Operating a Business

flag Sweden Sweden: Operating a Business

In this page: Legal Forms of Companies | The Active Population in Figures | Working Conditions | The Cost of Labour | Management of Human Resources


Legal Forms of Companies

The Aktiebolag or AB (private limited company)
Number of partners: One or more.
Capital (max/min): Minimum SEK 25,000.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is limited to the amount of capital contributed.
Public limited company
Number of partners: At least three directors
Capital (max/min): Minimum SEK 500,000
Shareholders and liability: Liability is limited to the amount of capital contributed.
The Enskild naringsidkare (individual company)
Number of partners: Only one.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is unlimited.
The Handelsbolag or HB (partnership)
Number of partners: 2 partners minimum.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is joint and unlimited regarding third parties.
The Kommanditbolag (limited partnership)
Number of partners: 2 partners minimum.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Unlimited for active partners, limited for sleeping partners.

Business Setup Procedures

Setting Up a Company Sweden OECD
Procedures (number) 4.00 5.21
Time (days) 7.50 9.47

Source: The World Bank - Doing Business, Latest data available.

The Competent Organisation
Swedish Companies Registration Office.
For Further Information
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in Sweden.
Swedish Companies Registration Office – Bolagsverket

Financial Information Directories

Dun & Bradstreet - Worldwide directory with financial information on businesses

Kompass - Swedish business directory


Recovery Procedures

Any recovery procedure begins with an injunction, by registered post, addressed to the debtor reminding him of his obligation to pay.

The creditor resorts to the accelerated procedure of the injunction to pay (Betalningsföreläggande) conducted by the Office of Seizures and can thus obtain a proof of debt rapidly, within about four months.
For further information, click here.

Insolvency can be declared by the debtor or the creditor. The court declares the insolvency and appoints an administrator. The decision must be published in the Official Gazette and in one or more newspapers circulating in the region.

Companies which appear to be viable in the long term but are in financial difficulty, can be reorganized. The application is made by the company itself and the court appoints an administrator to come to an arrangement with the creditors.

Debt restructuring means that all debts covered by the procedure are reduced or eliminated altogether. The creditors must be given the opportunity to comment on the proposal. The deciding authority will determine the proportion of the debt the debtor must pay and the repayment schedule (generally spread over 5 years).

For further information, consult the European Commission website.
Bankruptcy Laws
Bankruptcy Act (1987:672, Konkurslagen)
Reorganization and Rehabilitation Laws
Company Reorganization Act (1996:764)
Debt Restructuring Act (2006:548)

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The Active Population in Figures

Labour Force 5,399,8935,455,4065,477,192

Source: International Labour Organization - ILOSTAT, Latest data available.

Total activity rate 82.74%82.97%83.13%
Men activity rate 84.61%84.75%84.95%
Women activity rate 80.80%81.13%81.25%

Source: International Labour Organization - ILOSTAT, Latest data available.


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Working Conditions

Opening Hours
  • Legal Weekly Duration
35 or 40 hours
  • Maximum Duration
48 hours (not more than 200 hours by month)
Working Rest Day
Paid Annual Vacation
At least 5 weeks of paid vacation a year.
Retirement Age
Child Labour and Minimum Age For Employment

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The Cost of Labour


Minimum Wage
There is no minimum wage in Sweden and instead salaries are negotiated by collective bargaining between trade unions and employers.
Average Wage
According to Statistics Sweden, the average gross monthly wage was about SEK 37,100 in 2021.
Other Forms of Pay
  • Pay For Overtime
It is quite common for overtime to be paid 50% or 100% of the ordinary hourly rate according to when the overtime is worked.

Social Security Costs

The Areas Covered
Old age pension, health insurance, supplementary pension
Contributions Paid By the Employer: Swedish social security contributions for employed personnel are payable by the employer at a rate of 31.42 percent of the gross salary. There are no upper limits in respect of employer contributions.
Contributions Paid By the Employee: Swedish social security contributions are payable by the employee at the rate of 7 percent of the net earned income with a cap at an annual income of SEK 572,970 (maximum contribution SEK 40,100).
Competent Organization
Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Forsakringskassan)

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Management of Human Resources



Method of Recruitment
You find work in Sweden essentially through adverts in the major daily papers, local job centers or through personal contacts.
Recruitment Agencies
Public service for employment: AMS - Arbetsmarknadsstyrelsen and AMV - Arbetsmarknadsverket.
Recruitment agency: Juhlergroup, Sikta (in Swedish)
Recruitment Websites
Monster Sweden
English Speaking Jobs in Sweden
Expat in Sweden

The Contract

Type of Contract
The work contract is governed by legal measures and to a lesser degree by collective agreements and individual negotiation.
The work contract is generally a permanent contract, but fixed-term contracts may be signed under certain conditions.

Breach of Contracts

  • Retirement
Retirement is usually at 65.
  • Dismissals
In Sweden, dismissals may be for reasons of repeated negligence, being incapable of doing the job, being incapable of working with others, repeated drunkenness, refusal to take orders, participation in illegal strikes, etc.
Labour Laws
Labor laws in English
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labour regulations that apply to local entreprises.

Dispute Settlement


Conciliation Process

Cases of Dispute
Physical violence, moral harassment, sexual harassment, working conditions, etc.
  • Legal Framework
Certain types of work disputes can be taken directly to the industrial tribunal. In this case, the industrial tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction. For other types of dispute between employer and employee, claims must be presented before the ordinary civil court. If one of the parties is not satisfied with the decision made by the civil court, they can appeal to the industrial tribunal. In either case, the decision of the industrial tribunal is the final decision.

For further information, click here.
  • Procedure
Click here.

Judicial Structures

  • Competent Legal Body
Industrial tribunal (Arbetsdomstolen)

Social Partners

Employer Associations
SINF - Swedish Industry Association
NIR - International Council of Swedish Industry
Swedish Enterprise - Confederation of Swedish Enterprise
Tillväxtverket - Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth
Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
Unions are quite powerful in Sweden. Collective agreements are very important in Sweden and they cover most workers. Social dialogue happens only between employers and employees. However, a Commission or a State may be a third party in the negotiations. If the two parties do not come to an agreement, it is the Commission or the State that will decide and this encourages the parties to find an agreement.
Unionisation Rate
Labour Unions
LO (Landsorganisationen I Sverige) The Swedish Trade Union Confederation
TCO (Tjanstemannens Centralorganisation) (in English) The Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees

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Latest Update: March 2024