The process of starting a business
Concordia offers full-service advisory services to help you start your business, and the figure below offers a step-by-step overview of what the process can entail. If you are already an experienced entrepreneur we can provide you with the most essential information, allowing you to start your new enterprise already after an initial meeting. While the shortest amount of time that it takes to start a new business is a few days, it may take longer for some entrepreneurs - depending on the nature of the business and the entrepreneur’s entrepreneurial knowledge and/or skills, which are unique to each situation.
Meeting I: Presenting your idea
Prior to the first meeting, collect all of the material you have related to your business idea and bring it along with you: eventual business plans, calculations or simply an idea. During this first meeting you will go through your idea and goals together with Sanna. You will be given a registration number for LISSU, an interactive web-based tool designed to help you write a business plan and which can be used to assess the financial viability of your proposed enterprise. Registration with LISSU is required prior to seeking financing from Finnvera or start-up grants from Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE services). Consider this first meeting a “recognizance” exercise. Slightly fewer than half of those attending a first meeting take a break from the process of becoming an entrepreneur at this point and allow their idea to mature while slightly more than half continue with the process.
Prior to the second meeting, prepare a business plan using LISSU. Relevant to your proposed business idea, your business advisor will investigate whether any permits are required, what your VAT obligations will be and whether any suitable rental premises are available.
Meeting II: Is there enough substance to your business idea?During the second meeting, together with Sanna, you will go through your business plan and your possibilities for financing the enterprise. You will also compose an overview of your business, including prospective customers, tax issues, the current market and the competition: in other words what kind of environment your business will face.
Prior to the third meeting, specify who your customers are and create a list of tangible customer groups and/or other businesses. In addition to this you will be asked to prepare a budget and financing and profitability calculations for a three-year period. If needed, your business advisor can assist you.
Meeting III: The business idea in numbersDuring the third meeting you will review these calculations with Sanna. This is the most time-consuming phase for a prospective entrepreneur. Also, it can take some time to digest all the economic matters related to a business, as this phase includes learning about many new concepts and the filling in of many different forms.
Once your calculations are completed you can seek financing from Finnvera or start-up grants from Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE services), for which our business advisors will prepare statements to be attached to your applications. From the time that the applications are sent until a decision is made normally takes up to two weeks for financing (loans) from Finnvera or up to one week for grants from Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE services).
Meeting IV: Congratulations on becoming an entrepreneur!
Once your financing is secured the business can be registered. This can be done together with Sanna.
Meeting V: Aftercare, i.e. a business check-upApproximately 1-2 months after starting your business you should visit Sanna for a business check-up. During this meeting you will review various tax issues (including VAT), insurances, invoicing and the overall condition of your business to see how your business is developing.
You can seek help from Concordia even after your business is up and running, for example when applying for a supplementary start-up grant from an Employment and Economic Development Office (TE services). Please remember that applications for supplementary grants must be submitted to TE services one month before the original grant runs out. New entrepreneurs can also visit Concordia for a business check-up annually.
Even for established businesses, Concordia’s business services can help. Whether you want to expand or develop your business, our business advisor Kari Myllymäki can be of assistance.