Emmi Karvinen, expert in owner-entrepreneur taxation, to develop a service package for family businesses

Our Tax & Structuring service was reinforced at the end of March when Senior Associate Emmi Karvinen returned to Castrén & Snellman after working elsewhere for a few years.

With a versatile career in tax law and a focus on family-owned businesses, Emmi advises our clients particularly on matters related to taxation and wealth management. Emmi has extensive experience in the taxation of family-owned businesses and owner-entrepreneurs, and she is well-versed in mergers and acquisitions, structuring and carrying out family business successions as well as tax litigation matters.

In her new role, Emmi focuses on tax matters and develops a new service package aimed at family-owned businesses.

‘Emmi is familiar with the day-to-day business of both SMEs and family-owned businesses. As a generalist with knowledge of various legal fields, she is a reliable advisor for our clients and an excellent addition to our already strong team. It’s great to have Emmi back on the team,’ says Partner Mikko Alakare, Head of Tax & Structuring.

Emmi joining the C&S Tax & Structuring practice answers the need to tackle the challenges brought on by the ever changing and increasingly complex regulation of the Finnish business scene. By bringing to the table experts in ownership and entrepreneurship taxation, Castrén & Snellman can provide its clients with a straight-forward and seamless one-stop way to deal with tax issues related to ownership, entrepreneurship and business operations.

After graduating as a Master of Laws from the University of Helsinki, Emmi worked at Castrén & Snellman, among others. Two years ago she became a legal counsel at Fundu, where her responsibilities included providing legal advice on various matters ranging from dispute resolution to risk management.

‘I was very excited to return to Castrén & Snellman! There are a lot of familiar faces, and it is great to work together again and to share the knowledge I gained as an in-house lawyer,’ says Emmi.

Economic adjustments may lead to new regulations

Emmi started in her new role in the midst of parliamentary elections. She anticipates that in the new electoral period, the central government will deal with many questions affecting the operating environment of family businesses. 

‘The State is in a difficult economic situation, and we will likely see economic adjustments in one form or another. Before the election, the Ministry of Finance published its own budget cut proposal. The Ministry’s proposals are rather contradictory with the hopes and needs of entrepreneurs – for example, increasing the dividend tax of private companies would weaken the position of the owner-entrepreneurs of SMEs,’ Emmi states.

Many unresolved questions remain as the government negotiations get underway.

‘Companies are carefully monitoring the changes proposed by the new Government, as these changes could radically affect their operating environment,’ says Emmi.

Regulation in need of simplification and predictability

Regulatory matters related to company succession are particularly important to family-owned businesses in light of business continuity and predictability. Regulation has increased over time, and entrepreneurs consider the system to be overly complicated.

‘The jungle of regulations has become increasingly dense in recent years: regulation has increased and it is increasingly complex in nature. This is already affecting succession of family businesses and the related tax matters.’

The complex and ever-changing operating environment weakens the businesses’ ability to operate and may hinder expansion into international markets, for example. In her work, Emmi has witnessed the increasing need for legal advice when businesses try to solve legal issues. In her view, it is key that the predictability of taxation does not suffer in a way that would make it more difficult for companies and their owners to plan for the future.

‘It would be important to look at the regulatory environment surrounding privately owned companies and their owners as a whole. The day-to-day business of companies has changed immensely in only a few years, and it is important to consider different ways to support Finnish businesses. What has worked before might not work anymore,’ says Emmi.