For SMEs, it is essential that the trademarks they register give them robust protection. The directive aims to improve and harmonize the protection of the trade secrets in the EU. Finnish protections of trade secrets were already strong, but the new law provides clarity and additional security for holders of trade secrets. Clear regulations were added to the Act on what a trade secret is and when it may not be acquired, used, expressed or revealed to a third party. A Ministry of Finance working group proposed in that when a company is reorganized, reorganization debts should be allowed to be converted into debtor company shares without the business owner's consent, even in very small companies.
The New Bankruptcy Code Introduction
In February, the law on debt recovery was amended to make encouraging employment and the position of low-income, heavily indebted people easier. This perspective was taken into account. The proposed amendment was changed to ensure that when a debtor became self-employed following long-term unemployment, the income from this source would not be subject to debt recovery.
Failure to meet legally-required payment obligations can no longer be considered a basis for setting a ban on running a business, if the failure to pay was due to insolvency. A ban on doing business can only be applied in cases where the person carries some culpability. The amended Act came into force in January The amendment strengthens bans on doing business and monitoring of the black economy and clamps down on inappropriate business practices.
The government has proposed amending the Limited Liability Housing Companies Act to make demolitions and new builds easier. If Parliament passes the amendment, infill and building extensions following demolitions will be easier, as a single property-owner in the housing company will not be able to prevent such a project. The bill is intended to pass into law in January The new Hansel will concentrate on fewer and larger procurements than before, ones in which SMEs will not be the main participants. Political consensus was achieved, as the result of many years of advocacy work, at the Council of the European Union in November As a result of our parliamentary advocacy, the European Parliament also supported a risk-weight supporting factor.
Now, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament are to enter so-called triilogue negotiations on the matter. They are expected to be completed quickly and a permanent risk-weight supporting factor for SMEs is expected to come into force as early as The emphasis on international contacts and entrepreneurship is also important.
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In addition, the rules have been open to wide interpretation, which has created uncertainty in taxation. From the start of , competition between public and private-sector businesses will be fairer, as the public sector will have to start separating its accounts.
Retailers have had to face an increase in shoplifting and petty thefts in recent years. The matter has progressed quickly: Parliament is already discussing the proposed amendment. If Parliament passes the amended Act, it will come into force no later than The Waste Act will be amended in to allow for better monitoring of municipal waste companies in tendered markets.
The amendment will reduce the threshold for waste-sector entrepreneurs to invest in the sector. As the market diversifies, other companies can also benefit from the situation. From an entrepreneur can deal with a single authority when he or she needs to apply for several environmental permits. Currently, an entrepreneur must deal with each state or municipal authority separately.
The costs for small businesses, in particular, will be reduced and project timetables will speed up. The one-stop-shop model is an excellent example of the efforts that have been begun on reducing costly red tape for businesses. This would help improve service provision. Indeed, specifications have been added to the relevant legislation that support SMEs. For example, the requirement for an obligatory employment relationship between a social and healthcare centre and a social advisor is being scrapped.
If Parliament passes the laws, the social and healthcare reform would gradually come into force in and In , entrepreneurs got to network and learn new things at numerous local, regional and national events. A dearth in skilled workers is already hindering business growth. It brought together over entrepreneurs and educational sector professionals to talk about the best ways to develop education to ensure young people could become employed and entrepreneurs could find the workers they needed.
This is promising for the future, as students will learn more about entrepreneurship. Over 1, entrepreneurs from around Finland set sail on the cruise. The programme included inspirational speeches from entrepreneurs and fun socializing. As many as municipalities were represented. At the event, the results of a survey on business policy indicators. The survey is an important tool for improving cooperation between businesspeople and municipalities.
Thanks to everyone who responded to the survey! The national Swedish-language meet-up in Hanko in June brought together over 50 Swedish-speaking Finnish entrepreneurs from up and down the coast. At the two-day event, participants learnt about the history of the host city, Hanko, on both land and sea.
Next year, the national Swedish-language meet-up will be organized according to a slightly different concept. The traditional two-day event will be divided into three evenings. In , that means there will be three national Swedish-language meet-ups, with the first as early as 27 February! On stage was a host of entrepreneurs, famous politicians and well-known TV actors and performers. There was also the opportunity to make new friends and get support from peers. The event is organized every year, alternating between Stockholm and Helsinki.
This year, the event took place in Stockholm and during hour boot camp young entrepreneurs were given the chance to learn new things about the Swedish start-up world, pitch their ideas to experienced business angels, spar on the development of their own business development and network internationally. One thousand six hundred entrepreneurs came to Turku in October for the National Entrepreneur Days to hear speeches from entrepreneurs, attend the Entrepreneur Gala and applaud entrepreneurs who received awards.
Immigrant entrepreneurs and people who work with immigrants met in Turku and Helsinki in November.
Buy It Now
The events, which were run in English, included interesting entrepreneurial stories and were a great opportunity to learn new things and to network. As detailed in Annex 2. Despite their potential positive impact, these tools remain undeveloped in the region, as was confirmed by interviews with SME representatives from the Western Balkans and Turkey. The only economy which currently has websites or call centres for entrepreneurs who fear failure is Turkey, where the SME Development and Support Organisation provides information on support programmes for SMEs.
North Macedonia has a project funded by the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance on strengthening the administrative capacities for implementing the legal framework for the bankruptcy and liquidation of companies Ministry of Economy, . It proposes developing a self-test website, but this has not yet been established. The aim of the website would be to detect financially distressed companies early on, in order to help them in a timely manner.
The project offers training for entrepreneurs who fear failure, organised in co-ordination with the Ministry of Economy, Economic Chambers, and the Chamber of Bankruptcy Administration. However, active entrepreneurs not in financial distress were reluctant to attend these courses, demonstrating that entrepreneurs do not seek help and advice before financial problems emerge.
Company bankruptcy and liquidation can often be prevented if financially distressed companies are identified at an early stage. The earlier the problems are recognised, the better the chance the business will restructure successfully and continue to operate.
Early warning systems identify enterprises that are financially distressed and in need of assistance. Such early warning infrastructure remains almost completely undeveloped in the WBT region. The current system adopted by the WBT economies only identifies distressed companies when they are already in the red zone, while ideally an early warning system should identify distressed companies in time to carry out a customised and solution-oriented reorganisation based on identified weaknesses. However, when firms are grappling with financial difficulties, it is sometimes central banks or tax administrations that take responsibility and react swiftly.
In Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey, these public institutions have established initiatives that act as early stage warning systems, detecting warning signs through financial tools such as tax declarations or bank loans. In some cases, the tax administration, banks or private credit registries assign a risk classification.
While this system allows financially distressed companies to be identified before they file for bankruptcy, it does not provide enough time or a solution for reorganising the firm and the debt to prevent bankruptcy. These mechanisms have been designed with a view to reducing the number of non-performing loans. While the mechanisms described above identify companies which are already in financial distress and are therefore not proper early warning systems, they could constitute a base on which governments could build more effective prevention policies.
This process has two main steps:. One of these stakeholders can warn the manager in writing about concrete identified problems.
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In the absence of a formal response from the manager or if the answer confirms the difficulties or is considered insufficient , the account auditor and the commercial court or the district court is alerted. Court involvement: if the warning has been triggered in a timely manner by the debtor, the commercial court will mandate a mentor to assist the entrepreneur to carry out a reorganisation without going to an in-court phase mandat ad hoc. If the warning has not been triggered in time, the commercial court can follow up with:.
A safeguard proceeding if the debtor is solvent but meets difficulties that it is not able to overcome on its own. At the end of the observation period, if the company is found to be viable the court will launch a reorganisation plan; if not, a liquidation procedure. A reorganisation process if the company cannot meet payment deadlines aims to settle debts and, ideally, retain employees.