Establishing a company in Sweden

Sweden is in Northern Europe; it is one of the Scandinavian countries along with Norway to the west and Finland to the east. It is also connected to Denmark via a bridge-tunnel that crosses the Øresund. It is a parliamentary democracy working under a constitutional monarchy, so it has a king but is run by a democratically elected government. Population is 9.5 million spread over a huge area, so that it boasts magnificent landscapes remained untouched through the years. The official language is Swedish and the capital is Stockholm. It has a stable and developed economy, advanced telecommunication systems and an educated work force – making it very attractive and lucrative for foreign companies dealing in a wide range of activities.

Sweden is an EU member state but is not part of the eurozone. It maintains local currency and does not operate in tandem with the euro-based economies. This has proved beneficial during the recent crisis, and today the country has one of the world’s most stable and flourishing economies, similar to the other Scandinavian states.

Due to its northern location winter months provide only little sunlight (dusk by 4 PM), very low temperatures and heavy snows. In contrast, summer days are almost endless with few dark hours in between. Its topography and proximity to the coast moderate average temperatures, making winters less severe than neighbors sharing the same northern latitude.

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Three things you did not know about Sweden:

  • Unlike many other Western states, Sweden has a deeply-rooted outdoor culture; this is even a legally mandated law establishing the right of all to take a hike, set up a tent, pick flowers and eat whatever natural bounty is around unless taken from private property.
  • In 2013 The Economist, a respected economic newspaper, ranked the Nordic Scandinavian countries as best in the world in terms of efficient and functional government, with Sweden ranked the very highest. Generally, it is considered to demonstrate great transparency, government competence and economic responsibility towards its citizens. Also, it is one of the world’s most egalitarian countries in income distribution and social gaps.
  • In 2013 the Swedish government withdrew from a huge contract with internet giant Google for use of its cloud services. Also, it banned public sector employees from using cloud services in any materials relating to the state for fear of information security breaches and Google’s assertion that certain data is archived by external agents.

Sweden’s economy

Sweden is considered an unquestionably huge success with an extremely stable economy, high-quality and inviting business environment, and progressive welfare policy for its citizens. GDP is 400 billion USD and per capita income is 40,000 USD. The local currency is the krona (SEK). It has a tiny deficit (debt to GDP ratio of only 36%) and its banks are particularly stable. It has produced some of the world’s leading international companies, including Ericsson, Scania, Electrolux, Volvo, SAS (Scandinavian Airlines), Securitas, IKEA, H&M and many others. Additional important sectors include engineering, telecommunications, lumber, hydroelectric energy, as well as high-tech and life sciences.

Despite its reputation for a very unified (and unionized) work force, with strong union representation, the country has made changes from the ‘70s in its shift to a free trade economy. So workers are still protected and organized, but their unions have weakened.

The Swedish economy is considered very innovative with one of the world’s highest competitiveness rates. It survived the recent financial crises with great success thanks to responsible government policy. It is a welfare state but has also in recent decades been undergoing dramatic changes to reduce taxes and increase competitiveness and openness, thus also improving the economic situation of both state and citizens. The tax rates are relatively high, but it does offer many business and financial advantages that are certainly worthy of consideration.

Additional information about establishing offshore companies in Sweden:

General
Type of company
AB – Private LLC
Relevant Companies Law

The Companies Act (2005:551)
 

Offices
Law requires companies to provide a local office address
Language of original incorporation documents
Swedish
Finance and Taxation
Currency
SEK
Corporate tax rate
26.3%
Standard share capital
50,000 SEK (approx. 6,100 EUR) paid in advance
Office Holders
Secretary
Obligation to appoint company secretary
Not required
Obligation to appoint local secretary
Irrelevant
Type of entity that may function as company secretary
Irrelevant
Director
Obligation to appoint company director
Required
Obligation to appoint local company director
At least half of directors and deputies must be EEA residents
Minimum number of directors
1 (and also deputy must be appointed)
Type of entity that may serve as company director
Individual
Shareholders
Obligation to register shareholders
Required
Obligation to register local shareholders
Not required
Minimum number of shareholders
1
Type of entity that may register as shareholder
Individual and/or company
Type of shares
Registered shares or bearer shares
Accessibility of Information
Company registrar
Information regarding office holders accessible to the public
Annual Assembly and Reporting
Obligation to hold annual assembly
Required
Obligation to prepare financial reports
Required
Obligation to submit financial reports
Required