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.

  • 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 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.

General Information


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

21.4%

Standard share capital

50,000 SEK (approx. 6,100 EUR) paid in advance

Office Holders


Company Secretary (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

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