In Sweden, we have a social insurance which ensures that if you fall ill or have children, you can receive compensation during the period you are ill or taking care of your child. The compensation is disbursed by the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan). The day you retire, some of the compensation you are entitled to as a pensioner also comes from your social insurance.
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The Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) is a government authority which handles allowances and compensation for families with children and people who are ill, among others. The compensation is based on your sickness benefit qualifying income (SGI). Your SGI is calculated in different ways depending on whether you have a limited company, a sole proprietorship, a general partnership or a limited partnership. The authority which disburses the old age pension which you earn during your working life is called the Swedish Pensions Agency
Social insurance is an important part of the Swedish social security system. It is intended to provide people with financial support in various situations. There are two authorities working with social insurance – the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) and the Swedish Pensions Agency (Pensionsmyndigheten).
The money for social insurance comes from taxes and contributions. The money largely comes from social security contributions paid by employers and entrepreneurs. This means that everyone helps to pay for the insurance.
Social security contributions
When you run a limited company, you are considered as an employee in your company and the company pays employer contributions on the salary which you take out from your company. Some of the employer contributions go towards your health insurance and old age pension.
If you run a sole proprietorship, general partnership or limited partnership, you do not take out a salary from your company. You are instead taxed based on the company’s excess and pay self-employment contributions on that. Some of the self-employment contributions go towards your health insurance and old age pension.
If the company does not report and pay any social security contributions (employer contributions or self-employment contributions), you are not entitled to sickness benefit, old age pension or other benefits based on your work. It can be said that you earn your social benefits by paying your social security contributions.
Insured in Sweden
If you are covered by the Swedish social insurance system, you are under certain circumstances entitled to different types of benefits, such as parental benefit and sickness benefit. It is the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) which decides whether or not you are entitled to benefits.
Social insurance can be divided into two parts, where you may be entitled to compensation due to your residence in Sweden or due to the fact that you work in or run a company in Sweden. If you come to Sweden without being entered into the population register, you must register yourself with the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan). The first time you apply for benefits from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan), they will look into the matter of if you live or work here and which benefits you are entitled to.
Note that if you work in a country outside of Sweden, this may affect your right to be insured, which may entail that you are not entitled to benefits from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).
Registered in Sweden
If you are entered into the population register in Sweden, you are entitled to Swedish social insurance based on your residence here. If you also work or run a company in Sweden, you are entitled to the “work-based benefits” in the social insurance, such as sickness benefit, parental benefit and old age pension.
Citizen of another EU/EEA country
If you are a citizen of another EU/EEA country but run a company or work here in Sweden, the main rule is that you must be covered by Swedish social insurance and be entitled to work-related benefits such as sickness benefit, parental benefit and old age pension.
Citizen of a country outside of the EU/EEA
If you are a third country national, you are normally entitled to the work-based benefits in the Swedish social insurance if you run a company from a fixed base of operations here in Sweden.
If you are a citizen of a country outside of the EU or EEA or if you are stateless and have a residence permit which is valid for one year or longer, you will normally be entered into the Swedish population register. In this case, you are normally entitled to the benefits under the social insurance which are based on your residence here.
If you are an asylum seeker and run a company in Sweden, you may be entitled to the types of compensation from social insurance which are work-based. Contact the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) to find out which types of compensation you are entitled to. Note that you should normally report your income to the Swedish Migration Agency if you are receiving compensation from them whilst at the same time earning money through your company.
When you start a business it is important to check which kinds of insurance you need for yourself, your company and any employees. Most insurance companies offer a package insurance policy for small businesses. Bear in mind that the insurance you have as a private individual, such as home insurance, does not normally cover business owners.
If you end your business activity
If you end your business activity on a temporary basis or end it for good, you can receive compensation from an unemployment insurance fund, (known as a-kassa). All unemployment insurance funds comply with the same regulations that are decided by Parliament. To receive compensation you must fulfil certain conditions.
Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth