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Finland Residence Permit

Finland Residence Permit
Business In Finland
Entrepreneurs who wish to own and operate a business in Finland can apply for a residence permit after entering the intended business in the Finnish Patent and Registration Office’s Trade Register. The entrepreneur must also work in the company. The Residence Permit is valid for five years, and can subsequently be renewed or extended. In a sense, it is the equivalent of a Finland Entrepreneur Visa.

An ‘entrepreneur’ can be defined as any of the following:

Private entrepreneurs with an individually owned business
Partners in a general partnership
General partners in a limited partnership (not silent partners)
Cooperative members with unlimited liability for re-financing
Shareholders occupying managerial positions in limited liability companies OR people working in other companies in managerial positions owning 30% or more share capital or at least 30% voting rights in company shares OR people occupying managerial positions in another kind of company with a similar authority
Finland Entrepreneur
Freelancers who work independently (typically for several contractors without a permanent employment relationship), and ‘light entrepreneurs’ i.e. self-employed people who undertake entrepreneurial activities, also need an Entrepreneur Residence Permit to work in Finland.
  • Residence permit offers the same social security benefits as citizenship
  • Apply for permanent residence after four years of living in Finland
  • Apply for citizenship by naturalization after continuously living in Finland for five years
  • Finland allows dual citizenship, so the immigrant need not give up their current nationality
  • Supportive start-up ecosystem , especially in Helsinki
  • High scope for business innovation, sophisticated research and development infrastructure
  • Entrepreneurs can also work as employees for other employers in Finland as a secondary source of income.
  • Those whose main purpose of stay in Finland is not entrepreneurship can also start a business in the country.


  • All applicants must have a Business ID (except private traders who apply for their residence permit before entering Finland)
  • Private traders with an individually-owned business must have their domicile registered in a country within the European Economic Area.
  • Self-employed persons must be engaged in an appropriate form of business.
  • The business operations must be profitable, as assessed by the ELY Centre.
  • The business must be registered in the Trade Register of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office.

In addition to this, candidates must also meet some general Finland Residence Permit requirements:

  • Have a passport that will remain valid throughout the validity period of the residence permit.
  • Not be prohibited from entering the country.
  • Not be a threat to public order, health, security or international relations.


Those who meet the eligibility requirements must collect their supporting documents in the prescribed format, and attach these to the filled out Finland residence permit application.

The application fee can be paid online via Enter Finland, at the Finnish Immigration Service point, or a Finnish embassy or consulate. Candidates can submit the application electronically at Enter Finland or submit a paper application by booking an appointment at the Finnish embassy or consulate in their current country of residence. They must also visit the embassy/consulate to prove their identity.

The application is processed at two stages. First, a partial decision is made by the ELY Centre. Then, the Finnish Immigration Services processes the application and announces the final decision online, or via post, or through the embassy/consulate. Following a positive decision, the candidate can travel to Finland start their business. Later, they may choose to apply for an extended permit or a Finland permanent residence permit.


To submit an application electronically, the entrepreneur/freelancer/self-employed person must pay €490 for the first permit, and €260 for extended permits.

To submit a paper application, the entrepreneur/freelancer/self-employed person must pay €640 for the first permit, and €260 for extended permits.


Both electronic and paper-based applications for the first permit are typically processed within four months. Applications for extended permits are also processed within four months.

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