Even though it is surprisingly easy to start a company in Sweden, you probably have many questions about the process and how to go about it. Here we have gathered the most common questions and answers, from how to get going and how to get a work visa to information about corporate tax and tax incentives.
First steps: How to get going
Setting up a business in Sweden is a straightforward process. Procedures are simple and efficient, based on a transparent system that welcomes new enterprises. An international company that wants to establish a business in Sweden will most likely choose one of two main business structures:
- A limited liability company (aktiebolag)
- Branch (filial)
For more information please read our establishment guide on starting a business in Sweden.
Please contact our investment advisors for information about the Swedish market and opportunities for your company.
If you want to do your own background research, you can find a lot of useful information here:
The Swedish tradition of innovation and globalisation has been important for our national growth and development for a long time. International investors can benefit from Sweden in many ways. One way is to tap into the skills and technologies in our industry ecosystems, clusters and research institutions. Notable focus areas are Smart transportation, Smart industry, Life Science, Smart cities and New materials.
These are all areas where Swedish companies excel and compete at the highest international level. Sweden also has a well-developed consumer market and many international retail companies are very successful in Sweden.
Swedish commercial leases tend to be standardised and cover relatively short periods, providing flexibility to business tenants. The physical standard of premises is high and fee structures are generally cost-effective, while the regulatory system is business-friendly, with high transparency.
Work and employment in Sweden
The rules for moving to Sweden for work vary depending on your country of citizenship. Workers who stay more than six months can bring their family.
As an EU citizen, you are entitled to work in Sweden without a permit. You also have the right to come to Sweden to look for a job. Your family has the right to join you in Sweden, as long as you have a so-called right of residence in Sweden.
Generally, citizens from countries outside the EU need to apply for a work permit. There are a few exceptions to the rule. Citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Korea aged 18–30 can apply for a working holiday visa for up to one year.
For more information on work, residence and business visas, please read our establishment guide.
A collective agreement is a voluntary agreement between trade union organisations and employers. Collective agreements regulate the fundamental terms for individuals’ employment conditions concerning wage, pensions and benefits. About 90% of the Swedish workforce is part of a collective agreement, and these provide clear rules for contracts, which is beneficial for both employees and the employed.
For more information on collective agreements, please contact our Investment Services.
There is no statutory minimum wage in Sweden. The contents of individual labour contracts is to a high degree established in the so-called collective agreements (see FAQ on Collective agreements). The minimum wages in the collective agreements are based on work experience and age.
For more information, please contact our Investment Services.
Tax and incentives
The corporate income tax in Sweden is competitive by international standards, at 22 percent. The effective rate can be even lower, as companies have the option to make deductible annual appropriations to a tax allocation reserve of up to 25 percent of their profits.
For more information, please read our establishment guide (PDF, 2 MB) on corporate taxes in Sweden.
Sweden offers a limited range of financial incentives to help companies set up a business and expand in Sweden. This support is primarily regional in nature and comprises regional investment grants, support for establishment costs, regional transportation contributions, and special tax reliefs related to key staff and R&D personnel.
There is a special tax regime for individuals who qualify as experts or scientists.
For these individuals, companies can benefit from reduced employer social fees and the reduction amounts to 10% of the employee’s salary, within certain limits. The maximum social fee reduction SEK 230,000 per month.
For information on tax reliefs for key foreign employees please read our establishment guide on Tax reliefs for key foreign employees (PDF, 1 MB).
To avoid double taxation, Sweden has negotiated conventions, including double taxation treaty rates, with many countries around the world. For more information on the specific agreements please see the following link.