You can start a business in Sweden both as an asylum seeker and if you are newly arrived to the country. As an asylum seeker, you can start a business while applying for asylum. If you are newly arrived you can start a business on the same terms as Swedish citizens. You are considered a new arrival when you have received a permanent or temporary residence permit.
For asylum seekers
You can start a business while your application for asylum is in progress. First, you apply for F-tax (Swedish corporate tax) registration with the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). If you are running your own business, you must pay F-tax. Once you have been registered for F-tax, you get a coordination number from the Swedish Tax Agency. The coordination number is for those who do not have a personal identity number (personnummer) and is necessary for you as an asylum seeker to be able to start a business in Sweden.
Consider this before you decide to go ahead
Before you decide to start a business, remember that as an asylum seeker entrepreneur you cannot change track if your application for asylum is rejected. However, after a rejection, asylum seekers who have been employed for a period of four months and are guaranteed 12 months of further employment may change track and apply for a work permit.
If you have been granted a residence permit
If you received a permanent or temporary residence permit, you must register yourself in Sweden’s population register through the Swedish Tax Agency as soon as possible. Registration in the population register is essential for access to courses in Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) and becoming part of the Swedish social insurance system. Once you are registered, you can also get a Swedish identity document, which you need to open a bank account.
Consider this if you have a temporary residence permit
If you have been granted refugee status, you will get a residence permit for a period of three years. If you have been granted the status of a person otherwise in need of protection, you will get a residence permit for a period of 13 months.
If you can support yourself with your business by the time your temporary residence permit expires, you will have the opportunity to apply for a permanent residence permit. However, remember that it may be more difficult for the authorities to assess whether you can support yourself as a self-employed person than if you are employed.
Help and advice
Informationsverige.se is a portal for people who are new to Sweden. You will be able to quickly and easily find information about the Swedish society.
The Swedish Public Employment Service
You may be able to get assistance and support from the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) when you start your own business. The assistance programme is called "Stöd till start av näringsverksamhet" (assistance for starting a business). The Swedish Public Employment Service will want to see your business concept and business plan to assess your capacity to succeed with your business.
Contact the Public Employment Service for information about what kind of help and support you can get.
It might be a good idea to get help from an advisor if you want to start a business. There is plenty of support available in different languages for setting up a business in Sweden.
Starting a business in Sweden
In the publication "Starting a business in Sweden", you get information about Swedish regulations and where you can read more about starting a business in Sweden. The publication is available in following languages:
The publication Starting a business in Sweden in Arabic
The publication Starting a business in Sweden in Dari
The publication Starting a business in Sweden in English
The publication Starting a business in Sweden in French
The publication Starting a business in Sweden in Russian
The publication Starting a business in Sweden in Somali
The publication Starting a business in Sweden in Spanish
The publication Starting a business in Sweden in Swedish
The publication Starting a business in Sweden in Tigrinya
Starting a business almost without money
In the booklet “Starting a business without money”, you can read about others who started a business and get further tips and advice. This book is available in Swedish, English, Farsi and Arabic.
Download the English version of “Starting a business without money”
Download the Persian version of "Starting a business without money"
Download the Arabic version of "Starting a business without money"
Download the Swedish version of "Starting a business without money"