The application process for operating support for sole entrepreneurs is now open

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2020-04-24 14:04

On Friday 24 April 2020, the City of Espoo opened the application system for sole entrepreneurs to apply for operating support during the coronavirus situation.

Before opening the system, the city prepared the technical implementation of the application process and trained its employees to process applications and pay the support. The application service requires strong identification to ensure the secure processing of the applicants’ personal and financial data. Thousands of applications are expected, as there are some 10,000 sole entrepreneurs registered in Espoo. Sole entrepreneurs may apply for the support until 30 September 2020, and support may be granted for costs that arise between 16 March 2020 and 31 August 2020.

Read the application instructions before submitting your application

The three most important pieces of advice for entrepreneurs:

  1. Make sure that you are entitled to the support.*
  2. Make sure that you are applying for the support from the right municipality.**
  3. Make sure that you have the required supporting documents to add to your application.***
    Please note that it may take several minutes to upload your attachments. Please do not use the “edellinen/back” button in this situation. Wait until your files have been uploaded.

Fill in your application carefully. It will make its processing quicker and smoother.

Watch our video to see how to fill in each section of the application. Link to the video

Also, watch the BE Studio video (in Finnish, published on 22 April 2020) that explains in more detail what kind of information you need to provide in your application. Link to the BE Studio video on YouTube

Apply for the support

Go to the application form: direct link to the application system. 

We recommend that you use a newer web browser, for example Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox or Opera.

The helpline for operating support for sole entrepreneurs

The helpline for operating support for sole entrepreneurs, tel. 09 816 40500, is open from Monday to Wednesday between 8:00 and 15:00.

Outside these hours you can use the chatbot Bertta on the Business Espoo website. Bertta can answer the most common questions.

_ _ 

The operating support for sole entrepreneurs is a one-off payment of EUR 2,000, intended to cover the costs that arise from business operations during the coronavirus situation.

* Definition of a sole entrepreneur

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

** Check your company’s domicile in YTJ, the Finnish Business Information System .

You can apply for support from the City of Espoo if your company is domiciled in Espoo in the Finnish Business Information System.

*** Provide these documents as PDF files together with your application:

  • Financial statement for 2019 / the latest financial statement OR tax return for 2019 / the latest tax return
  • Copies of accounting records and/or bank statements to verify the development of sales and costs in 2020
  • A tax debt certificate (required from all applicants). If your company has tax debts, please provide a payment plan that has been approved by the Finnish Tax Administration. You can get a tax debt certificate quickly through the service.

Conditions for receiving the operating support for sole entrepreneurs

  • A sole entrepreneur is able to show that their financial situation has weakened and their turnover has decreased significantly due to the coronavirus. In other words, the company’s sales income and accounts receivable have decreased by over 30 percent while costs have remained almost unchanged.
  • The support is available for costs that arise between 16 March 2020 and 31 August 2020.
  • The support is temporary, and you can apply for it once until 30 September 2020.
  • The support is discretionary and will not be granted to a company that had financial difficulties before the coronavirus crisis or to a company that has tax debts (unless the entrepreneur has drawn up a payment plan together with the Finnish Tax Administration before submitting the application. We will also accept a payment schedule you have set up with an enforcement officer or a document proving that you have requested a tax debt payment arrangement).
  • The purpose of the support is to cover business-related costs such as premises, equipment, accounting and office expenses. Any amounts paid to the sole entrepreneur as salary cannot be included in these expenses.
  • You can apply for the operating support for sole entrepreneurs even if you have also applied for the temporary unemployment benefit that is available to entrepreneurs. Further information on the TE Services website.  

Further information: News article on how to apply for operating support for sole entrepreneurs