Doing business in Sweden

By Beyondo, 10. Mar 2023

Why should an international company set up a business in Sweden? 

Companies relocate or expand to Sweden for a variety of reasons including its world-class infrastructure, highly qualified workforce, minimal bureaucracy and welcoming business culture. Taken individually, any of these elements could be enough to justify said expansion, but when taken in all together they paint a clear picture of why there is a growing interest in joining the Swedish market by foreign businesses.

The business environment in Sweden being very welcoming to foreign direct investments lead to the not so surprising result of being a country of innovation. Examples of this are the many companies like Astra Zeneca, Klarna, Sandvik, Spotify, iZettle, Volvo etc. Additionally, since 1995 Sweden is a part of the EU and as such provides access to a market of 28 countries and 510 million consumers. 

The Nordic economies are among the countries in the Western World with the best and most consistent performance in recent years. As the largest market in Scandinavia, Sweden is the ideal location for centralised operations in Northern Europe, a reason why Sweden is one of the world’s biggest beneficiaries of foreign investment relative to its size.  Sweden also boasts strong public finances, a sound banking system, political stability and well-performing economy, making it a robust place to run a business. Finally, Sweden is one of the top countries in the world in terms of R&D investments relative to GDP.  

Swedish business procedures are simple and efficient, built on a transparent system that welcomes new business enterprises. Key advantages of the Swedish business framework are:  

  1. Lack of restrictions or disadvantages for foreign investors; 
  2. Clear rules for employment and redundancy of employees; and 
  3. A competitive corporate tax framework.


What do you need in order to register a company in Sweden? 

The most common approach and first step to start or expand a business in Sweden is registering a Limited liability Company, or Aktiebolag (AB) with Bolagsverket (Swedish Companies Registration Office). In order to do so, the following items are required: 

  1. Memorandum of association; 
  2. The adopted articles of association; 
  3. Bank certificate from a Swedish bank or a bank within the European Economic Area (EEA), translated into Swedish; and 
  4. Shareholder’s register.  

Once the above documents have been arranged, they must be sent to Bolagsverket together with the appropriate form. Subsequently, additional registrations might be required depending on the business, ranging from taxes (like VAT and F-tax), or other business permits. Lastly, in accordance with Swedish Law, all limited companies must inform Bolagsverket of the identity of the beneficial owners.  

What services does Nordic GEM provide?

While everything stated above is true, despite its simplicity, Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries present several unique peculiarities, beyond the local language, that make it worth it relying on a local service provider like Nordic GEM: 

  1. Domiciliation – Every company registered in Sweden must have a place of business in Sweden to run their operations; 
  2. Fiduciary Services – Bolagsverket requires there be either a Board member residing in Sweden, or an agent authorised to receive services of process; 
  3. Corporate Secretarial – There are a number submission that are legally required to be made to Bolagsverket (either periodically or as the need arises) over the course of the live of every registered company; 
  4. Statutory Bookkeeping – Every business has its own niche when it comes to taxation rules, and hiring an expert full time might not be either the most efficient or cost-effective solution; and 
  5. Payroll Administration Services – Sweden offers some of the best working conditions in the world, and with it come attached a string of rules, regulations and procedure that must be followed, and, as for your bookkeeping, an in-house solution might not be the best fit. 

Nordic GEM can assist business in need with all the above and more.


Why should a company engage with a partner for these processes? 

The answer to this question can be quite complex. The simplest one is that in many cases it is the best solution to run your business. That could easily be the case for new and emerging companies as well as for any enterprise that wants to branch out in another country while having a better oversight over the related expenses. From direct experience, we can safely say that relying on a partner is preferred solution for most name brands and largest companies. 


What would be your best advice for an international wanting to set up a business in Sweden?

The most important thing is to find the appropriate help. Establishing a business has many parallels with emigrating to a new country. It is a risky and sometimes scary prospect and the best way to succeed is to rely on others that know how to navigate the environment. Once that is done, the rest should follow easily.