Before you get started

This guide is for people who live outside Sweden and intend to run a sole trader business here. Being a sole trader means that you run your company as a natural person, not as a legal entity.

This guide does not apply to you if you already live in Sweden and wish to start a sole trader business here. If this is the case, please refer to the page “Registering a business” to find out about different company types and how to register a business.

Citizens of countries that are not in the EU/EES will need a permit from the Swedish Migration Agency (“Migrationsverket”) to run a business in Sweden.

If you are from a country that is not in the EU/EES, you must also appoint a manager who lives in Sweden to represent your business. You must register your manager with the Swedish Companies Registration Office (“Bolagsverket”).

How to register a business

If you plan to work as a sole trader in Sweden, you must normally register your business with the Swedish tax Agency.

You must register your business if any of the following circumstances apply:

Companies that are registered for Swedish F-tax are responsible for paying their own preliminary tax and social security contributions. You can choose whether or not to apply for F-tax, but remember that many individuals and organisations in Sweden prefer to hire companies that are registered for F-tax.

If your company is not registered, your clients may be liable to pay preliminary tax and employer contributions themselves for the work you do. For this reason, it’s advisable to apply for F-tax if you have business operations in Sweden – even if you don’t need to pay corporate income tax in Sweden.

You must register your business for VAT if you intend to sell VAT-liable products or services in Sweden, on which you will pay the VAT. This applies whether or not your company is established in Sweden.

Most companies with operations that employ people in Sweden are obliged to register as employers, as well as declaring and paying employer contributions and deducting tax from the salaries and benefits paid to their employees. There are some exceptions to these rules. You can learn more about these under “Registering as an employer” (in Swedish).

You must apply for FA-tax if you are a sole trader with F-tax certification and you are also an employee, or are planning to go into employment. FA-tax means that your employer pays preliminary tax and employer contributions on your salary to the Swedish Tax Agency. You continue to pay preliminary tax and self-employed contributions on earnings for work you do in your business.

Being employed can affect how much preliminary tax you need to pay for your sole trader business. You will need to file a new preliminary tax return so that the Swedish Tax Agency can recalculate how much preliminary tax you should pay each month.

You must inform the Swedish Tax Agency of any changes in your business circumstances. We need this information to accurately assess your company’s status.

You must change your registration details if:

  • the type of company you are operating changes
  • you extend your operations into a new area of business
  • your period of stay in Sweden is extended or shortened
  • the timeframe for your building project in Sweden is extended or shortened
  • you start or stop employing staff in Sweden
  • You become employed in Sweden. In this case, you must apply for FA-tax registration
  • Your annual turnover will be higher than SEK 1 million, and you file a VAT return once a year
  • you should no longer be registered for VAT
  • you wish to change the address you have registered with the Swedish Tax Agency
  • you close down your business operations in Sweden.

It is important that you apply for deregistration if you close down your company’s operations in Sweden. By deregistering, you avoid being charged late payment fees or tax surcharges. As long as your company continues to be registered in Sweden, you must file tax returns and report taxes and fees.

Bookkeeping and documentation

A sole trader with operations in Sweden:

  • may have bookkeeping obligations according to the Swedish Bookkeeping Act
  • must ensure that there is sufficient documentation to fulfil its information disclosure obligations, and for the Swedish Tax Agency to check that correct information has been provided.

Does your company receive payment for sales in cash, via debit cards, or using digital payment services such as Swish? If so, you must register the sales using a cash register.

Employers in certain industries must keep a record of all staff and the hours they work in a staff register. This applies to you if your company belongs to any of the following sectors:

  • building and construction
  • restaurant
  • hairdressing
  • laundry services
  • motor vehicle maintenance services
  • beauty and personal care
  • grocery or tobacco wholesaling

In the case of the building and construction sector, the staff register requirement applies as long as business activities are carried out on a building site where equipment has been provided by the property developer, allowing an electronic staff register to be kept. The property developer is obliged to do this.

A staff register for building and construction operations must be kept electronically. For other types of businesses, staff registers can be kept either manually or electronically. The staff register must be readily available for the Swedish Tax Agency to check on the business premises or building site. The information contained in the staff register must be kept for a set period – most often two years.

Despite employers’ obligation to keep a staff register, there are certain exceptions.

Filing a tax return

Non-Swedish sole traders with operations in Sweden may be required to file Swedish income tax returns. Other circumstances may also require you to file income tax returns, for example if you own a property in Sweden.

To declare income, you need to follow these steps

1. File a preliminary income tax declaration

A non-Swedish sole trader who registers a business in Sweden, and is liable to pay Swedish corporate income tax, must pay preliminary tax on an ongoing monthly basis. This is to avoid having to pay tax for a full year all at once. To enable the Swedish Tax Agency to calculate the amount of preliminary tax your business needs to pay, you must file a preliminary income tax return.

2. File an income tax return

You must file an income tax return, plus the NE appendix, by 2 May of the year that follows the end of the income year.

Sole traders that are registered for VAT in Sweden must report VAT by filing VAT returns. You should register your company for VAT if you intend to sell VAT-liable goods or services in Sweden, on which you must pay the VAT.

You have to file your VAT returns at specified intervals, depending on whether you are registered to submit them on an annual, quarterly or monthly basis.

As a rule, most sales of goods and services in Sweden are subject to VAT, but there are some exceptions. Here you can find out about the VAT rates for the most common types of products and services, and how much VAT you should charge when selling them.

Most sole traders that employ staff must pay employer contributions. The contribution rate partly depends on whether or not your company has permanent establishment in Sweden.

lick the link below to find out what a permanent establishment is, and how to determine whether or not your company has a permanent establishment in Sweden. You can also find out about how a permanent establishment affects your company’s taxes, fees and bookkeeping.

You can determine whether or not your company has a permanent establishment based on how you conduct business in Sweden.

The amount you need to pay for an employee also depends on their year of birth and how long they will work in Sweden. If your company has brought over staff to Sweden, you may be required to continue paying their social security contributions in their home country. If so, you do not need to pay employer contributions for them in Sweden. This applies mainly to companies that do not have permanent establishment in Sweden.

Employer contributions are calculated for the total gross salary and benefits. You must declare and pay employer contributions each month.

Excise duty is a type of consumption tax levied on certain products.

Excise duty on tobacco must be paid on cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, smoking tobacco, moist snuff (“snus”) and chewing tobacco. Excise duty on tobacco applies to:

  • products manufactured in Sweden
    products imported or received from other EU countries
    products imported from countries outside the EU.

The rates of duty vary for different EU countries.

Excise duty on alcohol must be paid on beer, wine and other yeast-fermented drinks, as well as ethyl alcohol and “medium-class” products (products with an alcohol content up to 22% by volume that are not taxed as wine, beer or other yeast-fermented drinks).

Excise duty on alcohol applies to:

  • products manufactured in Sweden
  • products imported or received from other EU countries
  • products imported from countries outside the EU.

The rates of duty vary for different EU countries.

Excise duty on energy products must be paid on electricity and different types of fuel. Taxes on energy products and carbon dioxide must be paid on most fuels used in combustion engines or for heating. Fuels with a certain sulphur content are also subject to sulphur tax. If you are an electricity grid owner or you produce electricity, you will normally be required to declare and pay energy tax on the electricity. Lower tax rates may apply to electricity or fuels used in certain industries or operations. Examples include industrial manufacturing processes and agriculture.

How to pay taxes and apply for refunds

If you pay tax in Sweden, the Swedish Tax Agency will create a tax account for you. You can log in to our e-service to see your tax payments and refunds. Here you can find out how to make a payment or apply for a refund.

Before you get started

There are different procedures for corporate tax registration in Sweden. Certain steps need to be followed, depending on whether you intend to establish operations in Sweden for an existing company established elsewhere, or you plan to start a new business.

This guide is for those who wish to establish operations in Sweden for an existing non-Swedish company. (If you would like to start a new business in Sweden, please go to “Registering a Business” instead.) On this page, you will find information about different types of companies, and how to register them

Registering a business

A non-Swedish company with operations in Sweden may be obliged to register a local branch in Sweden. Before registering your company for tax with the Swedish Tax Agency, you should contact the Swedish Companies Registration Office (“Bolagsverket”) to check whether you need to register a local branch.

If you do register a local branch, the Swedish Companies Registration Office will provide your company with a Swedish identity number.


If your company is obliged to register a local branch, please complete the following steps:

1. Register a local branch with the Swedish Companies Registration Office

Read more and download the forms at bolagsverket.se.

2. Register your company with the Swedish Tax Agency

When your local branch has been registered with the Swedish Companies Registration Office, you should register your business for corporate tax with the Swedish Tax Agency.

A non-Swedish company with operations in Sweden should normally be registered with the Swedish Tax Agency. This applies whether or not the company has permanent establishment in Sweden.

You must register your business if any of the following circumstances apply:

Companies that are registered for Swedish F-tax are responsible for paying their own preliminary tax and social security contributions. You can choose whether or not to apply for F-tax, but remember that many individuals and organisations in Sweden prefer to hire companies that are registered for F-tax.

If your company is not registered, your clients may be liable to pay preliminary tax and employer contributions themselves for the work you do. For this reason, it’s advisable to apply for F-tax if you have business operations in Sweden – even if you don’t need to pay corporate income tax in Sweden.

You must register your business for VAT if you intend to sell VAT-liable products or services in Sweden, on which you will pay the VAT. This applies whether or not your company is established in Sweden.

Most companies with operations that employ people in Sweden are obliged to register as employers, as well as declaring and paying employer contributions and deducting tax from the salaries and benefits paid to their employees. There are, however, exceptions to these rules, which you can learn more about under “Registering as an employer”.

Non-Swedish companies are obliged to inform the Swedish Tax Agency of any changes in their circumstances. We need this information to reassess your company’s status.

You must change your registration details if:

  • the type of company you are operating changes
  • you extend your operations into a new area of business
  • your period of stay in Sweden is extended or shortened
  • the timeframe for your building project in Sweden is extended or shortened
  • you start or stop employing staff in Sweden
  • your profit will be higher or lower than your estimate, which will have an impact on the preliminary tax you pay
  • your turnover will be higher than SEK 1 million, and you file a VAT return once a year
  • your turnover will be higher than SEK 40 million, and you file VAT returns quarterly
  • your business’s financial year changes
  • you should no longer be registered for VAT
  • your business moves to another address
  • you close down your business operations in Sweden.

It is important that you apply for deregistration if you close down your company’s operations in Sweden. By deregistering, you avoid being charged late payment fees or tax surcharges. As long as your company continues to be registered in Sweden, you must file tax returns and report taxes and fees.

Bookkeeping and documentation

A non-Swedish company with operations in Sweden:

  • may have bookkeeping obligations according to the Swedish Bookkeeping Act
  • must ensure that there is sufficient documentation to fulfil its information disclosure obligations, and for the Swedish Tax Agency to check that correct information has been provided.

Does your company receive payment for sales in cash, via debit cards, or using digital payment services such as Swish? If so, you must register the sales using a cash register.

Employers in certain industries must keep a record of all staff and the hours they work in a staff register. This applies to you if your company belongs to any of the following sectors:

  • building and construction
  • restaurant
  • hairdressing
  • laundry services
  • motor vehicle maintenance services
  • beauty and personal care
  • grocery or tobacco wholesaling

In the case of the building and construction sector, the staff register requirement applies as long as business activities are carried out on a building site where equipment has been provided by the property developer, allowing an electronic staff register to be kept. The property developer is obliged to do this.

A staff register for building and construction operations must be kept electronically. For other types of businesses, staff registers can be kept either manually or electronically. The staff register must be readily available for the Swedish Tax Agency to check on the business premises or building site. The information contained in the staff register must be kept for a set period – most often two years.

Despite employers’ obligation to keep a staff register, there are certain exceptions.

Filing a tax return

Non-Swedish companies that have permanent establishment in Sweden must file Swedish tax returns. Some non-Swedish companies that are do not have permanent establishment may also need to file tax returns – for example, if they own a property in Sweden.

Click the link below to find out what a permanent establishment is, and how to determine whether or not your company has a permanent establishment in Sweden. You can also find out about how a permanent establishment affects your company’s taxes, fees and bookkeeping.

You can determine whether or not your company has a permanent establishment based on how you conduct business in Sweden.

There are two steps that should be completed when declaring a company’s income:

1. Filing a preliminary income tax declaration

When a non-Swedish company registers its business in Sweden and is liable to pay Swedish corporate income tax, the company must pay preliminary tax on an ongoing monthly basis, from the start of business. This is to avoid having to pay tax for a full year all at once. To enable the Swedish Tax Agency to calculate the amount of preliminary tax your company needs to pay, you must file a preliminary income tax return.

2. Filing an income tax return

The return must be filed by a specified date in the year that follows the end of a particular tax year. The Swedish Tax Agency then calculates the final tax due to be paid or refunded on the basis of the information provided in the return.

Companies that are registered for VAT in Sweden must report VAT by filing VAT returns. You should register your company for VAT if you intend to sell VAT-liable goods or services in Sweden, on which you must pay the VAT.

You have to file your VAT returns at specified intervals, depending on whether you are registered to submit them on an annual, quarterly or monthly basis.

As a rule, most sales of goods and services in Sweden are subject to VAT, but there are some exceptions. Here you can find out about the VAT rates for the most common types of products and services, and how much VAT you should charge when selling them.

Paying VAT and applying for a refund

You pay VAT into your tax account with the Swedish Tax Agency. You can log into our e-service to see a summary of your company’s tax payments. Follow the links to find out more about paying VAT into the account, getting a refund, and notifying us of a foreign bank account.

Most companies that employ staff must pay employer contributions. The contribution rate partly depends on whether or not your company has permanent establishment in Sweden.

Click the link below to find out what a permanent establishment is, and how to determine whether or not your company has a permanent establishment in Sweden. You can also find out about how a permanent establishment affects your company’s taxes, fees and bookkeeping.

You can determine whether or not your company has a permanent establishment based on how you conduct business in Sweden.

The amount you need to pay for an employee also depends on their year of birth and how long they will work in Sweden.

If your company has brought over staff to Sweden, you may be required to continue paying their social security contributions in their home country. If so, you do not need to pay employer contributions for them in Sweden. This applies mainly to companies that do not have permanent establishment in Sweden.

Employer contributions are calculated for the total gross salary and benefits. You must declare and pay employer contributions each month.

Excise duty is a type of consumption tax levied on certain products.

Excise duty on tobacco must be paid on cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, smoking tobacco, moist snuff (“snus”) and chewing tobacco. Excise duty on tobacco applies to:

  • products manufactured in Sweden
    products imported or received from other EU countries
    products imported from countries outside the EU.

The rates of duty vary for different EU countries.

Excise duty on alcohol must be paid on beer, wine and other yeast-fermented drinks, as well as ethyl alcohol and “medium-class” products (products with an alcohol content up to 22% by volume that are not taxed as wine, beer or other yeast-fermented drinks).

Excise duty on alcohol applies to:

  • products manufactured in Sweden
  • products imported or received from other EU countries
  • products imported from countries outside the EU.

The rates of duty vary for different EU countries.

Excise duty on energy products must be paid on electricity and different types of fuel. Taxes on energy products and carbon dioxide must be paid on most fuels used in combustion engines or for heating. Fuels with a certain sulphur content are also subject to sulphur tax. If you are an electricity grid owner or you produce electricity, you will normally be required to declare and pay energy tax on the electricity. Lower tax rates may apply to electricity or fuels used in certain industries or operations. Examples include industrial manufacturing processes and agriculture.

How to pay taxes and apply for refunds

If you pay tax in Sweden, the Swedish Tax Agency will create a tax account for you. You can log in to our e-service to see your tax payments and refunds. Here you can find out how to make a payment or apply for a refund.