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Sales of goods on town squares and markets

Town square and market trading is the sale of goods on streets, town squares, markets, flea markets, fairs, sporting events, festivals, in temporary premises and similar. Such sales are treated differently depending on what you are selling and  which type of operation they are being sold through.

They can be:

  • business activities,
  • hobby activities, or
  • sale of personal effects

Only businesses are required to use a cash register

The cash register you use must be approved, which means it must have a manufacturer’s declaration and a certified control unit. Those who operate a business are required to use a cash register. Hobby activities and temporary sales in a limited scope, e.g. fundraising by school students, do not need to use a cash register.

Certain types of business are exempt, including businesses where the cash sales are insignificant. They are insignificant when :
  • cash sales do not normally exceed four times the price base amount, including statutory  value added tax (VAT)
  • cash sales only occur on an exceptional basis and where the scope of such sales is small compared to the businesses’ total sales.

Exemption from using a cash register

The Swedish Tax Agency can grant a full or partial exemption when an obligation linked to the requirement on using a cash register is unreasonable.

Outdoor trading in difficult weather conditions is not sufficient grounds to be granted an exemption. The non-availability of electric power at the place of trading is also not sufficient grounds for granting an exemption.

If you are selling goods both in a store and on a town square, you are required to use a cash register in both places even if the sales made on the town square amount to less than four times the price base amount. The reason for this is that the limit of four times the price base amount applies to the company’s total sales and that town square sales are not normally considered to be a separate operation within the company.

Unmanned cellar-door sales are not subject to the cash register requirement. This applies irrespective of the scope of such sales. Unmanned cellar-door sales are not to be included if you are registering other cash sales (e.g. town square) that require a cash register.

Registering your cash register

You are required to register your cash register and control unit with the Swedish Tax Agency. The simplest way to do this is at the Tax Agency’s e-service for cash registers.

Cash receipts

You are required to always offer the customer a cash receipt. You must always produce a cash receipt irrespective of whether the customer pays in cash or by credit card. Other forms of electronic payment are subject to the same requirements as credit card payments. You may give the customer an electronic cash receipt instead of on paper. You are required to produce a cash receipt – in paper or electronic format – even if the customer does not ask for a cash receipt or if the customer leaves without waiting for the receipt. You may then subsequently dispose of the receipt. You can dispose of an electronic cash receipt be sending it from your company to an external electronic recycle bin.

Address information on cash receipts

A cash receipt must contain certain information, e.g. the address of your place of business. It is common for companies who conduct town square and market trading not to have access to business premises at their trading location. In this case you may give another address. It could be your home address or a PO box.

No access to electric power or in the event of a power failure

If there is no electric power available at your place of trading you are required to arrange your own supply of electric power, or use a battery-powered cash register. In the event of an unexpected power failure where you are using a mains-operated cash register, you may continue to sell goods without registering the sales in the cash register while you waiting for power to be restored. In other words you are not required to have a battery-powered cash register as a back-up.

Reporting a malfunctioning cash register to the Swedish Tax Agency

If your cash register stops working due to a malfunction you are required to report it to the Swedish Tax Agency. This applies particularly in the case of a prolonged operational interruption.
This includes a malfunction that requires the cash register to be repaired if the repair work cannot be performed on the day of trading. You are not required to report a cash register malfunction caused by power cuts, bad weather or other circumstances over which you have no control.

Documenting sales if your cash register malfunctions

If you are unable to register your sales in the cash register due to a power failure you are required to register the sales in another suitable manner. Sales shall be documented in accordance with the provisions of the Swedish Accounting Act and the standards of the Swedish Accounting Standards Board. This means that it is sufficient to register the transaction in a cash book or cash report. In such cases you should not register the sale in the cash register retroactively. You can offer the customer a receipt from a receipt book.

When you use a cash register

Important to remember when you use a cash register:

  • make sure the clock inside the cash register is correctly set
  • register the cash float in the cash register before you begin the day’s sale
  • print and save a ‘Z report’ for each day you have registered sales.
  • save the cash register’s control ribbon or journal for seven years as it is classed as accounting material.
  • keep the instruction manual for the cash register which lists all its functions and shows how to adjust the settings.

Personnel ledge

You are required to maintain a personnel ledger if you operate a business in the restaurant, hairdressing or laundry industries. This means you are required to keep a daily record of personnel who work for you, and at what times. You should keep the personal ledger at your place of business. If you run a business via a mobile kitchen, e.g. a hotdog stand, the stand is your place of business.

Swedish Tax Agency’s inspection visits

The Swedish Tax Agency performs inspection and audit visits without prior notice. If you are subject to one of these visits you are required to provide the information that the Swedish Tax Agency requests. The purpose of these visits is to ensure that your cash register complies with the existing requirements and to check that you are using your cash register in the correct manner. During such inspections, the Tax Agency can perform customer counts, make control purchases, perform receipt controls and carry out an inventory of the cash float. The agency can also inspect your personnel ledger to check that all the people at work are registered. If you fail in the fulfilment of your obligations the Tax Agency may decide to charge an inspection fee. A decision by the Swedish Tax Agency can be appealed.

The Swedish Tax Agency also performs unannounced inspection visits to control the identity of the person conducting market or town square trading and to check the validity of your approval for F tax (tax approval for businesses), and ask questions about your business.


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