This section provides you with an overview of Finland’s business register.
What does the Finnish trade register offer?
The National Board of Patents and Registration (NBPR) owns and maintains the Finnish Trade Register.
Finland's trade register is a public register that contains information on traders (businesses). As a rule, all businesses have to be entered in the register. Businesses also have to notify any changes to their register details. Most businesses must also submit their annual accounts to the register. Each year the following are registered:
- About 30 000 new businesses
- About 80 000 changes to registered company details
- About 200 000 annual accounts
The trade register shares a joint notification procedure and data service with the Tax Administration. BIS (Business Information Service) is a free data service jointly maintained by the NBPR and the Tax Administration. It contains contact and identification information on businesses, for example:
- Company name of a business, its auxiliary company name and their translations
- Business ID and company form domicile
- Address and other contact information
- Principal line of business
- The registers of the Tax Administration and NBPR in which the business has been entered
- Information on termination, interruption of trade, bankruptcy, liquidation or reorganisation proceedings.
In addition to the free-of-charge information service, BIS Search, it is possible to order selected details against payment from the Business Information System (BIS), which is also jointly maintained by the Tax Administration and the National Board of Patents and Registration.
This allows clients to search for companies on the BIS: for example, in groups by region, line of business (the company's main line of business according to Statistics Finland's Standard Industrial Classification), company form, register (the registers of the Tax Administration, the Trade Register and the Register of Foundations) or by registration date (to select new companies).
The European Business Register (EBR) provides ready access to reliable information on companies all over Europe. EBR is a joint information service provided by the trade registers of 15 European countries. The information service offers official and reliable information directly from the national trade register of each participating country.
The EBR service is easy to use as the user can choose the language of display (Finnish, Swedish or English), and the registered information for each country is presented in the same, easily comprehensible way.
Is access to the Finnish trade register free of charge?
Yes, part of the register is accessible free of charge.
How to search Finland's trade register
The details of traders are entered in the trade register based on notifications and communications received by the trade registration authority. The register contains information submitted both by the traders themselves and by courts of law and other authorities.
Under Section 21a of the Trade Register Act, the National Board of Patents and Registration (NBPR) can update its records and, by using the Finnish Population Information System, check personal details that clients have provided in notifications and their enclosures.
According to Section 21 of the Business Prohibition Act, the Legal Register Centre in Finland provides the trade register with details of business prohibitions in force and when they begin and end. These details are then updated in the trade register system.
The contents of the trade register are determined by Finnish law. Finnish legislation governing the trade register, company types and business activities in general define what details are entered for different company types. (See, for example Trade Register Act, Limited Liability Companies Act and Partnerships Act).
Normally, at least the following information is registered for each company type:
- Company name
- Municipality from which the company is managed (domicile)
- Line of business (field of activity)
- Who represent(s) the company
- Company address.
When an entry is made in the trade register, it is simultaneously published through the electronic Information service. The Electronic Information Service on Published Entries is a public and free-of-charge service that contains, besides the published entries, the basic details of a business. With the help of the service you can check whether a business has, for example, submitted its new board of directors for registration, or find out what new businesses have been registered in a certain period of time.
Using this service, you can search for information on any company by using its business ID. The ID can be checked in the Business Information System if necessary. A specific date or time interval can also be used as a search term. Alternatively, you can narrow down the search by type of registration, or by municipality or province. The search result contains the basic details of a company, the company name, business ID and domicile. The published registration contains, for example, the type of registration and the headings of register entries.
Other details are also entered in the register, depending on company type. The register extracts of businesses of the same type may look totally different from one another. Some limited companies, for instance, take advantage of the possibilities offered by the Companies Act; they decide to issue option rights and other special rights or to merge, and then report these details for entry in the register. Other companies, on the other hand, choose to report only such details as must be submitted for entry in the register. In addition, law amendments are reflected in the register extracts. Register entries of, for example, limited companies can be very different, depending on whether the detail to be registered refers to a decision made under the new Limited Liability Companies Act that entered in force on 1st September 2006, or to a decision under an earlier Act.
How reliable are the documents contained in the register?
The Trade Register Act (Act 1979/129 of 2 February 1979) lays down provisions concerning the data to be recorded in the register and its publication. The Act entitles everyone to access data, extracts and certificates from the trade register. A third party acting in good faith can rely on the reliability of information recorded in the register.
Under Section 1a of the Act, all data recorded in the register are public and everyone is entitled to access data, extracts and certificates entered in the trade register. Data may also be disclosed in electronic form. The only exceptions are the personal ID numbers of natural persons and the home addresses of natural persons living abroad; these are not public. Data on the identifying final numbers of the personal number and the home address of natural persons living abroad are only disclosed if disclosure meets the requirements concerning authority procedures set out in Section 16(3) of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities. Otherwise, the country of residence will be disclosed instead of the home address.
Section 26 of the Trade Register Act provides that a third party acting in good faith can rely on the data entered and published in the register. Data are published electronically directly after entry in the register. Publications can be obtained free of charge from the Trade Register information service.
History of the Finnish business register
Information has been maintained on the register since 1860.
The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.
Last update: 15/04/2018