Asylum seekers and newcomers can start businesses in Sweden.
For asylum seekers
You can start a business while you wait for the decision about your asylum application. To start a business in Sweden you must be registered for F-tax (F-skatt). You must also have a coordination number (samordningsnummer), which is instead of a personal identity number. You can get both from the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).
Important information for asylum seekers to know
You can run a business while seeking asylum but if your application for asylum is rejected you cannot then change your mind and apply for a work permit. If you have worked instead as an employee for four months and have an offer of at least 12 more months of work with the same employer, then you can apply for a work permit if your application for asylum is rejected. If you want to be an employee, you must show the employer that you have permission from the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket).
If you have a residence permit
If you have a residence permit, it is important to register in the Swedish population register (folkbokföring) at the Swedish Tax Agency.
Important information to know if you have a temporary residence permit
If you have refugee status, you get a three year temporary residence permit. If you have the status of a person in other need of protection, you get a 13 month residence permit. If you can support yourself on money from your business by the time your temporary residence permit ends, you can apply for a permanent residence permit. It can be harder for the authorities to see whether you can support yourself with money through your business than if you are an employee.
Start a business
When you start a business, you must decide on the type of business and choose a business name. You must register the business with the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket). This is the government agency which registers information about businesses and associations in Sweden.
Choose a business name
If you choose a good name for your business, it will be easier for your customers and others to find you. There are rules about which words you can use and it must be a name that nobody else has.
Register with the Swedish Companies Registration Office
When you register your business with the Swedish Companies Registration Office, you must send in the registration by post. Go to bolagsverket.se and fill in a registration form. The form you need for each type of company is listed here:
Choose a business type
You start and run a business by yourself. You don’t need start capital but you must pay taxes and invoices yourself if your business cannot pay. You are also responsible for keeping contracts you sign.
You register your new business with the Swedish Tax Agency.
You don’t need to register your business with the Swedish Companies Registration Office but you can if you want to protect your company name in the area where it is registered. No one else can then use the same name. It costs SEK 1 400 .
A limited company can have employees and own things. You need SEK 50 000 in total in start capital (cash or things worth this amount). You can lose this start capital if the business goes badly.
You must write a record of who has invested money in the business or has shares. These are called shareholders. Shareholders choose a board of directors to run the business. These are called board members. If there are one or two members, there must also be at least one reserve member called a deputy. You might need to have an auditor too.
The shareholders must have a meeting once a year. They make decisions about the business and look at the finances. They must send in an annual report to the Swedish Companies Registration Office every year. It is a document with information about the business and shows if it has gone well during the year.
It costs SEK 2 200 to register a limited company. The Swedish Companies Registration Office checks that nobody has the same business name as you. Your business name is protected in the whole of Sweden.
Two or more people can start this type of business together. You have an agreement and are partners. Partners can be people or businesses. You don’t need start capital but you and your partners may have to pay invoices or taxes with your own money if the business does not go well.
It costs SEK 1 400 to register a trading partnership with the Swedish Companies Registration Office.
You can start an economic association with at least three members. Members can be people or businesses. Each member pays money, called a membership fee, to join the association. You can all lose this money if the association goes badly. All the members work actively for the common interests of the association.
The association is run by a board of at least three people. You must keep accounts and write an annual report every year. Sometimes this must be sent in to the Swedish Companies Registration Office.
It costs SEK 1 400 to register an economic association with the Swedish Companies Registration Office.