Business registers in Member States - Finland
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This section provides you with an overview of Finland’s trade register.
What does the Finnish trade register offer?
The business register is a public register containing information on traders. 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 40 000 new businesses
- about 145 000 changes to registered company details
- about 230 00 annual accounts
The trade register shares a joint notification procedure and data service with the Tax Administration. The Business Information System (YTJ) is a common one between the National Board of Patents and Registration and the Tax Administration, but a free information service operated by the PRH. It contains contact and identification information on businesses, for example:
- sole, generic and ancillary
- 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.
The European Business Register Network (EBR) is a data service of the business registers of the European Business Registry Association (“EBRD ”), from which a formal and reliable record is available directly from the national trade register of each country.
The Business Registers Interconnection System, BRIS is a system of interconnection between EU Member States and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway for information on companies registered in those countries.
Is access to the Finnish trade register free of charge?
The company’s basic data are free of charge, but other information is paid for. For example, a fee is paid by the company’s responsible persons, by registered industry and by capital.
The basic data are:
- company name
- business registration number
- company type
- company language (Finnish or Swedish)
- date of registration
- last date of registration
- status of the company
- whether the undertaking is subject to business mortgages;
- contact details
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.
According to Section 21 (a) of the Business Register Act (129/1979), the National Board of Patents and Registration may update the file and check the personal data of the persons mentioned in the notifications and their annexes in the population information system.
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 content of the trade register is specified 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)
- sector of undertaking
- 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 restrict 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 1 September 2006, or to a decision under an earlier Act.
How reliable are documents in the Register?
The entry in the commercial register and their publicity are laid down in the Business Register Act. 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 exception to the information is the personal identification number of a natural person and the home address of the non-resident natural person. 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.
According to Article 26 of the Trade Register Act, a third party in good faith may rely on the data entered and included in the register. Data are published electronically directly after entry in the register. They shall be made available free of charge from the information service in the business register.
History of the Finnish business register
Information has been maintained on the register since 1896.
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Last update: 20/08/2019