Current situation

Depending on your current occupation, you have different options and obligations when starting up a business.

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Starting up a business while employed

You can combine employment with running your own business. However, you may not work with anything that competes with your employer's business, nor do anything disloyal to your employer. In some cases, your employment contract will specify your options for running your own business alongside your employment. In some cases you may take a leave of absence for up to six months to start up your own business.

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Starting up a business while unemployed

The Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) offers assistance to jobseekers with a business concept who want to start up their own business. The Public Employment Service can help you with a variety of services, such as an assessment of your business concept or training in how to start up a business.

The Public Employment Service is also able to provide financial assistance through the labour market programme "Start-up Grants". Under this programme you can get financial assistance for up to six months while working on getting your own company off the ground.

The financial assistance consists of an activity grant that is equivalent to your unemployment benefit.
To receive an activity grant, you must

  • be unemployed or at risk of becoming unemployed
  • be registered with the Swedish Public Employment Service.

In cities within the regional policy support zone, those who are employed are also eligible for support to start their own business. The "Special Business Start-up Grant" is aimed at people who want to start their own businesses but have a disability that entails a diminished work capacity.

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Starting up a business as a student

You may start a business while you are studying. Just remember that if you are receiving financial aid from the Swedish National Board of Student Aid (CSN), both your student loan and study grant will be reduced if you earn more before tax than a set maximum amount. How much you can earn per six-month period depends on how many weeks you receive student funding.

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Hobby or business?

One way of starting is to turn your hobby into a business. This requires that you carry out your activities independently, regularly and with the objective of making a profit.

If your business meets these three requirements, it is considered to be a business enterprise and not a hobby. If so, it might be time to apply for F tax (corporate tax) with the Swedish Tax Agency and begin life as an Entrepreneur.

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