Does your business need a license, a notification or registration?

There is freedom of trade in Finland, which means people are generally free to conduct business without a license. However, there are also some industries for which a license is required by law. Before starting a company, always find out whether

  • you need to get a business license, submit notifications or register the company based on your intended operations
  • and will your business operations require approval by an authority or special professional qualifications.

Licenses and permits are often granted for a fixed period of time, and some need to be renewed after a certain time. Applications are usually subject to a fee. Licenses are granted bu local authorities , Regional State Administrative Agencies and government departments, local environmental protection authorities as well as other licensing authorities. In some cases, permits from several different authorities are needed. In the catering industry, for example, hygiene certification and licenses to serve food and alcohol are required, and notifications must be submitted to the health inspector, rescue services and building control services.

Persons Approval/qialification Organisation/authority
Person acting as a responsible manager or other appointed person in licensed premises License to service alcohol (alcohol passport) Educational institutions providing training in the restaurant and catering sector pursuant to a Government licence or an authorisation from the Ministry of Education
Property valuers (AKA and KHK) AKA and KHK examination Property Valuation Board of Finland Chamber of Commerce
Real estate agents (LKV) LKV examination Board of Examiners for Real Estate Agents
Lorry and bus drivers Applying for professional qualification of a driver (applicable education requires) Ajovarma Oy
Driving instructors Driving instructor permit Traficom, Service provider Ajovarma Oy
Professionals in Building, HVAC and Real Estate sector Qualification of Professionals in Building, HVAC and Real Estate sector FISE Qualification of Professionals in Building, HVAC and Real Estate sector
Social welfare professionals Application for licensing / a protected occupational title Valvira
Supervisors of electrical work and lift work Certificate of electrical and lift qualification SETI Personal and Company Assessment Ltd
Taxi drivers Taxi driver license – prerequisite: successful test completion Tests and applications Ajovarma Oy/license Traficom
Goods inspectors (HTT) HTT examination Goods Inspection Board of Finland Chamber of Commerce
Health care professionals Application for licensing/right to practice the profession in Finland/right to use protected occupational title Valvira
Self-employed health care professionals Notification of private health care service provision Regional State Administrative Agencies
Accountants HT examination as well as KHT and JHT specialization examinations Auditor Oversight
Parties providing accounting and tax consulting services, business services, legal services (excl. lawyers), currency exchange operators and goods and arts dealers (some) A notification to the Anti-Money Laundering Register Regional State Administrative Agencies
Hot work professionals Hot work card Finnish National Rescue Association SPEK
Persons working in the (private) licensed security sector Approval as a security guard (security guard card)/approval as a security system fitter (security system fitter card)/approval as a security officer (security officer card) Police
Transport of dangerous goods ADR license ADR training organizations, Traficom
Letting agents (LVV) LVV examination Borad of Examiners for Real Estate Agents, Finland Chamber of Commerce
Employees of several companies working at a shared worksite Occupational safety card työ
Abnormal transport Abnormal transport permit ELY Centre
Work carried out in the road area Permit for work carried out in the road area ELY Centre


Industry License/notification/registration Organisation/authority
Technical inspection of vehicles Inspection permit Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom
Serving of alcoholic beverages License to serve alcoholic beverages Regional State Administrative Agency
Wholesale of alcoholic beverages Alcoholic beverage wholesale license National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, Valvira
Import of alcoholic beverages (holders of licenses for serving and retail sales of alcoholic beverages) Import notification Valvira
Production of alcoholic beverages for commercial purposes License to produce alcoholic beverages Valvira
Retail sales of alcoholic beverages Retail trade license Regional State Administrative Agencies
Retail sale and serving of alcoholic beverages in international transport Notification of the retail sales and serving of alcoholic beverages in international transport Valvira
Licensed premises which have been approved in advance for operations compliant with section 20 of the Alcohol Act Preapproved licensed premises Regional State Administrative Agency
Retail sales at licensed premises Retail license for licensed premises Regional State Administrative agencies
Garage operators Licenses and approvals Traficom
Driving schools Driving school license Traficom
Food establishments (restaurants, cafés, stores, bankers, kiosks) Notification of a food establishment Municipal food control authority
Facilities where animal-based foodstuffs are handled before selling them to retail customers Application for the approval of a facility where foodstuffs are handled Municipal food control authority
Transporting people by bus Passenger traffic license Traficom
Lift maintenance and repair Notice of electrical installation and work on lifts Finnish Safety and Chemical Agency, Tukes
Manufacturers and sellers of precious metals Application for responsibility mark Tukes
Companies offering crowdfunding Registration Financial Supervisory Authority
Professional waste carriage and brokerage Application for approval of activity in a waste management register ELY Centre
Mining Mining permit, mining safety permit Tukes
Environmental permit Regional State Administrative Agencies
Beauty parlors, hairdresser-barbershops Notification pursuant to section 13 of the Health Protection Act Municipal health protection authority
Manufacture and import of chemicals Chemical notification Tukes
Environmental permit Municipal environmental protection authority
Industrial handling and storage of (dangerous) chemicals License for plants dealing large-scale industrial handling and storage Tukes
Processing and storage of (hazardous) chemicals and LPG (small-scale operation) Notice Rescue department
Real estate and and rental brokerage Notification of commencement Regional State Administrative Agencies
Gold panning Gold panning permit Tukes
Companies dealing with refrigeration devices Notification on operations, qualification of a person in refrigeration Tukes
Laboratories Laboratory approval Finnish Food Authority
Creditors and peer-to-peer loan brokers Notification for entry into the creditor and peer-to-peer loan broker register Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland
Lost property offices License for lost property office Regional State Administrative Agency of Western and Inlnad Finland
Land extraction Land extraction permit and notification pursuant to the Land Extraction Act, environmental permit, water permit, permit for landscape work The municipal authority in charge
Gas and oil heating equipment installation companies, underground oil tank inspection companies Application for status of approved company Tukes
Natural gas pipework or filling station and storage of natural gas A license when specific limit values are exceeded. Also applies to refined biogas. In most cases, Tukes
Exploration Reservation notification, exploration permit Tukes
Companies offering travel service combinations Notification for entry into register of those under a recognizance obligation Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority
Temporary sales activities and kiosk and café opertaions at lay-bys or parking areas along roads Permit for temporary sales, Agreement on kiosk and café operations Pirkanmaa ELY Centre
Installation and maintenance of fire alarm systems Notification of operations Tukes
Operation of debt collection (on behalf of another) Entry into the register of debt collection companies Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland
Grocery stores Notification of a food establishment Municipal food control authority
Retail trade license for alcohol Regional State Administrative Agency
Retail trade license for nicotine products Municipal authority
Companies installing and maintaining extinguishing equipment, companies inspecting and maintaining handheld fire extinguishers Notice of activity Tukes
Investment service companies License Financial Supervisory Authority
Electrical works (electrical installations and repair of electrical appliances) Notification of electrical work Tukes
Operation of taxi services Taxi license Traficom
Notice of a freight or personnel traffic license holder on taxi traffic business Notice Traficom
Transport of goods using a vehicle or a vehicle combination with a total weight of more than 3,500 kg Freight transport license Traficom
Transport of goods using a vehicle or a vehicle combination with a total weight of more than 2,000 kg but a maximum of 3,500 kg Notification of freight transport operations Traficom
Telecommunicatinos, programmes and pay TV services Telecommunications notification Traficom
Program broadcasting  notification Traficom
Pay TV service notification Traficom
Slaughterhouses and facilities connected thereto as well as game processing facilities Approval of a food establishment as a facility Finnish Food Authority
Insurance agents and brokers Registration as an agent, registration as an insurance broker Financial Spervisory Authority
Private social welfare services (round-the-clock) License to provide round-the-clock social welfare services Regional State Administrative Agencies
Private social welfare services (other than round-the-clock) Notification on the provision of social welfare The municipality where the service is provided
Private health care services Application for license to provide private health care services Operations within the region of one AVI Agency: Regional State Administrative Agencies
Operations within the region of two or more AVI Agencies: Valvira
Private security services (private security companies, security stewards and security officers) Security industry business license, Approval as a responsible manager Police
Companies: limited liability companies and co-operatives among others Notification of the company’s beneficial owners Finnish Patent and Register Office