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Residence permit for an entrepreneur
With this application you can apply either for a residence permit for an entrepreneur or for a Finnish Startup Permit. Granting a residence permit requires that you have sufficient financial resources in Finland.
You are an entrepreneur if you are
- a private trader who has an individually-owned business (toiminimi)
- a partner in a general partnership (avoin yhtiö)
- a general partner (not a silent partner) in a limited partnership (kommandiittiyhtiö)
- a member of a cooperative (osuuskunta) who has an unlimited liability for refinancing. The unlimited obligation to contribute has to be registered in the Trade Register.
- a shareholder in a managerial position in a limited liability company (Managing Director or member of the Board of Directors) or a person working in another type of company in a managerial position if you personally own at least 30 per cent of the company’s share capital or personally have at least 30 per cent of the number of votes produced by the company’s shares, or if you are a person in a managerial position in another type of company with similar authority in the company concerned.
You cannot get a residence permit only because you own a company. Granting a residence permit requires that you work in the company and the work must be done in Finland.
You are a startup entrepreneur if you apply for a Finnish Startup Permit for the first time and you have a positive Eligibility Statement from Business Finland.
- The statement can be no more than two months old when you submit this application. You have to attach the statement to your application before you submit it. If you do not attach the statement or if the statement has expired, you will not be considered a startup entrepreneur.
- If you apply for an extended permit, you do not need to attach a statement to your application.
Make sure you have all the necessary attachments and information before you begin. If necessary, have the attachments translated and legalised. The processing of your application may take longer if any attachments are missing from your application.
If you are applying for a residence permit for an entrepreneur, see the list of necessary attachments on the page Residence permit application for an entrepreneur.
If you are applying for a Finnish Startup Permit, see the list of necessary attachments on the page Residence permit application for a startup entrepreneur.
Fill in the application and choose your service point
Fill in the application form and add the necessary attachments.
Choose your service point.
- If you are abroad, you must prove your identity at a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate).
- Contact a Finnish mission.
- If you are in Finland, you must prove your identity at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service.
Finnish missions and the service points of the Finnish Immigration Service may be busy. Therefore, you should book an appointment as soon as possible after submitting your application. For more information, see migri.fi/identification.
Pay and submit the application
The processing of an application is subject to a fee. We recommend paying the processing fee as soon as possible with the most common credit cards or with Finnish online banking credentials. You can also pay the processing fee when you visit a Finnish mission or the Finnish Immigration Service to prove your identity.
Visit the selected authority to prove your identity
After submitting your application, visit a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate) or a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service
- to prove your identity
- to present the original copies of the documents that you attached to your application, and
- to have your fingerprints taken.
Remember to bring your passport photo with you. Passport photo guidelines can be found on the website of the Finnish Police.
Follow the processing of your application
If you are an entrepreneur, your application will be processed in two stages:
- First, a Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) makes a partial decision on the application. An ELY Centre assesses whether the business is profitable and whether your financial resources gained from the business activity are sufficient. The assessment is made on the basis of documents attached to your application. The ELY Centre will ask you for additional documentation, if your attachments are not adequate.
- When the partial decision has been made, the Finnish Immigration Service will process the application and make its decision. In some cases, the applicant may be heard before the decision is made, either in writing or at an interview.
If you are a startup entrepreneur, the Finnish Immigration Service will decide on your application.
If any additional information is needed for your application, you will be sent a request for it through Enter Finland. When a decision has been made, you will receive a notification that you can read the decision in Enter Finland.