Business Services in Uusimaa


Finnish Immigration Service

The primary address for further information is the Finnish Immigration Service’s website on residence permits for entrepreneurs:

Uusimaa ELY Centre

You can contact the experts of the Uusimaa ELY Centre by email at [email protected]. Our telephone service can be reached on +358 295 020 980 (Tue–Thu 10.00–11.00).

Mailing address: Uudenmaan ELY-keskus, Opastinsilta 12 A, PL 36, 00521 Helsinki.

Short informational video on residence permit for entrepreneurs

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Immigration of entrepreneurs

Residence permits for entrepreneurs

If you come to Finland from outside the EU and want to work as an entrepreneur, you must apply for a residence permit issued by Finland. Non-EU and EEA citizens must submit an application for a residence permit either to a Finnish diplomatic mission before their arrival Finland or to a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service. 

The processing of the application involves two stages. Before the Finnish Immigration Service gives their final decision, the ELY Centre assesses the prerequisites for profitable business activities and the adequacy of the entrepreneur's income.


Who can apply?

The following persons are considered entrepreneurs and can apply for an entrepreneur’s residence permit.

  • sole traders
  • partners in a general partnership
  • shareholders that hold a management position in a limited company (managing director or board member) and own at least 30% of the company.  
  • general partners in a limited partnership (non-silent partner)
  • cooperative members which have an unlimited obligation to pay additional fees and a leading position (the unlimited obligation to pay additional fees must be entered in the Trade Register).

Please note: Light entrepreneurs who work through an invoicing service without having their own business ID are not considered entrepreneurs and thus cannot obtain an entrepreneur’s residence permit.

What does the ELY Centre assess?

We assess whether

  • the business activities take place in a company registered in Finland and the company has a business ID.
  • the company meets the criteria for engaging in profitable business; this includes assessment of business plans and calculations, binding agreements or preliminary agreements, financing and financial statements. We take into account details such as financial information describing the company’s profitability, solvency and liquidity. 
  • the company has sufficient resources for doing business; this includes factors such as the availability of sufficient funding, how the company’s premises are arranged, the professional skills and competence of the entrepreneurs and employees, and the required permits for conducting business.
  • the company has materially neglected its statutory obligations to pay taxes or other payments. If a tax debt or enforcement debt has been incurred, appropriate repayment agreements must be in place.
  • the income from foreigner’s business operations is sufficient to secure their livelihood. In the early stages of one’s business activities, this must be either income from gainful employment, initial funding available to the company or the applicant’s private funds (but not their other assets).

More information on applying for an entrepreneur’s residence permit (


1. Get ready 

  • Prepare your business plan and business calculations.
  • Select your company form.
  • Register your business activities by submitting a start-up notification. For more information, contact the Finnish Patent and Registration Office
  • Prepare the attachments for your application. Translate and legalise them if necessary. In addition to your business plan and calculations, you must be able to present the required attachments for your business operations. Such information includes contracts with customers, financing, financial statements and accounting information, rental agreements for commercial premises, degree certificates and certificates of employment. Please also note that if you have any tax debt or enforcement debt, the valid payment agreements for these must be in place.

2. Apply for a residence permit 

  • Apply for a residence permit in Enter Finland and add the attachments to your application. Carefully fill out the application. Pay for the application. For additional information on applying, paying and identifying yourself: Finnish Immigration Service

3. Follow the processing of your application 

  • If you receive a request for additional information, respond to this before the deadline. If necessary, request a time extension at [email protected]
  • The ELY Centre assesses your business activities and your means of supporting yourself.
  • The Finnish Immigration Service makes the final decision on your residence permit after the ELY Centre has completed its business assessment.
  • Details of the final decision are sent to you by e-mail, text message or letter and are also displayed in the online service.

4. Receive the decision. 

5. Once you have received an affirmative decision, get started with your business activities. 

6. Keep proper accounts for your company and familiarise yourself with the other obligations of an entrepreneur. The Checklist for Start-Up Entrepreneurs (

7. Apply for a permit extension before your current permit expires. 

Finnish Startup Permit

If you intend to work as a growth entrepreneur in Finland, please contact Business Finland. You will need an eligibility statement from Business Finland before applying for a residence permit.

For more information on applying for a Finnish startup permit, see: Residence permit application for start-up entrepreneurs ( and also: Business Finland ( 

EU citizen

If you intend to work as an entrepreneur in Finland and you are a citizen of an EU country, a Nordic country, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you do not need a residence permit in Finland. You must instead apply for EU registration. 

For more information on registering your right of residence, see: Finnish Immigration Service:Registration of an EU citizen's right of residence (




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ely-updated 13.03.2024