Self employed and moving to Finland from the UK

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nicgh
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:06 pm

Self employed and moving to Finland from the UK

Post by nicgh » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:14 pm

Hi,

I’m a UK citizen looking to move permanently to Oulu in December 2020 and apply for right of residency under the Brexit withdrawal agreement. I am self employed and can continue my self employed work from Finland as my work can be done from any location, but I have a few questions about registering my self employment / business in Finland when I move.

Firstly some background -
Reason for wanting to move to Finland: Put simply, it’s a beautiful country and I like the Finns. One of my UK clients sells goods that are produced by a Finnish company and I’ve worked closely with them over the past few years. I’ve spent time in Helsinki and Oulu (in winter) and I love it. For many years now I have wanted to move to northern Scandinavia but due to personal circumstances I have not been able to until now. I had originally planned to move in summer 2021, but given the Brexit situation I am bringing it forward to December 2020 so that I can move with the same rights as an EU citizen (since it's doubtful whether I could obtain a residence permit based on my self employment).

My work: I have been self-employed in the UK since 2016 as a sole trader. I provide a range of administration services to UK based companies (e.g. quotations, tenders, bookkeeping, budgeting and financial reporting, stock control etc.). This work can be performed from anywhere and my clients will continue to use my services when I relocate to Finland. My annual turnover is approx. EUR 25,000 with little in the way of expenses, so my income is sufficient for supporting myself in Finland (I have no dependants). Also I will have approximately EUR 60,000 from the sale of my UK home, so that will be my buffer should my business take a downturn.

So then, my questions:

1. This is embarrassingly basic, but I’ m trying to understand the key definitions and how I will be ‘defined’ in Finland, as that is essential for understanding what processes will then apply. So -

Will I be resident in Finland for the purposes of paying tax?: https://www.vero.fi/en/detailed-guidanc ... residency/. The answer is yes, I don’t think there is any doubt here.

Do I count as a ‘foreign self-employed individual’? I’m thinking no, as I won’t be living in another country and my move is not temporary: https://www.vero.fi/en/detailed-guidanc ... dividuals/ Do you agree?

Do I class as a ‘foreign company’ or ‘foreign business’?: https://www.vero.fi/en/detailed-guidanc ... business1/ - states “Corporate entities of all forms, set up under foreign laws or statutes, registered in their countries of establishment and tax residence, are referred to as 'foreign companies' and 'foreign businesses'. “ In the UK I am a sole trader, so my business is not registered and I submit my tax returns through my personal self-assessment. Does this count as a corporate entity which would then be a foreign business/company starting operations in Finland?


2. My work will be carried out entirely from my home in Finland. Does this count as a permanent establishment?

According to Vero website it seems that yes it does, as it mentions specifically working from your home as being a permanent establishment:
https://www.vero.fi/en/individuals/tax- ... ed-person/

But then according to YTJ it seems like no it doesn’t, as this specifies that a permanent establishment should be operating in a room other than my home : https://www.ytj.fi/en/index/notificatio ... rader.html

Perhaps these are two different definitions for two different systems? i.e. that as far as the tax office is concerned I have a permanent establishment in Finland for tax purposes. But then as far as YTJ are concerned I do not have a permanent establishment and I am not therefore required to register in the Trade Register. Is that correct?

3. What process do I need to follow to register with the tax office and potentially with YTJ as well? I think this will be clear when the answers to my previous two questions are resolved. As far as I can see it the options are:

https://www.vero.fi/en/individuals/tax- ... our-taxes/
But when I look at the form 6150e it is for temporary self employment in Finland, and for example asks for the address in the home country, which I won’t have. This comes back to the previous question of whether or not I am a foreign self employed person working on a temporary basis.

Or:
https://www.vero.fi/en/businesses-and-c ... n-company/
If I count as a ‘foreign business moving operations to Finland’ then this seems to be the right process to follow. But then again this is for registering with the Trade Register as well as the tax authority, and if I’m correct in my interpretation above then I have no permanent establishment as defined by YTJ and I don’t need to do this. There’s a comment from YTJ that “If you do not have to register with the Trade Register and an entry in the registers at the Finnish Tax Administration is sufficient, filing the notification is free of charge.” (see https://www.ytj.fi/en/index/notificatio ... rader.html). But how do I do this, how do I register only with the tax office, as the only alternative I can find on the Vero website is for the temporary registration with form 6150e as above which I don’t think applies to me?

I have also run through this : https://www.suomi.fi/company/business-start-up-wizard The output includes filing a start up notification with YTJ as above, but there is no option in the wizard to select whether or not you need to be in the Trade Register, so it is simply making the assumption that I need to be in the Trade Register.

As a slightly separate question, even if I don’t have to register in the Trade Register, would you recommend that I do it anyway – are there benefits? My clients are UK based so it won’t help with finding work, but are there benefits in terms of making things more transparent or more straight forward in Finland e.g. for submitting tax returns, registering for VAT and submitting VAT returns etc.?

Final question: If I do need/want to do the start up register with YTJ, looking at the Y3 form it recommends obtaining the personal ID number first to speed up the process. I have already been advised by both Migri and the Population Data Services Agency that the quickest way to get my personal ID when I arrive in Finland is from the tax office who can issue it on the spot if I book an appointment and visit the office in person. What form do I need to complete and take with me in this case – do I use the form 6150e even though it doesn’t seem applicable?

I have spent a lot of time working through what’s needed for my move to Oulu but as you can tell I’m struggling to see what applies to my situation in terms of my self employment. If you could give me a nudge (or a kick!) in the right direction that would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,
Nicola



Self employed and moving to Finland from the UK

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betelgeuse
Posts: 3618
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 am

Re: Self employed and moving to Finland from the UK

Post by betelgeuse » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:51 pm

nicgh wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:14 pm
Do I count as a ‘foreign self-employed individual’? I’m thinking no, as I won’t be living in another country and my move is not temporary: https://www.vero.fi/en/detailed-guidanc ... dividuals/ Do you agree?
I concur.
nicgh wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:14 pm
Do I class as a ‘foreign company’ or ‘foreign business’?: https://www.vero.fi/en/detailed-guidanc ... business1/ - states “Corporate entities of all forms, set up under foreign laws or statutes, registered in their countries of establishment and tax residence, are referred to as 'foreign companies' and 'foreign businesses'. “ In the UK I am a sole trader, so my business is not registered and I submit my tax returns through my personal self-assessment. Does this count as a corporate entity which would then be a foreign business/company starting operations in Finland?
No. Corporate entities in this context are separate legal persons.
nicgh wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:14 pm
2. My work will be carried out entirely from my home in Finland. Does this count as a permanent establishment?

According to Vero website it seems that yes it does, as it mentions specifically working from your home as being a permanent establishment:
https://www.vero.fi/en/individuals/tax- ... ed-person/

But then according to YTJ it seems like no it doesn’t, as this specifies that a permanent establishment should be operating in a room other than my home : https://www.ytj.fi/en/index/notificatio ... rader.html

Perhaps these are two different definitions for two different systems? i.e. that as far as the tax office is concerned I have a permanent establishment in Finland for tax purposes. But then as far as YTJ are concerned I do not have a permanent establishment and I am not therefore required to register in the Trade Register. Is that correct?
Two different things.
nicgh wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:14 pm
3. What process do I need to follow to register with the tax office and potentially with YTJ as well?
https://www.ytj.fi/stc/ytjliitteet/y3_a ... a_form.pdf

Just skip the trader register parts.

This can be done online after getting strong online auth.
nicgh wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:14 pm
As a slightly separate question, even if I don’t have to register in the Trade Register, would you recommend that I do it anyway – are there benefits? My clients are UK based so it won’t help with finding work, but are there benefits in terms of making things more transparent or more straight forward in Finland e.g. for submitting tax returns, registering for VAT and submitting VAT returns etc.?
You need to register in the trade register to protect a trade name. If you happened to need a trade register extract for foreign purposes, it would be the only way to get it. One can do the registration later, if the need arises.
nicgh wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:14 pm
Final question: If I do need/want to do the start up register with YTJ, looking at the Y3 form it recommends obtaining the personal ID number first to speed up the process. I have already been advised by both Migri and the Population Data Services Agency that the quickest way to get my personal ID when I arrive in Finland is from the tax office who can issue it on the spot if I book an appointment and visit the office in person. What form do I need to complete and take with me in this case – do I use the form 6150e even though it doesn’t seem applicable?
It's 6150e

https://www.vero.fi/en/individuals/tax- ... n-finland/

nicgh
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:06 pm

Re: Self employed and moving to Finland from the UK

Post by nicgh » Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:29 pm

Hi Betelgeuse,

Thank you for your prompt reply, your comments are extremely helpful.

Re completing 6150e to get my personal ID from the tax office, given that this form is designed for temporary residence in Finland will submitting it cause any issues/conflict with registering my municipality of residence which as I understand it will only be allowable if my move to Finland is permanent?

Also, on that subject, is there a way of demonstrating a 'permanent move' for the purpose of registering a municipality of residence when self employed, as I won't have an employment contract? I will have an apartment rental agreement (once I find a place, I'll stay in temporary accommodation for the first few weeks or as long as needed) and I'll have documents for shipping my household possessions to Finland, I don't know what other evidence I could provide?

Thanks again,
Nicola

betelgeuse
Posts: 3618
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 am

Re: Self employed and moving to Finland from the UK

Post by betelgeuse » Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:04 am

nicgh wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:29 pm
Re completing 6150e to get my personal ID from the tax office, given that this form is designed for temporary residence in Finland will submitting it cause any issues/conflict with registering my municipality of residence which as I understand it will only be allowable if my move to Finland is permanent?
It won't. It's temporary because the tax authority is does not have the authority to give someone a municipality of residence (=permanent from population register perspective).
nicgh wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:29 pm
Also, on that subject, is there a way of demonstrating a 'permanent move' for the purpose of registering a municipality of residence when self employed, as I won't have an employment contract? I will have an apartment rental agreement (once I find a place, I'll stay in temporary accommodation for the first few weeks or as long as needed) and I'll have documents for shipping my household possessions to Finland, I don't know what other evidence I could provide?
Your residence permit card or registration certificate.

https://migri.fi/en/-/uk-citizen-apply- ... ember-2021

FinlandGirl
Posts: 479
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Self employed and moving to Finland from the UK

Post by FinlandGirl » Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:08 pm

nicgh wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:14 pm
I’m a UK citizen looking to move permanently to Oulu in December 2020 and apply for right of residency under the Brexit withdrawal agreement. I am self employed and can continue my self employed work from Finland as my work can be done from any location, but I have a few questions about registering my self employment / business in Finland when I move.
It might be worth reading
https://newcohelsinki.fi/wp-content/upl ... inland.pdf
https://newcohelsinki.fi/wp-content/upl ... linkit.pdf

Free advice for entrepreneurs in Oulu is available at
https://www.oulunseudunuusyrityskeskus.fi/in-english/

Maaria
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:49 am

Re: Self employed and moving to Finland from the UK

Post by Maaria » Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:26 pm

Hi Nicola, I registered as self employed similar to your situation. It was a straight forward application, though it seemed complicated at first. I registered right of residence last year. I still have to apply under brexit withdrawal agreement. So same thing again. Migri made the guidelines for brexit application clearer than EU right of residence though. Anyhow, if you wanted to talk about it you can contact me.

nicgh
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:06 pm

Re: Self employed and moving to Finland from the UK

Post by nicgh » Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:01 pm

Finlandgirl - thank you for the links that's much appreciated. I'd found one of these but not the other two, some good information there to work through.

Maaria - thank you for the enouraging words, happy to hear that your application was straight forward. Now that I can see which options I need to follow I am feeling more confident about it, and as you say the recently issued guidelines for applying under the brexit withdawal agreement are clear. I see that Migri have released appointments during Oct/Nov for Brexit residency applications (they have for the Oulu service point, anyway), that's encouraging too; I can't arrive until December so I'm hoping they will release more dates for Dec/Jan nearer the time. You mention that you situation is similar to mine, may I ask if your clients are also based somewhere other than Finland?

nicgh
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:06 pm

Re: Self employed and moving to Finland from the UK

Post by nicgh » Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:24 pm

betelgeuse wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:04 am
nicgh wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:29 pm
Re completing 6150e to get my personal ID from the tax office, given that this form is designed for temporary residence in Finland will submitting it cause any issues/conflict with registering my municipality of residence which as I understand it will only be allowable if my move to Finland is permanent?
It won't. It's temporary because the tax authority is does not have the authority to give someone a municipality of residence (=permanent from population register perspective).
OK thank you for explaining, I get it now, finally makes sense to me :)
betelgeuse wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:04 am
nicgh wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:29 pm
Also, on that subject, is there a way of demonstrating a 'permanent move' for the purpose of registering a municipality of residence when self employed, as I won't have an employment contract? I will have an apartment rental agreement (once I find a place, I'll stay in temporary accommodation for the first few weeks or as long as needed) and I'll have documents for shipping my household possessions to Finland, I don't know what other evidence I could provide?
Your residence permit card or registration certificate.

https://migri.fi/en/-/uk-citizen-apply- ... ember-2021
By registration certificate, do you mean this: "If you have applied for a residence status online in Enter Finland, you can print out a certificate of a pending application from the online service."? And do you know if this is available straight after the online application is started, or only after attending the appointment with Migri - it looks from the order of information on the page as though it is only available after the appointment?

Thanks again for your help.

betelgeuse
Posts: 3618
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 am

Re: Self employed and moving to Finland from the UK

Post by betelgeuse » Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:55 pm

nicgh wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:24 pm
By registration certificate, do you mean this: "If you have applied for a residence status online in Enter Finland, you can print out a certificate of a pending application from the online service."? And do you know if this is available straight after the online application is started, or only after attending the appointment with Migri - it looks from the order of information on the page as though it is only available after the appointment?
That’s different. I referenced this:

” If you meet the requirements for registration, the Finnish Immigration Service will issue you a registration certificate. It will be given to you when you visit the Finnish Immigration Service. The certificate includes your name and address as well as the date of registration. If we are unable to give you a decision on your visit because some documents are missing, you will receive it later by post or in the e-service Enter Finland.”

https://migri.fi/en/registration-of-right-of-residence

nicgh
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:06 pm

Re: Self employed and moving to Finland from the UK

Post by nicgh » Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:58 pm

Hi betelgeuse, OK thank you, yes I understand the certificate you are referring to now.


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