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.
- If you are a freelancer or working through an invoicing service company (‘light entrepreneur’, kevytyrittäjä), read more on the page Work in Finland.
Expected processing time for electronic application
First permit 3-4 months / extended permit 2-3 months
Expected processing time for paper application
First permit 4-5 months / extended permit 2-3 months
Electronic application fee
First permit 490 € / extended permit 160 €
Paper application fee
First permit 690 € / extended permit 430 €
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.
You are required to have a Business ID
If you are a private trader, meaning that you have an individually-owned business (toiminimi), getting a Business ID requires that your domicile is registered in an EEA country.
As a private trader, you can apply for a residence permit for an entrepreneur without a Business ID only if you apply for a first residence permit before arriving in Finland. This is because you cannot establish an individually-owned business (toiminimi) abroad. Your residence permit application must include all basic details about your business and the documents needed for registering your business.
For more information on how to set up a company, see the following websites:
Right to work
- If you have been granted a residence permit for an entrepreneur, there are no limits on your right to work in Finland.
- However, you must earn your living primarily from your business, as a residence permit for an entrepreneur is issued for engaging in business activities.
- If you apply for an extended permit, check if you have the right to work while your application is being processed.