I’m about to start a business. Where can I get help and advice for drawing up a business plan and for setting up an enterprise?
You can make an appointment with an enterprise consultant at the nearest Enterprise Agency (http://www.uusyrityskeskus.fi/) or at some other regional enterprise service. Advice is also available from Enterprise Finland (telephone service: 0295 020 500; website: http://www.yrityssuomi.fi/).
Where can I apply for a start-up grant?
The application for a start-up grant is filed with the nearest Employment and Economic Development Office (additional information: http://www.mol.fi/). The start-up grant is applied for to secure the entrepreneur’s own livelihood. You can find out about the local start-up grant practice at the nearest Employment and Economic Development Office. The application for a start-up grant must be filed before the enterprise is established and operating.
I’ve consulted an Enterprise Agency and I’d like to apply for a start-up grant and for a loan from Finnvera. Which should I apply for first?
Enterprise Agencies give opinions to both Employment and Economic Development Offices and Finnvera. This speeds up the processing of your application. The application for a loan from Finnvera should be submitted first (in the name of the enterprise to be established) so that the Employment and Economic Development Office can also be informed of the loan decision.
How do I apply for financing from Finnvera?
You can submit an application for financing through Finnvera’s Online Services, which you can access on the website www.finnvera.fi, under “Online Service”. If the financing decision is positive, Finnvera will send you an offer that is valid for three months.
Should I make a personal appointment to talk about financing?
We recommend that you first submit your application, after which our expert will contact you. If you wish to discuss financing alternatives before filling in an application, you can contact Finnvera’s Telephone Service at 029 460 2582.
Which application form should I fill in?
When you log in to Finnvera’s Online Services (on the website www.finnvera.fi, under “Online Service”), select “Apply for finance” and answer the preselection questions. On the basis of your answers, the application form is modified to suit your needs.
I have applied for a bank loan for my business, but I don’t have enough collateral. Can I get a guarantee from Finnvera?
Finnvera’s Micro-guarantee may be suitable as security for your enterprise’s credit if your guarantee need is under 85,000 euros and at most 60 per cent of the bank loan. In that case, your enterprise submits a loan application to your own bank, and the bank applies for a Micro-guarantee from Finnvera on behalf of the enterprise. If the need for a guarantee is greater than the above sum, some other Finnvera guarantee may come into question. In that case, your enterprise should submit the guarantee application directly to Finnvera.
Does my enterprise need to be established before I can apply for financing from Finnvera?
The enterprise need not be registered when the application for financing is submitted. You can file the application in the name of an enterprise to be established. However, a loan is not disbursed until the enterprise has been established (the Business ID has been issued). We also recommend that you enter your business into the prepayment register maintained by the tax office.
How long does it take to process the application?
You’ll be contacted by Finnvera within roughly a week after your application has arrived. Decisions on Microloans and Loans for Women Entrepreneurs are made in about two weeks, whenever possible. In the event of more extensive financing needs, we try to make the decisions within the time required by the client’s project.
How do I know if my application has arrived?
You can inquire about your application at Finnvera’s Telephone Service: 029 460 2582.
What interest rate does Finnvera charge?
As its reference interest, Finnvera uses the six-month Euribor. The margin added to the reference interest varies. In some types of financing, the margin is fixed: the interest rate for Microloans is EB6 + 1.75%, for Loans for Women Entrepreneurs EB6 + 1.25% and for Entrepreneur Loans EB6 + 1.75%. As to Micro-guarantees, Finnvera’s commission is 1.75% of the guarantee sum.
The interest rate on other financing products is specified in the financing offer; it depends on such factors as the risk category of the project and the enterprise. Finnvera does not compete with banks in the provision of financing. If the project is located in an area eligible for EU assistance, the support granted by the ERDF may reduce the interest on financing.
What is the maximum amount of a loan?
When applying for financing, the applicant gives an estimate of the financing need. Before making the financing decision, Finnvera conducts a business analysis in order to evaluate the enterprise’s business, competitiveness and ability to meet its financial obligations. The decision as to financing the project and how much loan can be granted is based on the business analysis.
In general, Finnvera’s share of the total need for financing is about 50 per cent. In small projects, we can exceptionally be the only outside financier and our share of total financing can be higher. In personal Entrepreneur Loans, Finnvera’s share can be at most 80 per cent of the investment.
Adequate proportion of internal financing (20 - 30 %) makes it easier to get outside financing and therefore further helps realising the project.
Does Finnvera grant loans without security?
Finnvera’s financing is based on the company’s potential to succeed, not on security. The need for security is examined separately in each project. Finnvera expects that the principal shareholders of a limited company provide a personal guarantee up to a certain sum. Sole traders, partners in a general partnership and ordinary partners in a limited partnership are always personally responsible for the loans taken by their business. In addition, mortgages on company assets and real estate mortgages are often used as security.
Can I get financing if I have a bad credit record?
A bad credit record is not necessarily an obstacle for getting financing. When processing financing applications, Finnvera always checks the credit records of the enterprise and its proprietors. The reasons for any payment defaults are investigated in more detail in the business analysis. Payment defaults are naturally viewed with a critical eye and they may contribute to the rejection of the application.
Can I get financing if I am a part-time entrepreneur?
Finnvera’s Microloans, Loans for Women Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneur Loans can only be granted to full-time entrepreneurs. However, Finnvera has other financing products for enterprises owned by part-time entrepreneurs.
Can I repay Finnvera’s loan prematurely?
The conditions for premature repayment are specified in the debt instrument. The principle is that premature payment is possible on the interest rate adjustment date if written notice of the termination of the loan has been given at least two weeks in advance. We recommend that you contact Finnvera in good time to ensure the correct procedure.