A company or entrepreneur based in Espoo or already operating in Espoo may need various permits from the city when their activities begin or change. Business activities may also require permits issued by other authorities. For more information on business permits other than those issued by the city, contact business advice.

Building and environmental permits and guidelines

More information on building and environmental permits is available from Environment and Technical Services. Examples of such permits include:

  • short-term land lease and land use permits

  • building-related permits

  • planning permissions for minor construction related to the building site, demolition or landscape permits

  • planning permissions for minor construction related to sales, information and advertising equipment

  • derogation decisions and planning solutions for areas outside the town plan area

  • soil extraction permit

  • landscape work permits other than building site permits

  • notifications and permits for starting a business (e.g. starting a grocery, shop, restaurant or other food production)

  • environmental permit, if the activity is environmentally harmful

  • other environmental permits and notifications (e.g. noise notifications)

Average processing time (decisions by authorities): 20–40 days

Average processing time (Building Control Committee): 70–130 days

Contact information for the Building Control Department by permit area.

Social and health care sector permits

If the service operates in the territory of two or more regional state administrative agencies, the permit for operations is granted by Valvira. For a service provider operating in the territory of one regional state administrative agency, the regional administration agency acts as the permit authority.

The average processing time of applications for permits and changes in permits for providers of private social services and health care is about two months.

The city is obliged to monitor some private service providers in the sector, such as the providers of services for the elderly and mental health services. These service providers must notify the city of the commencement and termination of operations in the City of Espoo.

Companies can register as service providers through the electronic service voucher and service outsourcing system.

Establishment and extension of a camping area

You can inquire about the permits related to the establishment and expansion of a camping area at the City Sports and Exercise Services.

Private schools

The City of Espoo’s Finnish Education Unit issues statements about the private schools to be established in Espoo, for which state support and the right to issue certificates are being sought. Permission is granted by the Government.

Contact information for the Finnish Education Unit.

Necessary information

Social and health care sector

What insurance policies should a provider of physiotherapy and health care services have?

  • Self-employed person’s pension insurance

  • Insurance against treatment injury

  • Employment pension insurance and workmen’s compensation insurance for employees

Learn more about the necessary insurance policies.

What is Valvira’s guidance?

Valvira’s guidance on health care practice rights and how to apply for them.

Permit prices?

Regional State Administrative Agency fee table on the prices of permits.  

Reporting obligation

According to Section 13 of the Health Protection Act, the operator must notify the municipal health protection authority in writing 30 days before starting operations. However, this does not apply to hairdressers or barbers.

Food, restaurant and tourism sector

Required passes and licences

The person responsible for a place licensed to sell alcohol or another person appointed for the task must hold a certificate approved by Valvira attesting to knowledge of the Alcohol Act, i.e. a serving licence.

A hygiene passport is required when handling unpackaged, easily perishable foodstuffs, such as milk or meat products. The employee must have a hygiene passport at the following workplaces:

  • cafés and restaurants

  • industrial kitchens

  • various kiosks

  • grocery shops

  • food processing plants

Travel Industry Safety Passport Matupa provides voluntary safety training tailored to the needs of employees in the hotel, catering and programme services. It provides workers with the necessary basic information on travel industry safety issues. Matupa is useful for everyone involved in tourism, the hotel and restaurant industry, sports and outdoor services, festivals, amusement parks and events.

Outdoor serving area – terrace permit

You can rent an outdoor serving area on city land. Applications for permits are submitted to the city where the outdoor serving area is located.

In the summer of 2020, a restaurant terrace can be established in Espoo using a lighter procedure. 


Fire safety regulations

The Ministry of the Environment has issued a decree on the fire safety of buildings. Learn more about the maximum number of people and regulations for different properties.

Changes in intended purpose

If the purpose of the property is to be changed, an application is submitted to the city. Projects of particular urgency will be dealt with by means of a temporary modification at first, later by means of a town plan or derogation permit. Temporary premises for schools and private day-care centres are handled on a temporary basis.

Other guidelines

Guidelines prepared by Espoo Region Environmental Health Services, e.g. on the requirements level of housings units:

Environmental advice for SMEs

EcoCompass offers customised advice on environmental issues. The aim is to strengthen companies’ capacity to improve environmental management and eco-efficiency.