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Entrepreneurship requires professional expertise, training, knowledge of one’s own line of business and local business legislation and experience of customers and sales channels. Don’t forget that there are also risks involved in entrepreneurship. Adequate finance and careful planning are essential.

Starting your business in Tampere

The decision to start your own business is a huge one, but it is always a good idea to investigate all the possibilities. No matter which stage your idea has reached, do not give up on it. There can never be too many visions for new business enterprises. In entrepreneurship it is most important to be as well prepared as possible as regards knowledge and skill, since starting a business with insufficient expertise and language ability is extremely risky.

If you are thinking about setting up a Business in Tampere, click here Business Services

The Finnish Startup Permit by Business Finland

The permit is meant for innovative startup founders coming from countries outside the European Union, who want to establish a growth company in Finland. It is issued by the Finnish Immigration Service, but the founders must apply for an Eligibility Statement from Business Finland before submitting the residence permit application.

Business Finland assesses, whether the business model, team and resources shows potential for rapid international growth. After the assessment the applicant will receive an Eligibility Statement to be attached to the Startup Permit application.

“The process is very fast. After receiving all the necessary information from the applicant, we will make the assessment in approximately ten days”,

tells Executive Director Jukka Häyrynen from Business Finland. The Eligibility Statement is valid for 2 months. It does not involve any investments or financial support.

After founding a company in Finland the startup can benefit from the versatile services of the Finnish innovation ecosystem. The company can, for example, apply for Business Finland’s Tempo startup funding (click for link).

The criteria for Tempo 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, Business Finland expects a 30.000€ equity investment by third party or entrepreneurs.

Here are the most important things you need to know about the Startup Residence Permit. More information can be found from the Business Finland websites.

1) The permit is meant for startup founders coming from countries outside the European Union, who want to establish an innovative growth company in Finland.

2) Before submitting the residence permit application to the Finnish Immigration Service, the founders must ask for an Eligibility Statement from Business Finland. Business Finland evaluates whether the business model, team and resources show potential for rapid international growth. There are no set deadlines for submitting the request.

3) The favorable Eligibility Statement must be attached to the residence permit application. The expected processing time for a Finnish Startup Permit is about a month at the Finnish Immigration Service. The processing fee of an online application is 450 euros and 520 euros for a paper application. From 11 April, you can apply for the permit in the e-service.

To be eligible to apply for the Finnish Startup permit, you should have:

  • A team of not less than 2 founders with versatile expertise
    • an intention of founding a fast growth company in Finland
    • have an innovative business plan
    • committed to the business idea and eventually 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.
  • The value created in the new company accumulates in the Finnish economy

Business Finland’s evaluation criteria for the eligibility statement

  • 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.

Business Finland does 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.

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.

  1. Describe your business plan according the instructions given in the Template for the Elibility Statement Request (rtf)
  2. 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.

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.


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