Dario Tartagni came from Italy in September 2019 to study at the GameLab in Oulu. As a music composer, he had found himself in demand among many teams that were developing games on the course. So, when Dario decided to stay in Finland after studying he decided to work here as a freelance music composer.

Dario was the first person, whom I helped at the position of Business Advisor at Uusyrityskeskus. He was the first international client introduced to me at the beginning of my work by my colleague Anneli Rinta-Paavola, as well as the first one of my clients to apply and receive his financial support from TE-office later in the work.

Our work stretched out for a few months, collaboration was productive and can be presented in the following main steps:

  1. Dario applied for the right of residence and opened a Finnish bank account to access cheap and fast online public services.
  2. We prepared a business plan with financial calculations and applied online for the Startup grand.
  3. After Dario received a positive decision on Startup grand, we registered a company in the form of a Private Trader and Dario started his business operations.

Right for residence and form of the company

At our first consultation in November, Dario’s shared his biggest concern with my colleague Anneli and I the question of residency in Finland. His study period with GameLab has ended and he was not sure if he was legally allowed to stay and operate as an entrepreneur here in Finland after the end of the year. Luckily, being a citizen of Italy and the EU, the only thing Dario actually needed to do was to apply for the right of residency, based on the grounds of having sufficient funds to live in Finland with his new business.

Dario then would also be legible to apply for financial support from the TE-office – Startup grand (starttiraha), so we advised Dario to start working on the business plan and financial calculations for the application.

At the same consultation, my colleague Anneli and I discussed with Dario different forms of companies and suggested that in his case a Private Trader (toiminimi) would be the most suitable one. We also explained what is pension insurance, entrepreneurs’ unemployment fund, and how to calculate yearly costs on those.

Review of the first business plan version

A few weeks later we reviewed Dario’s business plan and financial calculations for the Starttiraha application. Since Dario already had potential clients from GameLab, only a few things needed to be improved:

  • Giving specific numbers in the years of Dario’s experience
  • Providing a detailed explanation (with links and names) on where will Dario be looking for other clients in the future
  • Describing how the sales process will take place.

Dario then would also be legible to apply for financial support from the TE-office – Startup grand (starttiraha), so we advised Dario to start working on the business plan and financial calculations for the application.

At the same consultation, my colleague Anneli and I discussed with Dario different forms of companies and suggested that in his case a Private Trader (toiminimi) would be the most suitable one. We also explained what is pension insurance, entrepreneurs’ unemployment fund, and how to calculate yearly costs on those.

Review of the first business plan version

A few weeks later we reviewed Dario’s business plan and financial calculations for the Starttiraha application. Since Dario already had potential clients from GameLab, only a few things needed to be improved:

  • Giving specific numbers in the years of Dario’s experience
  • Providing a detailed explanation (with links and names) on where will Dario be looking for other clients in the future
  • Describing how the sales process will take place.

Finnish bank account and online services

During the same consultation, we discovered that Dario did not have an account in a Finnish bank. Why did that matter?

In Finland, often the easiest way to use any public services like TE-office, Tax Administration, Post, and others, is online by verifying your identity with a Finnish bank account. Of course, you may also apply with paper forms, but usually, they are more expensive and take longer time to process.

Since Dario was planning on staying in Finland long-term, we suggested that he opened a bank account here allowing him to access online services. This would guarantee him an easy application for startup grand and smooth registration of the company in the future.

Review of the first business plan version

A few months later Dario opened a Finnish bank account and came to me for an online-consultation to finalize his business plan and financial calculations for Startup grand.

We made a few last amendments:

  • Changed a pension insurance fee according to the 2020 year’s requirements
  • Formatted Dario’s experience into a separate document – CV
  • Gave more information on the competition in his field of business.

Application for Startup grand

Within a week Dario applied for the startup grand using the online services of TE-office. He attached:

  • Business plan
  • Financial calculations
  • CV
  • Statement of intent from one of his future clients.

Three weeks after the application Dario received a positive decision from the TE-office.

Registration of the company

After receiving a positive decision from TE-office, Dario and I had our last online meeting. Then we went through the process of claiming the Startup grand money and had a look at the registration form for Private Trader (toiminimi). I explained the information Dario needed to provide to the Trade Register (PRH) and together we found the suitable code for his line of business. I also sent Dario a video-instructions of the registration in the Finnish language, to guide him step-by-step after our consultation.

The last step for Dario was to contact his bookkeeper to help him register at the Tax Administration for the income and VAT taxation. Now Dario is operating with his business while receiving financial support from TE-office for the first 6 months.

If you need help with starting your business in Finland, contact me at viera.karam@uusyrityskeskus.fi

Kind regards,
Viera

As a business advisor at Oulun Seudun Uusyrityskeskus and BusinessOulu, I help international people of Oulu with early-stage business planning taking them step-by-step from an idea to the registration of the company. My clients often have interesting and complex cases that not only include the development of a business idea, but also questions of residence permits, licenses, taxation, and others. In this article, I will go over the case with one of my clients, while giving tips for those of you interested in starting a business here in Finland.

Disclaimer: All of our consultations are free and confidential. Every case I go over was allowed to publish by the client and has been approved beforehand.