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. The granting of a residence permit requires that you have secure means of support in Finland.
In general, a self-employed person must register his or her business with the Trade Register at the Finnish Patent and Registration Office before a residence permit can be issued. The following are considered entrepreneurs for the purposes of this application:
- a self-employed person with a company name (toiminimi)
- a partner in a general partnership (avoin yhtiö)
- a partner in a limited partnership (kommandiittiyhtiö)
- a member of a cooperative (osuuskunta) who has unlimited liability for refinancing (the unlimited liability for refinancing must be entered 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 business in a managerial position if the shareholder of the limited liability company personally owns at least 30 per cent of the company’s share capital, or personally has at least 30 per cent of the number of votes produced by the company’s shares or, if in another business in a managerial position, has similar authority in the business concerned.
A residence permit is not issued merely on the basis of ownership; rather, the requirement for issuance is working in a business enterprise, and the work must be performed in Finland.
If you are a startup entrepreneur and you are applying for a Finnish Startup Permit for the first time, the condition for granting the residence permit is that you have a positive Eligibility Statement from Business Finland, which can be no more than two months old when you submit the application. You have to attach the statement to your application before you submit it. If you do not attach the statement, if the statement has expired or if the statement is not positive, a Finnish Startup Permit will not be granted. Please see the website of Business Finland for more information.
Check that you have all the necessary attachments and information before you begin. You must have at least:
- a valid passport
- clarifications concerning your business
- documents about your entrepreneurship (such as a limited company’s instrument of incorporation and up-to-date shareholders' register) with the help of which the authority can evaluate the nature and profitability of the entrepreneurship
- documents on income and funds which secure your means of support.
Complete the application and select your service point
Complete the application form and attach all the required documents. Select your service point. The service point is where you prove your identity within three months of submitting your application. If you are applying for a permit abroad, visit a Finnish embassy or consulate. If you are applying in Finland, visit a Migri service point. Please take into account that the service points can be very busy. If you are in Finland, you can book an appointment before submitting an application in Migri's appointments system. If you are abroad, contact the embassy or consulate directly.
Pay and submit your application
The processing of an application is subject to a fee. You can pay the processing fee with most credit cards, or use the online banking services provided by Finnish banks. You can also pay the processing fee at the embassy or at the Migri service point during your visit to prove your identity.
Visit the selected authority to identify yourself
When you have submitted your application via the e-service, you must visit the service point you selected in order to prove your identity, to present the original copies of the attachments required for your application and to have your fingerprints taken. Remember to take a passport photo with you. Passport photo guidelines can be found on the website of the Finnish Police.
Follow the processing of your application
The processing of an application takes on an average nine months, but the processing of an application of a startup entrepreneur only takes about one month. You can follow the processing of your application in the e-service.
The application is processed in two stages:
- The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment makes a partial decision on the application (except for startup entrepreneurs). It evaluates the profitability of the business and the sufficiency of income to cover living expenses. The profitability of the business is evaluated on the basis of documents such as the company’s business plan, binding preliminary agreements, and financing. The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment may ask further clarification from you if the documents accompanying your application are not sufficient.
- When the partial decision has been made, the Finnish Immigration Service will process the application and make a decision on it. In some cases, you may be interviewed before the final decision, in writing or orally.
The application for a Finnish Startup Permit is directly decided on by the Finnish Immigration Service.
If further information or documents are required for your application, we will send you a request through the e-service. You will receive a notification when a decision has been made and can be read online.