Finland - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techniques
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Finns tend to prefer to do business with people they know and trust. A visit to Finland to meet with prospective agents/distributors before doing business is often needed to assess each prospect’s suitability and to begin developing the customary level of familiarity and trust. In Finland, honesty, punctuality, and equality are valued. There are many laws and agreements to drive these values. Style of communication is often very informal, and Finns usually speak out, which is not considered impolite. Info Finland offers more insights into Finnish working culture and laws.

Diverse distribution channels make a variety of market strategies open. Consumer goods and similar merchandise can be sold directly to retail chains, department stores, and other retail outlets but are often imported through wholesalers and distributors. Goods requiring specialty installation, engineering, and maintenance/after-sales service are usually sold through distribution by engineering service firms, consultancies, and other professional service providers. The factors that determine where importers place their orders are almost entirely commercial and are similar to those encountered in the United States. Competitive factors such as price, quality, promptness of delivery and availability of service, determine the success of a supplier in Finland. It is important to consider both geographical and sectoral coverage when appointing an agent or distributor in Finland. Due to the small size of the market, it is common for one agent or distributor to be appointed to cover the entire country or even the entire Nordic market, either for a given sector (in the case of highly specialized goods), or for all sectors (for more general-use goods). In many cases local distributors or agents may decline to take on representation of a new product line due to expected competition or lack of demand. In such cases, a new-to-market company wishing to enter the Finnish market may wish to establish its own sales office.

Many Finnish firms, from major established multinationals to early-stage startups, are eager to partner with American firms and to engineer Made-in-USA innovations into their solutions. These Finnish firms often intend to take their solutions global, bringing their American partnerships and Made-in-USA technologies with them. American firms that approach the Finnish market with this in mind often find that the value of their presence in the Finnish market is worth far more than the Finnish market alone.

Trade Promotion and Advertising

The European Union has established minimum and objective criteria regarding truth in advertising. Legislation on advertising practices can be found through the EU-adopted Directive 2005/29/EC concerning fair business practices. There are special regulations for advertising certain products such as medicine, food, supplements, gambling, alcohol, and tobacco in Finland.

For local trade fairs there is a number of local trade fair authorities. The major organizers within regions are the Finnish Fair Corporation/Helsinki Fair Center and Wanha Satama Ltd. for the capital region, Jyvaskyla Fair Ltd. in central Finland, the Turku Fair and Congress Center Ltd. in South-West Finland, and Lahti Fair Ltd. and Tampere Trade Fairs Ltd. in Southern Finland.

In 2022 newspapers and city newspapers covered 24 percent of total media marketing investments. Major newspapers in order by readership (KMT 1.11.2022)

· Helsingin Sanomat is the leading daily newspaper of the capital region, circulation – est. readership of physical copy 601,000 and overall reach of 1,698,000.

· Aamulehti is the second best-selling daily newspaper inthe Southern Finland (City of Tampere) area, - est. readership 173,000 and overall readership of 478,000.

· Turun Sanomat is a popular newspaper in South-West Finland (City of Turku) area, est. readership: 125,000 and overall reach of 294,000.

· Keskisuomalainen est. readership of 94,000 and overall reach of 253,000 .

· Savon Sanomat est. readership of 93,000 and overall reach of 203,000.

· Hufvudstadsbladet is a liberal Swedish-language newspaper, – est. readership of 55,000 and overall reach of 148,000.


In 2022 Magazines covered five percent of total media marketing investments. Most popular Business Magazines/Journals (KMT 1.11.2022):

Kauppalehti is the leading week-daily business/economic newspaper, est. readership of 100,000 and overall reach of 607,000.

· Talouselämä (Business weekly), est. readership of 128,000 and overall reach of 587,000.

· Tekniikka & Talous (Business weekly), est. readership of 77,000 and overall reach of 428,000.


In 2022 Radio/TV covered 24 percent of total media marketing investments.

· Discovery Finland (TLC, Frii, TV5, 6 and streaming service discovery+ and HBO max)

· DNA TV streaming service (Yle Areena, Ruutu, YouTube and MTV)

· Yleisradio Oy (YLE) is a national media company owned by the Finnish state (YLE Radio 1, YLEX, YLE Radio Suomi, YLE Mondo, YLE Puhe, YLE Sami Radio, YLE X3M, YLE Vega, and Regional radio Suomi in 18 regions), and TV (YLE TV1, TV2, YLE Teema Fem) Center.

· Private radio channels (Classic, Classic Hits, Easy hits, Tampereen Kiekkoradio, Kantri, HitMix, Iskelmä, Basso, Patmos, City, Dei, Kaleva, Keskisuomalainen, Moreeni, Nova, Pooki, Robin Hood, SUN, Voima, Savon Aallot and SuomiRäp)

· The Walt Disney Company Nordic & Baltic (TV: Star Channel)

· MTV OY is Finland’s leading commercial TV company (TV: Mtv3, Uutiset, TV&Media, Sub, ava, Streaming service: C More and Katsomo)

· Finland’s largest commercial media company Sanoma Media Finland Oy. TV (Nelonen„ Jim, Liv , Hero & streaming service Ruutu) and Radio (Radio Rock, Aito iskelmä, Groove FM, Helmi, HitMix, Radio Suomipop, Loop).

In 2022 Digital marketing covered 40 percent of total media marketing investments:

· Search engine optimization (SEO) Most used search engine in Finland is Google (91.9%). Others include: Microsoft Bing (2.8%), Yahoo (1.51%), Baidu (1.14%), Yandex (1.28) and DuckDuckGo (0.69%).

· Most popular social media channels to use in Finland are YouTube (4.62 mil.  users), Facebook (2.4 mil. users), Instagram (2.3 mil users), Twitter (1.5 mil. users), TikTok (1.42 mil. users), Snapchat (1.85 mil. users), Pinterest (0.943 mil. users) and Linkedin 1.7 mil. users)


Biggest Media houses:

· Sanoma Media Finland Oy


· Alma Media


· TS-Yhtymä

Please consult the local U.S. Commercial Service office for the best media outlet for your needs. The top ones by reach are as above, but by consulting with the commercial service you can discuss the best way to reach your specific audience.

Interested parties may contact Commercial Specialist Tiina Ketelä,  


The main taxes for businesses are corporation tax (profit tax) and real estate tax. Corporate tax is an income tax collected from limited companies and other corporations. The tax is levied on the taxable income of a corporation calculated by subtracting the deductible expenses of the corporation from its taxable income. The corporate income tax rate was lowered from 24.5 percent to 20.0 percent in January 2014.

All goods and services are subject to a value-added tax (VAT), an indirect tax assessed as a percentage of the value of all goods and services, unless specifically exempted. The general rate is 24 percent on industrial goods; 10 percent on books, drugs, pharmaceuticals, cinema tickets, passenger transportation, accommodation services, cultural and entertainment events, subscriptions of newspapers and periodicals, and TV licenses; 14 percent on foodstuffs and animal feed, and restaurant and catering services.

Excise duties are product-specific, and the number of duties assessed is based on the number of products consumed in taxable use or products supplied for taxable use. Excise taxes are levied on alcohol and alcoholic drinks, beer, tobacco, liquid fuels, electricity and certain fuels, and soft drinks. Municipal waste tax, beverage packaging tax, and oil discharges are also subject to excise taxes.

Duties on goods from non-European countries are relatively low, especially for manufactured goods, ranging from 2.61 percent to 4.17 percent. However, textiles and clothing items still have high duties and quotas. For further information, please visit the European Online Customs Tariff Database (TARIC).

Sales Service/Customer Support

It is customary to appoint one exclusive agent or distributor to cover the entirety of Finland. Importers may serve large customers themselves, while dealers work with smaller customers. Product training and customer support, usually organized and carried out by dealers, is important.

The EU has legislation to ensure customer safety and after-sales service:

· The 1999 Directive on the Sale of Consumer Goods and Associated Guarantees was repealed by Directive (EU) 2019/771 on 20 May 2019.

· The General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) aims to ensure only safe consumer products are sold in the EU. Consumers must be warned of the risks associated with any product placed on the market.

The Directive on Liability of Defective Products holds the producer liable for any damage caused by a defect in a product. The victim must prove the existence of the defect and a causal link between defect and injury (bodily as well as material).

Local Professional Services

Association for Managers and Professionals, YTY

Trade Union of Education in Finland, OAJ

The Union of Sales and Marketing Professionals: MMA

The Union of Professional Engineers in Finland

The Finnish Veterinary Association, Akava

Finnish Association of Architects, SAFA

The Finnish Business School Graduates - Suomen Ekonomit

Finnish Psychological Association,

The Association of Finnish Lawyers

Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland: TEK

The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency, TUKES 

Promoting Enterprise - Promoting Enterprise (

My Enterprise Finland | Front page (

Circular economy and green transition info and service Oy Transmeri Ab - Transmeri

Finnish Environment Institute (

Principal Business Associations

Amcham Finland is the local chapter of the global network of American Chambers of Commerce and is dedicated to promoting a strong transatlantic economy and a healthy business environment in Finland.

Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) is an umbrella organization for several smaller associations, representing and defending the interests of the Finnish business community. Its main task is to is to help companies succeed both domestically and internationally by creating a business environment that stimulates growth and success. Membership requires a Finnish business identity code.

Enterprise Europe Network provides free-of-charge internationalization services to SMEs and has experts in 53 countries all over the world.

Entrepreneurs of Finland is an interest and service organization for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their owners. Membership requires a Finnish business identity code.

Finnish Commerce Federation is a nationwide lobbying organization whose mission is to promote Finnish commerce. The goal is to improve the operating conditions for companies active in wholesale and retail trade, to stimulate cooperation within the sector and to enhance the commercial and employer interests of members. It has a role in negotiating collective labor agreements, resolving labor disputes, and serving members in employment issues. Member companies need to be registered in Finland.

Trade Partners Finland is a membership organization that facilitates international trade for small and medium size companies. Members of the organization are commercial agents, importers, and distributors of various industry sectors.

Limitations on Selling U.S. Products and Services

There are no additional limitations towards selling U.S. products or services.