Sustainable management of materials and resources provides sustainable solutions that form the basis for a circular economy (CE). However, there is limited empirical research that represents the effects of business models on the triple bottom line of sustainability and ultimately contribute to the implementation of CE systems. Therefore, in this study, we aim to explore the role of second-hand firms with different ownership structures and their specific impact in promoting CE. A multiple case study based on semi-structured interviews was conducted in Finland. Findings show that ownership structures and the underlying motivations determine the societal legitimacy and transparency of the second-hand firms that in turn contribute to reducing the environmental burden and improving societal well-being locally. Similarly, results reveal that collaborative approaches among second-hand firms and other stakeholders might improve the circular flow of products and materials, ultimately contributing to the implementation of CE. The main contribution of this study is that it highlights the role of second-hand firms and their ownership structures on the implementation of CE systems at the local level and therefore moves away from traditional business models where production firms are usually the unit of analysis.