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Concepts and definitions

Bankrupt's estate

This legal form is used if a bankrupt's estate requests and is given a Business ID. Otherwise the legal form of an enterprise does not change in connection with a bankruptcy.

Co-operative society

A community engaged in economic activity to benefit its members, whose number of members and capital are not been predetermined. The members participate in the activity by exploiting the services of the community. The founders of a co-operative society must number at least five. If the majority of the members are co-operative societies or communities, only three founding members are required. A co-operative society is entered into the Trade Register. A co-operative bank is a co-operative society engaged in banking activity.

Corporation subject to taxation

Corporations subject to taxation include: 1) mutual interest bodies, such as fishery collectives and road maintenance associations, 2) corporations subject to taxation, 3) bodies jointly and severally liable for tax withholding, such as unregistered companies, foundations or association, 4) jointly owned forests, 5) farms, 6) trade associations and 7) other units subject to taxation.

Decedent's estate

A decedent's estate refers to the assets and liabilities of a deceased person prior to the division of the estate. Heirs, meaning parties to the estate, belong to the same legal form.

Economic association

A community whose purpose is acquisition of profit or other direct economic benefit to its members or whose purpose or type of activity is otherwise mainly economic. The Associations Act does not apply to the activities of these associations but their activities are based on the operating principles agreed at the time of their establishment or on separate legislation. Such associations include associations of forest owners or mortgage associations.

General partnership

A general partnership must have at least two founders who may be either natural or legal persons. Each partner in a general partnership is responsible for the partnership's liabilities to their full extent as if they were their own debt. A general partnership is entered into the Trade Register.

Home municipality

The municipality registered as the municipality of domicile or an enterprise.

Legal form

Legal form identifies the legal status of a legal person. The classification of legal forms is based on the company forms of the Trade Register and on the requirements of taxation legislation. The legal forms of enterprises and corporations are recorded in the Business Information System.

Statistics Finland's classification of legal forms is based on this system and on the Tax Administration's coding of legal forms. Some of the Tax Administration's categories have been combined in Statistics Finland's classification.

Limited company

A limited company can be founded by one or more natural or legal persons. The share capital of a private limited company must be at least EUR 2,500 and that of a public limited company EUR 80,000. The shareholders are not personally responsible for the company's liabilities. A limited company is entered into the Trade Register.

Limited partnership

A limited partnership has both a liable and a silent partner. There may be one or more of each. Silent partners are only responsible for the partnership's liabilities up to the amount of capital they have invested into the partnership. Liable partners are liable for all debts of the partnership with their entire assets. The sizes of the investments of silent partners and the method for calculating their shares of profits must be recorded in the articles of incorporation of the partnership. A limited partnership is entered into the Trade Register. The name of a limited partnership must disclose its form either as an abbreviation or as an unabbreviated word.

Mutual indemnity insurance association

A mutual indemnity insurance association is an insurance company based on the mutual responsibility of its shareholders, whose area of operations covers no more than 40 municipalities or which only practises insurance of fishing equipment. The articles of association of the association are ratified by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the association is entered into the Trade Register.

Mutual insurance company

Mutual insurance companies are either life insurance companies or indemnity insurance companies and mainly engage in life insurance activity (including pension insurance) or indemnity insurance activity as their name implies. The activities of insurance companies are supervised by the Insurance Inspection Authority.

Natural person

A natural person engages in entrepreneurial activity under his/her own name or under a registered trading name.

This group includes own-account workers, sole proprietors, most agricultural and forestry entrepreneurs, as well as practitioners of trade.

Other legal form

Other companies and foreign corporations or their branches in Finland.

Principal activity

All enterprises and establishments proper are separately assigned an economic activity at the most detailed level of the industrial classification.

In the Business Register, the principal activity of an enterprise is defined according to the value added created at its establishments engaged in different economic activities. Value added corresponds closely to value of secondary processing. The value added for the economic activities of an enterprise is obtained by multiplying the number of employees in each establishment by the average value added it creates in its activity and by proportioning the obtained figure to the duration of its activity in the accounting period within the statistical year. Principal activity is defined in stages from the section level to the most detailed level of the standard industrial classification. The principal activity of an enterprise is usually determined by the industry of the establishment that generates most value added during an accounting period.

The principal activity of an enterprise can change, for example, as a consequence of incorporation, when a significant part of the enterprise becomes independent from the point of total value added.

Savings bank

A savings bank and a joint-stock savings bank company are deposit banks as referred to in the Act on Credit Institutions (1993/1607), whose specific objective is promotion of saving. The Ministry of Finance grants licences for savings banks, which are entered into the Trade Register.

Shipping company under joint ownership

A shipping company under joint ownership is a corporate form reserved only for merchant shipping activity. A shipping company under joint ownership is born when two or more natural or legal persons join together to practise merchant shipping for hire or reward for mutual benefit with a vessel of which the partners (proprietors) themselves own specified shares.

Stock of enterprises

Stock of enterprises refers to cross-sectional data on the total number of active enterprise at a given point in time. The number of enterprises is influenced by fluctuations in the availability of information about enterprise start-ups and closures. The data are published in the Business Register statistics on enterprise start-ups and closures.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Enterprise openings and closures [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-2346. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 28.5.2024].
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