Sweden: Team Member Nationality Requirements


A company is formed by one or more founders. A founder must be:

  1. a natural person domiciled within the European Economic Area;
  2. a Swedish legal person; or
  3. a legal person which has been formed pursuant to the laws of a state within the European Economic Area and which has its registered office, its head office or its principal place of business within the Area.

A partnership or equivalent legal person which has been formed pursuant to the laws of a state within the European Economic Area may, however, be a founder only where each partner with unlimited liability is domiciled within the Area.

EU/EES citizens

As an EU/EES citizen, you have the same rights and obligations as a Swedish entrepreneur, and do not need a residence permit. An EU citizen has the right to live in an EU country which is not their country of origin as long as they can support themselves. This means you may stay in Sweden without a residence permit. You also have the right to start and run a private business.

In order to be registered in the Swedish Population Register, you need to move to, and intend to live, in Sweden for at least one year. In addition, you must provide evidence that you have a right of residence or residence permit for at least one year. When the Tax Agency has registered you, you will receive your personal identity number (personnummer).

Contact the Swedish Tax Agency

When you apply for F-tax and VAT registration at The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket), you will need to send a certified copy of your passport or another ID document. You will then be allocated a coordination number by the Swedish Tax Agency. This is a temporary personal identity number, which you may need for different applications in Sweden.

If you plan to reside in Sweden for more than 12 months you will need to register at a local office of the Swedish Tax Agency. When registered, you will receive a personal identity number (personnummer). This number is unique and is needed for tasks like registration for social insurance at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).

Family members from a country outside of the EU

If you have family who are citizens of a country outside of the EU, they need to apply for a residence card. In order for your family to be granted residence cards you must be able to show that you can support yourself in Sweden through work, studies or with sufficient means. Read more about residence card at The Swedish Migration Agency.

Non EU/EEA citizens

If you come from a country outside EU and plan to work for a period longer than three months to start up or run your own business, you must have a residence permit.

You must have a residence permit if you are a citizen of a non EU/EEA country and plan to work for a period longer than three months to start up or run your own business. You apply for a residence permit atThe Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket). As self-employed you are not allowed to take employment with any employer. You apply at a Swedish mission abroad in your native country or the country you are living in.

The Swedish Migrations Board’s requirements for obtaining a residence permit as a self-employed

In order to obtain a residence permit in Sweden as a self-employed, you must:

  • have a valid passport
  • show that you have significant experience in your field and previous experience of running your own business
  • have documented knowledge in Swedish and/or English
  • show that you are running the business, that you have the ultimate responsibility for it and that you own at least half of the business
  • show that the business’ services or goods are sold and/or produced in Sweden
  • show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and, if applicable, your family during the first two years (equivalent to SEK 200,000 for you, SEK 100,000 for your spouse and SEK 50,000 for each accompanying child)
  • show that the business, following the two-year probationary period, is expected to be able to support you and, if applicable, your family.

How to apply for a residence permit

You must apply for the residence permit when you are in your country of origin or another country outside Sweden in which you are living.

Read more and apply here, at the Swedish Migration Agency.

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, for example.

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.

More help: The Swedish Public Employment Agency

You may be able to get assistance and support from the Swedish Public Employment Agency (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 Agency will want to see your business concept and business plan to assess your capacity to succeed with your business. Speak with your employment officer and ask if it might be applicable to you. You can get assistance with:

  • practical placements in the occupation/industry in which you intend to start a business
  • courses with an interpreter on the rules that apply to entrepreneurs concerning taxes, record-keeping requirements, and permits for different industries
  • mentor support and individual advice in your home language
  • guidance in establishing various contacts and accessing networks in different industries -follow-up by a consultant in your home language about how your business is going.

You can read more about the programme in the Fact sheet for jobseekers – Support while starting a business at the Swedish Public Employment Service. The fact sheet is available in a dozen languages.


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.

Find advisors here.

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 English, Swedish, Farsi and Arabic.

Starting a business 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.


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