Instructions on how to apply for operating support for sole entrepreneurs

The operating support for sole entrepreneurs is a one-off payment of 2,000 euros to sole entrepreneurs to cover costs that arise from the business operations during the coronavirus situation. The application period has ended on 30 September 2020 at 23:59.

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Who can apply?

Definition of a sole entrepreneur

A sole entrepreneur refers to a full-time entrepreneur who is engaged in economic activity in Finland on their own, irrespective of the legal form of the activity or its method of financing. The support for sole entrepreneurs may be granted to a sole proprietor or private trader, limited partnerships, limited liability companies or cooperatives. The support can also be granted to “light entrepreneurs” who are self-employed and work like an entrepreneur without setting up a company (without business ID).  A sole entrepreneur refers to an individual who is engaged in an economic activity on their own without employees on the payroll. The support is also available to freelancers if they work as a sole proprietor or private trader (as a business operator or self-employed person), in a partnership (limited partnership), a limited liability company or a cooperative.

Conditions for receiving the operating support for sole entrepreneurs
  • Sole entrepreneur is a full-time entrepreneur which means he or she is insured under the self-employed persons’ pension insurance (YEL) or entrepreneur have annual entrepreneurial income or invoicing of at least 20,000 euros, and the operations have been profitable last year.
  • If sole entrepreneur have started the business activities less than 6 months ago, then he or she have to prove that the revenue stream, if uninterrupted, would have accrued invoicing of 20,000 euros in a period of 12 months.
  • Sole entrepreneurs can prove that both their financial situation and their turnover has deteriorated significantly due to the coronavirus. In other words, the company’s sales income and accounts receivable have dropped by over 30 per cent while costs have remained almost unchanged.
  • The support is discretionary and will not be granted to a company that had financial difficulties before the coronavirus crisis. If the entrepreneur has tax debt, a payment plan approved by the Tax Administration to pay the debt or another approved plan, such as an enforcement plan, is required. Alternatively, the entrepreneur can provide proof of having filed an application for tax debt payment arrangement.
  • The support to sole entrepreneurs is granted to individual entrepreneurs. If the sole entrepreneur has several companies in which they are the sole employee, support will be granted to the company in which the entrepreneur works full-time.
  • The support of 2000 euros is granted only once.
  • The support can be applied for until 30.9.2020.
  • The support can be granted for costs that arise between 16 March 2020 and 31 August 2020.
  • The purpose of the support is to cover business-related costs such as premises, equipment, accounting and office expenses. Any amount paid to the sole entrepreneur as salary cannot be included in these expenses.
  • A person can be deemed a full-time sole entrepreneur even if they receive any kind of a pension, and they are eligible for support if the other terms and conditions are met.
  • You can apply for the support for sole entrepreneurs even if you have also applied for the temporary unemployment benefit that is already available to entrepreneurs. Further information on the website of the TE Services. The supports do not affect each other.
  • If you have previously been granted support for the coronavirus situation from Business Finland or ELY Centres, you can not apply for operating support for sole entrepreneur.
  • If it is a company that has many persons in an entrepreneurial position, who in reality work at the company in question, then it is possible to apply for the ELY Centres’ business development aid.
  • Further information concerning the municipal support is available on the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

How to act:

Instructions on how to apply for operating support for sole entrepreneurs (pdf)

1. First, check your company’s domicile in YTJ, the Finnish Business Information System

You can apply for support from the City of Helsinki if your company is domiciled in Helsinki in the YTJ register. If you are a light or freelance entrepreneur, you can apply for support from City of Helsinki, if Helsinki is your home town.

2. Basic information needed for the application:
  • Business ID (if not available, use the entrepreneur’s personal identity code)
  • Name of the company
  • Domicile of the company according to YTJ
  • Contact person/Name of entrepreneur
  • Entrepreneur’s personal identity code
  • Telephone number
  • E-mail
  • YEL insurance number
  • Company’s address
  • Bank account, IBAN
  • Start date of the business activities
3. Description of the business activities
4. Confirming the information that entitles to operating support

(documents to be attached to the application, see section 7)

  • Full-time entrepreneurship
  • Company profitability before the coronavirus epidemic
  • Deterioration in the financial situation of the business due to the coronavirus epidemic after 16 March 2020 = at least a 30% decrease in turnover
5. De Minimis aid

Declaration of previously granted de minimis aid. Please note that possible start-up grants are also counted as de minimis aid. De minimis aid means public business support that the European Union has deemed small enough not to have an impact on competition and trade in the EU’s Member States. The maximum amount of de minimis aid is 200,000 euros for each undertaking over a 3-year period. A ceiling of 100,000 euros applies to road transport companies. The support decision includes a mention of it, if it is considered de minimis aid. The company must make sure that the combined amount of de minimis aid granted through different decisions does not exceed the maximum amount. Further information on the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (in Finnish and Swedish).

6. Plan for stabilising the business activities, how the entrepreneur aims to use the support

Free-format description of how the entrepreneur is planning to use the support. For example a list of costs that could include premises, equipment, accounting and office expenses. Any amount paid to the sole entrepreneur as salary cannot be included.

7. Obtain the required supporting documents in advance
  • Financial statements 2019/latest financial statements or tax return 2019/latest tax return.
  • Copies of the accounting records and/or bank statements to prove that financial situation has deteriorated. Financial situation is considered deteriorated if there has been a decrease of more than 30% in the entrepreneur’s sales income and accounts receivable after 16 March 2020.
  • Tax debt certificate (up to 3 months old) to prove that taxes have been paid.
  • Support cannot be granted to entrepreneurs who experienced financial difficulties before the coronavirus situation. If the sole entrepreneur has tax debt, a payment plan approved by the Tax Administration to pay the debt or another approved plan, such as an enforcement plan, is required. Alternatively, the entrepreneur can provide proof of having filed an application for tax debt payment arrangement.
  • Further information: Tax debt certificate or tax debt payment plan and requesting a payment arrangement (in English) or Requesting the certificates on an e-form (in Finnish and Swedish).

Attachment files must be provided as PDF documents. The maximum size of an attachment file is 2 MB. Incompletely filled application prevents the application from being processed quickly. Please check that you have included all the necessary attachment files before submitting your application.

8. The application

The application period has ended on 30 September 2020 at 23:59

N.B.! After submitting the application, you cannot completement your application yourself until the application handler sends you a request with a message on the asiointi.hel.fi service. All transactions related to the processing of your application take place in the asiointi.hel.fi service. For example, if the application handler asks you to send new attachments, you can only add attachments in the asiointi.hel.fi service. Attachments can’t be submitted by email. Applications will be processed in the order of arrival and notification of the decision will be sent to the applicant.

After receiving a positive decision on operating support for sole entrepreneur, the payment will usually appear to the recipient within 2-4 business days.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding the application, please contact us by e-mail yrittajatuki@hel.fi or call tel. +358 (09) 310 36360 each weekday between the hours of 9-11 am for assistance.

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