Welcome to the FiBAN community! Please tell us a bit about Alder & Sound.
Alder & Sound was born out of a need to find an alternative to rigid operational modes and hierarchical organizations. Since 2010, we have catered to a wide variety of Finnish and international clients with extensive professional tax & legal, transfer pricing, and financial advisory services. We also actively develop new, innovative approaches and represent the leading digital expert solutions in the Nordic and Baltic regions.
In everything we do, we focus on maximizing the added value to the customer and carry out our assignments in an integrated fashion – with the one-stop-shop principle, from planning to execution. Our extensive, carefully selected, and practically tested partner network covers six continents and more than 150 countries.
What are the key assets you will bring to business angels and their portfolio companies?
We can offer a wide range of services including comprehensive tax & legal advice, transfer pricing, and financial advisory. We believe that our one-stop-shop principle and practical approach is a perfect match for start-up companies. As private individuals are also an important client group to us, we will be also able to serve the business angels of the community in their various needs, whether related to family wealth or portfolio company-related matters. Our aim is to offer comprehensive yet cost-effective solutions to our clients and in the end become a trusted advisor for them.
Alder & Sound has robust expertise in services related to international growth. What are the first steps for startups to consider when expanding abroad?
The first step is to analyze the planned operations in a foreign country and whether the activities will constitute a taxable presence, ie. a permanent establishment, in the target country. If that is the case, the next step is to consider, which form of presence would be most suitable for conducting foreign operations. Most typical alternatives are establishing a branch for the Finnish company in the target country or establishing a separate legal entity as a subsidiary for the Finnish company in a foreign country.
Movement of workers, employment law, and personal taxation perspective should also be taken into consideration prior to starting activities abroad since these issues are usually extremely difficult to fix afterward and may cause unnecessary costs.
Additionally, VAT and transfer pricing issues need to be taken into consideration at an early stage. As mentioned earlier we have an extensive and carefully selected international partner network which enables us to collaborate with the market’s best experts along with competitive prices.
One of the Alder & Sound success stories is a collaboration with a growth company Nordcloud. We were brought in to help plan Nordcloud’s internationalization and to advise on transfer pricing in 2015. Since then, the cooperation relationship has only deepened, and now Nordcloud outsources all their legal and tax services to us.
What should startups take into account when they hire foreign employees in Finland?
International working situations require careful planning in order to facilitate the settling down of a foreign employee in Finland and avoid any unexpected situations. Along with work permits and all other official obligations, the questions related to taxation should be well determined. Additionally, the secondment contract and the salary package should be carefully drafted.
For example, from a taxation perspective, the first thing to be considered is will the foreign employee be a non-resident or resident taxpayer, i.e. will the foreign employee stay for six months or less in Finland. If the foreign employee is considered a tax resident in Finland, she or he will be subject to unlimited tax liability in Finland. However, if a tax treaty between Finland and the employee’s home country exists, it may prohibit Finland from taxing the income received from outside Finland.
There are also some tax reliefs for foreign workers, for example, foreign ‘key employees’ can pay a flat-rate 32% tax on their earned income instead of progressive income tax if certain conditions are met. All in all, a foreign employee’s personal taxation requires careful planning and tax expert’s support in making the tax declaration.
Find out more about Alder & Sounds, and check out their upcoming webinars on current topics in a clear and practical manner!
"It is always great to see talented professionals joining as FiBAN partners. But what really warms your heart is to see a company that you have been helping to build joining as a partner! I believe that the team at A&S can truly bring value to the startups growing internationally and support the portfolio companies of the FiBAN members."
- Reima Linnanvirta, FiBAN's Chair of the Board
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