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You are clearly considering entrepreneurship and becoming a private trader, great!

The early days of entrepreneurship may seem daunting, but don’t worry: let’s travel together. Through us, setting up a business name is easy and we help with all your financial management issues. For private traders, we offer bookkeeping tools that make the company’s financial management smooth as silk, and you don’t need a separate accountant!

Forget the difficult Y3 forms. We take care of setting up a business name for you. Easily, quickly and completely free of charge!

A few easy steps and your business is set up!

  1. Fill out the form behind this link and we will take care of the rest.
  2. The form knows how to ask for all the information needed to start a business: your company’s line of business and basic information about the entrepreneur, such as one’s name, address, personal identity number, etc.
  3. To become a private trader and create a Finnish Business ID through us, you must be at least 18 years old. An online banking ID or mobile certificate is required for authentication.
  4. In principle, the establishment of a business name takes place in your own name. If you want to establish a company under a different name, then the notification must also be made to the Trade Register. You can also register in the Trade Register after receiving the business ID by making a change notification on YTJ’s website.

1. Open the form2. Fill out the information3. You become a private trader

Set up a private trader for free

Advantages and disadvantages of a private trader

Establishing a private trader has always been the most popular form of business among sole traders. And no wonder, because it is easy, fast and even completely free to set up private trader online today. Especially if you set it up through UKKO Private trader service.

Being a sole trader brings other good benefits, such as:

  • Establishing a private trader is quick and inexpensive: A private trader is relatively inexpensive to set up, there is no need to invest initial capital in it and the establishment fee is only 60-115 € when you set up a private trader company with the PRH’s forms. Setting up a private trader company through us is free and you don’t have to worry about the Y3 form.
  • Easier to market and sell services: The private trader is suitable for all industries. For example, for household deductions, the employee must have a business ID.
  • Possibility of single-entry bookkeeping: If the turnover is small, private traders can do single-entry bookkeeping. In practice, this means that income and expenses received from business transactions are recorded in the books. This is called payment-based bookkeeping because transactions are recorded according to when funds are transferred to the account or a payment is made in cash. Single-entry bookkeeping also does not require the preparation of financial statements.
  • Simpler taxation: The taxation of a private trader is much simpler than that of a limited company. The assets of the business are simultaneously the assets of the private trader and the profit, i.e. the taxable salary, is taxed as personal income. In comparison, the assets of a limited company are the assets of the company and cannot be used as one pleases.
  • Right to deduct expenses and purchases: One of the best aspects of being a private trader is the ability to reduce company-related expenses in taxation. In practice, this means that the trader can declare in the tax return the costs of acquisitions that are material to the company’s business during the past year, in which case they become deductions from the total amount of tax, and thus the total amount of tax is reduced. For example, an entrepreneur can reduce all work-related furniture and tools, the use of workspace, and marketing costs.
  • You can enjoy a 5% entrepreneur discount: All sole traders are entitled to an entrepreneur deduction of 5% of the profit. This is, therefore, completely tax-free income for the private trader. Limited companies or light entrepreneurs are not entitled to this deduction.
  • It’s easy to end or expand your business name: If the entrepreneur feels that business isn’t profitable, ending operations as a private trader is much simpler than for a limited company. On the other hand, if the business moves forward at a rapid pace, it is also easy to change from a private trader to a limited company.
  • As a private trader, you can do work that require a license: for example, those operating in the taxi and healthcare sector are required to have a business ID.
  • You save on billing fees: You don’t have to pay a billing fee to anyone, in which case you also earn more than as a light entrepreneur.
  • Benefiting from the VAT relief: As a private trader, you might benefit from the VAT relief if your billing is less than 30,000 € during a calendar year.

Potential challenges

  • The private trader is not a separate legal entity, so as a private trader, you are responsible for the contracts and commitments you make with your personal property. If you don’t want to be responsible for your company’s finances with personal assets, a limited company might be a better solution for you.
  • The income you earn under your business name is always your personal income. With high income, your tax rate is also high. In a limited company, on the other hand, you can pay yourself a suitable amount of salary and leave the rest of the money to your company’s bank account to wait for years to come. As a private trader entrepreneur, this is not possible.

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Setting up a business name is easy

Why do we set up a business name for free?

We offer automatic private trader bookkeeping online. To use our awesome tools, you need a business name and a Finnish Business ID. And when you don’t have a business name yet, then of course we’re ready to set it up for you. The early days of entrepreneurship are more fun together than alone! In addition to setting up a business name, we will help you manage your finances properly. We advise our users on all matters related to the private trader’s finances, as the private trader’s financial systems can be difficult to grasp at first, and there are many exceptions. We don’t think anyone should be left alone to think about financial matters, please contact our customer service for questions!

Is it then necessary to buy a paid private trader bookkeeping service at the same time? No. If you just want to avoid costs and take advantage of our honest and fair service, then, of course, you can just acquire a free business name. However, if you value your own time and want to avoid the stress of bookkeeping (VAT return, what are them?!?!), you should test our service. You can use your time for other things, and the use of the service is free until your turnover is 1,000 €. Therefore, when you set up a private trader company for free through us, use the advantage of trying out the service for free and experience the benefits it offers. After that, you can decide what you want to do.

Private trader

The word private trader is often used colloquially to refer to a private entrepreneur. The private trader, “toiminimi” in Finnish, officially means the name of the company, regardless of the type of company. When talking about a private trader as a company form, the abbreviation “Tmi” is often used. The tax administration, on the other hand, uses the term “self-employed” for private trader entrepreneurs.

A private trader may be established by a person who resides in the European Economic Area and is at least 18 years old. A minor may also establish a business name with the consent of the guardian. Typical private trader entrepreneurs include hairdressers, graphic designers, consultants, construction professionals, masseurs, and taxi drivers.

Unlike other forms of business, a private trader (or business name), is personally responsible for all business activities. Thus, a private trader is not a separate legal entity, as in a limited company, the entrepreneur and the company are separate. Therefore, if you take out a loan for your company, you are personally responsible for repaying the loan. Also, taxation is always treated as part of your personal taxation. However, a private trader entrepreneur has a corresponding possibility to raise the company’s assets as private withdrawals.

The private trader is still one of the most popular company forms in Finland, although many other alternatives have come along. A private trader is easy to set up thanks to reduced bureaucracy. Also, private traders have fewer obligations than, for example, limited companies. But for whom is the private trader suitable? And how is a private trader established? On this page, you will find answers to the most common questions about private trader entrepreneurship.

Private trader taxation

The taxation of a private trader is based on the result of the private trader. The profit is calculated by deducting direct and indirect costs (expenses related to your business) from sales. The result is taxed as personal earnings or capital income. Capital income is taxed at an amount equal to 20% of the previous year’s net worth and the rest is taxed as earned income. (Net assets are calculated by deducting liabilities from assets). If desired, a business entrepreneur may also require that only 10% of the return be taxed as capital income or that all income be taxed as earned income. It is also worth remembering that the length of a company’s financial year affects the share of capital income! A private trader entrepreneur cannot pay himself or herself a salary, instead, they take money out from the private trader as private withdrawals.

Private trader bookkeeping

A private trader may keep simpler single-entry accounting instead of double-entry. single-entry accounting means that transactions are recorded only once, depending on when the money has left the account or when the money has been credited to the account. In double-entry bookkeeping, on the other hand, each transaction is recorded in both debit and credit. Through the UKKO Private Trader Entrepreneurship service, single-entry accounting of a private trader is handled automatically. Read more about private trader bookkeeping from: UKKO Private Trader bookkeeping.

Do I need to open own bank account for a private trader?

Opening a separate private trader bank account is not necessary but recommended. A personal bank account can be used to handle the financial affairs of the private trader, but in practice, it is much easier and clearer to have a separate account for the private trader. However, the account does not have to be a corporate account, but it is possible to operate through a regular bank account.

When is a good time to establish a private trader?

If a person intends to be self-employed for economic gain, he or she must register his or her business in some company form. The establishment of a private trader is the simplest of the company forms and does not, among other things, require a memorandum of association.

It is not always necessary to register with the Trade Register, but a Trade Register notification is required for all traders who carry out licensed business activities or operate in a separate business premise. Register notification is also required if a private trader uses assistant other than the spouse or family members.

When is it worth becoming a sole trader?

Establishing a private trader makes sense when an entrepreneur intends to work as an entrepreneur alone and has no plans to hire other staff. A private trader is also a suitable option when no strong growth is planned for the business and the business is based either entirely or mainly on selling its own services.

Becoming a private trader is the right option for you when:

  • your business is small and you don’t need a lot of capital to start
  • you sell your expertise alone and have no plans to expand your business right away
  • you also don’t need a large warehouse

If you know right from the start that your operating profit will exceed more than 30,000 euros, you want to hire more employees to help you, or your acquisition costs are high, a limited company or some other form of company makes much more sense.

Benefits for joining the trade register

  • Your business name is protected, which means no one else can use the same name to do business.
  • Joining the Trade Register also gives a reliable picture of your company. Sometimes it can even be strange if a company cannot be found from the register.

Establishing a private trader in practice

nainen toiminimeä perustamassa

Where can a private trader be established?

Once a person has identified the need to establish a private trader, he or she has some options to do so. The private trader can be established either in the YTJ service or free of charge through the UKKO Private Trader service.

  • Registration through the YTJ service costs 60 euros with online notification and 115 euros when using paper notification.
  • The establishment of a private trader through the UKKO Private Trader service is completely free. To set up, you only need a Finnish personal identity number and online banking codes or a mobile ID / ID card with a chip. You need to provide the necessary information on the registration form, such as personal information, a proposal for a business name, and address and contact information. In addition, the domicile and industrial classification of the company must be indicated. It takes about 4-5 working days to receive a business ID.
  • You can also register in the Trade Register after receiving the business ID by making a change notification on YTJ’s website. Registration in the Trade Register costs 60 € with an electronic form and 115 € with a paper form (2021).

It is possible to make a declaration of establishment for example in the Trade Register at the National Board of Patents and Registration, ie the PRH (Patentti- ja rekisterihallitus). One option is also to print the notice on the website of the National Board of Patents and Registration at www.prh.fi.

If you are uncertain about something related to establishing a private trader company, you can be in contact for example with your local TE-service or just call us.

What does it cost to set up a business name?

Before the business name is reported to the Trade Register, a processing fee must be submitted to the bank account of the National Board of Patents and Registration (PRH). The establishment of a business name costs 60-115 euros (the price of establishing a business name in 2021), and the receipt of the payment must be attached to the notification, so the establishment fee must indeed be paid before the notification.

On the other hand, you can establish a private trader for free through UKKO Private Trader service. You can also start using our bookkeeping service, so you do not need to take care of your bookkeeping by yourself.

Does a private trader have to have a business ID?

In Finland, all companies in the trade register must have their own business ID, and since the private trader is also a company, it must also have its own business ID.

The business ID is issued by the Ministry of Patents and Registration, the local register office, or the ELY Center immediately after the new company has been entered in the YTJ system. In some cases, a business ID can also be obtained from the tax office.

Usually, the business ID is obtained approximately in two to five working days after the business name has been entered in the Trade Register. It works in a similar way as a personal security number for people, meaning that the company will be identified using this number in the future.

How to choose a business name?

Each private trader is free to decide a name for their business. However, it is limited by the fact that in the trade register there cannot already be a company registered with the same name. If it’s hard to find a suitable name, it’s a good idea to check out the business register’s list of companies to see what kind of names companies are using. At the same time, you can also notice if the name you already have in mind is already in use. This is at the same time a preliminary examination of the name, although the final examination is carried out by the Trade Register.

If you find it difficult to come up with a name, a popular way is to combine your name with the company form: “Tmi First Name Last Name”.

The business name should be chosen carefully. It is easier to advertise a business name which is easier to remember as then your customers and partners most likely can remember it better. For this reason, the business name should always be used in the form in which it is entered in the Trade Register, from which it is also recommended to follow the Finnish spelling rules.

Further information on the choice of name and related instructions is available on the National Board of Patents and Registration’s website at www.prh.fi.

After the name has been registered and approved, the trader has the exclusive right to the name throughout Finland.

Does the business name need to be protected?

Registration of a business name in the Trade Register is the most effective way to protect one’s own business name because no two companies with the same name can operate in Finland at the same time. The Trade Register carefully examines the backgrounds of each business name before approving them in the Register. This research takes some time, which is why a new entrepreneur shouldn’t advertise their business name or have promotional products for it until the business name is actually confirmed.

Traders who do not otherwise have an obligation to register in the Trade Register can also register in the Trade Register for the very reason that they receive a protected business name.

When a business name is entered in the trade register, it also protects it, for example, if someone tries to register a fi-terminated domain name with the same name.

Being a sole trader is not the only company form

There are different types of companies:

  • private trader, i.e. private entrepreneur,
  • limited partnership,
  • joint-stock company and
  • limited company.

Different types of companies exist for different situations and needs: becoming a private trader is perfect for an entrepreneur whose activities are small-scale and do not require specific investments. The sole trader represents himself or herself, i.e. all contracts are made with the entrepreneur, not with the company. Private traders are also referred to as private entrepreneurs.

Being a private trader is particularly well suited for small-scale business. By setting up a business name, you become an entrepreneur with minimal effort: you don’t need separate founding documents, or capital. You act on behalf of the company, meaning you don’t need separate administration for the company. When you become a private trader, in practice, your personal finances are included in the finances of the company. Taxation is similar to personal taxation.

In a joint-stock company, there are two owners, and each can enter into agreements on behalf of the company. A joint-stock company is a lot like a limited partnership, they differ only in that a limited partnership can also have silent partners who cannot represent the company. A limited partnership is suitable when you want to involve an investor, for example. The limited company enables more owners and the majority of the largest Finnish companies are limited companies. A limited company is thus the most popular form if the company has several owners.

The operations of a private trader can be transferred to a limited company as the operations grow or if more owners are desired.

What to do after becoming a private trader?

Once you have established a business name, you are ready to start your business. Before that, however, you will have to embrace a lot of new issues related to taxation and accounting, as well as think about, among other things:

  • company marketing,
  • bookkeeping,
  • customer acquisition,
  • private trader insurance,
  • entrepreneurial unemployment security,
  • as well as a business plan

No worries, we also provide comprehensive information on these topics on our Entrepreneurship School. You can also always call our financial team for clear guidance on entrepreneurship and bookkeeping.

As a new entrepreneur, it is also possible for you to apply for a start-up grant from the state.
If you plan to apply for a start-up grant, it is not advisable to start a business until you have received a decision from the TE Office.

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