Business documents

An enterprise’s business documents include invoices to customers, price lists and offers. In addition information about contractual terms and conditions, the legal form of the business, the company's location, its corporate identity number and VAT number also make up the business documents. The documents thus contain information for your own enterprise and for your enterprise’s external contacts.

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In Sweden, contractual freedom prevails in principle. Consequently, in most cases there are no formal requirements regarding the design and layout of business documents. However, certain expressions and contractual terms and conditions are commonly found. Make sure you know what they mean and imply in order to avoid any misunderstandings.

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Written agreements make things easier

Agreements may be made verbally or in writing. Some agreements, such as property transfers and collective agreements, have to be in writing.

In practice, many agreements are concluded verbally. However, a written agreement makes things easier for the seller and the purchaser, and reduces the risk of the parties interpreting the content of the agreement differently.

It is easier to specify details about the product or service and other contractual terms and conditions in a written agreement. It may be difficult to remember the terms and conditions and even more difficult to prove them in the absence of a written agreement.

Business documents are often part of your enterprise’s image and its marketing. The content of business documents can also form the basis of the contracts that your enterprise enters into with customers, suppliers and other parties.

Your enterprise will use some business documents many times, such as invoices and offers. As the documents are part of your enterprise’s image, it can be worthwhile putting some time and effort into producing good templates for them right from the start.

The documents that most entrepreneurs come into contact with are:

  • Offer/Tender
  • Order confirmation
  • Invoice
  • Payment reminder

Business documents used as supporting documents must be kept for seven years. Otherwise, the general limitation period of ten years applies to businesses. Some documents should be kept even longer, such as the sales documents for real property.

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Specific requirements for limited companies

There are specific requirements for the business documents as well as the website of a limited company.

The following information must be provided:

  • the full company name as it appears on the certificate of incorporation
  • the seat of the board as laid down in the articles of association
  • the company’s corporate identification number.

The most common documents for entrepreneurs

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