For asylum seekers and new arrivalsThe page was last modified:
You can start a business while your application for asylum is in progress.
For asylum seekers
You can start a business while your application for asylum is in progress. First, you apply for F-tax (Swedish corporate tax) registration with the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). If you are running your own business, you must pay F-tax. Once you have been registered for F-tax, you get a coordination number from the Swedish Tax Agency. The coordination number is for those who do not have a personal identity number (personnummer) and is necessary for you as an asylum seeker to be able to start a business in Sweden.
Consider this before you decide to go ahead
Before you decide to start a business, remember that as an asylum seeker entrepreneur you cannot change track if your application for asylum is rejected. However, after a rejection, asylum seekers who have been employed for a period of four months and are guaranteed 12 months of further employment may change track and apply for a work permit.
If you have been granted a residence permit
If you received a permanent or temporary residence permit, you must register yourself in Sweden’s population register through the Swedish Tax Agency as soon as possible. Registration in the population register is essential for access to courses in Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) and becoming part of the Swedish social insurance system. Once you are registered, you can also get a Swedish identity document, which you need to open a bank account, for example.
Consider this if you have a temporary residence permit
If you have been granted refugee status, you will get a residence permit for a period of three years. If you have been granted the status of a person otherwise in need of protection, you will get a residence permit for a period of 13 months.
If you can support yourself with your business by the time your temporary residence permit expires, you will have the opportunity to apply for a permanent residence permit. However, remember that it may be more difficult for the authorities to assess whether you can support yourself as a self-employed person than if you are employed.
The Swedish Public Employment Service
You may be able to get assistance and support from the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) when you start your own business. The assistance programme is called Stöd till start av näringsverksamhet (assistance for starting a business). The Swedish Public Employment Service will want to see your business concept and business plan to assess your capacity to succeed with your business. Speak with your employment officer and ask if it might be applicable to you. You can get assistance with:
- practical placements in the occupation/industry in which you intend to start a business
- courses with an interpreter on the rules that apply to entrepreneurs concerning taxes, record-keeping requirements, and permits for different industries
- mentor support and individual advice in your home language
- guidance in establishing various contacts and accessing networks in different industries
- follow-up by a consultant in your home language about how your business is going.
You can read more about the programme in the Fact sheet for jobseekers – Support while starting a business at the Swedish Public Employment Service. The fact sheet is available in a dozen languages.
It might be a good idea to get help from an advisor if you want to start a business. There is plenty of support available in different languages for setting up a business in Sweden.
Starting a business in Sweden
In the publication Starting a business in Sweden, you get information about Swedish regulations and where you can read more about starting a business in Sweden. The publication is available in following languages:
Starting a business almost without money
In the booklet “Starting a business almost without money”, you can read about others who started a business and get further tips and advice. This book is available in Swedish, English, Farsi and Arabic.
Download the English version of “Starting a business almost without money”
Download the Persian version of "Starting a business almost without money"
Download the Arabic version of "Starting a business almost without money"
Download the Swedish version of "Starting a business almost without money"
Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth