directors.

Owner liability The private trader is personally liable for the agreements entered into and for the debts of the business. The partnership can enter into agreements, but if it cannot pay its debts, the partners are liable. The partnership can enter into agreements, but if it cannot pay its debts, the general partner is liable. The company can enter into agreements and is liable for its debts. Shareholders don’t have personal liability for the obligations of the company.
Capital requirement No No

General partner: no
Silent partner: capital investment.

There is no minimum or maximum cap on the investment (taxation practice may set a minimum amount for the company in order to be regarded as a limited partnership).

Share capital at least 2 500 euros.
Representatives The private trader The partners The general partner The board of directors
Registration to the Trade Register Possibly* Yes Yes Yes
Company name protection In Finland if the private trader is registered with the Trade Register In Finland In Finland In Finland
Trade Register handling fee for a start-up notification 110 euros 240 euros 240 euros 380 euros

Notification form
Y3 Y2 Y2 Y1 + appendix form 1
Enclosures to the start-up notification A receipt of the handling fee, normally no other enclosures needed The original Partnership Agreement, a receipt of the handling fee, normally no other enclosures needed The original Partnership Agreement, a receipt of the handling fee, normally no other enclosures needed Original Memorandum of Association, a copy of the Articles of Association, a deed showing that the share capital has been paid, a receipt of the handling fee + other enclosures when necessary

* As a private trader, you must report for registration at the Trade Register if you:

  • operate in a licensed trade,
  • operate in permanent premises, such as a room separate from your home, or
  • employ people other than your immediate family members (your spouse, or your child/grandchild who is a minor or under guardianship).

Branch of a foreign-based trader

If you already own a company in another country, you may want to establish a branch of that company in Finland. A branch of a foreign-based trader is a part of a foreign organisation or foundation that

  • carries on a continuous business or trade in Finland
  • is located in a permanent place of business in Finland
  • acts in the name and for the benefit of the foreign organisation or foundation.

More information on how to register a branch with the Trade Register.

Printable version
Latest update 06.11.2018