A foreigner entrepreneur in Finland: Start-up grant application and troublesome process (2)

By | 2015/04/21

After searching on internet, I understood that there are 2 ways to apply for start-up grant.

One is to apply online and the other one is to visit the office.

I visited the local office of Ministry of Employment and the Economy in Jyväskylä (TE Office) 3 weeks ago, and I still didn’t receive any phone calls, even though they said they will call me.

Since the counter service person at the office only speaks Finnish, I hesitated to visit the office again.

I tried to think the other way to do it, which is to apply online.


At the beginning, it didn’t look difficult to do, but I soon found that I need “Internet banking ID” to verify my identification in the application. Internet banking ID is like your ID card or passport on internet in Finland.

So I need to ask the bank to issue internet banking service for me.

Usually, as long as you can show the bank your passport and certificate of registration in a university in Finland, you can open your bank account in Finland no matter how long you will stay. If you’ll stay in Finland for more than 1 year, you can also register yourself and your address into national population system at registration office (for entering Finnish national health insurance system??).

However, when I visited the bank for applying for internet banking service, they asked me to show Finnish ID card. They explained that there is a personal ID on the ID card and their internet banking service is issued according to the personal ID. Therefore, they can’t provide internet banking service without my Finnish ID card.


All right…then where can I get a Finnish ID card? I googled and internet said that you can get in by applying for it in at police station, so I went there on the other day with all documents ready, including passport, ID photo and 55 euros.

The service person told me that you need to register your address as “permanent address”, or you can’t apply for ID card.


That means I need to go to registration office again… All right…


So I go to the registration office.

Then the service person in registration office told me that your current resident permit will expire in 4 months, so you need a newly extended resident permit and a study certificate issued by your university to show that you’ll stay in Finland at least more than 1 year, or you can’t register for permanent address.

Are you serious!?

I was lucky that I had applied for residence permit extension 2 weeks ago and the application had been approved last week. So I went to take my new residence card from the police station (police station again!) and went to international student office in my university to ask for the study certificate for next year.

Well….that’s everything I can do so far. Why dose this kind of thing take such long time…? It had been several weeks after visiting the TE office for start-up grant.

Very inefficient…

As an entrepreneur, I know this kind of thing happens all the time, and since here is Finland, lack of ability to speak Finnish language is certainly a problem sometimes, which raises the difficulty of starting a new business.

Anyway, I need to push through all these and get them down one by one.

So the most efficient solution to go through all the process would be “get certificate of registration from university right after coming to Finland and enrolled in the university”, “register your address as permanent address at the registration office instead of temporary address”, and “apply for ID card at police station”. By doing these at the beginning, it would make it ready to apply for internet banking service and then apply for start-up grant.


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