Business Service Voucher for business development

Starting on June 2020, the City of Rovaniemi has started to provide the Business Service Vouchers that effectively activate development support for enterprises.

Application periods are opened twice a year. The latest and the second application period in 2022 was held from September 12, 2022 until September 25, 2022.

Applications for service providers began earlier on April 2020. The application process for service providers is continuous.

 The Business Service Voucher serves as a business policy activating instrument for the city, the intention of which is to support the growth and internationalisation of Rovaniemi-based SMEs, and for providing assistance with change of ownership situations. At the same time, the voucher assists in the development of the company services markets in the Rovaniemi region.

The voucher supplements other publicly funded expert services, such as e.g. the services of the ELY Centre.

You can find the online application form below (open only during the application period), but please remember to first read the terms and conditions for the voucher and applying.

If your company operates in Rovaniemi’s rural district, please also check the Business Service Voucher provided by Rovaniemen kylien kehittämissäätiö (Foundation for the Development of Villages in Rovaniemi) from here

 

NOTE!!!  Business Rovaniemi arranged on Tuesday May 31, 2022 an info webinar (in Finnish) concerning the Business Service Voucher in order to facilitate good development projects and applications. Please find the link to the presentation here.

 

Read more about the Business Service Voucher

The Business Service Voucher is the commitment of the City of Rovaniemi for compensating on behalf of the Recipient some of the price for services provided by the service provider up to a predetermined value.

The Business Service Voucher finances the development measures of enterprises. The term development measures means activities that affect the company in the long term, are strategically significant, and renew company operations.

 

The Business Service Voucher can be used for purchasing the following expert services related to the development of commercial activity:

 

  • Planning internationalisation and implementing market research
  • Participation in trade fairs related to internationalisation (in Finland and abroad); payments for participation, sales booth fees and travel expenses
  • Funding and investment plans related to company growth, including applications
  • Services for improving financial management
  • Legal and contract advice
  • Consultation and research services focused on growth intended for the boards of directors and executive committees of companies
  • Company strategy and governance
  • Product development, commercialisation and service design
  • Development of company digitalisation
  • Services related to the development of sales and marketing
  • Appraisals, legal and contract advice related to change in ownership

The enterprise granted the voucher can independently decide from which company they purchase services using the voucher. As the organisation granting the vouchers, the City of Rovaniemi is not responsible for the selection made by the customer. The service provider and customer enterprise granted the voucher shall mutually agree on the terms and conditions of providing the service in question. The City of Rovaniemi, as the organisation granting the voucher, is not a contractual party.

The Business Service Voucher must be applied for before starting the expert service; at the applicant's own risk before the decisions are informed. For example, the conclusion of a contract or order for it, the initiation of a measure related to a service or the payment for a service, or any other irrevocable commitment to perform a service, constitutes the commencement of the service.


The value of Business Service Vouchers granted by the City of Rovaniemi are

  • 2,500 euros (VAT 0%) OR
  •  5,000 euros (VAT 0%)

of which the company shall itself fund 20% (i.e. 500 euros or 1,000 euros). According to their requirements, the enterprise can apply for a voucher for one or the other sum. The Business Service Voucher is valid for a period of six months from the date issued.

The funds available for granting the Business Service Voucher in 2022 total 150,000 euros.

Business Rovaniemi will review the applications and make the proposal to whom the vouchers should be granted. The decision on the recipients will be made by the Director, Business and Development.

A Business Service Voucher can be granted to a company once every two years.

Very possibly, yes! However, there are a few conditions and criteria that have to be met before receiving Business Service Voucher.

 

The voucher is made available to small and medium-sized enterprises

  • having Business ID and registered in the necessary tax registers
  • having Rovaniemi as their home municipality and/or permanent premises in the city of Rovaniemi
  • focusing on growth or internationalisation, require company renewal and/or strategic development and have a plan for this
  • having a clear and justified need for the implementation of measures financed by the Business Service Voucher in order to support the company’s growth plan
  • with the conditions for a full-time, continuous and profitable business

 

Vouchers are not available for housing and property companies or investment companies or companies engaged in primary production (agriculture, forestry or fishing) nor for a company

  • undergoing corporate restructuring, liquidation or bankruptcy proceedings or which has foreclosure debt; if the applicant is a private trader the entrepreneur’s credit information must also be in order
  • with negative equity
  • with tax debt and/or overdue and unpaid obligations to the city of Rovaniemi, or there must be a valid payment arrangement

The city of Rovaniemi will check the credit information of the companies applying the Business Service Voucher (and in the case of a private trader also entrepreneurs) for the above criteria.

 

A Business Service Voucher can be granted to a company once every two years.

 

The Business Service Voucher is subject to EU rules and it is so-called de minimis aid for companies. The maximum amount of de minimis aid for a company may not be exceeded if the voucher is granted. The company must indicate the status of its de minimis aid when applying for the Business Service Voucher. Companies are required to monitor the accumulation of the de minimis aid they receive.

You can apply for a Business Service Voucher by completing the electronic application form, which is available only during an application period

 

Application periods are opened twice a year. The latest and the second application period in 2022 was held from September 12, 2022 until September 25, 2022.

 

We recommend that you prepare your application thoroughly, read the instructions. Well-completed applications will naturally make the decision-making process smooth, however, from the applicant's point of view it is far more important to make sure that the decision makers will get a true and sufficient picture of the development project, because only a limited number of Business Service Vouchers may be granted due to available funds. An incomplete or deficient application will cause delays in the decision-making and may lead to the rejection of the application. 

 

Get all the necessary attachments ready. The failure in providing mandatory attachments will lead to the rejection of the application. You may submit other attachments, too, to support your application.

Please prepare thoroughly and book enough time for making the application because you cannot save the application form unfinished nor continue filling it later. 

Examine the expert services of the approved service providers by using our service provider register (in Finnish). We recommend that you do this also when preparing to apply for the voucher even though the final selection of the service provider will be done only after the voucher has been granted.

The voucher supplements – it doesn’t replace - other publicly funded expert services, such as e.g. the services of the ELY Centre. It does not finance expert services for which other public support has already been or will be available. If you have not been able to clarify other support options, it will not lead to rejection of the application. However, examine these other publicly funded options, because it is also in your own interests e.g., when application periods for Business Service Voucher are opened only twice a year but other support is available continuously throughout the year. Information concerning financing and public funding may be found e.g. here. Please don’t hesitate to contact our business developers if you need more information. 

 

The application form requires e.g. the following information

  • company owners (name and shareholding) and description of the structure if the company belongs to a group or has subsidiaries or other associated companies
  • turnover, operating result and average number of employees; actual numbers concerning the latest ended financial year and estimated numbers concerning the current financial year and the next financial year when taking into account the impact of the planned development project.
  • company’s de minimis aid situation; if the company has received de minimis aid during the current year and the previous two fiscal years, tell the date, the amount and who granted the aid
  • description of the total cost estimate of the planned development measures 

and the following mandatory appendices:

  • Financial statements for the latest audited financial year; the entire so-called balance sheet book, pdf or jpg format, max 5 appendices
  • Latest financial reports concerning the current financial year; the so-called long account-specific income statement and balance sheet including a comparison to the previous financial year, pdf or jpg format, max 5 appendices
  • Certificate of tax debts and if the company has tax debts, verification of the tax repayment plan approved by the Tax Administration. The online tax debt register can be found from here: https://www.vero.fi/en/e-file/mytax/

You may attach also other possible appendices e.g. concerning the intended use of the voucher; pdf of jpg format, max 5 appendices. 

When applying, the applicants must provide assurances that the information is correct. 

 

Please, send your application well in advance before the end of the application period to speed up decision-making. The applications will be processed already during the application period on a first come, first served basis. Decisions will be taken on all applications simultaneously and communicated to all applicants.

 

If you are uncertain about something, please contact our business developers Monday-Friday 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. before submitting the application.

A company that has been granted the Business Service Voucher can independently select the service provider they require using our service provider register.  We are constantly updating the register. You will find all accepted service providers and all their approved expert services from here  (in Finnish). 

The service provider and company granted the voucher shall mutually agree on the terms and conditions of providing the service in question. The service provider is responsible directly to the customer company for matters related to the service acquired with the Business Service Voucher.

The organisation granting the vouchers, the City of Rovaniemi, is not responsible for the selection made by the customer companies, and it is not a contractual party.

The granted Business Service Voucher can only be used for expert services provided by one service provider. 

A company cannot be both a customer and a service provider in the same Business Service Voucher. This concerns the whole group the company granted the voucher belongs to.

 

Service provider means a company that provides the Expert Services funded using the Business Service Voucher. Companies approved as service providers and their approved expert services are registered using the service voucher system used by the City of Rovaniemi. You can apply to become a service provider using the Business Rovaniemi link below.

A company that can be approved as a Business Service Voucher service provider must satisfy the criteria stated in the Act on the Contractor’s Obligations and Liability when Work is Contracted Out and be registered with the Reliable Partner (Luotettava Kumppani) service that enables the granting organisation to check that the aforementioned criteria have been met. 

The application time for service voucher providers is continuous. 

By applying for a service provider the company grants the city of Rovaniemi the right to check the company’s credit information and tax debt register information. The service provider cannot not be in a corporate restructuring or an entrepreneur or a person in charge of the company in a private debt settlement.

 

The service provider must provide the expert services it offers so that they match the value of the Business Service Voucher (€ 2.500 or € 5,000, VAT 0 %) and present their service descriptions (including e.g. extent, steps, measures, outcome etc.) already when applying to become a service provider. The aim is to help the customer companies compare different service providers and their expert services, and to avoid presenting services at too general level. Service providers may offer several service descriptions and supplement and edit them also while they are in the service provider register.

 

Find the application form here (in Finnish): APPLICATION FOR SERVICE PROVIDER

After the Business Service Voucher has been granted the process will proceed as follows:

  1. Selection of the service provider; the company granted voucher shall independently select the service provider they require using the Vaana.fi service provider register and agree with the service provider on the terms and conditions of providing the service in question. It is vital, that the service provider will be aware of the voucher and that the expert service will be focused according to the granted purpose.
  2. Informing Business Rovaniemi; about the selected service provider (yrityspalvelut@rovaniemi.fi)
  3. Implementation of expert services; for the purpose for which the voucher was granted
  4. Invoicing; the service provider invoices the company granted the voucher for the entire value of the service (€ 2,500 or € 5,000 + VAT) and the company pays its own funding share to the service provider
  5. Reporting to Business Rovaniemi; the feedback form filled by the company granted the voucher (the form is sent when the voucher is granted), the report (free form) and invoice copy sent by the service provider; yrityspalvelut@rovaniemi.fi
  6. Document review; Business Rovaniemi will check the above mentioned three mandatory documents and contact the company and/or service provider if needed
  7. Generating the Business Service Voucher; Business Rovaniemi will generate the actual voucher using the Vaana service voucher system and deliver its details both to the company granted the voucher and to the service provider
  8. Redemption of the Business Service Voucher; the service provider will cash the voucher by using the Vaana service voucher system
  9. Income reporting; the funding by the City of Rovaniemi (€ 2,000 or € 4,000) is taxable income and the recipient must report it in its accounts as income (e.g. ‘Grants received, VAT 0%’), and at the same time offset the remainder of the invoice received from the service provider. The voucher is so-called de minimis aid; the total amount of de minimis aid may affect the company’s future aid. Beneficiaries of de minimis aid are obliged to keep register about the de minimis aid they receive, and the company receiving the Business Service Voucher must also take this obligation into account.

 

NOTE!  The Business Service Voucher must be cashed (nr 8 above) within six months from the date it’s been granted. The mandatory documents (nr 5 above) should be delivered to Business Rovaniemi not later than two weeks before the expiry date of the voucher, in case e.g. something would come up during the review. However, the sooner the better, there is no reason to delay the process.

When the company granted the voucher is the subscriber of the provided service and the contractual party, it is its duty and in its best interests to see that the voucher process will proceed and the redemption of the voucher will take place in time and the company itself would not face extra expenses due to losing the funding by the voucher.


Find more information about the Rovaniemi Business Service Voucher, including e.g. billing information from our instructions :  Guidebook  (in Finnish)

Please contact our business developers if you have any questions. If you have been unable to reach our advisers for further information, please send us an email request for us to contact you to yrityspalvelut@rovaniemi.fi. We will contact you as soon as we can.

 

Find out more about searching for service providers and implementation of the Rovaniemi Business Service Voucher from the first information briefing from 1 April 2020: from here  (in Finnish)

Watch the recording of the public presentation of the Rovaniemi Business Service Voucher from 5 June 2020 from here  (in Finnish)

 

BUSINESS ROVANIEMI – HOME OF VITALITY SERVICES

Business Rovaniemi is a business and company services unit for entrepreneurs and those considering entrepreneurship in Rovaniemi. The development and funding services provided for enterprises has been revamped, and a new electronic service and payment system has been created to make all dealings even more fluent. Business Rovaniemi has its offices in the town centre at Ainonkatu 1.

Ota yhteyttä

Ainonkatu 1, 96200 ROVANIEMI,

Aukioloajat

Mon - Fri: 08:00 - 16:00

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