Founding an association in Finland is relatively easy. Probably the hardest part comes from the language itself, since the rules cannot be in English, they have to be either in Finnish or Swedish.
The basic structure for the founding and applying for TYY's organisation status is this:
1. The founding meeting
To found an association, at least three people need to organize a meeting to found the association. This does not even need to be pre-planned: it can happen spontaneously, when and wherever three or more people agree to the founding.
The first document the founding meeting will make is the charter. This document needs to state the time and place, the signatories and the name of the association to be founded. An example:
Me allekirjoittaneet olemme perustaneet _____________ nimisen yhdistyksen, liittyneet siihen jäseniksi ja hyväksyneet sille seuraavat säännöt.
Paikka, päivämäärä ja vähintään kolmen jäseneksi liittyvän allekirjoitukset nimenselvennyksineen.
And the same in English:
We, the undersigned, have founded an association called _______________, joined as its members and approved the following bylaws.
Place, date and the signatures and clarifications of at least three members.
The next step is to draft the bylaws (or rules) of the association. These can and should be written beforehand, so the meeting won’t take forever. The Finnish Patent and Registration Office offers a variety of model rules on their website: https://www.prh.fi/en/yhdistysrekisteri/perustaminen/start-up_notification/association_rules.html
The official rules as well as the founding document have to be in either Finnish or Swedish.
2. The Finnish Patent and Registration Office
After you have the charter or founding document, rules and the first acting executive committee or board available, you need to register your association by filing a start-up notification. This can be done electronically here: https://www.prh.fi/en/yhdistysrekisteri/perustaminen/start-up_notification.html
You’ll need the above mentioned documents, 100 euros (in 2020) and the chairperson’s signature (electronic signature via online banking is fine too).
After the notification has been processed, the PRO will inform the chair whether the notification has been accepted or not. If it has been accepted, the association will be added to the Finnish Register of Assocations and will receive legal status as a registered association. It can now act as a legal entity (e.g. when opening a bank account).
3. Applying for TYY’s organisation status
Associations that want the status need to meet certain requirements. These are stated in our regulation on sub-organisations and financial support, which I recommend reading, if you decide to apply for the status. You can read it here: https://www.tyy.fi/sites/tyy.fi/files/ohjesaanto_jarjestoista_ja_avustuksista_eng.pdf
About the membership requirements, it reads:
“An organisation of which a majority consists of members of TYY may be granted a sub-organisation status on application. For an especially weighty reason, the Executive Board may grant an organisation of which less than half are TYY members a sub-organisation status.
Sub-organisation status may be granted if at least ten members of the organisation are members of TYY. This does not apply to organisations without human members. In a special case and for a weighty reason, the Executive Board may grant an organisation with less than ten members of TYY a sub-organisation status.”
The applications for TYY's organisation status are registered twice a year, and the deadlines for these are 31 August and 31 December.