Guidance

Finland: providing services and travelling for business

Guidance for UK businesses on rules for selling services to Finland.

Read this page in combination with the general guidance for the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland

The authoritative source for market regulations in Finland is the Finnish government. This guidance links to official Finnish sources wherever possible.

Trade and services regulations in Finland

If you are a UK business providing services in Finland, you must follow Finnish regulations about:

  • getting an authorisation or a licence to provide a service
  • complying with local business regulations
  • EEA nationality requirements which could prevent you from providing services in some sectors

The Finnish e-government portal for service providers can help you to:

  • find out about providing services in Finland
  • understand local regulations
  • complete the relevant administrative procedures online

Consider appointing an English-speaking lawyer in Finland to help you comply with specific regulations. You can also contact your local chamber of commerce for advice.

To find out if EEA nationality requirements apply to you, contact the appropriate competent authority.

Trade reservations

To sell or provide services to customers in Finland, you must follow local laws. If in doubt, you should get professional advice.

Reservations are part of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. They reserve the right of each party to keep or make new laws restricting investment, or the sale of services, in ways that would otherwise breach the rules in the agreement.

Check which reservations apply to the sale of services from the UK to Finland. This includes an interactive tool to find reservations that are already in place.

VAT on sales of digital services

To use the UK’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) to declare sales of digital services to EU consumers, businesses need to register for MOSS in an EU member state.

Find out more about paying VAT on sales of digital services.

Ownership of companies registered in Finland

If you have a UK business, you might face restrictions on your ability to own, manage or direct a registered company in Finland.

For information about setting up and running a business in Finland, visit Business Finland.

Read more about this in our guidance relating to the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

If you are a UK legal professional who has investments in law firms in Finland, contact the Finnish Bar Association for information on investment implications.

Business travel and entry requirements

UK business travellers and service providers may need a visa, work permit or other documentation. Check if you need a visa or permit for Europe.

The Finnish Immigration Service, Business Finland and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland have more information about:

  • visas including intra-corporate transfers
  • work and residence permits
  • supporting documentation
  • other conditions

Check which actions travellers visiting Europe need to take.

For more information on Brexit, visit:

Social security payments for employees

Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Finland.

Recognition of professional qualifications

To check what you need to do in Finland, read our guidance on professional qualifications in the EEA and Switzerland.

If you need to take action to secure the recognition of your professional qualification in Finland, these sources can help you:

The UK Centre for Professional Qualifications (UK CPQ) provides practical assistance and advice to:

  • professionals who qualified overseas and are interested in working in the UK
  • UK professionals seeking to practise overseas

UK statutory auditors working in Finland

For UK statutory auditors, the Finnish Patent and Registration Office – Auditor Oversight Unit should be able to provide further information.

UK lawyers working in Finland

If you are a UK-qualified lawyer working in Finland, using either a Finnish or UK professional title, you should contact the local Bar association in the region in which you are working or the Finnish Bar Association for specific advice.

Data transfer and GDPR

As part of the wider UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the free flow of personal data from Finland to the UK will continue after 1 January for no longer than 6 months, until adequacy decisions come into effect.

As a sensible precaution during this 6 month period, it is recommended that you work with organisations in Finland who transfer personal data to you to put in place alternative transfer mechanisms to safeguard against any interruption to the free flow of EU to UK personal data.

Read guidance on using personal data in your business or other organisation.

Published 28 February 2019
Last updated 11 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Trade reservations' guidance. Updated 'Recognition of professional qualifications' with new UK contact point.

  2. Updated the following sections to reflect the changes created by the UK and EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement: overview, trade regulations, VAT on sales of digital services, business travel and entry requirements, social security payments for employees, recognition of professional qualifications, and data transfer and GDPR.

  3. Guidance for ‘Business travel and entry requirements’, ‘Social security payments for employees’ and ‘Recognition of professional qualifications’ updated.

  4. New guidance under section Business travel and entry requirements for UK nationals.

  5. Change to title to include travelling for business

  6. Update to 'Business travel and entry requirements' section

  7. First published.