Running a business in Sweden
On this page, you can find useful links to help you when you are planning to set up a business in Sweden, and information for Swedish businesses that are planning to set up operations in or trade with other Nordic countries.
At Verksamt.se, you can find information on how to set up and run a business, and recruit employees, in the Nordic region. You can also find information about selling or trading goods, and hiring staff.
At the European portal, Your Europe, you can read more about the regulations about starting a business in another EU or EEA country.
The Enterprise Europe Network can help you with questions concerning the EU and the European market.
Start a business in Sweden
If you want to start a business in Sweden, the regulations vary, depending on whether you are an EU/EEA citizen or a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA. Contact Verksamt.se for practical information.
If you want to start a business in Sweden, you must decide on the type of business enterprise and register your business with the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket) and the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).
Decide on the type of business enterprise in Sweden
Before you start a business, you must first decide what type of business enterprise you want. The most common is to start as a sole trader. This means that you as a private individual own, run, and are responsible for the business. You are responsible for paying tax and social insurance contributions (personal contributions, egenavgifter).
If you want to start a sole trader enterprise, you are not required to register your business with the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket). However, registration does protect your company name. If you do not register your company with the Swedish Companies Registration Office, someone else might register a company with the same name.
If you want to start a limited company, a trading partnership, a limited partnership, or economic association, you must register your business with the Swedish Companies Registration Office.
If you have a Swedish personal identity number, you can log in to verksamt.se using the Swedish electronic identification (e-identifikation).
If you do not have a Swedish personal identity number, you must complete a form to register your company according to the type of business you wish to start. Use the following link to choose the correct form to use, depending on the type of business you wish to start.
Register your business with the Swedish Tax Agency
All companies must register with the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). When you register, you can apply for F-tax approval (F-skatt), register for business VAT, and register as an employer.
If you have a Swedish personal identity number, you can log in using electronic ID and register using the e-services on verksamt.se.
If you do not have a Swedish personal identity number, you must complete the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) company registration form (Företagsregistrering, SKV 4620) and submit the form to the Swedish Tax Agency.
Send the form to Skatteverkets inläsningscentral, FE 4600, 105 81 Stockholm.
Recruiting labour from other countries to Sweden
If you are an employer or are self-employed, you must comply with some special regulations if you employ someone from another country than Sweden.
Recruiting employees to Sweden from EU/EEA countries
If you an employer and are considering recruiting labour from another country, it is important that you first learn about the relevant regulations and legislation.
- Proof of identity The employee must be able to show a valid passport or some other identity document showing their citizenship.
- Employment contract/employment terms: You should prepare a written employment contract every time you appoint an employee. The employment contract must include information about, for example, type of employment, starting date, work tasks/position, salary, working hours, holidays, and applicable collective bargaining agreement. Employees from EU/EEA countries must be treated in the same way as Swedish employees, in accordance with the EU principle on equal treatment. This principle prohibits discrimination on the grounds of nationality in relation to employment, salary and other work and employment terms.
- Labour market insurances According to the collective bargaining agreement, the employer must take out certain labour market insurances for the employee. You can find more information about insurance on the website of The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt Näringsliv).
- Social insurance: EU/EEA citizens are entitled to social insurance benefits in the country in which they work and pay social insurance fees (socialförsäkringsavgift). This also applies if the employee lives in another EU/EEA country. Family members who do not work are also insured in the country in which the employee works. Social insurance applies from the first day of employment.
- Tax regulations: The general rule in tax legislation is that the employee pays tax in the country in which they work. However, there are certain exceptions in the EU. The Swedish Tax Agency can give you more information.
Recruiting employees to Sweden from countries outside the EU/EEA
Citizens from countries outside the EU/EEA who want to work in Sweden must have a work permit. The work permit must be arranged and stamped in the passport before entry to Sweden. Contact the Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) in Sweden for more information.
Relevant links for employers
As employer in Sweden, it is important to be in contact with the Swedish Tax Agency, the Swedish Agency for Government Employers (Arbetsgivarverket), and the Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) to ensure that you comply with the Swedish regulations. It can also be useful to contact the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt näringsliv), as they have detailed information about conditions for businesses in Sweden.
Contact agencies in Sweden
If you want to start a business in Sweden, you can obtain information about setting up and running a business, and recruiting staff, from various public agencies. You can obtain more specific information on how to plan and get your business up and running, how to choose a company type and company name, draw up a business plan and register your business.
If you are already running a business and have questions about VAT, annual reports, accounting, or employment, the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) can help you. You can also find specific information about foreign companies conducting business in Sweden. If you are self-employed, you must keep business accounts (bokföring) and prepare annual income statements (bokslut).
Verksamt.se is a collaborative service involving several Swedish public agencies. The service can provide you with information about choosing company type, drawing up a business plan, and registering your business. You can also create your own checklist to find out what you need to do to start your business, and obtain information that is specific to your own situation.
If you are a foreign citizen and want to start your own business in Sweden, the rules that apply vary, depending on whether you are an EU/EEA citizen or a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA. You can find more information about this in Verksamt’s Guide for Foreign Citizens.
The Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket) registers companies and changes in companies, and receives annual reports. You can also search for and buy company information from its database.
Insurances in Sweden
When you start a business, it is important to check what insurance you will need for yourself, your business, and any employees. Contact several insurance companies and compare their offers before you decide.
Försäkringskassan can provide you with information about social insurance for you and your employees.
Permits in Sweden
You must find out whether your business requires a permit, registration or some other form of notification to public agencies, municipalities, or other organisations. The authorisation and supervisory authorities may be local, regional or national, such as municipalities, county administrative boards and police authorities, or the Swedish Data Protection Authority and the Swedish National Food Agency.
Swedish businesses in the Nordic region
Swedish businesses that wish to set up in or trade with other countries can obtain help from several public agencies.
Business Sweden offers services in all phases of a company’s internationalisation.
Enterprise Europe Network provides free assistance to small and medium-sized businesses, helping them to find international business partners, understand EU directives, and source EU funding.
The Swedish National Export Credits Guarantee Board aims to promote Swedish exports and the internationalisation of Swedish companies.
The National Board of Trade Sweden (Kommerskollegium) acts as an ombudsman and a Solvit Centre for companies that encounter trade barriers in their foreign affairs.
The Swedish Patent and Registration Office can answer questions about patents, trademarks, design and copyright.
The Swedish Tax Agency answers questions about taxation, VAT, and customs duties on imports and exports.
The Swedish Customs Service provides information about applicable regulations when you import and export goods to or from Sweden.
Verksamt.se is a collaborative service for businesses, involving several Swedish public agencies.
If you have any questions, please fill in our contact form.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.