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Permits and licences

Check out information about residence permits for an entrepreneur etc. here:


Foreigners moving from outside the EU / EEA (European Economic Area) Member States always need a residence permit in order to engage in trade (or work) in Finland. EU / EEA citizens should register their stay in Finland with authorities in case their stay exceeds three months. A citizen of EU Member state who intends to stay in Finland for more than three months (for work or trade purposes) should register their stay at the local police station, after which they also need to register at the Local Register Office. Citizens of Sweden, Denmark, Norway or Iceland shall register at the Local Register Office if their stay exceeds six months. More information:

Read more about residence permits for foreigners from the pages of Finnish Immigration service.

If the permanent place of residence or is outside the EEA, a permit of the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland may be needed for establishing a business or for holding a managerial position in a business. Read more about Permits for person from outside the EEA from Patent and register offices pages.


To do business in certain industries in Finland you need a licence / permit to do business according to Finnish legislation.  Local authorities, regional administration office as well as governmental departments, local environmental -protection authorities and licensing authorities grant licences based on your field of business. 

Before operations are commenced, it is always important to check whether a special licence or declaration is needed for the business and what else is required from a trader in this field.

For example following fields of operation might require licenses or permits:

  •  Vehicles, transport and traffic
  • Alcohol and tobacco
  • Food
  • Animals
  • Beauty and hair care field
  • Plants, fertilisers and feeds
  • Chemicals
  • Real estate, construction and contracting
  • Extractable soil resources and soil
  • Tourism, restaurants and leisure time
  • Money and assets
  • Social welfare and health services
  • Security
  • Communications

For a more accurate and up-to-date list of fields of operation that require a licence click in Enterprise Finland’s pages. From Enterprise Finland’s pages You can also find up-to-date information about following issues:

  • What licences and notifications are required in different industries?
  • To which licencing authorities should the application be sent?
  • Are licences subject to fees, deadlines or time limits?
  • How can I contact the authorities electronically?
  • Which acts and regulations are applied to my industry?
  • Where can I get further advice and information?