Finland joins the club of startup visa countries opening doors to entrepreneurs and startup teams from outside the European Union. The latter now have an opportunity to move and work in the country for at least 2 years and enjoy the number of benefits, opportunities and funding options available for innovative early-stage companies.

According to Business Finland, the new Startup Permit will allow entrepreneurs to build a startup company in Finland and to become part of Finland’s growing startup ecosystem.

Before sending the application to the Finnish Immigration Service, foreign entrepreneurs should first get affirmative from Business Finland with regards to business model, team, and resources showing potential for rapid international growth. The Startup Permit application will be submitted along with Eligibility Statement provided by Business Finland upon assessment.

In the application, the entrepreneurs will have to present a business plan where they identify a potential customer base and earnings model and give an estimate of the business potential in the target market.

Aside from the business plan and financials, Business Finland will look at the teams and qualifications of founders. The teams of not less than 2 founders must be able to show an intention of founding a company in Finland and commitment to grow its business internationally. Plus, the team should be able to demonstrate a significant holding in the company, for example, the team applying for the permit owns not less than 60% of the company.

The startup permit is initially granted for maximum two years, after which it can be renewed for a longer term. The permit does not involve investments or financial support, however, the applicants will have to demonstrate an adequate level of financial means for support.

To learn more about the process, visit Business Finland Startup Visa page.

Finland is not the only country in the region offering a startup visa to foreigners. Estonia and Denmark also provide an opportunity for relocation with a purpose of launching and developing innovative business with global growth potential. Outside of the Nordics, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, and Italy are also open to startup entrepreneurs granting startup visas for at least 2 years of legal residence in the county.

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