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Frequently asked questions about the support for business costs

You can apply for the support between 7 July and 31 August 2020.
Find answers to questions you have sent us on this page.

General information about the cost support

When can I apply for the support?
You can apply for the support between 7 July and 31 August 2020.

How do I apply?
You can apply for the support using an electronic application form which will be available on the State Treasury website on 7 July 2020.

When will more information be available?
The State Treasury will provide more information about the support on its website and social media channels after the act has been approved and the details have been clarified.

How much support can I receive?
The amount of support will be determined individually for each company. The minimum amount of support is EUR 2,000 (sums of less than EUR 2,000 will not be paid) and the upper limit will be EUR 500,000.

Which costs can I cover with the support and which not?
The support is intended for the company’s fixed costs and salary costs that are difficult to adjust.

The purpose of the aid is to support Undertakings liquidity of your company and thus reduce the number of companies that would need to file for bankruptcy due to the coronavirus. According to the section 11 of the Act on Cost Support, the amount of received support reduces the amount of unrestricted equity available for fund distribution in the financial statement of the ending accounting period unless the company pays the support back to the State Treasury before confirming the financial statement.

Conditions for receiving the support

Who is entitled to the support?
The support is intended for companies whose turnover has been significantly reduced due to coronavirus and which have costs that are difficult to adjust.

Which sectors are included in the scope of the support?
You can check which sectors are covered by the support here.

What are the conditions for receiving the cost support?
According to the Act, cost support is intended for companies that meet the following conditions:

  • The company’s sector is included in the scope of the support
  • Turnover during the support period has decreased by more than 30% from the comparison period.
  • The company has salary and fixed costs that are difficult to adjust.

If the company’s sector is not within the scope of the support, the company can only apply for the support on particularly serious grounds related to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to companies, the Act allows foundations and associations that conduct business to apply for the support.

According to the Act, the support cannot be granted if the turnover of the whole comparison period is altogether less than EUR 20,000. According to the Act, the support cannot be granted if the amount payable would be less than EUR 2,000.

What counts as fixed costs?
Fixed costs include rental costs and other costs on property in company’s own use, equipment and item rentals and license and access right fees.

Are associations eligible for this support?
Yes. In addition to companies, the Act allows foundations and associations that conduct business to apply for the support.

Are publicly owned organisations, such as city subsidiaries, also eligible for the support?
Yes. In the Act, company has the same definition as in EU competition law. The term company refers to every entity engaged in an economic activity, regardless of its legal form or the way in which it is financed. Any activity consisting of offering goods and services on a given market is considered economic activity.

Are companies operating on a VAT-exempt sector eligible?
If the business’ turnover comes fully or partially from other sales than those subject to VAT, the sales in April and May as well as the sales during the comparison period must be reported on the application. In addition to the decreased turnover, the fixed and salary costs for the support period reported by the applicant determine the amount of support payable. Fixed costs for the support period include rental costs and other costs on property in company’s own use, equipment and item rentals and license and access right fees.

 Are sole entrepreneurs eligible?
All companies, foundations and associations that conduct business activities are eligible for the cost support. The size or type of the company has not been restricted. Sole entrepreneurs are eligible for the cost support if all conditions determined in the Act are met. The State Treasury receives salary information directly from the Incomes Register which will be the basis of salary costs for calculating the amount of support payable.

Are light entrepreneurs eligible for the cost support? Are private entrepreneurs and sole traders eligible?
The cost support is not related to the form of the company; any company conducting business activities whose turnover has been significantly reduced due to coronavirus and which have costs that are difficult to adjust may apply for the support. This includes sole traders with a business ID number who can receive cost support if other conditions detailed in the Act are met. However, it is worth noting that the Act requires your company’s turnover to have been a minimum of EUR 20,000 during the comparison period 1 March – June 30, 2019 (or if the company was established after 1 March 2019, the period is 1 January – 29 February, 2020) to be eligible for the support.

Applying for the cost support

For what period will the company’s turnover be reviewed and what period will it be compared to in the company’s accounts?
According to the Act, the comparison period for the turnover is the average of the company’s turnover during March to June 2019. If the company was established on 1 March 2019 or later, the comparison period turnover will be the average of the company’s sales for January–February 2020. The decrease in turnover is determined based on the value-added tax reports submitted to the Tax Administration, or if these are not available, according to the company’s own report.

Will I need a consultant to assist me in applying for the support?
The State Treasury aims to make the application process as easy for applicants as possible. The application for cost support has been tested on a customer panel to ensure clarity, and it has received good feedback.

Can I already see the application?
You can watch a State Treasury webinar on the cost support and see the webinar materials.

Where can I get help for the application process?
The State Treasury has launched a phone service for entrepreneurs applying for the cost support. The phone service can help with filling the application and answering questions. The cost support service phone is open from 1 July on weekdays between 9-15 o’clock, tel. 0295 50 3050.

How will forms of support such as Business Finland’s preliminary studies funding, support distributed by the ELY Centres or support intended for restaurants affect the amount of general support?
According to the Act, you can still apply for the support even if the company has already received other forms of support related to the coronavirus. All forms of support will be harmonised, i.e. other direct support payments will be deducted from the cost support. Support intended for restaurants and support for sole entrepreneurs by the municipality are deductible in full whereas 70% of the support granted by Business Finland or ELY centres is taken into account.

According to the Act, unemployment benefits or income support are not deducted from the cost support. Support payments that will be deducted from the amount payable are detailed in the section 5 of the Act.

Can I edit or cancel an application that I have sent to the ELY Centres or Business Finland?
You should inquire about cancelling the application directly from the party that you have sent the application to. The State Treasury cannot comment on applications sent to the ELY Centres or Business Finland.

Can I send the application for cost support on paper if the e-service does not work?
It is not recommended to send the application on paper if the e-service is temporarily out of order; instead, you should wait until it is working again. The e-service is the simplest way to apply for the support, and it also enables the quick processing of the support application.

You can also send the application in PDF form if all persons in the company with the right to sign are foreign citizens and cannot authorise a Finnish person to apply. The PDF application can be ordered from the State Treasury at an address that will be announced later.

Can I send an application if I don’t have an online bank ID?
You can also send the application in PDF form if the applicant is unable to use online identification to log into the e-service. The PDF application can be ordered from the State Treasury at an address that will be announced later.

Can I use Katso identification to log into the application form or is it only possible with Suomi.fi identification?
Katso identification is not in use.

The service requires Suomi.fi authorisation for using the service as a business. You can find more information about online identification as a company here.

A person with the right to sign for the company can also electronically authorise another natural person to apply for the cost support on the Suomi.fi Mandates service by selecting the “Yritysrahoituksen hakeminen” (“Application for corporate funding”) mandate.

What role does the State Treasury play in granting the support?
The State Treasury grants and pays the cost support for businesses on grounds determined in the Act. In addition, the State Treasury is responsible for the recovery of the support if needed.

How will debt recovery proceedings influence receipt/payment of the support?
Cost support will not be granted to companies with unpaid tax debts already subject to recovery proceedings. The support granted is considered income that is subject to recovery, with the recovery authority legally entitled to carry out such procedures.

Are the support applications public?
The support applications are public in principle (Act on the Openness of Government Activities, 621/1999) However, confidential applications are those that e.g. include information on business secrets or information on a person’s annual income, total assets, income or assets that are the basis for granting the support or that otherwise reveal the applicant’s financial position.

How can I edit or amend my application?
On 15 July, a service will be launched that allows you to edit or amend the application.

Schedule

Why do the preparation of the support and the application period last so long?
The cost support applications can only be opened once the Act has been prepared and the system that allows the fastest possible processing has been finished. The electronic application service will be opened on 7 July 2020.

Do I need to make sure I apply as fast as possible? Is the support limited to just the first applicants?
No. Support will be available for those who fulfil the conditions determined in the Act.

When will I see the granted support on my bank account?
The State Treasury will aim to process the applications as fast as possible. Any support granted will be paid onto the bank account you have provided to the Tax Authority and should be available within three banking days.

Can my company do anything in advance whilst waiting for applications to open?
Yes, we would recommend making sure at least the following are in order:

  • Using Suomi.fi authorization, either an individual authorised to sign for the company or an authorised party may fill in the application. The applicant should make sure that they have the right to sign for the company. If there are issues or matters requiring rectification in terms of the company’s signatory rights, they may be rectified by contacting The Finnish Patent and Registration Office >
  • It is also worth checking that any measures required to permit a party to act on the company’s behalf have been taken care of in Suomi.fi.. Authorizations required for representation on behalf of a company/association can be obtained through the Suomi.fi Authorizations service. The cost support can be applied for with an authorization under ‘Yritysrahoituksen hakeminen’ (‘Applying for company financing’). Suomi.fi Authorization> 
  • Applying for the support requires for the applicant to have a business ID. See further information: The Business Information System >
  • The cost support can only be paid to a bank account that the company has reported to the Tax Administration. Make sure that your account number is correct and, if necessary, enter the new number on the MyTax e-service >

Examples

We are a non-profit organisation and operate as a service provider for 24/7 senior care. The costs of protective gear affect our financial balance significantly. Are we eligible to apply for the support for these costs?
The Act allows foundations and associations that conduct business to apply for the support. If the business’ turnover comes fully or partially from other sales than those subject to VAT, the sales in April and May as well as the sales during the comparison period must be reported on the application. In addition to the decreased turnover, the fixed and salary costs for the support period reported by the applicant determine the amount of support payable. Fixed costs for the support period include rental costs and other costs on property in company’s own use, equipment and item rentals and license and access right fees.

Are e.g. the rental costs of trucks used in deliveries included in the cost support?
Yes. Vehicle rentals are included in equipment rental which according to preparatory work on the Act are considered fixed costs in the company.

We have started as entrepreneurs on 1 April 2019. This means that we have no comparison data from previous years but the crisis has obviously impacted our activities in the spring of 2020. My question is if it is possible for us to apply for the cost support for our activities and if so, on which grounds?
If the company was established on 1 March 2019 or later, the turnover of the comparison period will be the average of the company’s sales for January–February 2020. The decrease in turnover is determined based on the value-added tax reports submitted to the Tax Administration, or if these are not available, according to the company’s own report.

My sector “222 Manufacture of plastics products” is not shown on the list even though there are other similar businesses that are also in financial difficulties, such as subcontractors on the automotive industry and competing material producers. Can we still apply and receive the cost support due to corona?
According to section 2, subsection 2 of the Cost Support Act, the State Treasury can make an exception in relation to sector restrictions on particularly serious grounds related to the COVID19 pandemic, i.e. pay support to a company whose main line of business is included in the scope of the support on 1 April 2020. However, the company-specific requirements for receiving the support must be met in this case as well.

Are carbon sink trade and emission compensation included in the scope of the support?
Depends on the sector of the business. The sectors within the scope of the support to which the section 3 of the Act on fixed-term cost support to companies (508/2020) applies have been listed in the attachment to the Government Decree on fixed-term cost support to companies. Sectors have been listed here.

Our company operates in the event industry and our projects include renting equipment for e.g. large festivals, concerts and public events. These kinds of events take mostly place in June, July and August when the company also earns most of its annual turnover. Due to Government prohibitions and restrictions, the turnover from the whole summer 2020 has been cancelled. Can we use the summer 2019 as a comparison period?
According to the Act, the comparison period for the turnover is the average of the company’s turnover during March to June 2019. Or, if the company was established on 1 March 2019 or later, the turnover of the comparison period will be the average of the company’s sales for January–February 2020. It is not possible to change these conditions, i.e. the company cannot use any other periods for comparison.

If the turnover includes income from VAT exempt sales in the EU region, how is this determined? / How can I prove the need for the support if the company operates on a VAT-exempt sector? / Is it possible to receive cost support even if the service conducted by a foundation and obtained through a bidding contest is fully VAT-exempt?
According to the Cost Support Act, the turnover is determined based on the value-added tax reports submitted to the Tax Administration, or if these are not available, according to the company’s own report. According to the preparatory work on the Cost Support Act, the decrease of the company’s turnover is determined by the VAT reports submitted to the Tax Administration. The sales information that the support is based on as well as the turnover data during the comparison period will be mainly obtained from information that the Tax Administration sends to the State Treasury.

In order to pay the support, April turnover data would be used. The company could, if they wanted to, require the support to be paid based on turnover in both April and May. If the business’ turnover comes fully or partially from other sales than those subject to VAT, the sales in April and May as well as the sales during the comparison period must be reported on the application. Unless the company reports value added tax on a monthly basis, the turnover must be verified in another manner.

Ask about the cost support

Do you have questions about the new cost support? You can send us your questions through the link below. We will compile all the answers here so that others can find answers to their questions, too.

You can apply for the support between 7 July and 31 August 2020.
On this page, we answer the questions that you have sent us.

Ask here >

Target group: Companies and organisations

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