Finland, also known as the land of a thousand lakes, is an attractive prospect to European citizens looking to work abroad. It is a highly industrialised nation which has a mixed economy. It has a per capita output that equals some of the largest Western economies including France, Germany, Sweden and the UK. It is a country driven by the services sector but there are many opportunities in other industries too.
Technology is the most important of Finland’s export industries and accounts for approximately 50% of all Finnish exports. It is a popular choice for the contractor working abroad who is looking for a stable economy and lots of work opportunities. When moving to Finland, however, there is the question of whether to operate under a limited company, as an employee or self-employed. In this article, we are looking closely at the best options.
ADVANTAGES OF WORKING IN FINLAND
Choosing to work in Finland as a contractor comes with many benefits. They include:
- No social security payment for the first four months: you have no obligation to contribute towards social security in Finland if you are working in the country for less than four months. Optional contributions are of course always welcome.
- Generous social security system: The Finnish social security system provides a wide range of benefits including a basic level of pension cover, sickness insurance benefits and family benefits. As soon as you register with the State Social Insurance Institution (KELA) you are entitled to some of these benefits, whilst others depend on the length of time you have worked in Finland.
- High quality work environment: Finland is known for offering a great quality working environment.
- Promising economic future: Finland is considered one of the top 10 most competitive economies in the world according to the World Economic Forum Report 2015-16.
- Excellent higher education and training: Nine university in Finland rank in the World University Rankings 2015/16 and it has a strong capacity of innovation and investment in the future.
- High levels of English: English is commonly understood throughout Finland so language is no barrier to employment or daily life.
DRAWBACKS TO WORKING IN FINLAND
There are some challenges to working in Finland that all contractors should keep in mind. They are not insurmountable, but they should be carefully considered before making any big decisions.
- Taxation: The taxation system in Finland is quite complex as people are required to pay various different taxes. These include national income tax which is progressive up to 29.75%, municipal tax which is variable up to 21.75%, and church tax.
- Penalties: There are severe penalties for incorrect, incomplete or late reporting of tax.
- Speeding Fines: Violating the speed limits in Finland comes at a huge price. Your fine is dependent on your income and therefore can be very costly.
Whilst there are considerations to keep in mind when choosing to work in Finland it is certainly a viable option for many contractors. Choosing to work with Access Financial means we will help you to register for the essential taxes, self-employment, social security and VAT in Finland. Access Financial will take care of all your tax, VAT and social security reports, and also returns so there is no threat of penalties.
SELF-EMPLOYMENT IN FINLAND
Why should you choose self-employment in Finland? It is just one of the options open to Europeans wanting to work in Finland but we recommend self-employment because of the higher retention rates it offers.
Retention rates are higher for self-employed contractors in Finland because:
- Self-employment allows contractors to deduct their business expenses such as travel costs, meeting expenses and internet costs (provided receipts are available) and none of these things are deductible when an employee.
- Self-employed people pay lower social security contributions. This is because contracted employees pay both the employee and employer’s contributions.
ACCESS FINANCIAL SELF-EMPLOYED SOLUTION
Access Financial’s Self-Employed Solution for Finland is available to all EU and EFTA nationals and it ensures you have the protection and peace of mind you need to work comfortably and confidently in Finland. The services provided cover everything from self-employed tax advices to support and guidance with local registrations to begin work. Access Financial also source a local Finnish accountant to guarantee everything is carried out in line with the law in the country and you avoid those worrying penalties that can hugely effect your income. Finland’s taxation system is complex and it can be daunting if you are not sure where to begin, which is why it makes natural sense to partner with local experts who know exactly how to ensure you retain as much of your income as possible.
Finland is an extremely welcoming country with a growing economy. There is a consistent demand for highly skilled workers and many opportunities to work on contracts that are both interesting and challenging. Self-employment is the best option for contractors working in Finland because it achieves a higher retention rate for the contractor, when compared with full-time employment. Access Financial can also be on hand to take care of all compliance issues so you can focus your time and energy on your work.