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Finnish Startup Permit: frequently asked questions

Which languages are accepted in the application?

The application and all attachments need to be in English, Finnish or Swedish. Materials in other languages are not considered in the evaluation.

In Finland, English is a common language to do business with. However, without adequate English proficiency level it is not possible run a startup aiming for internationally scalable business, so the team is required to have sufficient written and spoken English skills.

I have been contacted by a consultant / seen a marketing campaign about getting a residence permit in Finland.

Should I use a consultant / external help to create the business plan / form a team / submit an application?

You’re allowed to use external advisors in the application process, however it is not needed or anyhow required. The application in Enter Finland should be filled in by the applying team. 

Business Finland has not partnered with any consultant, so they are not allowed to use Business Finland´'s logo neither can they give any promises that Business Finland will grant a positive eligibility statement to the applicants. Please be careful when choosing with whom you partner with. Do also your own research and read the Business Finland webpage carefully. In the case of conflicting information from the external partners, please reach out to Business Finland (startuppermit (at) businessfinland.fi). When completing the application, please ensure that the listed team members are genuine co-founders of the company and not external individuals paid for co-founder services. 

There are also free-of-charge services offered by Finnish cities that you can utilize to learn more about the startup permit, the application, the relocation process and about residence permits.

How long do we have to wait to get the eligibility statement from Business Finland for our startup team?

The average processing time is about one month. Please note that there are peak and holiday times when Business Finland receives higher number of applications, which may cause longer processing time of new eligibility statement applications. 

Can my family move to Finland with me?

For the residence permit, spouse and children (under the age of 18) are considered as family members and they can apply for a residence permit based on family ties together with the startup entrepreneur. Especially when moving with family, please keep in mind the income requirements. Parents of the entrepreneur or other relatives are not considered as family members in residence permit regards.

Is there a quota on how many Startup Permits can be issued in a year?

There is no quota.

The Eligibility Statement is referring to the Finnish Aliens Act (301/2004) 80 and 80a §. What’s written in it?

A residence permit for high-growth startup entrepreneurs was added to the law (Finnish Aliens Act) in 2018  and modified 2023. The text can be found from Finlex in Finnish and in English. It is legally binding only in Finnish and Swedish.

From the English document, search for Section 80 (on page 71).

What should I do after receiving Startup Permit?

After you have received the Startup Permit you can move to Finland and establish a company. Cities and regions have free-of-charge services to help in the relocation process as well as during the path to become an entrepreneur in Finland.

Business Finland’s role is not to offer support for incorporation or initial steps of startups, however later on once the startup is up and running, you have the right to apply for Business Finland services.

Please read more how different cities can support you:

My residence permit is going to expire. How can I apply for an extension for the Startup Permit?

Please visit the Finnish Immigration Service website. Link to the application is at the bottom of the page: ‘Extended permit for an entrepreneur, OLE_YRI’.

You do not need to apply for a new eligibility statement from Business Finland for the extended residence permit application. Finnish Immigration Service will request a statement directly from Business Finland if needed. In case further information is required, you will be contacted.