Sales Representative in Finland

Overview by

Commercial Intermediaries

Trading Companies
  • Type of Organization
Most of the larger importers and trading houses are members of the Federation of the Finnish Commerce (Suomen Kaupan Liitto), which is a central organization of 10 000 companies as well as trade associations covering the bulk of foreign goods sold to Finnish trade and industry.
  • Main Actors
For more information on certain trading houses, see The Russian Trade Group on the Association of Finnish Technical Traders website or the Compiler Trade Portal.
  • Type of Organization
Most of the larger wholesalers are members of the Federation of Finnish Commerce and Trade (Suomen Kaupan Liitto), which is a central organization for 40 trade associations covering the bulk of foreign goods sold to Finnish trade and industry. The members of FFCT are particularly strong in certain specialized sectors, such as electronics, electric components and instruments, pharmaceutical and health care products, technical products and machinery, raw materials and chemicals.
  • Main Actors
Kesko, Inex Partners, Tradeka
Useful Resources
Federation of Finnish Commerce and Trade
The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK)

Using a Commercial Agent

The Advantages
More realistic marketing strategy for a small or medium-sized firm. Import agents are often appointed as sole agents for the entire country.
Where to Be Vigilant
In selecting a representative, the importer should check whether that company handles competing products. Due to relatively small market and long distances. It is recommended that a local agent/distributor who has a sales network covering the whole of Finland be appointed.
Elements of Motivation
Only one local distributor needed.
Breach of Contract
For a fixed term (agreed and written in the contract) or for an indefinite period that remains valid for the time being.
Finding a Commercial Agent
The Finnish Foreign Trade Agents' Federation, List of established agents
Find Sales and Distribution Service Providers in Finland on

Setting Up a Commercial Unit

The Advantages
Setting up a business in Finland is quick and easy.
Where to Be Vigilant
Licenses are required for foreigners from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to serve as a founder, board member or managing director in a limited company, or to join a partnership.
Different Possible Forms of Settlement
  • A Representative Office
Such an office can obtain market data and other information and provide necessary promotional and service support but not serve as a commercial trading unit.
  • A Branch Office
If the corporation or foundation is from outside the EEA, it must apply for a permit from the National Board of Patents and Registration (NBPR) for the establishment of the branch. The branch must submit a basic declaration to the trade register maintained by the NBPR. Although foreign companies may operate in Finland through a branch, this does not offer any special advantages. A branch must conduct its accounting and bookkeeping in the same manner as a Finnish corporation, except that its financial statements need not be audited if the overall books of the foreign company are being prepared, audited and disclosed to the public according to EU provisions (or in a similar manner).
  • A Company
Foreign-owned firms can choose the limited company form, which requires entry in the Trade Register, a process that takes about one week to complete. One or more persons or organizations resident in countries of the EEA may establish a limited company. Non-EEA residents may form a limited company with permission from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.


Evolution of the Sector
There were 173 franchising chains in Finland in 2007. Most of these operate in service industries and retail trade.
Some Big Franchises
Café Picnic
For Further Information
The Finnish Franchising Association (in Finnish)

Finding Assistance

Export Trading Companies
Database and information source on Finnish export industry
Find more on about Selling to Finland.

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