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The Curious Case of an Expat Company

As you may know I moved to Lithuania from Finland almost three years ago. I have been running a company in Finland for almost 20 years, the current one for almost 13 years. Now that I moved I naturally didn't want to change anything. Why would I? I know how Finnish things work and my company is running there without problems.

But the moving part... That's another story.

It seems that other companies don't know how to handle this situation. A company in Finland with address in Lithuania. It's unfathomable to them. And to me it's unfathomable that they can't handle it.

Microsoft was the first one. I tried to change address. No can do. Finnish company, address must be in Finland. Country cannot be changed. No sir, no. It's impossible. Ok, I guess they don't need to send me anything because I don't have an address there.

Then Apple. I've had a huge problem with address changes with them anyway. They used to require faxing on official company letterhead the request, and paper proof of the address. Now they don't want that at least. But they still want papers.

In Finland we have online system for company information. It can be checked by anyone. Official page telling my company's address. Not ok for Apple. They have never heard of digital records it seems.

But that's not all. Now they want me to sign papers transfering our developer account to another company. I've been trying to explain that there is no other company. Our company is a Finnish one. Has been the same always. Only address changes. Nothing else. But they just don't understand it. I don't know why.

A local internet company in Lithuania also has this issue. They won't allow Finnish VAT number to be used if I have Lithuanian address. Nope, can't do it. They couldn't even manually change that. So they just added a Finnish address that is not mine so they could have a Finnish VAT number for us.

Upwork is the same. They claim they check VAT IDs from a European system. Funny, that's not true. They don't even allow the input of a Finnish VAT ID, because of Lithuanian address. The same as everyone else. Unbelieveable.

So am I the crazy one here? Doesn't anyone else ever move countries and keep their company running in the other country? Do I have to buy an address in Finland just to get wrong information to be a bit less wrong? Since the company still wouldn't exist at that address.

Unbelieveable. In this day and age of movability and everything, I still can't do things easy.

And the funniest part? The instance that would be the first to have an issue if anything I did was illegal has no problem with it. Finnish company registry is fine with it. Finnish tax office is fine with it. They've never wanted me to have a Finnish address. Why do other companies require it then?

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