Checking whether a prepayment registration is currently in force
The information on whether a person or a business enterprise is registered is public information. Payors or customers, i.e. those who buy a service or enter into a contract with a service provider must check whether that provider (a person or business enterprise) is registered, before a payment of compensation, trade income or royalties is made.
You can check anyone’s prepayment registration
Go online – or call the telephone service – to check the validity of a prepayment registration:
- The ytj.fi website – the “Company search” feature of the Business Information System. “Company search” is free of charge. You can search by the service provider’s name, their business name, or by their Business ID code.
- The service number of the Tax Administration for inquiries is 029 497 006 (standard call rates apply).
- In addition, business enterprises can perform a search by asking an information agency of the private sector to check the prepayment registration of another corporation, etc. that they are planning to do business with. The services offered by private-sector agencies are subject to a charge. Further information on commercial information agencies (ytj.fi).
- The Tax Administration has an electronic interface that accepts multiple registration checks in one single request, including prepayment-register checks and VAT-register checks. It is free of charge.
If you are about to settle an invoice you have received from a person or from a business enterprise, and you find out that they have a valid prepayment registration, you do not have to withhold any tax. However, if no register entry can be found, you must withhold tax when you settle the invoice. The requirement to withhold tax on payments does not apply to purchases of goods or to rented goods or services.
If your beneficiary is on the prepayment register, you will see a start date of the registration’s validity when you search or look up the beneficiary on ytj.fi (the Business Information System). In case there is an ongoing business relationship between you – who are the payor – and the person or enterprise you buy from, you must make regular checks, repeating the search at least four times every year: on 1 March, on 1 June, on 1 September and on 1 December. If your business relations with the person or enterprise are not as active as that, you must check their registration every time you are about to pay an amount of money to them. If you need to look up any previous registration and records, you can click the Show Registration History button.
If the person or business enterprise is no longer on the prepayment register, an amount must be withheld on any payments of compensation (royalty, trade income, etc.) that you pay out. However, if you have performed a search in the Business Information System just before the removal of the prepayment registration of the person or enterprise, you are entitled to trust the results of that search.