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Company forms

When establishing a business, the company form, the name of the company and choice of the field of activity have to be chosen. Factors influencing the choice of company form include the number of founders, capital requirement, division of responsibility and decision-making, financing and taxation.

The various company forms in Finland are: proprietorship (toiminimi), partnership (avoin yhtiö), limited partnership (kommandiittiyhtiö), limited company (osakeyhtiö) and cooperative association (osuuskunta).

When you are considering the choice of company form, it is strongly advised that you contact an establishment offering Business advice.

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Business advice

Proprietorship (toiminimi)

The simplest and most popular way to start in business is to operate as a private entrepreneur using a company name. Decision-making and responsibility in the company belong with the entrepreneur, and the company may employ workers as in other forms of business. For part-time entrepreneurship it is often beneficial to start as a proprietorship. Starting business in this way is speedy and uncomplicated.

Limited company (osakeyhtiö)

Limited company is the most common company form in Finland. A limited company is suitable for all kinds of business operations. You can start a limited company alone or with other shareholders. A shareholder’s voting power, profit and liability depend on how many shares they own.

Partnership (avoin yhtiö)

A partnership is formed when two or more individuals agree to it by signing a partnership agreement. The partners have equal status in all the company’s operations and are personally responsible for company decisions, liabilities and debts.

Limited partnership (kommandiittiyhtiö)

A limited partnership differs from an ordinary partnership in that in addition to one or more accountable partners there is at least one sleeping partner, i.e. a participant in the company who generally acts as an investor.

Cooperative association (osuuskunta)

Cooperative association is a company owned by its members. There can be one or several members. Each member has one vote in cooperative association meetings. The liability of the members for the cooperative association’s obligations (for example, debts) is limited to their investment of share capital.