Courage and determination are important characteristics of an entrepreneur. Starting out, entrepreneurs face a lot of new questions, and sometimes following your dream may seem hopeless.

In the initial stages, many entrepreneurs may think that setting up and running a business is difficult and requires a lot of expertise. The concerns of people considering entrepreneurship are often similar. How do I manage all the paperwork? Who do I ask for help? How do I find customers? How do I secure my livelihood? Am I good enough?

Our SET UP guidance makes it easier to clarify your entrepreneurship, and you will get clear benchmarks for proceeding with your business idea.


Advice for anyone considering entrepreneurship

Even large companies have started from a small scale. The most important thing is to believe in your work and to surround yourself with the right people.  Our SET UP guidance will help you with this endeavour and getting your business idea on a clearly marked path right from the start.

We cooperate with the entrepreneurship studies at Riveria, Karelia University of Applied Sciences and the University of Eastern Finland, and we provide training and coaching at various events. Please contact us if you want us to talk or coach at your event. We are also involved in Finland’s most active student entrepreneurship community, Spark Joensuu.


SET UP – towards entrepreneurship 

  • Free guidance service
  • For anyone considering entrepreneurship
  • The service is available for people planning to start a business in Ilomantsi, Heinävesi, Joensuu, Outokumpu or Polvijärvi
  • Get instructions on how to proceed with your business idea
  • Book an appointment via our calendar. The meeting is free of charge.


Guide: Becoming an Entrepreneur in Finland

Becoming an Entrepreneur in Finland guide is published yearly. Business Joensuu ‘s customers can download their copy here.


Do you consider starting a business? Watch the videos below. You will find many practical tips for starting a business! Don’t hesitate to contact us. Tell us, how we can help you! You can book an appointment via our calendar.

Watch the ‘Me? An entrepreneur?’ video to learn about the following aspects of starting a business:

1: Intro: Me? An entrepreneur?
2: Forming your business concept
3: Finding customers? (1:52)
4: Business forms and the many forms of entrepreneurship (2: 54)
5: Business Plan (BP) (3:56)
6: Financing (4:45)
7: Startup grants (6:14)
8: Business income tax and value added tax (7:46)
9: Insurance (9:27)
10: An entrepreneur’s unemployment protection (10:09)
11: Business registration and administrative permits (10:53)
12: Accounting (12:12)
13: Summa summarum

Are you interested in the SET UP guidance? Book an appointment via our calendar. The meeting is free of charge.


The FAQ contains theme-specific answers to questions about starting a business. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please contact our Business Helpdesk on 010 419 8011 (Mon–Fri 9.00–17.00).

Where can I book a business advice session?
You can book a business advice session by contacting the On-call business service by phone on 010 419 8011 (Mon–Fri 9am–5pm) or through the online booking service.

How quickly will I get to see a business adviser?
As a general rule, we aim to arrange the meeting for within one week of when you contact us.

How much does a business advice session cost?
Business advice sessions are free of charge.

You can view beforehand the information and materials of the Business Interpreter service.

You can make use of the Business Interpreter service’s free tools, forms and documents for planning and starting your business.

Business plans and calculations can also be made using the Succeed as an Entrepreneur service.

Information on business planning can also be found at

Do I need to make a business plan?
If you intend to apply for funding, a business plan will be required for the funding application.

Making a business plan is recommended in any case as it helps you to work through the central aspects of running a business and helps you to think about your business concept from different perspectives, which in turn helps you to further develop your idea.

Can I test out my business idea before setting up a business?
Talk to potential customers about their needs and ask them to assess whether your business idea meets those needs.

You can try out your business idea through either light entrepreneurship, a co-operative, or as a part-time entrepreneur. You can come and discuss these options more at a business advice session.

You can develop your idea by testing it out using, for example, the Business Model Canvas approach.

Is my intended name for my business available?
You can find out from this Name Service if the name is already in use, or you can make a company search from the Business Information System.

Where can I get external funding for starting a business?
Book a time with the business advice service, then you can work out which financing options suit you best.

The possible funding channels for new businesses include:

I don’t know how to make the calculations. How can I move things forward?
We will advise you on how to make cost and funding calculations and how to price services and products. Book a business advice session with us.

Which registers do I need to register for when setting up a company?
When setting up a business, you can at the same time register with the Companies Register, the Finnish Tax Administration’s Preliminary Tax Withholding Register, the VAT Register and the Register of Employers.

For more detailed instructions, see the Tax Administration website:
New entrepreneur – how to start up a business and manage its taxes

If I start a part-time business, will I lose my unemployment benefit?
Part-time entrepreneurship is possible also when unemployed. Take a look at the TE Services guidelines.

If you’re unemployed, contact TE Services before starting your business.

If my business activities stop, can I receive unemployment benefit?
If you are a member of an unemployment fund intended for entrepreneurs, you will receive entrepreneur’s unemployment benefit for 400 days according to the level of the cover you paid provided that you have been a member of the fund for at least 15 months and have been paying a YEL contribution of at least €12,576 in accordance with your YEL income level.

If you are not a member of one of these unemployment funds, you will receive only the basic unemployment allowance for up to a maximum of 400 days, and only if you have been a member of the fund for at least 15 months and have been paying a YEL contribution of at least €12,576 in accordance with your YEL income level. After this, it is possible to obtain discretionary labour market support.

If the employment conditions are not fulfilled, there is still a possibility of receiving discretionary market labour support.

There are many reasons why a business may fail. Below are listed some common reasons:

  • The business has been started with ‘too little money’, meaning that attention has not been given to the likelihood of operating at a loss for the first few months. It should be assumed that for the first few months of a business’s operations, the costs will be greater than the income. It takes time for customers to discover the business.
  • Sometimes a new entrepreneur overestimates their sales income and underestimates their operation costs. We recommend that you overestimate your costs by 20% and underestimate your income by 20%. The actual figures will often end up somewhere in the middle.
  • Sometimes one doesn’t know who is buying the company’s products and so the marketing does not reach the right customers. Purchasing must be made as easy as possible for the customer. Productisation helps to bring success. It’s not wise to just trust that people will hear about the company by word-of-mouth. Sometimes profitable business is just a matter of timing.

You can book a business advice session at any point in the process. Don’t just try and work it out on your own, you can always come and discuss matters with us. The Business Joensuu services are available for all stages of the business life-cycle.