Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Swedish small business tax Part I

I am only writing this because I have been actually pretty good about sticking to my posting every day for advent goal, that I am afraid to give it up.

Right now I am nose deep in tax papers, not because it is tax time, but because I am trying to get my 2012 business tax sorted before the baby gets here. Or at least as sorted as it can be.

I would really like to bitch and moan about the Swedish small business tax plan (And to all you American small business owners, the Obama small business tax plan sounds like it would be miraculous compared to the tax I have to pay here – but in the end, I think it is worth it—most days), but as much as I want to throw the bookkeeping program and my computer out the window, there are a ton of resources out there to make this process easier.

I’ve worked with the following organisations (all of these services are FREE!):

IFS – Invandrare Företag Service – or Immigrant Company Services in English – they offer free classes on starting a business, personal advisors to keep you abrush of any laws and regulations, and a networking group – they are, hands down, the best organization I have worked with since starting my business. I love them and could not recommend them more.

Nyföretagservice – Or new company service – These guys offer similar services, as well as, in many cases, a kind of incubator where you can rent an office for cheap and get a lot of services. I enjoyed the opportunity to work one on one with them, but found them very unorganized. I signed up for one of their programs and they emailed me a week before the newly set course start saying that we would be meeting every following week at such and such a time. In the middle of the working day. Um, yeah, except – I have a project I am working on and haven’t gotten any notice to schedule your class. I tried this a few times, asking them to please let me know the start date 4-6 weeks in advance, but this never happened. They also told me they would find me a mentor. 8 months ago. I still have no mentor. I would recommend the one-on-one service, they were quite helpful, but I thought the IFS group more knowledgable and more willing to say ‘I don’t know about that rule, let me speak with our lawyer and get back to you at the next meeting’

Skatteverket – The Swedish tax authority – Believe it or not, these guys are quite helpful. They also run a bunch of classes – which I found slightly more rushed than the IFS classes, but a helpful walkthrough- and you can also book personal meetings with a tax advisor to answer your questions. I have booked such a meeting, but haven’t had it yet so not much to say on that.

Until then, I am trying to figure out just how big a check I have to cut the Swedish government by May next year. The good news is, the check is big because my company is going better than expected. The bad news is… I don’t think I have ever written a check that big! (Oh and I am not really writing a check. Checks are obsolete here -- just a figure of speech and it sounds better than 'pay into my tax account')


  1. It’s a great thing that there are organizations in Sweden to help you sort your tax out. It sure is difficult to adjust to a new country and then have to face the troublesome task of sorting out business taxes. But anyway, you seemed to have adjusted well in your post, so I bet everything turned out well. =)

    Wystan Dale

  2. Looks like Sweden is a good place to sort out my tax if those free organizations are there to help me. Haha! Anyway, have you grasped the Swedish way of tax sorting already? I know that it’s hard to adjust in a new country and understand its laws, so good luck with that!

    - Enrique

  3. I am interested in speaking to the IFS – Invandrare Företag Service. I've had difficulty navigating their website, have you a contact number for them or an email address for the appropriate person for advice for starting a small business?