How to Open a Bank Account in Finland?

What are the requirements for setting up a bank account in Finland? And, is there an alternative to traditional banking? We’ll get answers to these questions and more below. Keep reading to learn more!

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It takes a whole lot to run a business efficiently. From incorporation to taxing and ensuring that you have fulfilled all the legal requirements, there are plenty of things to consider. Indeed, Finland is one of the best places to set up a business in the EU due to favorable policies that allow business owners to go through the registration process seamlessly. However, when setting up a bank account, things can become a bit tricky.How does one navigate the process? What are the requirements for setting up a bank account in Finland? And, is there an alternative to traditional banking? We’ll get answers to these questions and more below. Keep reading to learn more!Doing Business in Finland: What it EntailsTraditionally, Finland has always been a small open economy, albeit with a massive, strong export sector. Like many other EU countries, Finland has a highly industrial market, with dominant industries in metals, chemicals, and forestry. Foreign InvestmentIn Finland, no law restricts foreign investment. However, it’s essential to acquire the necessary authorization in certain sectors like payment services, fund management, and banking. In addition, some trading requirements and restrictions apply at the EU level and nationally to the export and import of goods to and from certain EU countries. For instance, Finland, as a part of a wider EU policy, has imposed trade sanctions on Russia due to its conflict with Ukraine Business VehiclesBusinesses in Finland can be registered as:
  • Sole proprietorships
  • Limited partnerships
  • General partnerships
  • Cooperative societies
Foreign companies are usually registered as private limited liability companies to better enjoy the flexible regulations that the Finnish system is so popular for. These regulations are key to effective corporate decision-making.
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Open a company

Registering a New Business in Finland

Most companies in Finland are required by law to be registered in the Finnish Trade Register. These companies, including foundations and cooperatives, are obliged to file paperwork identifying their corporate ownership. However, these laws do not apply to publicly listed companies because their shareholders can be identified via other means according to laws on the securities market. Foreign companies registered as limited liability companies must be registered with the appropriate national body (Finnish Trade Register) within three months of signing an incorporation memorandum. The startup notification to this body must contain certain data about the company, including:
  • Memorandum of incorporation
  • Articles of association
Based on the startup notification, new companies are issued Business IDs and entered into the Tax Administration’s taxpayers register. The notification can also be used to request entry in the VAT register, prepayment register, and employees register if necessary. TaxationForeign companies in Finland are viewed as non-resident taxpayers; thus, they have limited tax liability. This is a highly favorable regulation for foreign investors and further depicts why Finland is one of the best places to do business in Europe.On the other hand, companies fully incorporated and headquartered in Finland (non-foreign) are regarded as resident taxpayers with full tax liability. Requirements for Non-EU CitizensThe registration process is quite straightforward for business owners residing locally in Finland or within the EU as foreigners.However, non-EU business owners have a few extra requirements. They require residence permits granted for a minimum of a year, after which they can then register with the Digital and Population Data Services Agency to acquire a Finnish personal identity code and a municipality of residence.The best part is that the entire registration can be completed online. This seamless business setup procedure is another reason why doing business in Finland is an attractive option for foreigners.
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Banking in Finland

Opening a Bank Account in Finland

After completing your company registration, the next step is to open a business bank account. In Finland, this requires extracts from the trade register. Depending on the bank you choose, you must present several company documents. Finland’s three prominent banks are the OKO Bank Group, Sampo, and Nordea Bank Group, all of which comprise around 80% of the entire industry. Most Finnish banks offer basic payment account services to businesses within the European Economic Area. However, they also reserve the right to decline client access if they wish. With private limited liability companies, it’s best to delay the account opening process until full incorporation into the Trade Register. Here are some of the documents required by the banks in order to open an account:
  • An extract from the Trade Register that’s a maximum of three months old
  • Articles of Association
  • Board meeting minutes
  • Personal identification document
  • A business plan outlining the nature of the company’s operations
In instances where the limited liability company receives share capital, a separate account is required to make the payment, prior to incorporation within the Trade Register.In place of extracts from the Trade Register, banks will request the following documents:
  • Memorandum of Association (three years at most)
  • Trade Register certification showing the submission of startup-notification
  • A copy of the company’s startup-notification.
The registration process can be done completely online. However, there are slight hitches for foreign companies as the traditional banks tend to make the procedure lengthier than normal. As such, Finnish Neobanks, such as Narvi, are much better options, as they provide a host of solutions tailored to meet the needs of business owners.
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The Ultimate EU Business Banking Solution

Narvi Payments

Narvi is a Neobanking solution that provides borderless banking services. With Narvi, business owners can bypass all of the restrictions of traditional banks, and directly access a wide range of financial services to help their companies scale. With its many integrated services, Narvi enables users to work with international and local suppliers and customers easily. Plus, the onboarding process is quick and can be done online.As an EU-based country, Finland is also a member of the eurozone. What better way to manage your business finances in Finland than to use a banking solution that has the Euro central to its workings?Here are some reasons for you to choose Narvi.IBAN and SWIFT integrationWith Narvi, you’re assigned a unique IBAN to help you transact euros globally via the SWIFT network. As such, you can easily receive and send money to clients across the European Economic Area and the rest of the world.SEPA Instant PaymentsNarvi allows business owners to make payments within SEPA (Single Euro Payment Area). Additionally, Narvi’s Smart Routing technology helps to monitor SEPA transfers at every stage.Multi User AccessIf you’re still considering opening an account with a traditional Finnish bank, here’s a potential deal-breaker in favor of Narvi – each IBAN account has multi-user access. Users with full access can add other users, send transfers, view transaction data, download banking statements, and more. A second tier of users exists, with view-only, limited access. As such, different shareholders, employees, and relevant third-party bodies, such as external auditors, can seamlessly access specific financial details at any time.IntercompanyOne of Narvi’s most exciting features is its capacity to link several companies and manage their financials from a single dashboard. If you own a group of companies, you can create unique IBANs, set up multilayered group access, and manage each company individually. Finally, Narvi allows you to manage intercompany payments seamlessly. Open your account here.Conclusion Finland’s pre-existing regulations make setting up a business there as seamless as possible. However, its traditional banks are quite limited in scope and do not offer the full range of payment services to business owners. Foreign companies looking to establish a presence in Finland will find it tough to navigate the processes of opening a business bank account with traditional banks. Even more, the difficulty increases if, for some reason, you cannot be physically present in Finland to complete the registration. Such complex processes can slow down your business incorporation and incur additional costs in the form of service fees. Why not opt for an efficient business bank account solution that’s quick and easy to register with and offers several integrated services tailored to your business needs? Indeed, with Narvi, companies can easily set up an IBAN account and access several financial tools to help them scale seamlessly.
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