Residence permit application for an entrepreneur

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

You are an entrepreneur if you are

  • a private entrepreneur who has a so called individually-owned business (toiminimi)
  • a partner in a general partnership
  • a general partner in a limited partnership (not a silent partner)
  • a member of a cooperative who has an unlimited liability for refinancing. The unlimited obligation to contribute has to be registered in the trade register.
  • a shareholder in a managerial position in a limited-liability company (Managing Director or member of the Board of Directors) or a person working in another type of company in a managerial position if you personally own at least 30 per cent of the company’s share capital or personally have at least 30 per cent of the number of votes produced by the company’s shares, or if you are a person in a managerial position in another type of company with similar authority in the company concerned.

You cannot get a residence permit only because you own a company. You must also work in the company in Finland. The application will be processed in two stages. First, a Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) will make a partial decision. After this, the Finnish Immigration Service will process the application.

  • Expected processing time for electronic application

    First permit 5–9 months / extended permit 8–10 months

  • Expected processing time for paper application

    First permit 8–10 months / extended permit 12–16 months

  • Electronic application fee

    First permit 400 € / extended permit 190 €

  • Paper application fee

    First permit 600 € / extended permit 190 €


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. The processing time may be longer if you have not filled in your application sufficiently.


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.


Read what happens after you have applied. Check the estimated processing time of your application here.


You should wait for the residence permit in the same country or locality where you submitted your application and proved your identity.

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 an entrepreneur, you cannot do any other type 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 have been granted a residence permit on some other grounds than entrepreneurship, you can still start a business in Finland if the main purpose of your stay in the country is some other than entrepreneurship (such as your family ties or studies). In other words, the main purpose of your stay in Finland cannot be entrepreneurship.
  • 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 an entrepreneur, OLE_YRI

Fill in an electronic application