Finnish Startup Permit
Build your startup in Finland
The Finnish Startup Permit makes it possible for international growth entrepreneurs to build a startup company in Finland and to become part of Finland's vibrant startup ecosystem. The permit is meant for innovative startup founders coming from countries outside the European Union.
Before sending your Startup Permit application to the Finnish Immigration Service, you must get a favorable assessment from Business Finland. Business Finland evaluates whether your business model, team and resources show potential for rapid international growth. After the assessment you will receive an Eligibility Statement to be attached to the Startup Permit application.
The permit can initially be issued for max. two years, after which it can be renewed. The permit does not involve investments or financial support.
Who can apply?
To be eligible to apply for the Finnish Startup Permit, you should have
- a startup team of not less than 2 founders with versatile expertise
- an intention of founding a fast growth company in Finland
- an innovative business plan
- commitment to the business idea and eventually building the company
- significant holding in the company (For example the team applying for the permit, has a holding of not less than 60% of the company.)
- access to sufficient resources and funding for the company's early stage development
- secure financial means for support
Business Finland's evaluation criteria for the Eligibility Statement
When we evaluate the business plan, the team and the resources, we would like to see that:
- the team understands what need the product or service idea meets.
- the team has identified a potential customer base and earnings model and has initial plans to grow its business internationally
- the team has estimated the size and business potential of the target market
- the team has versatile expertise
- the value created in the new company accumulates in the Finnish economy
We do not expect the startup team to have confirmed financing at the time of application, however, in the application process an adequate level of financial means has to be shown.
Establishing a Finnish subsidiary or a branch office of a foreign enterprise does not constitute a basis for Finnish Startup Permit application.
How to apply
STEP 1: Eligibility Statement from Business Finland
Before submitting the application to the Finnish Immigration Service, you must ask for an Eligibility Statement from Business Finland. There are no set deadlines for submitting the request.
- Describe your business plan according the instructions given in the Template for the Elibility Statement Request (rtf)
- Submit your Eligibility Statement Request and other necessary documents to Business Finland by using the secure e-mail service available at https://asiointi.tekes.fi/suojaposti/
STEP 2: Application to the Finnish Immigration Service
If you receive a positive Eligibility Statement from Business Finland, you can submit your application for the Finnish Startup Permit to Finnish Immigration Service. The Eligibility Statement is valid for 2 months. You need to submit the Eligibility Statement as an attachment to your residence permit application.
- More information about the applying the residence permit can be found at the Finnish Immigration Service's website.
STEP 3: Establish a company in Finland
After founding your company in Finland you can benefit from the versatile services of the Finnish startup ecosystem. You can, for example, apply for Business Finland's Tempo funding. The criteria for funding are close to the startup permit criteria, so the application process will be fast and smooth, if there hasn't been any major changes to the team, business plan or resources. To be eligible for Tempo funding, we expect a 30.000€ equity investment by third party or entrepreneurs.
- Read more about Business Finland's Tempo funding for startup companies