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What to consider when doing your co-operation paperwork for your international team enterprise?

Kirjoittanut: Vilma Gåsman - tiimistä Sointu.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.

Viisas Yritys
Matti Vilkkumaa
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 6 minuuttia.

Doing your team company paperwork and don’t know where to start? Not sure if you have considered everything and want to make sure the papers will process as smoothly as possible? Keep reading, because I will go threw my learnings in doing the Proakatemia co-operation paperwork and tell you our mistakes so you can do your best to avoid them.
Regardless of your situation it is good to do your research and ask questions from other teams, coaches and PRH. Ask even if you don’t have a so-called problem, because most problems are there because we are not aware that they exist. So, ask about people’s experiences and even the most “stupid” questions are allowed. Also remember that these things can change, and you should always do your research in the correct sources before starting to work on your co-operation paperwork.
Let’s start with our situation. Our team is an international team so registering a co-operation in Finland requires more information from us than the full Finnish teams. Especially so if some of the board members are internationals. We discovered that the processing might take more time for us, because of more information needed from our international members. Depending on the members of your team you will all have a very different experience.
We did our paperwork with care, and I’m happy that we did. We didn’t rush with it but didn’t stall ether. Could we have it done faster, sure, but I believe when things are done well, they just take more time.
We started with a team discussion about our values and rules. What does our company look like, how do we represent ourselves in the values and actions of our company. I would really recommend putting time into this, especially if you are an international team. The values and joined vision of the company really helps the process later on! In Matti Vilkkumaa’s book Viisas Yritys (2007) its stated that “The values of a company demonstrate the behaviour and actions that are considered good and desirable. Values formulate the important principles of operation. Their purpose is to show the desired behavioural model to the company’s personnel and all its stakeholders.” So even if the company values don’t feel like the most urgent thing to do, its smart to start there, because it might define how your teammates act, treat customers or other stakeholders in their business adventures. Having a joined goal of what we want to represent will define the identity of our company and the ethics of its workers.
When formulating the rules you must have Finnish members be involved because the rules must be taken from the co-operative law, and it is not well translated to English on the Finlex website. Of course, the rules can be asked from previous year teams as a template, but you should not use someone else’s rules without seeing them threw well yourself and modifying when needed. The company must have legal rules and internal rules. Legal rules are sent to the PRH and are officially used in the operating of your company in legal matters. These rules go hand in hand with the co-operative law, so you can’t make changes that are not going according to the law or basic manners, and they are public for anyone to go and fish out in the PRH website. The co-operative rule setting have a selection of websites giving basic templates and requirements what the rules must have. Again, be very careful with adding things to the rules and always check with the co-operative law if they are applicable. You can also contact PRH customer service or Ensimetri business consulting for help in these. Also contact other Proakatemia teams and ask if you are unsure.
The internal rules are not sent to the PRH and are just for your team and how you operate in your daily basis, pajas, meetings, absences and so on. They won’t be public but must also be agreed upon by the whole team.
The legal rules and the founding papers are the first priority of the team taking care of the company paperwork. The more thorough you are the less of a chance you have of the papers coming back and you having to correct something. I mean its not bad if one or two little things need fixing, but imagine the papers being rejected totally just because the paperwork wasn’t done by the law and following the instructions provided by the PRH in the registration form. Everything is possible to do as well as possible, as long as you follow instructions carefully and you do your research. That is all it takes.
When you are in a co-operation it is also vital that the whole team is aware of what is going on. Even if the documents must be submitted in Finnish to the registration, every single document must be translated to a language that the members of the team can understand. For transparency the rules, founding agreement, internal rules should be translated to the whole team to read. It is also beneficial that everyone knows their own rights and requirements when being in a co-operation in Finland, these things wary a lot between countries so everyone being on the same page can not be stressed enough.

List of all things you need for your co-operation paperwork:
-PRH: Co-operation founding package, found in the PRH website. It really has all you need in it; it comes with step-by-step instructions on what you need to give. Easy right? You just need to follow it religiously. From this fill the Y1 form. I recommend printing the whole funding package and fill the info there. It can be sent in its entirety and its great way to constantly check if you have everything when you have the papers in hand.
-Co-operative rules, must be given as an attachment. Follow the co-operative law and don’t mess with them too much. If the law says that the deciding power of the co-operative is with the board and the co-operative meeting, then will be it. Anything you add or change will not be accepted if it is not mentioned in the co-operative law. So be very careful if you make any changes.
-Founding agreement, must be given as an attachment.
Include in founding agreement:
-The operating city of the co-operative and the 3 name suggestions in order of choosing must be included.
-Mentioned how many shares each member will have.
-Price of the share and their payment due date.
-If board has more than one person you must point a Head of the board and, if chosen, the auditor and operational auditor.
-Mentioned the length of the financial year.
– All your team members full names, signatures, name clarification, and date of signature. Not everyone must sign at the same date.
-Add the receipt of the payment of the commission fee to the PRH when you send your papers. So, it must be paid beforehand.
-More information about the board members additional to what was asked in the Y1-form about the board. They should be submitted with the personal information form (Henkilötietolomake) provided in the founding package. They require Finnish social security number, full name, nationality, and from foreign members they need a copy of the passport and their address in their home country. (This is because the Finnish social security number they have been given is temporary to their study time and will expire once their study time ends)

Final words
We did the best we could with our paperwork, and they got sent back with corrections and request for more information. Only mistake of us was located in the rules. In Finland they are really strict with rules and laws and this was a prime example of needing to be exact with what you write. In a co-operation the decision power is with the board and the co-operative meeting. We had added the founding meeting to this list, which was rejected. So, I can’t stress enough, don’t add things if you are not 100% sure that it is accurate by law.
We also needed to provide more information about board members and especially because there are not only Finnish people in our board, so they required additional information about those members.
Lastly came the name. You really don’t know what name you will end up with from the three you suggest. But I recommend doing your research about the names the team is considering so they don’t already exist, they don’t mean something inappropriate in a foreign language or is the name so similar it could be mixed into something you don’t want it getting mixed up in. After all of this you might end up with a name that was not your first choice or even second choice. If unfortunate, none of the names are registerable.
Drawing from my experience I’ve highlighted the importance of thorough research, clear communication, and attention to detail. Establishing company values, understanding legal requirements, and maintaining transparency within the team are crucial steps towards a smooth process.



BOOK: Matti Vilkkumaa, (2007). Viisas Yritys. Gummerus Kirjapaino Oy.

Finnish student in the English Entrepreneurship and Team leadership program.

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