Questions and answers


Questions and answers

Where can you apply for a startup grant? What is the difference between financing from a bank and from Finnvera? How does Finnvera assess my enterprise? Which application should I fill in? Has my application been received? You’ll find answers to these and many other questions on these pages.

Apply for financing

  • Can I apply for financing from Finnvera even if I am not a Finnish citizen?

    Finnvera may also grant funding for companies operating in Finland that are owned by foreign citizens. In such cases, you must give your date of birth instead of your personal identity code when submitting a financing application.

    The permits required for business operations vary by country. Before providing the financing, Finnvera checks the validity of the residence permit of an entrepreneur coming from outside the EU or the EEA.

    For more information about the permits, visit the websites of the Finnish Immigration Service and the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs:

  • I am seeking a loan from a bank for my company. However, I do not have the collateral required by the bank. Can I get guarantees from Finnvera?

    A partial guarantee provided by Finnvera may help you to arrange financing from a bank.

    Start Guarantee is intended for starting SMEs that were entered into the Trade Register not longer than three years ago and are owned by natural persons. Finnvera’s guarantee coverage can be at most 80%. However, the total sum of Start Guarantees granted to one enterprise may not exceed 80,000 euros.

    SME Guarantee is intended for enterprises that are oriented towards growth, meet the criteria of the SME definition applied by the EU and were registered in the Trade Register more than three years ago. Finnvera’s guarantee coverage for SME Guarantees is always 80%. The total sum of SME Guarantees granted to one enterprise may not exceed EUR 120,000.

    The bank applies for the Start Guarantee or the SME Guarantee on your behalf. You don’t need to contact Finnvera yourself.

    If Start Guarantee or SME Guarantee are not applicable for you financing need, other guarantees by Finnvera can be applied for easily and securely through our Online Service.

  • Should I seek financing from a bank or from Finnvera? Are there differences between financing provided by Finnvera and financing provided by a bank?

    It's often most convenient to apply for financing from a bank. However, if you are seeking a loan from a bank but do not have the collateral required by the bank, a partial guarantee provided by Finnvera may be the solution.

    Start Guarantee and SME Guarantee are guarantees that your bank submits the application for on your behalf. You or your company don’t need to be in direct contact with Finnvera.

    If Start Guarantee or SME Guarantee are not applicable for you financing need, other guarantees by Finnvera can be applied for easily and securely through our Online Service.

    We can be the enterprise’s sole financier only when Finnvera’s financing for the enterprise does not exceed 50,000 euros. In such cases, you can apply for financing directly from Finnvera.

    The greatest difference in financing between Finnvera and banks involves practices regarding collateral. Banks base their lending largely on collateral whereas Finnvera’s financing decisions are based on assessing the enterprise’s potential for success. If the enterprise is deemed to have sufficient potential for success, Finnvera can take greater collateral risks than banks.

    However, Finnvera does not compete with banks as a provider of financing. Instead, our role is to supplement the market for enterprise financing. In addition, Finnvera’s role as a provider of financing for enterprises is always temporary. Our long-term goal is that enterprises get the financing they need from the open market.

  • Should I make an appointment for discussing financing arrangements?

    You should first send the financing application. Our expert will call you within a week after the application has arrived in Finnvera. If you would like to discuss financing alternatives before submitting your application, contact our telephone service at +358 29 460 2582.

  • How does Finnvera assess my company when making its financing decision?

    Before making the financing decision, we examine your company's chances of success on the markets. We assess your company's targets, development plans, your training and experience, market situation in the sector and competition in your region. We also assess the adequacy of the overall financing that you need in your business. We expect that your company is able to operate on a profitable basis.

  • How long does it take to process the financing application?

    We will call you within a week after we have received your application. In financing needs of up to 50,000 euros, we aim to make the decisions in about two weeks, while decisions concerning larger sums will be made within the time limits required by the customers' projects.

  • What is the maximum share of the financing provided by Finnvera?

    Finnvera's co-financing rate is case-specific. Typically Finnvera's contribution (financing provided as a loan or a guarantee) will be 50% of all external financing (Finnvera + bank). When a Start Guarantee is used, Finnvera’s guarantee coverage can be at most 80%. However, the total sum of Start Guarantees granted to one enterprise may not exceed EUR 80,000. When an SME Guarantee is used, Finnvera’s guarantee coverage will always be 80%. However, the total sum of SME Guarantees granted to one enterprise may not exceed EUR 120,000.

    You can discuss the preconditions for financing your project in greater detail with the finance manager who processes your application at Finnvera. For a preliminary idea of your financing possibilities, you may also call Finnvera’s telephone service at +358 29 460 2582.

  • How much self-financing is required?

    When the application concerns Finnvera’s Start Guarantee or an SME Guarantee we do not require any self-financing. In other situations, the self-financing required depends on the content of the Project.

    In investments, we typically require a self-financing portion of 10‒20 per cent, while in company acquisitions and changes of generation the requirement is 20 per cent.

  • Which application form should I complete?

    When you log in to Finnvera's online service, select 'Apply for finance' and answer the questions on the page. The application form will be modified in accordance with your needs as you answer the questions.

    On the application, you should state how much financing your company needs and how it is planning to use it. When processing your financing application, our expert will select the product best suited to your needs.

  • What are the interest rates charged by Finnvera?

    The price of financing is determined separately for each client. The price depends on such factors as the company’s profitability and financial standing, operational risks and collateral. The interest rate is determined in our financing offer.

    As the reference rate for its financing, Finnvera uses the six-month Euribor rate.

    The interest rate for an Entrepreneur Loan is always the six-month Euribor + a margin of 3.25 per cent.

  • When would I need an Entrepreneur Loan?

    Entrepreneur Loan is a personal loan granted to the founder or shareholder of an SME or the person continuing its business. The loan is intended for paying or increasing the share capital (and/or invested unrestricted equity) of a limited liability company or for buying its shares. Entrepreneur Loan is often used as one part of a bigger financing package for company's projects or for financing the entry of a new shareholder.

    Entrepreneur Loan can't usually be the only means of financing when starting up a company. It can be used as self financing if it's a part of a larger financing package for investment, company acquisition or start -up situations.

    The entrepreneur owners of a start-up company, which is in the product development stage, may also apply for an Entrepreneur Loan so that they can make a personal investment in their company's equity.

    The applicants must provide at least 20 per cent of the sum as self-financing. After the investment or share transaction, the applicant is usually expected to possess at least 20 per cent of the company's shares and votes.

    A person granted an Entrepreneur Loan must repay the loan from his/her own earnings and dividend income.

  • How do I know that Finnvera has received my application?

    After you have submitted your application in the online service, you will receive an e-mail confirmation about its reception.

    When the financing decision is made, you will also receive an e-mail notification. After this, the persons in charge of the enterprise (CEO/Managing Director, member of the Board of Directors, partner or private trader) may view the decision in the online service and, if the financing decision is positive, accept or reject it.

    The financing decision concerning an application submitted by an unregistered enterprise, a co-operative, a foundation or an association will be sent by mail.

  • Are there any sectors for which Finnvera cannot provide financing?

    Finnvera can provide financing for most sectors, except for farming, forestry and building developer's business. Furthermore, Finnvera does not, as a rule, provide financing for real estate investments, construction or renovation of rental housing, car purchases or companies operating in the financing, investment or insurance sector.

    Because of the EU regulations on road haulage, Finnvera does not, as a rule, provide financing for road haulage vehicles.

    For more information, call Finnvera's telephone service at +358 29 460 2582.

  • Is there a lower limit to a loan?

    The minimum amount for Finnvera’s guaranteew is 10,000 euros and the minimum amount for Finnvera’s loan financing is 30,000 euros (50,000 euros starting 2 Jan 2020). Entrepreneur Loan and Bridge Financing are exceptions to this rule and the minimum amount for them is 10,000 euros. (The minimum amount for Bridge Financing is also 50,000 euros starting 2 Jan 2020.)

  • What is the maximum amount of a loan?

    You should give an estimate of your financing needs in the financing application. When making the financing decision, Finnvera will assess your company's business operations, competitiveness and ability to manage its financial obligations. On the basis of the assessment, Finnvera will decide whether and how much financing will be granted.

  • Do I first need to establish my company before I can seek financing from Finnvera?

    Your company does not need to be operational when you submit your financing application. You can send the application in the name of the company you are planning to set up. However, financing documents can only be created and the financing can come into effect when your company has been entered into the trade register.

  • Does Finnvera grant loans without collateral?

    Although our financing decisions are based on the assessment of the enterprise’s potential for successful business, collateral also plays a role. The need for collateral is examined separately for each Project.

    The principal shareholders of a limited liability company are primarily required to invest in the company’s equity or, if this is not possible, to provide personal guarantees. In microfinancing (loans up to EUR 50,000), investments or personal guarantees account for a total of 25% of the limited company’s liability. However, the guarantee given by a single shareholder is at least 3,000 and at most 20,000 euros. Sole traders, the partners of a general partnership and the active partners of a limited partnership are always personally responsible for the loans taken by their enterprises.

    Apart from absolute guarantees, business mortgages or real property mortgages are often used as collateral in projects requiring more substantial financing. However, Finnvera does not use the entrepreneur’s own home as collateral for financing.

  • Can I get financing if I have a bad credit record?

    When processing financing applications, we always check the credit record of the applicant company and its owners. Payment defaults are a serious matter and may lead to the rejection of the application.

  • Can I get financing if I am a part-time entrepreneur?

    Finnvera can also provide financing for part-time entrepreneurs. As with all other companies, we assess your prospects expecting that you are able to manage your business on a profitable basis.

  • Is it possible for taxi entrepreneurs to get financing from Finnvera?

    In the current market conditions we don't offer financing for companies' vehicle acquisitions. This is due to viable financing options available from market-based financing companies. Other financing needs that taxi entrepreneurs might face tend to be so small in size that our financing can not be used. The minimum amount for Finnvera’s guarantee products is 10,000 euros. The minimum amount for Finnvera’s loan financing is 50,000 euros. The best course of action for most taxi entrepreneurs is to be in contact with one's own bank.

Starting a Business

Finnvera financing in different situations

  • I have a start-up company, which is now in the project development stage. Can I apply for financing from Finnvera?

    Start-up companies in project development stage should primarily cover their financing needs through their own investments, venture capital investments and Business Finland funding.

    As an entrepreneur owner of a start-up company, you can apply for a personal Entrepreneur Loan from Finnvera, which you can invest in your company's shares or in the reserve for invested unrestricted equity.

    For more details, go to Finnvera's website and click Entrepreneur Loan .

    You can apply for private venture capital investments through FiBAN (Finnish Business Angels Network). (

    Business Finland is the public sector partner during the product development stage, providing funding for growth, internationalisation and the development of innovations aimed at new business. (

    Finnvera can only start providing loans and guarantees when your company has started its business operations. We will assess your company's ability to service its loans on the basis of turnover and the performance plan. Without turnover or orders, it is impossible to make any such assessment.

    Exceptions to the above are Finnvera’s Start Guarantee for a loan granted by a bank and Finnvera’s bridge financing, which is used to meet a company’s need for working capital during the period between a positive grant decision made by Business Finland or a Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) and the actual payment of the grant.

    For more information, click Bridge financing and Start Guarantee.

  • I have already had a discussion with an enterprise consultant at an Enterprise Agency and would now like to apply for a start-up grant and a Finnvera loan. Which of the applications should I submit first?

    The order in which you make the applications does not matter. The TE Office can make a conditional decision on the start-up grant so that the decision takes effect if you can arrange financing for your business.

  • I am planning to acquire a company. What is the difference between a business acquisition and an acquisition of shares?

    In a business acquisition, the buyer sets up a new company that acquires the other company's business or parts of it (machinery and equipment, premises, personnel, trade name, etc.).

    The company's financial and legal liabilities are not transferred to the new owner.

    In an acquisition of shares, the buyer purchases the shares or the majority of shares in a company. The acquired company will usually continue to operate under its old name and business identity code. The financial and legal liabilities of the acquired company will remain unchanged.

    The acquisition method should always be on a case-by-case basis and experts should always be consulted during the planning stage. Advice is available at Enterprise Agencies, regional business companies, entrepreneurs' associations, accounting agencies and brokers specialising in company acquisitions.

    For more information about company acquisitions and guidebooks on the subject, go the website.

    For advice on Finnvera financing in connection with company acquisitions contact our telephone service, at +358 29 460 2582. Please note that we cannot provide advice on other aspects of company acquisitions.

    More information on the financing of company acquisitions is available on Finnvera's website at: Growth > Transfer of ownership

  • My company has received financing from Finnvera. What should I do if my company runs into payment problems?

    If you are unable to pay an invoice on the due date, please let us know as early as possible. Contact us before the invoice is due through online services: ( > Online Service -> Apply for changes to an existing loan) or send a message ( > Online Service -> Messages). We’ll contact you to discuss the options.

    On 1 October 2019 Finnvera has started using Intrum's services according to the contract between Finnvera plc and Intrum Oy concerning collection of Finnvera's domestic receivables.

    Please check the contact information to the unit handeling your case from your latest invoice. This unit might have changed since the due date.

    If the payment is not on our account on the due date, we will charge post-maturity interest for the outstanding sum. A fee is also collected for sending payment reminders. If there is no reaction to the payment reminders or the demand for payment, we will cancel all financing granted to the client. Debt collection will then proceed through a court judgement to distraint. The debt collection process will cause extra expenses to the client and will lead to a payment default entry in the credit information register.

    If your company suffers from frequent payment delays and its financial situation looks worrying, we recommend that you contact the free Talousapu advisory service at 029 502 4880. At Talousapu you can discuss your company's financial situations and possible solutions to it with expert consultants in a confidential manner. It is better to contact Talousapu too early than too late so that your company's problems haven't become too dire.

    Further information: Financial and debt counselling for companies and entrepreneurs

    More information for companies facing financial problems is available at There you can find information on such matters as corporate reorganisation, payment defaults, insolvency and controlled shutdown of the operations.

  • My company has received financing from Finnvera. Can I repay a Finnvera loan early?

    You can repay a Finnvera loan early according to the terms in the promissory note. Remember to contact Finnvera's customer service well in advance.

My company has received financing from Finnvera. What should I do if...

  • ... I decide to close down my business?

    You should contact Finnvera's customer service so that we can make an agreement on the repayment of your company's outstanding debts. Usually we prepare a personal payment plan for the company's owners/guarantors.


    Online Service: Online Service (>Messages)
    Email: maksuohjelmat (at)
    Telephone: 029 460 2791

    After you have closed down your business, you may be in a situation where your personal income does not cover your debts and liabilities. Voluntary arrangements in which you conclude new payment agreements with your creditors or repay your debts with a new loan may be one solution to the problem. Restructuring loans for paying back old debts are granted by banks. You can apply for guarantees for such loans from the Guarantee Foundation. The foundation does not provide guarantees for loans taken to repay Finnvera's loans. However, the guarantees provided by the foundation may be used for making other arrangements concerning Finnvera's loans. Sometimes creditors may also forgive debts as part of voluntary arrangements. Further information:

    An entrepreneur who has closed down his/her business may seek debt adjustment. Adjustment of private persons' debts is a statutory procedure in which a private individual with excessive debts makes debt payments for a few years (depending on his/her ability pay) after which no further payments need to be made. Advice for debt adjustment is available at municipal financial and debt counselling, law firms and other private service providers.

  • ...there are changes to company ownership?

    You should always notify Finnvera's customer service beforehand of the following changes in your company: replacement or removal of persons in top positions, parties providing security (guarantor or pledger) or general partners.


    Online Service: Online Service (>Messages)
    Email: maksuohjelmat (at)
    Telephone: 029 460 2790

  • ...the addresses or names of my company or its owners change?

    You should always notify Finnvera's customer service of the changes beforehand. Finnvera does not receive automatic address or name updates on the basis of notifications of move or from other address registers.


    Online Service: Online Service (>Messages)
    Contact form: Send a message
    Email: puhelinpalvelu (at)
    Telephone: 029 460 2582

  • ...the company form of my enterprise changes?

    You should always notify Finnvera's customer service of changes to the company form. Finnvera does not receive automatic updates of company forms from the Finnish Patent and Registration Office.


    Online Service: Online Service (>Messages)
    Email: hakemukset(at)
    Telephone: 029 460 2790


029 460 11 (weekdays 9:00 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.)

Financial advice

029 460 2582 (weekdays 9:00 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.)

Other matters

029 460 2790 (weekdays 9:00 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.)

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