How to start a business in Sweden
Publish date: 8 September 2023
So you have decided to start a business in Stockholm. Consult our step-by-step guide to navigate through the necessary procedures to register both yourself and your business, get information on residence and work permits as well as an overview of the various administrations and organisations you will come in contact with in the process.
Residence and work permits for yourself and your team
EU/EEA citizens have the right to work and live in Stockholm without any permit. Non-EU/EEA citizens must obtain a permit from outside Sweden. To become employed in Sweden, non-EU/EEA citizens must have a work permit before entering the country. It is possible to apply online on the Swedish Migration Agency's website (Migrationsverket) or at the Swedish embassy or consulate in the applicant's country of origin or residence.
Please read more about how to obtain a residence and work permit in our Talent Guide.
Business Sweden, which purpose is to help Swedish companies grow their global sales and international companies to invest and expand in Sweden, has put together detailed guides on both work and residence permits in Sweden as well as on contracts and conditions for employing staff. You can access these guides here.
Work and residence permits
Contracts and conditions for employing staff
Key information resources
Sweden Abroad, the website of Swedish embassies and consulates
Invest Stockholm's establishment services to get help relocating or expanding your business in Stockholm: get help relocating or expanding your business in Stockholm.
Sweden.se, Sweden's official website, and an official source for facts about Sweden
Working in Sweden, a website dedicated to living and working in Sweden
Sweden's social security agency, Försäkringskassan
Information on how compensation and sickness benefit qualifying income (SGI) are calculated when you as business owner apply for benefits such as parental benefit, sickness benefit or benefit for care of a sick child (VAB).
Register your company
Registering a company in Sweden is rather simple and could take as little as a week, depending on the structure you choose. These are the forms through which you can choose to register when starting a business in Sweden:
- Sole trader (Swedish: enskild näringsidkare)
- Limited liability company (Swedish: aktiebolag)
- Branch (Swedish: filial)
- Trading partnership (Swedish: handelsbolag)
- Limited partnership (Swedish: kommanditbolag)
- Economic association (Swedish: ekonomisk förening)
The two main company structures are limited liability company (aktiebolag) and branch (filial).
Starting a limited liability company requires a minimal start share capital of SEK 25,000. That company structure bears no restrictions on foreign ownership, on sole corporate shareholder, or on activity carried out or size of operations. The limited liability company will be incorporated in Sweden, while the branch will not, being instead a division of a foreign limited company.
If you need assistance to start your company, you can always get in touch with Starta eget Stockholm, for lectures, workshops, and free individual coaching during the process of starting a business in Stockholm.
Key information resources
Get assistance to start, build and develop your business via Starta eget Stockholm. Register your business at the Swedish Tax Agency, Skatteverket
The Swedish Tax Agency's brochure "Starting Up a Business"
Bolagsverket, the Swedish Companies Registration Office
Verksamt.se, a collaboration among several Swedish government agencies with step-by-step information on how to set up and run a business in Sweden.
Tillväxtverket, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, has step-by-step information in its brochure "Starting a business in Sweden".
The corporate income tax in Sweden is low compared to many other countries. As of 2021, the corporate tax is 20.6 percent. The tax is based solely on a company's annual profit; no license tax or local corporate tax is payable.
For more information about corporate tax in Sweden, please read Business Sweden's guide here.
Permits required in Stockholm
Depending on the type of business you are planning to run in Stockholm, you will be required to apply for permits. Permits are necessary whether the business is permanent or temporary. We have listed below the permits required by the city of Stockholm when starting a business within retail, film and events, hotel and restaurant, education and care, and beauty and hygiene treatments. Follow this link to find out more about permits in Stockholm.
Verksamt.se, a collaboration among several Swedish government agencies, has listed all types of permits that are required depending on the type of business you are conducting. Permits or licenses will also be required for regulated professions. All permits are listed here.
To get assistance, you are welcome to get in touch with our establishment services experts at Invest Stockholm by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.