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Registering a business

Setting up your own business is always a big decision. Registering a business may seem complicated at first, but good, systematic planning and expert support will help you at the initial stages and bring your company forward later on, too.

If you know that you have a good idea and a strong will to run your own business, you’ve already come a long way down the entrepreneurial path.

When you set up your own business, the first thing you face is seven steps

1. Business plan

One of the first and most important things to focus on is writing a business plan. A small business’s plan could be a simple summary describing how you will put the business idea into practice. The business plan should convince you that your business operations are profitable. Even though a business plan is not a statutory obligation when registering your business, it’s worth it — always. The TE centres who issue initial funding and banks require a business plan to receive finance. One organization that can help you write a business plan is the network of Finnish Enterprise Agencies.

2. Applying for initial funding

Initial funding (Finnish: starttiraha) helps you financially when you start up your business. Initial funding is intended to support your livelihood as an entrepreneur, and it is taxable income. When you have written a business plan and start applying for initial funding, first contact TE services. They will offer you further instructions and help.

3. Choose the right company form

One of the first things you need to do is choose the right company form, that is, the type of business entity. You should study the different options in detail and compare them to see what company form would be best for you. The size and risks of your business are decisive. For example, your business could be a limited company or a sole trader. There are many options and opportunities.

4. Company registration form

One step at the very start of the business owner’s journey is the company registration form. By now, you need to have thought of things like your business’s name and the sector it operates in. Submit the registration form to the Patent and Registration Office.

5. Entrepreneur’s permits and notifications

You can start a business in many sectors without the hassle of getting a permit, but some sectors require the relevant permits. Types of business which are subject to licence include grocery retail, restaurants and cafés, social sector services, car repair, and health and beauty. Also make sure you file the necessary notifications. When your business has started trading, you have to notify the Tax Administration, for example.

6. Your business’s accounting

Many people who set up their own business have heard the advice: get a good accountant right away! It’s as true as it ever was. Unless you are a professional accountant, you should spend your time and energy on running your business and outsource accounting to an expert. You can find a reliable accountant through websites such as Taloushallintoliitto In Finnish, the Finnish federation of financial services companies.

7. Invoicing

As a new business owner, finding clients and the practical sides of getting started can quickly occupy your time and mind. However, you should remember that your business’s invoicing has to be in order before you get your first client. Think about what payment term you will set, how you can invoice electronically, how you will archive invoices and how you will send payment reminders and recover late payments. You can also outsource your business’s invoicing to an online invoicing service that charges you a few per cent of the invoice sum.

Mies käärii hihat

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Read all about registering a business! Our guide also advises you how to avoid the worst pitfalls.