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Finnish Startup Permit

Are you an international growth entrepreneur from outside the EU looking to build a startup in Finland? You might qualify for the Finnish Startup Permit. But first, our team at Business Finland will need to evaluate whether your business model, team, and resources show potential for rapid international growth. If it does, you will receive a positive Eligibility Statement, attached to your Startup Permit application.

The Startup Permit is usually issued for a maximum of two years and can be renewed. It does not include investments or financial support.

Apply in four steps

Submit your Eligibility Statement application to Business Finland
Step 1

Submit your Eligibility Statement application to Business Finland

Business Finland will evaluate whether your business plan and the team meet the criteria for fast growth startup business. This must be submitted on behalf of a team, with one team member designated as the main point of contact. Submit your Eligibility Statement through the Enter Finland Platform and attach passport copies and CVs of all team members.

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Complete your residence permit application to the Finnish immigration service
Step 2

Complete your residence permit application to the Finnish immigration service

If you have received a positive Eligibility Statement from Business Finland, you can now apply for a residence permit from the Finnish Immigration Service. Each team member will need to submit their application individually through the Enter Finland Platform. The main point of contact will be responsible for sharing the statement with all team members.

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Establish a company in Finland
Step 3

Establish a company in Finland

Once you have established your company in Finland, you can benefit from a wide range of services and resources. For example, you can apply for Business Finland’s Tempo Funding, provided there is a €30,000 equity investment by a third party or entrepreneurs.

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Renew your startup permit
Step 4

Renew your startup permit

If you decide to continue living in Finland after your residence permit expires, you will need to apply for an extension. You can apply for your Extended Startup Permit directly at the Finnish Immigration Service. You do not need to apply for a new eligibility statement from Business Finland. If the Finnish Immigration Service requires a renewed Eligibility Statement, they will contact Business Finland.

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Who can apply? 

To be eligible to apply for the Startup Permit, you need

Team

Startup team with at least two founders with versatile expertise and who are planning to move to Finland.

Resources

Access to sufficient resources and funding for the company's early-stage development as well as secure financial means for personal support.

Business plan

Innovative business plan and commitment to the business idea.

Significant holding

At least 60% holding in the company.

Intention

An intention to establish a fast-growth company in Finland.

Working full-time

Working full-time at the company

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Who can apply? 

Are you a First-time entrepreneur?

If you have not been an entrepreneur before, we recommend taking this free online Starting Up course. This will increase your chances of acceptance by guiding you through the principles for business idea validation and plans.

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Evaluation criteria for the Eligibility Statement

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Evaluation criteria for the Eligibility Statement

Evaluation criteria

Business idea

You have a clear understanding of how your product or service idea serves a need. You also have a business idea with a competitive advantage.

Identified customer and market

You have identified a potential customer base, earnings model, and business model that can scale internationally. You have estimated size and business potential of the target market.

Expertise & vision

You have a team with versatile expertise as well vision how to grow the company to reach at least tens of millions of revenue in global markets.

Societal level impact

Your products or services creates value that will accumulate in the Finnish economy, i.e. through salaries and export revenues.

Based in Finland

Company headquarters based in Finland.

Don't meet the criteria for the Startup Permit?

If you do not currently meet the criteria for the Startup Permit, please explore the residence permit for entrepreneurs, which has different requirements. This will apply to: 

  • A Finnish subsidiary or a branch office of a foreign enterprise
  • A company aimed solely at Finnish markets
  • A business without an innovative competitive advantage, such as restaurants, consultancies, import and distribution businesses, and other service businesses.

 

Questions about Eligibility Statement?

If you have questions concerning the Eligibility Statement Request, please send us an email at startuppermit (at) businessfinland.fi