Settle down for success in Finland, the happiest country in the world

For the 6th year in a row, Finland has been named the happiest country in the annual World Happiness Report published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a global initiative of the UN. The Finnish way of happiness is rooted in tremendous societal stability, with a high degree of equality and, among other things, political and civil freedom. It may sound far-fetched, but happiness, along with a skilled workforce and predictability, is also one of the factors that make Finland a prime location for doing business.

Photo: Janne Hirvonen / Helsinki Partners

The Finns have long been thought of as leading one of the world’s happiest lifestyles. In terms of cheerfulness or joy, or if you simply ask a Finn whether they've smiled or laughed today, the Finnish people do not rank higher than anywhere else in the rest of the world. However, in the World Happiness report, ‘happiness’ means the degree of satisfaction that people have with their lives. Research shows that satisfaction correlates with a well-functioning democracy, free elections, free press, and a low corruption index, along with inclusive social security services helping those who need assistance. These aspects combine to create a perception of well-being, and in these areas, Finland remains at the top globally.

“In Finland, the idea is that a well-functioning welfare state creates the prerequisites for a favorable business environment, enabling companies and individuals to succeed. This safety net functions as a trampoline in Finland, giving an extra lift for Finnish people and companies”, says Antti Aumo, Head of Invest in Finland from Business Finland, Finland’s trade, investment and travel promotion and innovation funding organization. 

As one of the world’s most competitive and open economies, Finland offers an outstanding launchpad for businesses. Here are three factors that create corporate happiness in Finland:

1) Internationally competitive corporate taxation

Did you know that Finland enjoys the lowest corporate tax rate in the Nordic region and one of the lowest rates in the EU? The corporate tax rate in Finland is 20%, which is a fraction lower than the EU average (21.3%). The Finnish Tax Administration has made it easier for businesses too, with pre-emptive payments to avoid surprises and a dedicated team to help with tax matters, free of charge. In addition to moderate taxation rates, Finland offers different tax deductions for companies operating in Finland.

2) Skilled workforce fosters a culture of innovation

It all starts with education in Finland. The world-class educational system here is the foundation of the country’s cutting-edge research and innovation. With affordable daycare and free schooling available for all from preschool through university, Finns are not only highly educated and skilled but also represent the highest level of digital talent1 in Europe. From mainstream ICT services to engineering and healthtech, our data highlights that Finns are top performers when it comes to productivity, commitment, and delivering results.

Finland ranks among the world’s top 10 most innovative countries. Collaboration between companies, universities, and research institutions is commonplace and makes for a thriving business environment and startup scene.

3) Comprehensive stability

Finland ranks as the most stable country in the world2 when measured by political, social, economic and cohesion indicators. The business environment here thus offers extraordinarily high levels of continuity, trust, and transparency. Transparent governance and effective state institutions are among the pillars of our well-functioning society, which in turn also reduces risks for international businesses.

Happiness doesn’t just happen by itself, however; it’s woven into the fabric of our society. The Finnish way of happiness, combined with low corporate tax rates, a highly educated workforce, and reliable infrastructure, creates an environment that encourages collaboration, innovation, and – ultimately – success. Finland invites companies around the world to establish themselves here and do business with Finnish companies.

1) Digital Economy and Society Index 2022
2) Fund for Peace, Fragile States Index 2022

Business Finland is the Finnish government organization for innovation funding and trade, travel, and investment promotion. Business Finland’s over 760 experts work in over 40 offices globally and in 16 regional offices around Finland. Business Finland is part of the Team Finland network.

Invest in Finland helps foreign companies identify business opportunities in Finland, produces information on Finland as an investment destination, and enhances and coordinates national efforts to attract investment by actively networking with regional and international entities. Invest in Finland also collects and updates information about foreign-owned companies in Finland. Invest in Finland is part of Business Finland.

Media contact

Salla Salovaara
Head of International PR & Media Salla Salovaara