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Residence permit application for self-employment

Apply with this application for a residence permit if you intend to come to Finland to become a self-employed person. Before a permit can be issued, self-employed persons usually need to enter their business in the Trade Register maintained by the Finnish Patent and Registration Office.

You are considered a self-employed person if you are:

– a private trader who has a so called individually-owned business (toiminimi),

– a partner in an general partnership,

– a general partner in a limited partnership (not a silent partner) or

– a member of a cooperative who has an unlimited obligation to contribute. The unlimited obligation to contribute has to be registered in the trade register.

A self-employed person is not a person who works for the limited company he or she owns, not even when he or she owns the entire share capital. If you have a limited company (Ltd or plc) and own shares in the company and work at the company, you need a residence permit for an employed person (application OLE_TY1) in order to work at the company.

  • Expected processing time

    First permit 8 months / extended permit 4 months

  • Electronic application fee

    First permit 450 € / extended permit 200 €

  • Paper application fee

    First permit 520 € / extended permit 200 €

Self-employed person

This is what you should do


Make sure you meet the requirements for the residence permit you are applying for.


Make sure you have all the attachments needed. If necessary, have them translated and legalised.


Fill in your application.


Pay for your application in the e-service Enter Finland, at a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate) or at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service.


If you are abroad, visit a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate). If you are already in Finland, book an appointment at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service.


Wait for a decision. The Finnish Immigration Service will contact you if necessary.

General requirements for entry into Finland

Make sure you meet the general requirements for entry into Finland before you submit an application.


You must also meet the following requirements:

Right to work

  • If you have a residence permit for a self-employed person, you cannot do any other kind of work. However, you are allowed to work for someone else in the early stage of your entrepreneurship when your business does not yet give you sufficient means of support.
  • If you apply for an extended permit, check if you have the right to work while your application is being processed.

General attachments

  • Valid passport (you must present it when you submit the residence permit application)
  • Passport photo complying with the photo guidelines issued by the police or a photograph retrieval code you received from a photo shop, OLEL_PK
  • Colour copies of the passport page containing personal data and of all passport pages that contain notes
  • Document showing that you are legally staying in the country where you submit the application
  • Form MP_1 (if you already are in Finland and apply for your first residence permit)

Application-specific attachments

  • Trade register extract or explanation why the company has not been entered in the Trade Register
  • Description of the business idea of the company
  • Document concerning business premises
  • Report on the number of employees
  • Certificates on professional qualifications
  • Document concerning assets and other income
  • If the company is already in business:
    • The latest financial statements, if the company has been in business so long that it has financial statements
    • The latest updated accounts
  • If the company is not yet in business:
    • Calculation of profitability (estimate of the company’s revenue and costs for the next two years)
    • Copies of agreements signed with customers and partners, if such exist

Residence permit application for self-employment, OLE_EHA

Fill in an electronic application