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Basic Invoicing for entrepreneurs in Finland



As a new entrepreneur, you can get away with basic invoicing in the first year. There are many invoicing and accounting systems for small entrepreneurs, but as we all know, every cost counts, especially if you are starting. If you are starting your company and have a few invoices to send, you can invoice a few of your customers with a simple word document.




1. Your company's information


It is essential to add your postal address and company ID number for the invoice. A company ID is called Y-tunnus in Finnish. You can also add your contact details in case the customer wants to make a reclamation.


When issuing an invoice, it is crucial to include the date of issue, the period the work covers, typically a month, and the due date. The due date is usually set between 7 to 30 days, but it can be shorter, as little as a single day. Faster billing cycles are better for your business, but some customers may prefer something else. Although some clients may want to negotiate these terms, it is best to establish the cycle length in your terms and conditions.


2. Your customers' information

You should include the customer's contact details, address, and unique ID numbers, depending on the business you provide.


3. Products and services


It is essential to state the quantity of the product or service and the net price, which means the price without the value-added tax.


VAT is a short Value-added tax; in Finnish, it is called arvonlisävero, in short ALV. Many entrepreneurs think that they are paying for this tax, but it is actually a tax paid by the consumer and the seller pass it to the taxman.


Every year, the vat changes in Finland, so adding different vats for different services and goods is tricky. The general value-added tax is 24%, which applies to regular services and products. The reduced VAT rate of 14% applies to groceries, restaurant and catering services, and animal food. The 10% reduced VAT rate applies to books, magazines, culture, and entertainment. The 0% tax applies to companies that export in the EU area, companies that sell and rent vessels, and industries that operate in the health and medical field.



4. Payment details


You have to provide payment details about your bank account. BIC number and, most importantly, a reference number. A reference number is a number that your bank offers to be able to track that particular invoice.


The reference number in Finnish is called viitelaskin or viitelaskuri, which depends a lot on your bank provider. You can provide at least the three-digit numbers from your invoice or the customer number. The bank will give you the reference number according to the figures.


5. Sending the invoice


You can send the invoice to the consumer by using their email, or you can send it through the post. If you send the invoice by post, remember to have an appropriate length on the due date. It is trickier to send invoices to companies because they usually partner with a third-party provider that collects their invoices for them. This way, the client companies can easily send their purchase invoices to their accountant. The company might want you to send the paper invoice by email or post, which is addressed to the third-party provider. This way, the third-party provider can scan the purchase invoice to their accounting system. The most known providers are Maventa and Visma.






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