JA Finland has created a set of rules for the JA Company Program. JA Finland may add or amend the rules during the school year. Any significant amendment to the rules will be notified on the support website for the program, in newsletters, and directly to the company email addresses provided by the JA companies
In addition to the rules, the JA companies must also follow the appropriate instructions.
JA Finland has determined the legality and taxation issues regarding the operation in conjunction with the Finnish Tax Administration.
The Finnish Tax Administration has provided instructions regarding the operation and methods of the JA companies (journal number: A73/200/2016, Finnish). In practice, the profit resulting from the operation of the JA entrepreneurs is liable to taxation. If the turnover of the operation remains under €10,000, the JA entrepreneurs do not constitute taxable persons for VAT purposes.
In taxation, the operations are considered equal to personal income generation.
Effect on Student Financial Aid
For information on the effect of a JA entrepreneur’s income on student financial aid, see KELA website.
Establishing a JA Company
All members of the JA company sign the memorandum of association for the JA company, fill out the electronic registration form, and draw up a cooperation agreement. The cooperation agreement is made out in as many copies as there are members in the JA company.
These are the common rules for all JA companies:
- All members of the company are equal.
- Each member commits to work for the good of the company and to do their best to ensure the success of the team.
- The members of the company will treat each other fairly, and everyone’s input is taken into consideration.
- Any potential issues will be resolved together within the company, in cooperation with an advisor, a teacher in charge of the program or parents if necessary.
- The company’s business will be conducted in an open spirit, and any company-related matters will be shared openly.
- Other members of the company will not be discussed negatively behind their backs or when absent. Any conflicts between members must be considered with everyone present.
- The company will conduct its business honestly and follow fair business practices.
- The purpose and goal of the program are to learn about business activities, entrepreneurship, and cooperation.
- The company’s profit will be shared among the partners at the end of the school year in proportion to their share of the company.
- Each founding member (member of the JA company) must own at least one and maximum four shares of the company. The price of a single share is €10. The company may also sell shares to outsiders, but the total initial capital can be € 1,000 maximum. Each owner may own a maximum of € 100 worth of shares.
- The shares must be paid for within one (1) month of the memorandum of association having been signed.
- A share certificate must be issued for each share.
The Operation of a JA Company
- The product or service provided by the company must be refined and developed, and it cannot be harmful to the customers or the employees.
- The company must seek out an advisor who assists and provides ideas for the development of the operation.
- The company must elect a board of directors which automatically includes all founding members.
- The board will decide on the company’s affairs and make decisions regarding spending and activities, for example.
- The board must act in the best interest of the company and it cannot, for instance, grant unfounded benefits to its members.
- The company is not allowed to take out loans or make purchases on credit as the JA companies must operate using their own funds.
- The company must keep an account of its proceeds and expenses.
- The company’s revenue is limited to €10,000 during its operation. If a JA company approaches the limit, it must cease its operation (founding a real company could be a good option in this case).
The JA companies can only operate as part of the teaching provided by an educational establishment. Therefore, JA companies cannot sell services or products that are sold or delivered after the JA company has ended its operation, for example, during the summer vacation if the course has ended in May.
The JA companies must comply with Finnish law. JA companies cannot perform any business activities that are beyond the capabilities of its members or ones that require, for example, a vocational degree or similar competencies under the law at present.
Repeated Participation in the Program and maximum program length
Usually, the participation in the JA Company Program is limited to one time during primary and one time in upper secondary education.
It is possible to participate in the program again with a new business idea that is noticeably different from the previous idea. Also, the name of the JA company must be distinct from the previous name. In case of dispute, JA Finland decides on whether the new idea is sufficiently different from the previous one.
Finnish Tax Administration states that the maximum operating period of a JA company is one school year/calendar year.
The educational establishment will decide whether a student can participate in the program for the second time and receive the appropriate credit.
Participation in the Program for Students with an Existing Business
JA company’s business idea cannot be the same or closely related to a current business operated by the student.nTo avoid any confusion, the name of the JA company must also be different from the existing company.