Doing Business in Sweden

February 06, 2018

Sweden, officially known as the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country located in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Finland and Norway and is the third largest country in the European Union.

Language

 

gpi-doing business in sweden-1

Swedish is the official language of Sweden. It is a North Germanic language and is similar to Norwegian and Danish. Swedish is also spoken in other countries including Finland, Norway and Estonia.

 

There are numerous Swedish dialects that differ from Standard Swedish, like Modern Gutnish, Dalecarlian, Jämtland, Scanian and Westrobothnian. The Finnish language is also spoken in Sweden as Finland was once part of the Swedish Kingdom. English is a required subject throughout primary and secondary school in Sweden.

Business Culture

 

Sweden's business culture is similar to other Scandinavian countries and is highly egalitarian. The following are some practices and ethics followed and appreciated by the Swedes regarding business communication, meetings and relationships:

 

  • Punctuality is highly appreciated when doing business and forming social relationships.
  • Swedes love coffee and they have a tradition of taking a coffee break, known as fika, which is much more about socializing than drinking coffee.
  • A casual dress code is common in the work place.
  • Swedes tend to avoid conflict and arguments, so don't get offended if a Swede suddenly changes the subject during a discussion.
  • Swedes respect knowledge and experience and pay attention to detail. Any business proposal must be well planned and studied.
  • Swedes do not give gifts in business as it may be considered a bribe.
  • Business communications are direct and open.
  • Sweden is considered one of the least corrupt countries in the world and they have a great public awareness against all types of corruption.
  • Sweden is a leader in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Index and has closed over 81% of its overall gender gap. There has been a recent increase in female legislators, senior officials and managers.

Economy

 

Despite being a small country in terms of population, Sweden has quite a significant economy. The economy is growing steadily, with unemployment levels trending downward and living standards among the best in the world.

 

The economy in Sweden is based on exports and free international trade and the country is known for having the lowest levels of national debt in the European Union.

 

Sweden is known for its tech innovation and is home to brands like Volvo, Electrolux, IKEA and H&M.

Business Laws and Regulations

 

Sweden applies certain regulations about residence requirements for those moving to Sweden to start their own business. Citizens of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland do not need to register with the Swedish Migration Board, but people outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland have to apply for a residence permit before they can start their business in Sweden. Sweden adopts a corporate tax rate that is significantly lower than similar taxes in other European countries.

 

In 2017, Sweden was ranked 4th on the Forbes Best Countries for Business list. The list was based on factors like innovation, taxes, technology, levels of bureaucracy and stock market performance.

Future Outlook

 

Sweden has a promising future as it enjoys all the fundamentals that drive the country towards high levels of growth. It has a highly qualified workforce that emphasizes innovation, a strong education system that exceeds international standards and a high standard of living, which make it an attractive country for investment.

Further Resources from GPI


You may gain further insight into country specific cultural facts and related topics by reviewing some previous blogs written by GPI:

 

 

Please feel free to contact GPI at info@globalizationpartners.com with any questions about our translation services. Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in future blogs.

 

Sources:

 

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/01/why-sweden-beats-most-other-countries-at-just-about-everything/

http://www.heritage.org/index/country/sweden

http://businessculture.org/northern-europe/sweden/business-etiquette/

http://www.expatfocus.com/expatriate-sweden-business-culture

http://www.startupoverseas.co.uk/starting-a-business-in-sweden

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/01/why-sweden-beats-most-other-countries-at-just-about-everything/

https://sweden.se/business/how-to-start-a-business-in-sweden/

Category:
Country Specific
Tags:
doing business in Sweden, Sweden

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Mai Farouk Mohamed Nour (Mai Nour) is a native Arabic speaker who lives in Cairo, Egypt. She is a senior copywriter, translator and reviewer with great passion for translation and creative writing in English and Arabic. Mai obtained her B.A. degree in English Language and Literature from Faculty of Alsun, Ain Shams University. She has a well-rounded experience exceeding nine years in copywriting and translation working with various companies throughout the Middle East. Her primary translation and writing focus has been on the subjects of legal, technical, hospitality, localization and general marketing, and has significant experience translating legal and marketing projects and HR and literary books. For her, translation is more than a career, it is a mission. When Mai is not working she enjoys traveling, reading, coloring, and going to the movies.