How to start your own business (in Sweden)
It’s not a fit for everyone, yet, many of us share the dream of running an own business. But how do you get started then? Where do you actually start, you know, hands on? No worries, just sit back and relax and we’ll guide you through the basics of starting your own business!
First things first though, our main market is Sweden and Brainville is a Swedish company. Thus, in this article we’ll focus on how you get started in Sweden. The rules and regulations that are mentioned here are applicable in Sweden, so in case you’re living abroad you should of course check up the relevant rules and regulations over there.
Start your own business – sole trader
There are several forms of business enterprises you can choose to register in Sweden: sole trader, starting a limited company, a trading partnership or an economic association. However, if you’ve never run a business before, starting off as a sole trader might just be a suitable starting option for you. This way, you’ll be able to get a hang of things in your own pace and see if entrepreneurship is a suitable fit for you.
As a sole trader, you can choose to just register for tax with the Swedish Tax Agency. All other forms of business enterprises have to be registered at the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket), before they are authorized to start their operations.
Running a business as a sole trader
So, what does running your business as a sole trader mean then? Well, it means exactly that: you run your business and are also fully responsible for it as a private person. No starting capital is required when you register as a sole trader, which contributes to the popularity of this form of business enterprise.
It should be added though that you can’t just start a business as a sole trader for any hobby of yours. The Swedish Tax Agency will expect you to work in order to create a profit and aim for clear business goals in your company.
When starting your business in Sweden, there are two websites that you will visit frequently: www.verksamt.se and www.skatteverket.se. At Verksamt.se, you’ll pretty much find all the information you need in one place plus lots of useful links to where to go in case you need to register somewhere else. Start here by logging in to Skatteverket and register as a new business enterprise. (Don’t worry if if feels a bit overwhelming, you’ll soon receive more government information than you even knew you needed;)).
Money, money, money….
In conjunction with starting up as a sole trader, you also need to apply for F-tax (F-skatt) and VAT registration (moms). Remember what we mentioned about hobbies above? In order to keep your F-tax and VAT registration, you’ll also need to show the Swedish Tax Authority that you’re serious about your company and that you are able to run a business. Business owners that may have started a business as a sole trader when they perhaps ought to have kept to their hobbies instead, run a risk of losing their F-tax. Thus, think twice about your motives and ambitions before you start!
Where applicable, you might also need to register as an employer with the Swedish Tax Agency. Once approved and registered, your business will be identified with your Swedish social security number.
Registering a name for your business is optional when you’re a sole trader. However, in case you’ve got ambitions (which we dare presume you do) you’ll probably realize that registering your name with the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket) is a good idea, as it grants you exclusive rights to the name in the country where you will be operating.
These are the basic steps that you need to do when you get started here in Sweden. Luckily, Sweden is a very startup-friendly community so there are also lots of free courses, webinars and government arranged information opportunities you can attend and dive further into the details applicable to you. Verksamt.se for example arranges “Start your own business” days on a regular basis. During these opportunities, government representatives from government functions such as Skatteverket, Bolagsverket, Försäkringskassan, to name a few, are present and can answer questions.
Please note though that no Swedish governments are allowed to give any personal advice to you! In case you’re confused and need more in-depth help, we’d advise you to seek help from a trusted advisor within the area concerned.
We hope that this clarifies how and where to get started. Any other business or freelancing questions you’d like to ask us? Do let us know!
/Your Brainville team