This is where my plans for the coming year begin to get a little more complicated and nerve-wracking. Up to this point, I have not registered as a Finnish business because I don’t have to. I have no employees. The company has no dedicated physical location like a public office or storefront. As an American citizen, I still pay taxes in the US, so all I need to file with Finland is a single-page form stating that. Technically I don’t even sell anything, because all of my income is from royalties on copies of my books that other venues sell.
Doing this comes with a few downsides. There are fees involved, which is another reason I haven’t registered already. The taxes will be higher as well, and I’ll still need to file a US tax return. All of the paperwork to do this is in Finnish, too, and I am far from fluent. I need to either have someone check my documentation, or pay someone to do it. This is different from everything else we’ve had to do, where there is an English option. Our lease, our banking information, our immigration applications, all were in English. Why do this if I don’t have to? Avoid the complicated mess, don’t stress myself out, and keep more money in my pocket!
There are reasons for registering as a Finnish business. I’m going to start by saying that, on an ethical level, it feels like the right thing to do. Because I benefit from living here, paying Finnish taxes seems like about the least I could do. No, I don’t get free healthcare or any of those benefits, but Katie is going to graduate school tuition free, and that’s something we’re both grateful for.
Registering as a business also gets me access to all sorts of resources, things that can seriously help me to continue growing and expanding and taking the company where I want it to go. I won’t be floundering around doing this completely on my own like I’m doing now. There will be people I have access to, and can speak with, when I need help and advice.
The biggest reason for doing this, though, connects to my Big Hairy Audacious Goal. It’s not hard to guess what that is, but I’ll talk about it in more detail tomorrow. Everything I do is in service to this goal, which means that if it doesn’t pan out, my entire life falls apart. No pressure.
2019 Plans: Business Growth
- Complete a comprehensive business plan.
- Register with the tax office, and start paying Finnish taxes.
- Submit the above to the business registry, along with the appropriate fees.
- A whole of lot of other paperwork, most of which has to do with insurance.
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