What is a start-up grant?

A start-up grant is a discretionary allowance, granted to secure your livelihood as a new entrepreneur. The allowance is granted by the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) in your region or the municipal employment services, if your municipality is involved in a local government pilot on employment. At the TE Office you can find out which one is to your service. The start-up grant is meant to cover your personal living costs, not the costs of business operations. The start-up grant is considered taxable income.

When considering setting up a business, you should contact the employment services early on to ensure your eligibility for a start-up grant. According to the preconditions, operations must not be commenced before a decision on the start-up grant has been made.

You may be granted the start-up grant if your business operations are evaluated profitable and you already have experience as an entrepreneur or have business training.  Being granted the start-up grant requires that that the person is becoming a full-time entrepreneur and that the grant is necessary for your livelihood. The allowance will not be payed if your income is secured in another manner, such as by wages or other benefits.

You may be eligible for a start-up grant if

  • you have or acquire adequate capabilities for the intended business and
  • you are a full-time entrepreneur, and
  • the intended business has potential for continued profitable operation.

A start-up grant will not be granted if

  • the intended business is estimated to secure a reasonable income for you at the start-up tages of the business operations
  • the start-up grant is estimated to distort competition between the providers of the same products or services to more than a minor extent
  • you have started full-time entrepreneurship before the decision on the grant was made
  • you have materially neglected your obligtaions to pay tax or other statuory payments or you have experienced material civil law default of payment (the TE Office might however consider the granting of the start-up grant appropriate on the basis of special reasons)

In 2023 the grant is €37.21 per day, which corresponds to the basic unemployment benefit applied under the Unemployment Security Act. The start-up grant is paid for a maximum of five days per calendar week, and it is paid once a month retroactively on the basis of an application for payment submitted by you.

Usually a start-up grant can be paid for a period of up to 12 months. The decision is initially made for a period of six months whereafter you may apply for an extension of the start-up grant.

The application for payment must be submitted to the Development and Administration Center (KEHA Centre) of ELY Centres and TE Offices within two months from the end of the payment period.

You can apply for a start-up grant at your local TE Office. The application for a star-up grant must be accompanied by a business plan, as well as profitability and financing calculations. The business advisors of the Enterprise Agencies can assist you in completing them.

Keep in mind, that you must not start the actual business operations before a decision on the start-up grant has been made. If you are planning on applying for a start-up grant, determine you eligibility for a start-up grant in good time.

If you start your business operations in Uusimaa, you can in addition to the start-up grant use the Startti Plus service.

Startti Plus is a free expert service provided by the TE Office to entrepreneurs in Uusimaa, that have been granted a start-up grant or have commenced their business operations with 4 months of unemployment benefit. The service, which is organized at an Enterprise Agency, will help you make up a concrete plan on how to develop your sales and which tools to use for developing your business operations. At the Startti Plus service you will receive

  • concrete advice for product/service marketing
  • guidance in how to enhance your sales
  • tips on using social media in marketing
  • chances to build network

The Startti Plus service is provided by Enterprise Agencies in Uusimaa: