Sweden Market Entry Guide

Welcome to the SACC-USA Sweden market entry guide! The Sweden market entry guide is a brief collection of important things to think about, as well as answers to frequently asked questions, when exporting to Sweden. This includes a review of relevant laws and regulations, competition, how to find your micro market and distribution/logistics issues. This guide will help prepare you for success in your business venture. We know that local knowledge and personal contacts many times can be the difference between success and failure for a newcomer to the Swedish market. By being a member of SACC-USA, you will be connected to a grassroots network of widespread experts on the areas below.

1. Finding your micro market

Situated in the middle of Scandinavia in the north of Europe and close to the region of the Baltic Sea, Sweden is a great location for a range of different businesses. Unlike the U.S. the geography within the country is less of a determining factor for the success of your business. However, cluster organizations, organizations that are situated in the same region in order to collaborate and share ideas with each other, have grown strong within Sweden over the last couple of years. These organizations provide a great opportunity for certain types of companies to find their niche within geographical clusters such as IT companies in Stockholm and MedTech companies in Malmö. Also, the Internet will play a significant role in selling your product and attracting customers, as many Swedes turn to the Web when seeking a product or service. Another aspect is to find your micro market from a labor force perspective. When choosing where to establish your business, you should ensure that you will have the necessary labor force available to you (i.e. It may be more difficult to recruit specific types of skilled labor in certain areas). The regional SACC-USA chamber can help assist in finding your preferred region or city.

2. Competition

As with any type of business that establishes itself in a new market, researching the desired trade market is a crucial aspect of competition. Sweden is by far the largest market in the Nordic region and as a member of the EU, there are few limitations for foreign companies entering the market. This has created one of the most innovative and flourishing markets worldwide. In 2014, the World Economic Forum ranked Sweden as the third most competitive country in the world. During the same period, Sweden also had the fastest growing economy and highest innovation in the EU. In order to be successful in the Swedish market, you will need to define your potential customer, make connections, and establish a strong network both in Sweden and the EU. The Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce can help you with market visits, connections, meetings, customer screenings and possible business partnerships.

I know my market and I have a detailed plan! Now what?

3. Understanding customs, tariffs and laws on foreign investment

It is extremely important for any company interested in investing to conduct extensive research on the rules and regulations regarding the specific product they are hoping to produce or sell. When wanting to expand to Sweden, not only should you keep in mind the rules and regulations evolving the Swedish market, but you should also take a closer look to see if there are any regulations to follow from EU directives. The Swedish government has placed regulations and restrictions on the sale of a fairly large number of items. This is therefore another area where obtaining outside help from an expert would be of great use. Company tax in Sweden is 22% with certain criteria and measures. Taxes are not withheld in the European Union and may be subject to the Double Taxation Treaty.

Read more about taxes in Sweden
Read more about customs and tariffs in Sweden
Which tariffs apply to the goods you wish to export?

4. Working with the authorities

When doing business in Sweden, you must be sure to connect with the right authorities and organizations to ensure that you are doing business properly and legally. For example, this means that you are required to register your business and your business’ name in Sweden, as well as to register with the Swedish Tax Office. The sooner you register your business and file the appropriate paperwork, the easier it will be to get your business up and going. There can also be a number of federal incentive packages available to domestic and foreign business settling in Sweden. These can include grants, loans, and credit guarantees. This especially applies to businesses moving to economically troubled regions.

Read more about tax laws and business registration in Sweden:

5. Join SACC-USA

We help our company members to get in contact with the right experts, partners, suppliers, officials, and customers through our network of 19 U.S. locations. The SACC network works with programs and trade missions for exporting companies that will support your talent exchange overseas, help you set up meetings and events, get visibility in Sweden and more. We also connect you with other American exporters who all have valuable lessons and connections to share.

Are you export ready? Contact SACC-USA through memberservices@sacc-usa.org for more information.