Exporting to Sweden

Sweden is among the most competitive, innovative and globalised nations in the world. The country has a stable economy, a skilled labour force and sophisticated consumers.

Open and transparent

Sweden’s approach to international business is modern, open and friendly. Businesses welcome international partnerships, and there is a skilled, well-educated workforce. This makes Sweden an easy country to operate in. The corporate tax rate is low by international standards.

A long-standing trade partnership

The UK and Sweden are long-standing trade and investment partners with total trade value in the year up until April 2019 at £20.9 billion (ONS, 2019).

Test market

Sweden’s sophisticated consumer market has proven popular with international brands who want to try a new product (Business Sweden, 2019).

Ease of doing business

12th

out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2019)

Currency

Swedish krona

Business language

English is widely spoken

GDP per capita

$53,873

UK is $42,558 (IMF, 2018)

Economic growth

2.3%

(IMF, 2018)

Time Zone

GMT +2

Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Sweden have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.

Doing business in Sweden

Preparing to export

VAT

If you’re registered for VAT, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Sweden, provided certain conditions are met.

Standard rate of VAT in Sweden is 25%. There may be reduced rates for certain products and services. For instance food, accommodation and art is 12%.

Regulations

Rules and regulations depend on the goods. Special rules and regulations apply to living animals and animal products, plants, food, firearms and ammunition, alcoholic beverages, chemical products, medical products and narcotics, endangered species of animals and plants.

Operating in Sweden

Intellectual property

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

The Swedish Patent and Registration Authority is in charge of intellectual property rights in Sweden.

Payment terms

Public authorities must pay for goods and services within 30 days or, in exceptional circumstances, 60 days.

Enterprises must pay within 60 days, unless agreed.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.