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Types of Companies in Sweden

Types of Companies in Sweden

If you are interested in opening a company in Sweden, you must have knowledge of each company structure available in this country. Please consult with our Swedish lawyers for any kind of incorporation information. They will not only guide you about the types of companies in Sweden but also advise you in detail about the pros and cons of each structure. You can also get legal advice from our lawyers regarding which company structure suits best to your business needs. 

Company structures in Sweden

There are several types of companies in Sweden. Here are some of the most common types of company structures:

  • Limited Liability Company (Aktiebolag): This is the most common type of company structure in Sweden. It is a separate legal entity and provides limited liability protection for its shareholders. It requires a minimum share capital of SEK 25,000 (approx. EUR 3,000) for private and SEK 500,000 (approx. EUR 61,000) for public limited companies. A Swedish LLC is required to have at least one director and one shareholder;
  • Sole Proprietorship (Enskild firma): This is a company structure in which an individual is the sole owner and is responsible for all debts and liabilities of the business. This type of structure is relatively easy to set up and does not require a lot of paperwork;
  • Partnership (Handelsbolag): This is a structure in which two or more individuals or entities share the profits and losses of the business. The partners are personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business;
  • Limited Partnership (Kommanditbolag): This is a company structure in which there are one or more general partners who are fully liable for the debts and obligations of the business, and one or more limited partners who have limited liability;
  • European Public Limited Company (Europabolag): This is a company that is governed by EU law and can be registered in any EU member state. It requires a minimum share capital of €120,000;
  • Cooperative (Ekonomisk förening): This is a company structure in which the members share the profits and losses of the business. It is governed by the principle of “one member, one vote”;
  • Non-Profit Organization (Ideell förening): This is a company structure that is run for a specific purpose, such as charitable or educational purposes. It is governed by its bylaws and is not owned by its members;
  • Foundation (Stiftelse): This is a structure that is created for a specific purpose, such as charitable or educational purposes. It is governed by its articles of association and is not owned by its members.

If you are interested in any type of Swedish company structure mentioned above, you are welcome to get in touch with our lawyers. Our lawyers in Sweden will not only guide you about it but also practically assist you with the incorporation process.

Criteria to choose the types of companies in Sweden

When setting up a business in Sweden, there are various criteria under which one can select the legal entity that suits them. From this point of view, it should be noted that except for sole traders, all of the aforementioned company forms are recognized as legal entities. A sole trader implies a business activity conducted by an individual and not by an organization.

Just like a natural person, a legal entity—such as a limited company—has the same rights as an individual to own property, make loans, face legal action, and hire employees. It is essential that there be a distinct separation between the business and the owner (shareholder/stakeholder) because of the liability of the enterprise. However, this is not the case for sole proprietors. Here, the business’ finances and the trader’s are the same. This is why, keeping this criterion in mind is very important when choosing the Swedish company type.

You can obtain more information about what liability implies from our lawyers in Sweden.

Participants in different types of companies

Based on the business form selected, here are the main aspects to consider in terms of ownership:

  • at least one shareholder is required to establish a private or public limited liability company in Sweden;
  • in the case of partnerships, there is the need to be at least two members;
  • the sole trader can only work alone.

Another way to distinguish between the owners is if they are natural persons or companies. Both types of participants are accepted with the mention that in the case of a sole trader, the stakeholders cannot be legal entities. In other words, the sole proprietorship is available to natural persons only.

Our law firm in Sweden can assist in setting up any of the available legal forms accepted by the Company Law.

Legal forms available for foreign companies in Sweden

Foreign companies seeking to enter the Swedish market can choose between:

  • branch offices;
  • liaison offices;
  • subsidiaries.

Out of these, the subsidiary will use one of the types of companies with the legal personality mentioned above, namely a private or public limited liability company.

In the case of a branch office, it can be created by a foreign business that conducts operations in Sweden under independent administration. The branch will be a division of a foreign firm, not a distinct legal entity. Furthermore:

  • it lacks independent capital and assets, while the parent company will be liable for the branch office’s obligations;
  • to oversee the company’s operations in Sweden, at least one managing director must be appointed;
  • the manager must be an EEA resident, however, it is also possible to relocate to Sweden through intra-company transfer or by obtaining a work and residence permit.

The corporate tax rate in Sweden that applies to a branch is 20.6%. The branch office has several benefits that can be presented by our Swedish lawyers.

On the other hand, the representative or liaison office is an entity with limited use that is usually established temporarily for verifying the Swedish market. It can only engage in activities related to marketing, offering technical services, and other non-commercial operations. You can rely on our CPA in Sweden for tax advice for foreign companies.

Why open a company in Sweden?

There are several reasons why someone might choose to open a company in Sweden. Here are a few:

  • stable and transparent business environment: Sweden has a stable and transparent business environment with a strong legal system, low levels of corruption, and a business-friendly culture. This creates a secure and predictable environment for businesses to operate in;
  • skilled workforce: Sweden has a highly skilled and educated workforce, with a strong focus on innovation and technology. This makes it an attractive location for companies that require skilled employees;
  • access to capital: Sweden has a well-developed financial market, with access to capital through bank loans, venture capital, and public markets;
  • supportive government policies: The Swedish government offers several incentives and support programs for businesses, including tax incentives, funding programs, and grants.

Overall, Sweden provides an attractive business environment for businesses looking to expand or establish a presence in Europe. If you are planning to open a company in this country, our lawyers can guide you about different types of companies in Sweden

Corporate income tax in Sweden

In Sweden, the corporate income tax rate is 20.6%. However, there are also other taxes and fees that corporations may be subject to, such as value-added tax (VAT), employer’s social security contributions, and various excise taxes. Additionally, there are tax deductions and exemptions available to Swedish corporations, such as deductions for interest expenses, depreciation of assets, and research and development expenses.

Tax laws and regulations can change over time, so it is always a good idea to consult with a tax professional or accountant for up-to-date information and advice on corporate taxes in Sweden. 

Sweden’s economy

According to the most recent data:

  • the end of 2023 is expected to bring a 0.3% contraction for the Swedish economy;
  • for 2024, projections indicate a 1.4% increase.

The government plans to reduce Sweden’s large labor tax wedge and the disparity between capital and labor income tax. Also, it may increase work-related incentives. Our Swedish law firm can offer more information on Employment Law.

Contact our lawyers in Sweden if you have any questions in this regard, they can offer you comprehensive guidance about different company types in Sweden