Gathered information due to the new coronavirusThe page was last modified:
Here we have gathered information from government agencies about the new coronavirus which is important for you to know about as a business owner.
- New general advice for employers, shops and associations
- Public gatherings
- Tax and charges
- Shortage of work and laying off employees
- New rules for certain types of employment
- Financing and loan
- Temporary discount on rental costs in exposed industries
- New rules regarding illness
- New rules for restaurants, cafes and bars
- Culture and sport
- Export and import
- Advice and support in your region or municipality
- More information from Government agencies
- Employers should, if possible, ensure that staff and visitors keep their distance, regularly wash their hands with soap and water or otherwise use hand sanitizer, that employees work from home, avoid unnecessary travel and adjust working hours to avoid rush hour traffic.
- Shops and shopping malls should limit the number of customers at the premises at the same time. They should also develop alternative solutions for cash lines or indicate how far customers can stand between each other.
- Nonprofit associations should, if possible, postpone annual meetings and such, if the meeting requires participants to be in the same place.
Public gatherings limited to 50 people
The Government has decided to limit public gatherings from 500 people to 50 people. Anyone who violates the decision risks fine or imprisonment for up to six months. The new guidelines apply from 29 March 2020 and is valid until further notice.
Temporarily reduced employer fees
From 6 April, as an employer you can get reduced employer fees for a maximum of 30 of your employees. To get it, you must tick a box in the employer declaration. The reduced employer fees will be up to SEK 25,000 and for payments during the period from 1 March to 30 June 2020. The reduction will be a maximum of SEK 5,300 per employee and month. If you already have submitted the employer declaration for March, you can have it re-examined by submitting a new declaration.
Possibility to postpone payment of taxes and fees
Companies that are financially affected by the coronavirus can apply for a payment respite of tax. This means that you postpone the payment of your tax and pay it later.
There are two kind of payment respites:
- Temporary payment respite of employer contributions, deducted taxes and VAT.
- Respite of tax payment for other types of taxes.
Temporary payment respite of tax
Companies that are financially affected by the coronavirus can apply for temporary payment respite of employer contributions, deducted tax and VAT. The payment respite can be postponed for one year from the decision date. The payment respite is valid for up to three accounting periods between January and September 2020.
There are several ways to apply for a temporary payment respite but you will get the decision most quickly if you wait until 30 March and use the new digital payment respite service which opens in My pages on skatteverket.se.
Payment respite of tax
Companies can also apply for payment respite of tax for other types of taxes, for example excise duties.
Possibility to get back preliminary tax for 2019
For you running a sole trader and has been affected by the coronavirus, the Government has proposed to change the rules for accrual funds. This means that you can deduct 100 percent of your taxable profit for the year 2019 in your accrual fund. The maximum limit is up to SEK 1 million and you will then be able to offset this against your future losses. The processing time is extended if you fill in other information.
Change your debited preliminary tax
The Swedish Tax Agency wants to remind entrepreneurs about the possibility of changing the charged preliminary tax if the company is financially affected due the corona pandemic. You can change your debited preliminary tax for up to six months after the end of the tax year.
Liability for payment of legal persons' unpaid taxes and contributions
If you represent a legal person, you can become personally liable for virtually all unpaid taxes and fees in the legal person's tax account.
With the temporary rules due to the coronavirus, the Swedish Tax Agency will not hold you personally liable as a representative as long as the unpaid taxes and fees are covered by the act of temporary payment respite. The only exception is companies that have obviously exploited the opportunities completely in violation of the purpose of the respite regulations.
Short-time working allowance is introduced
Short-time working means that employers can reduce their employees’ working hours and receive financial support from the Government to compensate for a significant part of the costs for retaining the employee.
You can apply on the website of the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, starting 7 April 2020. You can apply retroactively from 16 March 2020.
It is important that you prepare as much as possible before submitting your application in order for the processing to be quick. It is more important to be accurate in your application than to apply quickly. Make sure you are properly prepared by taking a quick test to see if you are eligible for financial support (in Swedish). You can also use the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth's calculation tool to see how much support you can get if your application is granted.
More information on laying off staff
The Swedish Employment Agency has more information for employers concerning short-time work allowance and laying off staff because of the coronavirus.
The Government proposes to extend the period that your employees can have an introduction employment or a, by another year. The period would then be changed from two years to three years.
More information to come.
Loan guarantees for small and medium-sized businesses are set up
The Government proposes that companies that are viable, but suffered financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus, should be given the opportunity of a state loan guarantee. A loan guarantee means that the state guarantees 70 percent of new loans from the banks to the companies. Each company is proposed the opportunity to borrow a maximum of SEK 75 million, with some reservation that exceptions can be made.
Almi’s ”Brygglån” – a loan adapted to current corona crisis
Sustainable small and medium-sized companies in Sweden that are in need of financing as a result of the spread of the new coronavirus, can apply for Almi’s “Brygglån”. The loan provides an opportunity for conditions that are specially adapted to the current situation. The loan is always combined with advice where you can discuss and simulate the effects the corona crisis has on your cash flow, income statement and balance sheet.
Loans from Almi
Almi offers various types of loans within their regular range of services. If you need financing, you can apply for a loan from Almi. If you already have a loan, it is possible to seek payment respite with repayments. The Government has proposed that Almi receive a capital contribution of SEK 3 billion to increase their lending to small and medium-sized companies across the country.
Financial support from the Riksbank
The Executive Board of the Riksbank has decided to lend money via the bank to help companies that are financially impacted by the coronavirus. It is your bank that then passes the money on to you as a business owner.
The Riksbank is offering the banks up to SEK 500 billion, which can then be passed on to companies with operations in Sweden.
To help industries such as the durable industry (for example clothes, toys and home electronics) and the hotel and restaurant industry, the Government has proposed that the renegotiation of rents should be accelerated. The proposal is that the state accounts for 50 percent of the rent reduction and up to 25 percent of the fixed rent.
The support is valid from 1 April - 30 June 2020 and can be applied afterwards.
The state covers costs for sick pay
The Government has decided that employers will be compensated by the state for the sick pay cost for April and May. The employer reports his/her sick pay costs in connection with the employer declaration. The compensation is in the form of credit in the tax account.
Self-employed are compensated by receiving a flat-rate sickness benefit for days 1-14.
The qualifying deduction for sick pay is temporarily abolished
The Government has decided to temporarily suspend the qualifying deduction for sick pay from 11 March. This means that you can apply retroactively for compensation for the qualifying period from 11 March onwards. The employer shall make a qualifying deduction as usual.
From 7 April, it will be an e-service on My Pages at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency´s website (Försäkringskassan) to apply for compensation for the qualifying period. The compensation will be paid within 3-5 working days.
Proposal to temporary abolish the doctor´s certificate requirement
The Government has proposed to temporarily abolish the doctor certificate requirement during the sick pay period. This means that an employee who is sick can stay home from work for up to 14 days without a doctor´s certificate. For employers, this means that the employee does not have to provide you with a doctor's certificate.
A doctor may decide that you are not allowed to work because you are – or may be – infected with a socially dangerous disease, were coronavirus is included. You may then be entitled to compensation in the form of a quarantine allowance.
Financial support for culture and sport
The Government proposes that if you are engaged in activities in culture or sport, you should be able to apply for support for income loss due to the new coronavirus. For example, this may be support for canceled events. Events under 50 participants are also covered.
The support should apply to all forms of businesses plus freelancers and associations. The total support package is SEK 1 billion, of which SEK 500 million will go to the cultural sector and SEK 500 million to the sport industry.
The Government will shortly return with more information about the conditions for the support, such as how and when you, as an entrepreneur, will be able to apply.
Information and support from EU
The website of EU Commission includes information on what support and measures are being taken by the EU due the coronavirus. Also, transport recommendations and macro analyzes of the economy.
If you have questions related to export or trade with other countries you can, for example, contact Business Sweden or the Enterprise Europe Network for guidance and support.
To support your company in managing corona-related risks on international markets, Business Sweden offers guidance and 24/7 support in three key areas: secure global supply and logistics chains, defend your market share and client relations and get your local coronavirus impacts under control.
Exporting companies can turn to the Swedish Export Credit Agency (Exportkreditnämnden, EKN), which has different types of guarantees. EKN's guarantees insurance the risk of not getting paid and facilitates the possibility of obtaining loans through banks in connection with export transactions.
To further facilitate Swedish companies access to financing, as a result of the coronavirus, EKN now offers improved opportunities for operating credits for smaller companies with a turnover of up to SEK 5 billion. EKN has also developed a new guarantee for business financing for large companies and their subcontractors.
The Government proposes that The Swedish Export Credit Corporation´s loan limit should increase from SEK 125 to 200 billion to issue both Government supported and commercial credits to Swedish export companies.
The Swedish Export Credit Corporation offer loans to Swedish export companies and their subcontractors to export companies with annual sales of at least SEK 200 million.
Goods transports from other countries
The Government decided to temporarily stop non-essential travel to Sweden from countries outside Europe.There are exceptions in the ban, for example people who transport goods. Necessary deliveries of, for example, food and medicines will not be affected.
If you wish to discuss your company’s situation with an adviser, there are several organisations and government agencies that can offer information, support, and advice to companies.
Almi has advisors in 40 offices across the country and offers advice and financing to small and medium-sized companies. You can get the specific contact information through customer service at telephone number 0771-55 85 00 or at almi.se.
Due to the new coronavirus, many municipalities have developed their own measures to support entrepreneurs. Please visit your municipality’s website to see what support you can receive locally.
Extended time for financial support when you start up a new business
The Government proposes to extend the period of financial support for starting a new business, from 6 months to 12 months.
More information to come.
New rules for activity grant when you register your company as inactive
The Government proposes that you should have an increased opportunity for activity grant if you register your company as inactive. During 2020, you should be able to register your company as inactive without it affecting your ability to receive activity grant. This means that any period of inactivity you have during 2020 are exempt from the current regulations that your company can only be inactive once every five years. This applies to both if you have had your company inactive for a period for the past five years, and if you register this later during this year.
Due to the risk of being infected by the coronavirus, the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket) receive many questions about holding general meetings during these times.
The Government has submitted a proposal for temporary measures to facilitate the implementation of corporate and association meetings during the ongoing virus outbreak. It's about making it easier to participate without attending in person.
Temporary derogation from driving and rest times
To make it easier for you who run a company in the transport industry, the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) has decided on temporary derogation from driving and rest times. The decision applies to drivers in domestic and international transports. The daily driving time allowed is extended from 9 hours to 13.5 hours and during a calendar week there must be at least 24 hours coherent rest. The decision took effect on 16 March and is valid until 14 April.
Planning aid for staffing shortages and the supply of goods and services
The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap, MSB) has developed an aid for government agencies and companies to help them identify which activities must be maintained and which are of a lower priority. They also have an extensive methodological aid for systematic continuity management.
Other collected information from government agencies
Read more about the new coronavirus, for example how to protect your employees from infection, and also read frequently asked questions.
Official information from the government agencies at Emergency information from Swedish authorities´website (krisinformation.se)
Frequently Asked Questions at the Swedish Public Health Agency (Folkhälsomyndigheten)
Collection page for employer-related information about the coronavirus and covid-19, at the Swedish Work Environment Authority´s website (Arbetsmiljöverket) (in Swedish)
Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth