Different ways to run a business in Sweden

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If you own a non-Swedish company and wish to run business activities in Sweden, you can take one of the following steps:

  • acquire a Swedish legal entity, such as a limited company
  • establish your non-Swedish company here by operating it from a permanent establishment in Sweden
  • operate in Sweden without having a permanent establishment here.

All of these options are possible, regardless of whether you operate as a sole trader (a “natural person”) or represent a legal entity (a limited company, for example).

Limited company at the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket)

Permanent establishment at the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) 

Free movement of services within the EEA

If your company is established in a country within the European Economic Area (EEA), you have the right to provide services in all EEA countries – for example, by travelling to another EEA country to provide services for a shorter period, or by offering online services. If your company operates in Sweden in this way, you are not required to register your business with the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket). This means that an EEA-based company is not obliged to register a local branch in Sweden – provided that it has no permanent establishment here.

You also have the right to establish your company more permanently in other EEA countries – for example, by operating from a permanent establishment. If your company operates in Sweden on a more permanent basis, you must register your business with the Swedish Companies Registration Office.

Further information about local branches at the Swedish Companies Registration Offie (Bolagsverket)

F-tax

There may well be good reason for you to apply for F-tax certification – whether or not you are obliged to register your company with the Swedish Companies Registration Office.

If your company is granted F-tax certification, it means that the company is responsible for paying its own preliminary tax and employer contributions to the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). If you are F-tax certified, your clients are not required to deduct tax from your earnings or pay employer contributions on them. Most companies in Sweden are F-tax certified for this reason.

If your company is not F-tax certified, your clients must deduct tax from payments they make for any work carried out. This applies regardless of whether payment is made to a natural person or to a legal entity. If payment is made by a client for work carried out by a natural person, the client must also pay employer contributions – unless you can provide a document (an A1 certificate, or a Certificate of Coverage) proving that the person carrying out the work is covered by the social security system of another country.

Guide for non-Swedish companies with operations in Sweden at the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket)

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Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

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