Setting up a business in a foreign country can seem complicated to an expatriate. Here is how to proceed in Sweden.
Every year, Sweden attracts thousands of expatriates looking for new ventures. While some are looking forward to live and work in the country, others are trying to set up a business there. If you wish to move to Sweden as an entrepreneur, it is best to inquire on related conditions and formalities beforehand. But in general, these should not be quite simple.
The country has a developed economy with a growth rate of 2.3 % in 2014 following an increase of 1.3% in 2013. Experts are predicting a 3% increase for 2015 and 2016.
Despite the global financial crisis since the past few years, Sweden has managed to sustain its economy by giving a new dynamism to household consumption and reducing unemployment rate.
The government is also making great efforts in the context of its housing policy.
European and non-European nationals
Besides North-European nationals, Sweden distinguishes between European Union nationals, those coming from the European Economic Area and Switzerland and those coming from non-European countries.
European Union nationals and those coming from the European Economic Area and Switzerland are above all required to register at the Ministry of Migration within three months following their arrival in Switzerland. Once they have obtained their resident permit, they can apply for their personal tax registration number.
Non-European nationals, for their part, have to obtain a resident permit before arriving in Sweden to be allowed to set up a business there.
Start by performing some research. Indeed, Swedish authorities do their best to provide the most and clearest information to entrepreneurs who are looking forward to invest in the country. You can thus check out websites such as that of Statistics Sweden where you can have the latest details regarding demographics and local consumption tendencies, etc. You can also find more details from the organizations mentioned in the useful links at the end of this article.
Networking can also be a useful tool, just like in the case of a job search. Indeed, you are advised to seek the help of your friends and contacts on the spot. Feel free to inquire on social networks and on the Sweden Forum.
Some fields in Sweden may require entrepreneurs to hold an official permit. You will find a list of these fields on the Verkmast website.
You can apply for a tax registration number on the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) website. You are required to register as a foreign entrepreneur under the F-skatt status so as to be recognized as an entrepreneur only. Note that once you have obtained this document, you will have to pay tax and make social contributions. For more information on the F-skatt, please refer to the useful links mentioned at the end of this article.
If you are already in Sweden and you have a good command of Swedish, you can join in information sessions provided to entrepreneurs by the tax authorities.
Booking your company's name
Booking your company's name is not a compulsory step, but it is necessary if you wish that the name cannot be used by any other entrepreneur. Application is to be made at the Swedish Companies Registration. Fees apply.
Make a business plan
Make a detailed list of your company's features. Note that this document will be required so as to prove your company's strength and reliability before potential investors, banks and various authorities which will be involved in its setting up. Find more information on the business plan on the Verksmat website.
Hiring an accountant
You are highly advised to hire an accountant to manage your company's account and assist you regularly. Makes sure, however, that the accountant is well-versed regarding Swedish laws, especially in terms of corporate laws.
In case you do not have enough capital to create and sustain your company during the first months, feel free to seek the help of a bank. You can also rely on the Almi Företagspartner (Almi) which is a State-owned company. However, this organization provides high interest loans.
You might have realized by now that setting up a company in Sweden is rather easy once you have all the required information. So good luck in your new venture!
Verksamt – Starting a business in Sweden www.verksamt.se
Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket) www.bolagsverket.se
Making your Business Plan www.verksamt.se/en/web/international
List of fields requiring an authorization www.verksamt.se/en/web/international/alla-e-tjanster
F-tax Brochure – Information for the self-employed www.skatteverket.se
Labor law and work environment www.government.se
Association of Swedish Accounting Consultants www.srfkonsult.se
Almi Företagspartner (Almi) www.almi.se
The Swedish Hotel and Restaurant Association www.visita.se
The Swedish Trade Federation www.svenskhandel.se
The Swedish Construction Federation www.sverigesbyggindustrier.se
The Swedish IT and Telecom Industries www.itotelekomforetagen.se