Sweden is a business-friendly country and starting up a company or branch based in Sweden is relatively easy compared to other European countries. The first thing to do is to determine what kind of enterprise you want your business to be. The different options are a limited liability company (aktielbolag), a sole trader (Enskild Näringsidkare), a trading partnership (Handelsbolag) and or limited partnership (Kommanditbolag) or a branch (filia) of a foreign based company.
A limited liability company based and registered in Sweden is required to have a capital of at least SEK 100,000. A limited liability company will need to have a board of directors and a manager.
A branch is registered outside of Sweden but must have a managing director and separate accounts from its foreign parent company.
All kinds of companies (with more than 10 employees) will need to keep a clerk (company secretary) and comply with Swedish accountancy regulations. Swedish based companies will need to send their accounts annually to the Bolagsverket (Swedish Companies Registration Office). A branch does not need capital if the parent company is based outside of Sweden and it may be possible to get tax benefits for the start up period.
To start up a company in Sweden you need to follow these steps:
Written statement from the bank assuring that the initial amount for the shares has been paid into an account (for a limited liability company).
Submit an application to the Swedish Companies Registration office (Bolagsverket). It usually takes around two weeks to obtain a registration certificate. The fee for an ordinary filling is SEK 2,200 and for an electronic one SEK 1,900.
Register with the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).
After registration at the tax office your enterprise will receive a unique corporate identity number (Oranisationummer), which will be sent to your registered company address. You will pay an annual tax on the estimated yearly profit, which is amendable during the year. 25% VAT is chargeable on all goods and services, except for hotels and restaurants (12%) and transport, magazines, newspapers, books and entries to cultural or sporting events (6%). If your company imports goods it will need to pay the Swedish customs duty (Tullverket).