Registering a social enterprise

The name social enterprise can only be used by a company with an entry in the register of social enterprises held by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The company will be entered in the register if it meets the criteria for a social enterprise. Registration is applied for on a Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment form.

An application for registration must be accompanied by an extract from the Trade Register and a tax due statement, which may not be older than three months. The application should also be accompanied by articles of association, a partnership agreement, the rules of a society or association, or some other similar document, as well as a list of those who count as the required share of employed staff, together with their personal identity codes. Also attached to the application should be details of funding decisions relating to other forms of public aid or subsidy.

Requirements for registering

An entry in the register of social enterprises can be applied for by a trader or entrepreneur:

who has an entry in the Trade Register
who produces commodities (services and goods) for reasons of business
30% of the employees in whose service are disabled or all are disabled or previously unemployed in the long term (required share of employed staff)
who pays all the employees in his or her service the salary agreed for those with full capacity for work in the collective bargaining agreement which applies to that line of business, regardless of their productivity. If there is no such collective agreement, the trader or entrepreneur must pay a normal and fair salary for the work.

Entrepreneurs are also expected not to have acted in basic contravention of the law or good business practice in their business activities, and have no outstanding tax debts, social security payments or other payments due to the state, or unpaid pension, accident or unemployment insurance premiums.

‘Disabled’ in point 3 refers to a person with a disability or illness that substantially and permanently or in a permanent manner lowers productivity in the task offered.

A long-term unemployed person is a client of an Employment and Economic Development Office who, prior to starting work, had been an unemployed jobseeker for at least 12 months, either as an unbroken period of time or in more than one period, and who, on the basis of the recurrence of unemployment and the total period of time involved, can be compared to a jobseeker who has been unemployed continuously. Long-term unemployed is also regarded as a fit description for those who have been receiving labour market support or an unemployment allowance on the grounds of unemployment for at least 500 days.

Deletion from the register

A company can request to have its entry in the register deleted. This will also occur if the company no longer fulfils the conditions of entry. If the required share of employed staff falls below 30%, a company on the register has six months to rectify the situation. A company with an entry in the register should immediately advise any changes to the information required for registering.

Further information: Kirsti Haapa-aho, kirsti.haapa-aho(at)