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Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden has land borders with Norway to the west and Finland to the northeast and it is connected to Denmark by the Öresund Bridge in the south.

At 450,295 km², Sweden is the third largest country in the European Union in terms of area, and it has a total population of about 9.2 million. Sweden has a low population density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometer (54 /sq mi), but with a considerably higher density in the southern half of the country. About 85% of the population live in urban areas, and it is expected that these numbers will gradually rise as a part of the ongoing urbanization. Sweden's capital is Stockholm, which is also the largest city in the country (population of 1.3 million in the urban area and with 2 million in the metropolitan area). The second and third largest cities are Gothenburg and Malmö.

Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government and a highly developed economy. It ranks first in the world in The Economist's Democracy Index and seventh in the United Nation's Human Development Index. Sweden has been a member of the European Union since 1 January 1995 and is a member of the OECD.


The main types of company in Sweden

The five most popular forms of corporate structure in Sweden are as follows:

  • private limited company  
  • public limited company
  • branch office of a foreign company
  • partnership
  • sole trader


The main features of a private limited company

  • suitable for even the smallest company
  • board may consist of just one member, plus a deputy
  • minimum share capital is SEK 100,000 (€10,713)
  • owner’s liability is limited to assets of the company


The main features of a public limited company

  • standard format for large companies
  • minimum share capital is SEK 500,000 (€53,568)
  • board of directors to have at least three members
  • managing director and 50% of board must be resident in EEA


The reporting requirements for limited companies

Irrespective of size and whether it is private or public, a limited company has to file annual accounts with the Patent and Registration Office. In addition, the annual report has to be audited.


The main features of a branch office

A foreign company that wishes to operate in Sweden without establishing a subsidiary can set up a branch office instead. The branch must have a managing director who should be resident in an EEA country. The Swedish branch of a foreign company is taxed on its profits as if it were a Swedish limited company, but losses may be tax-deductible in the foreign company’s jurisdiction. All branches are required to file annual accounts and are subject to audit.


Partnerships

There are two kinds of partnership under Swedish corporate law. A general partnership is a trading relationship between two or more people and, even though the partnership may be a legal entity in its own right, the partners are personally liable, joint and several. With a limited partnership, however, there is always at least one partner with limited liability, as well as one partner with unlimited liability for all debts.


Sole traders 

A sole trader is a recognised form of business enterprise but does not comprise a legal entity. The business is run by a single individual who is personally liable for all debts that may be incurred. Annual accounts are required as an appendix to the owner’s personal tax return, but there is no audit requirement.