Search finnvera.fi

Questions and answers

Back

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:

    http://www.migri.fi/ 
    http://www.formin.fi/

  • 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.

    Finnvera’s 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.

    The bank applies for a Start Guarantee for a loan it has granted. Since the bank does this on behalf of your company, you don’t need to contact Finnvera yourself.

    If the need for a guarantee exceeds 80,000 euros, the bank advises you to apply for a guarantee directly from Finnvera. In such a case, it pays to send the application through Finnvera’s online service, to ensure faster processing. In the case of larger guarantees, Finnvera’s coverage is generally at most 50 per cent.

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

    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. You may also take advantage of Finnvera’s Start Guarantee for a bank loan. Then the maximum guarantee is 80% of the bank loan and the sum cannot exceed 80,000 euros. The bank applies for the Start Guarantee on behalf of your enterprise. When the need for financing is greater, Finnvera always acts as a co-financier in cooperation with banks and other providers of financing.

    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?

    We can act as the sole source of financing for an enterprise when Finnvera's financing does not exceed 50,000 euros. For greater financing needs, more providers of financing and adequate self-financing are also required.

    To an increasing extent, the focus of our operations is on boosting the operations of start-up enterprises, and on accelerating growth and internationalisation. In projects carried out by rapidly growing, internationalising and innovative enterprises (exports accounting for much of the turnover), Finnvera even has the special option of acting as a temporary principal financier.

    In general, both Finnvera and the bank account for 50 per cent of the financing. Our share can be as high as 80 per cent of the pre-delivery financing required by an individual transaction or delivery.

    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, 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 10‒15 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 on our online service, you will get an acknowledgement giving the name of our regional office that has received the application. For any questions about the application, contact Finnvera's phone service at +358 29 460 2582.

  • 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 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 of loan provided by Finnvera is 10,000 euros and the minimum amount for guarantees is 5,000 euros.

  • 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, you can only access a loan granted by Finnvera when your company is in existence and has a business identity code.

  • 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.

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 Tekes 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). (www.fiban.org)

    Tekes is the public sector partner during the product development stage, providing funding for growth, internationalisation and the development of innovations aimed at new business. (www.tekes.fi)

    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 Tekes 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?

    We recommend that you first apply for a start-up grant. For its start-up grant decision, the TE Office may ask the Enterprise Agency or some other body to give its opinion concerning your enterprise operations. Finnvera can often use this opinion in its own decision-making; in consequence, you get your financing decision more quickly from Finnvera.

    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 of Enterprise Finland and click Doing business > Change of ownership .

    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 and competitiveness > Company aquisition

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

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

    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, 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 course can still be corrected. However, it is never too late to contact Talousapu and discuss your problems. Further information:www.yrityssuomi.fi/fi/web/guest/talousapu (please note that the website is in Finnish) 

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

    If you are forced to close down your business you should contact Finnvera so that we can prepare a personal payment plan allowing you to pay your guarantee liabilities or the outstanding debt.

    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: www.takuu-saatio.fi.

    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.

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

    You can repay a Finnvera loan early on the interest rate adjustment date if you give a notification of the termination of the loan at least two weeks before the repayment date. The notification must be in writing. Remember to contact the nearest Finnvera Regional Office well in advance of the termination. The terms and conditions of early repayment are also laid down in the promissory note.

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.

    Contact

    Online Service: Online Service (>Messages)
    Email: maksuohjelmat (at) finnvera.fi
    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: www.takuu-saatio.fi.

    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 of the following changes in your company: replacement or removal of persons in top positions, parties providing security (guarantor or pledger) or general partners.

    Contact

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

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

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

    Contact

    Online Service: Online Service (>Messages)
    Contact form: Send a message
    Email: maksuohjelmat (at) finnvera.fi
    Telephone: 029 460 2790

  • ...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.

    Contact

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

Switchboard

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.)

Changes to payment programmes

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

Other services

029 460 2791 (weekdays 9:00 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.)

Helsinki Headquarters

Porkkalankatu 1

PL 1010, 00101 Helsinki

Kuopio Headquarters

Kallanranta 11

PL 1127, 70111 Kuopio

All contact information