Finland’s Start-up Permit for International Growth Entrepreneurs and Innovative Start-up Founders from countries outside the European Union.

See link: https://www.businessfinland.fi/en/startuppermit

In January 2018 Finland introduced the Start-up Permitfor international growth entrepreneurs and innovative start-up founders coming from countries outside the European Union. The permit helps them build a start-up company in Finland and to become part of the start-up ecosystem. Before sending the Start-up Permit application to the Finnish Immigration Service, the applicant must get a favorable assessment from Business Finland that the your business model, team and resources show potential for rapid international growth. Then Business Finland will issue an Eligibility Statement which has to be attached to the Start-up Permit application. The permit can initially be issued for max. two years, after which it can be renewed. The permit does not involve investments or financial support.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR FINNISH STARTUP PERMIT:

YOU SHOULD HAVE
• a start-up team of not less than 2 founders with versatile expertise.
• an intention of founding a fast growth company in Finland.
• an innovative business plan.
• commitment to the business idea and eventually building 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.
• secure financial means for support .

BUSINESS FINLAND'S EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR THE ELIGIBILITY STATEMENT.

Would like to see that:
• 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 do not expect the start-up 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 Start-up 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 Eligibility 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 Start-up 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.

• More information about the applying the residence permit can be found at the Finnish Immigration Service's website.

STEP 3: ESTABLISH A COMPANY IN FINLAND.

• More information about the applying the residence permit can be found at the Finnish Immigration Service's website.

After founding your company in Finland you can benefit from the versatile services of the Finnish start-up ecosystem. You can, for example, apply for Business Finland's Tempo funding. The criteria for funding are close to the start-up 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.

• Read more about Business Finland's Tempo funding for start-up companies.