Are you living abroad and have thought about working in Finland as a light entrepreneur? Or maybe you already live in Finland and are interested in becoming or trying light entrepreneurship. Well, this is the blog entry for you as we’ll be highlighting essential factors you’ll need to consider if you’re from within the EU or outside the EU.
The world has been shaken by these unpredictable times and we’ve all been hit with travel restrictions, working from home and having to adjust to life in a different reality. There’s no doubt COVID-19 has hit the job sector and those who work as entrepreneurs. Still, we have to move on with determination and courage; looking ahead for new opportunities and new ways of working. Maybe light entrepreneurship is the silver lining for you to start something new or get paid for doing that hobby you’ve always had as a sidekick. It may seem scary and you might be thinking “entrepreneurship in these unpredictable times? No way!” However, light entrepreneurship does have its perks: you don’t need to have a business ID or even take care of mandatory bookkeeping – we do all that for you!
Now to the topic itself. As we’re a company within Finland, you do need to take some things into account if you’re from abroad and we do often get asked these.
Before signing up
So, whether you’re from outside the EU or from within the EU, you do need a 1. Finnish social security number and a 2. Finnish tax card. In other words, you need to be a resident and pay your taxes to Finland.
If you’re from outside the EU, in addition to these, you’ll need a Finnish residence permit which says that you have unlimited working rights within Finland. This is normally a pinkish card, which you’ll receive from Migri (The Finnish Immigration Authority). Unfortunately, as you don’t receive a business ID from us, light entrepreneurship doesn’t make you an official “entrepreneur” from Migri’s point of view. Therefore, if you want to be an entrepreneur within Finland and are applying for a residence permit, you’ll need a business ID, which the Patent and registry office can help you with: https://www.prh.fi/fi/index.html.
If you’re an asylum seeker or in Finland with a student visa then unfortunately you’ll need to wait before you get a residence permit (without restrictions to work/working hours) to be able to invoice through Eezy. This is the regulation we’ve received directly from Migri. We always do our best to notify you if there are any changes to these regulations. If you have any questions at all, we’re more than happy to help. The Migri website is: https://migri.fi/en/home
For anyone who’s still abroad and looking for opportunities in Finland, a good website to start from is: https://www.infofinland.fi/en/frontpage and for a new tax card, you can visit: https://www.vero.fi/en/individuals/
Getting new clients
Getting started and getting all basic paperwork in order can be stressful and daunting, however most Finnish people do speak English, therefore never hesitate to ask for help. This also applies when you start looking for your first customers. Getting new contacts and joining groups and networking circles could prove to be your gateway to getting your foot in the door: don’t give up and stay active!
Another way to get new customers is to contact companies directly: you never know, they could be just looking for a new freelancer who has your skills. Don’t hesitate to tell them that you’re an Eezy light entrepreneur as this means that all they would have to do is pay the invoice they receive from us without having to pay out any extra employer fees. However, remember to price your work accordingly: don’t underestimate yourself or set your prices too low: take the YEL insurance as well as your marketing fees into account as these do add up not forgetting any travel expenses.
Especially at times like these when hiring new full-time staff may not be on the agenda for some companies, light entrepreneurship could be a great alternative and perhaps later on, you may be on their payroll. Light entrepreneurship could be a great stepping stone towards a permanent job role. Using Eezy as your invoicing service also enables you to get clients from overseas and you can invoice companies anywhere in the world (Norway being the only exception).
Make use of different platforms
Make sure you get noticed on different platforms. Many Eezy light entrepreneurs use for e.g. www.lookaid.fi or create their own website. Some prefer using a marketing name. The more visibility the better! If you wish to use a marketing name to use in for e.g. social media channels, make sure it’s not already in use beforehand. You can check this from the company register www.ytj.fi.
Also, a lot of people use different online platforms such as www.freelancer.com or www.upwork.com to name a few to get work projects. Taking payments through Paypal or Patreon also works fine through Eezy! Just ask us for more information if this is something that you wish to know more about and we’ll be happy to help. It’s also good to keep in mind that you can also take payments with cash or card so sending a traditional invoice isn’t always necessary.
Here you have it, a short but sweet info package, which will hopefully help you with getting started. When you register and get access to our online service, you’ll also find links to recorded webinars in which we give you in-depth information about light entrepreneurship and using Eezy as your invoicing company.
Here are some useful links:
Hope you all stay healthy and safe & don’t forget to contact us if you have any questions!
Author: Isabel Beddard
Isabel advises light entrepreneurs in both Finnish and English and helps people get started on the journey of self-employment. She’s more than happy to help you with any queries and help you start doing the work you love.