Residence permit for people who have their own business

If you are going to work for longer than three months starting up and running your own business, or if you are becoming a part-owner of a company, you must have a residence permit. The residence permit must already have been granted before you travel to Sweden. You can apply online from your home country or any other country outside Sweden where you live.

Residence permit requirements

To apply for a residence permit to start up your own business, you must

  • have a valid passport (if your passport is about to expire, you should extend it because you cannot get a permit for longer than your passport if valid)
  • show that you have considerable experience in the industry and previous experience of running your own business
  • show you have relevant knowledge in Swedish and/or English
  • prove that you are the person who is running the company, has executive responsibility and owns at least 50 per cent of the company
  • your company's services or goods must be produced and/or sold in Sweden
  • show that you have enough money of your own to provide for yourself and any family members for the first two years (the equivalent of SEK 200,000 for you, SEK 100,000 for your accompanying wife/husband and SEK 50,000 for each accompanying child)
  • present plausible supporting documentation for your budget
  • show that you have created customer contacts and/or a network in Sweden
  • show that after the trial period of two years, your company’s finances are in balance and that you can support yourself and any family members (the stipulated amounts are calculated on the basis of the Swedish standard for income support plus housing costs).
  • in most cases you must pay a fee (fees for a residence permit)

The Swedish Migration Agency will do a financial assessment of your business plans.

To be registered as living in Sweden, you must have a permit that is valid for at least one year and you must be planning to live in Sweden for at least one year.

Self-employed persons who are going to work for less than three months in Sweden do not need a residence permit. The citizens of some countries must have a visa even for work lasting less than three months. Read more about visas under Visit Sweden.

Countries whose citizens must have a visa for Swedenexternal link, opens in new window

Read more about applying for a visa

Requirements for using the e-service

In order to use the e-service, you need

  • copies of the pages in your passport that show your personal data, photo, signature, passport number, issuing country, validity period and if you have permission to live in countries other than your home country
  • bank certificates showing that you have sufficient funds to support you and your family for the first two years (the equivalent of SEK 200,000 for you, SEK 100,000 for your accompanying spouse and SEK 50,000 for each accompanying child)
  • bank certificates showing that you have enough money to buy the company and for the costs and investments you have reckoned on in order to run your business
  • a purchase contract if you have purchased or are intending to buy the company or business
  • a trading company agreement or share register
  • a document showing that you have paid the purchase price, or your share of the purchase price, if you have purchased the company or business
  • contracts with customers or suppliers and premises
  • the two most recent annual accounts or financial statements (if the company has been in operation)
  • a balance sheet and profit and loss statement for the current financial year up to the previous month
  • a course certificate or other proof that you know Swedish and/or English
  • qualification certificates from your studies
  • employer’s certificates from previous employers
  • a registration certificate for companies that you have had or have outside Sweden.

The documents should be translated into Swedish or English by an authorised translator. You must always submit a copy of the original documents.

E-service for people who have their own business

If you have studied in Sweden

If you have permission to study in Sweden and would like to apply for a residence permit as a self-employed person without leaving the country, you must submit the application before your residence permit for studies expires. You must submit a study certificate showing that you have completed at least 30 credits or at least one term of postgraduate education in Sweden.

If you have applied for asylum, have a temporary residence permit and are running your own business

If you have applied for asylum, have a temporary residence permit and can support yourself, in some cases it may be possible for you to get a permanent residence permit. The requirements for people in this category are different from those for people applying for a residence permit as a self-employed person who have not previously had a temporary residence permit based on the person’s grounds for asylum. In order for you as a self-employed person to get a permanent residence permit, you must show that you are able to support yourself now and that there is sufficient capital to run your business and provide yourself for at least the next two years.

Read more about what requirements apply to people who have applied for asylum and been given a temporary residence permit and are running their own business, and how to apply for a permanent residence permit

After you have submitted your application

Check your application

You can check that your application has been registered with the Swedish Migration Agency or if you have received a decision on the page called Check your application.

Have your fingerprints and photograph taken

If you need a visa to travel to Sweden, you must visit a Swedish embassy or Consulate General to have your fingerprints and photograph taken as soon as possible. Before the visit, you must contact the embassy or Consulate General.

Find the nearest embassy at swedenabroad.comexternal link, opens in new window

If you do not need a visa to travel to Sweden, you must make an appointment at the Swedish Migration Agency so you can provide the information needed for a residence permit card after you have arrived in Sweden.

Read more about a residence permit card

Book an appointment at the Swedish Migration Agency to have your fingerprints and photograph taken (if you can travel without a visa)

Residence permit for your family members

Your family member can get a residence permit for the same period as you. If you are granted a residence permit for more than six months, your family members (who are over the age of 16 years) can get a work permit. You must be able to show that you are able to provide for your family members.

The following count as family members

  • your partner (cohabitant, spouse or registered partner)
  • your or your partner's unmarried children under the age of 18 years.

How family members apply

You and your family members can apply for a residence permit together. In that case, you apply for your family in your online application. If your family members are going to apply after you, they can make their own online application.

Read more about how family members make their own online application

After a decision has been made

The decision will be sent to the embassy or Consulate General you selected in your online application. You must take your passport with you when you go to get your decision.

You can get a residence permit for two years but never for longer than your passport is valid.

If you are granted a residence permit for more than three months, you will be given a residence permit card. The card is proof that you have permission to be in Sweden and contains, among other things, your fingerprints and photograph. The residence permit card will be manufactured once the decision has been taken, but no earlier than three months before the residence permit takes effect.

It is not possible to speed up the manufacture or delivery of the card.

When the residence permit card is ready, the embassy or Consulate General will either send it or hand it over to you. It may take up to four weeks to manufacture and deliver the card to the embassy or Consulate General after you have received your decision. When you enter Sweden, you must present the residence permit card along with a valid passport.

If you can travel to Sweden without a visa, you should be able to present a copy of the decision when you enter the country. As soon as possible after coming to Sweden, you must make an appointment at the Swedish Migration Agency to have your fingerprints and photograph taken. Once your residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to your address in Sweden.

Book an appointment at the Swedish Migration Agency to have your fingerprints and photograph taken for your residence permit card

The Swedish Institute's website Working in Swedenexternal link, opens in new window

Information for people with a residence permit who have just moved to Sweden

If the Swedish Migration Agency rejects your application

If the Swedish Migration Agency rejects your application, it means you are not entitled to a residence permit for Sweden. You may lodge an appeal against the decision within three weeks of the date when you received notification of the decision. Information on how to lodge an appeal can be found in your decision. If you have given someone a power of attorney document that authorises him/her to represent you, this person is able to lodge an appeal on your behalf.

Read more about how to appeal

If you are still in Sweden when your application is rejected, you must leave the country within the timescale given in the decision.

Read more about what you need to know if you have had your application rejected and are still in Sweden

You are not allowed to take up employment elsewhere

If you get a residence permit as a self-employed person, you only have the right to work with your own company and you are not allowed to take up employment elsewhere.

Extending a permit

If you are going to continue to live in Sweden, you must apply to extend your permit. Once you have had a residence permit for two years, you can get a permanent residence permit if you can earn a living from your company, comply with good accounting practice and have the necessary permits for the business. You must also have stayed in Sweden for more than six months each year.

You can apply to extend your permit online. Apply no earlier than 30 days before your current permit expires.

In most cases, you will pay a fee.

Residence permit fees

If you have family members living with you in Sweden, who also need to extend their permits, you apply for them in the same online application.

When you apply to extend your permit, you may need to send

  • copies of the pages in your passport that show your personal data, photo, signature, passport number, issuing country, validity period, travel stamps and if you have a permit to live in countries other than your home country (if your passport is about to expire, you should extend it because you will not be able to get a temporary residence permit for longer than your passport is valid)
  • annual report or annual financial statement from your company for the years in which you have had a residence permit as a self-employed person
  • balance sheet and income statement from the current financial year up until and including the previous month
  • income tax return documents for the most recent income year for yourself, including specifications (also enclose the NE attachment if you are a sole trader or the N3A attachment if you are a partner of a trading company)
  • income tax return documents for your company (attach Income Tax Return 4 if you run a partnership and Income Tax Return 2 if you run a limited liability company)
  • tax account statement from your company for the period in which you have conducting business in Sweden
  • a registration certificate for a cash register (if your company has sales for cash or payment by credit card)
  • a copy of the staff ledger (for those who operate in the construction, restaurant, hairdresser or laundry industry)
  • bank account statement with all transactions from your personal account and business account for the past six months
  • payslips for yourself for the past six months if you run a limited liability company
  • contracts or agreements with customers, suppliers and business premises
  • a brief description of how you conduct the business and pictures of the company's products and premises
  • a share register or a trading company agreement that shows ownership of the company and regulates the distribution of results between the shareholders (if you have purchased a new company, you must present the purchase contract and receipts for the payment)
  • a certificate showing that the company has no debts (if you have or have had a debt with the Swedish Enforcement Agency linked to the company)
  • a certificate proving your housing situation, such as a purchase contract, rental contract or approved subletting contract. The document must state the size of the accommodation, the number of rooms, cost and rental period.

Once we have received your application

If you submit an application for extension before your permit expires, you have the right to stay in Sweden until the Swedish Migration Agency has taken its decision. You also have the right to continue working with your company.

If you travel abroad at the time when your permit is going to expire, it may be difficult for you to enter Sweden before you have received your new permit. You may then have to wait for your new permit outside of Sweden.

If you are granted a permit for more than three months, you will be given a residence permit card. The card is proof that you have permission to be in Sweden and contains, among other things, your fingerprints and photograph. You must therefore make an appointment to have your fingerprints and photograph taken as soon as possible. You will need to do this even if you have had a residence permit card before because your photograph and fingerprints cannot be saved.

The Swedish Migration Agency will check that you are running the company in the way described in the plans. This means, among other things, that we will check

  • that you are paying your company's taxes and fees
  • that you are complying book-keeping obligations in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles
  • that you have the necessary permits and meet the legal requirements for your business
  • whether you have debts registered with the Swedish Enforcement Authority and/or payment defaults
  • that you can support yourself and your family on the income you are making out of the company
  • that your company is profitable, the business is long-term and is able to continue successfully over time
  • that you and your accompanying family members are living in reasonable housing conditions
  • that you and your accompanying family members have been living in Sweden for more than half the time of your residence permit.

Read more about a residence permit card

Book an appointment at the Swedish Migration Agency to have your photograph and fingerprints taken

After a decision has been made

The decision will be sent to your home address in Sweden. If you have had a residence permit for two years, you can get a permanent residence permit if you meet all the requirements. Once the residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to your home within about one week.

If you are in Sweden and your application is rejected

If the Swedish Migration Agency rejects your application for a residence permit, it means that you are not entitled to a residence permit in Sweden. You can choose to either accept or appeal against the decision. Even if you choose to appeal, you must start to make plans for returning to your home country or the country where you have the right to stay.

Appealing a decision regarding a residence permit

If the Swedish Migration Agency rejects your application for a residence permit, you can appeal against the decision within three weeks from the date you were informed about the decision. For information on how to do this, see your decision.

Read more about what happens when a negative decision is taken

If you cannot apply for an extension online

If you cannot apply online, you fill in the form Application for a residence permit for self-employed persons - Extension, number 125011B. The application form shows which documents you must enclose.

Send the application to:

Migrationsverket
Box 3100
903 03 Umeå

Application for a residence permit for self-employed persons – Extension, form number 125011BPDF

Application for permits for family members of workers, visiting scientists, sportspersons and self-employed persons, form number 133011PDF

In most cases, you will pay a fee.

Read more about fees and how to pay

If you cannot apply online

If you apply online

If you apply online, you will get clear instructions on how to fill in your application and what documents you need to enclose. This makes it easier to do things correctly right from the start which increases your chances of getting a decision faster.

If you are unable to apply online, fill in the form Application for a residence permit for self-employed persons, number 124011, and submit it to a Swedish embassy or Consulate General in the country where you live. The application form shows which documents you must enclose. Contact the embassy or Consulate General before submitting your application.

Application for a residence permit for self-employed persons, form number 125011PDF

Application for permits for family members of workers, visiting scientists, sportspersons and self-employed persons, form number 133011PDF

If it is not possible for you to apply in your home country, you must apply to the embassy or Consulate General that is closest to the country where you live. Before submitting your application, you must contact the embassy or Consulate General for more information.

If you apply at an embassy or Consulate General, you pay the fee when you submit your application. For information about the fee, please contact the embassy or consulate in question since they do not follow the same fee regulations as the Swedish Migration Agency.

Swedish embassies and Consulate Generals websitesexternal link, opens in new window

Last updated: 2019-10-14

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If you wish to ask the Migration Agency a question you can find our contact details under the heading Contact us.