Do you want to become self-employed or work as a freelancer? Do you have a product or service to sell? Or are you a blogger who is planning some paid collaborations with different businesses? No matter what question you answered with ‘yes’, there is the same first step to reach any of the goals mentioned above. You need to start a company.

Today I will tell you how to register a company as a sole (private) trader, or toiminimi as they call it in Finnish.

Legal aspects

The reason why I decided to start my own company was an opportunity to work as a freelancer in some e-commerce projects. When I got an offer, I asked my mentor how to do things right. The solution was to establish a sole proprietorship in order to be able to provide the service and get paid by sending invoices to the customers. Basically, you need to register a company to get your Business ID that is given as soon as your start-up notification has been registered in the Business Information System (BIS). So, if you want to start working as a private trader, you must file a start-up notification with the PRH Trade Register.

Practicalities

First of all, you need to identify the area of your business, depending on the product or service you offer. It can be a very specific area or a broaden one like, for example, ‘sales & marketing consulting and everything related to it’. Besides, you must choose a company name. You don’t need to be creative, you can just use your First name Last name Tmi to begin with.

For registering your company as a sole trader, you don’t need to rent an office. Your home address can become your company address. You don’t need a startup capital either. What you need is 110 euros to pay a handling fee if you fill in a paper form, or 75 euros if you do the registration online (note: you need bank codes for it).

You can find paper forms here. To set up a private trader online, proceed here!

Important note: you need to fill in the form in Finnish or Swedish! If you don’t have sufficient language skills, ask someone to help you out!

Life after registering a company

As soon as the start-up notification has been entered in the Trade Register, you will receive a Trade Register extract with your company details free of charge. The extract is usually sent by mail, but it can also be collected from the PRH office.

You can change your business details later online or by going to the PRH office. You can close down your business the same way.

Keep in mind that the contact details of your company will be available on different information services. Therefore you may get offers from insurance companies, bookkeepers and other service providers. Obviously these services are not for free, so be careful with what you agree on.

More information in English can be found on the PRH website here!

I hope that this information will be useful to you, future entrepreneurs! Good luck and enjoy the journey!