In January 2008, Matti Hiltunen registered the domain piraattipuolue.fi and set up a BBS on the site. In May 2008, about 50 founding members of the party held the founding assembly in Tampere. In September 2008 the party started to collect the 5,000 supporter cards needed to officially register the party. The party's goal was to take part in the 2009 European Parliamentary election. The supporter cards were collected by 1 June 2009, too late for the elections. The party was officially registered on 13 August 2009. In October 2009 The Pirate Party took part in the special municipal election of Loviisa with 1 candidate, but did not win a seat. The party's first major election was the Finnish parliamentary election in 2011 with 127 candidates in 11 constituencies, gathering 0.5% of votes and becoming the largest party with no Parliament seats.
The party has a youth organisation, the Pirate Youth (Finnish: Piraattinuoret). It was founded on 5 February 2009 in Helsinki. It has an upper age-limit of 28 years. Membership of Piraattinuoret is free of charge.