Information to Swedish business owners in English regarding the corona covid 19 outbreak. Information and relevant links to Swedish government agencies:
New governmental proposals for small businesses
On 25 March 2020, the Government presented a few proposals that mainly concern small businesses. Here are some of the proposals listed:
Temporarily reduced employer fees
The Government has proposed to temporarily reduce the employer fees and you as an employer should only pay the old-age pensions fees. The proposal is to be valid for up to 30 employees and on salaries that do not exceed SEK 25 000 during the period 1 March to 30 June 2020. The proposal is proposed to be temporary and enter into force on 6 April.
For sole traders, the proposal means that no other fees than the old-age pension fee, two-thirds of the other deductibles and the general salary contribution will be paid during 2020.
Read more about temporarily reduced employer fees at the Government Offices of Sweden´s website (in Swedish)
Loan guarantees for small and medium-sized businesses are set up
The government proposes that companies that are viable, but suffered financial difficulties as a result of the corona virus, should be given the opportunity of a state loan guarantee. A loan guarantee means that the state guarantees 70 percent of new loans from the banks to the companies. Each company is proposed the opportunity to borrow a maximum of SEK 75 million, with some reservation that exceptions can be made.
Temporary discount on rental costs in exposed industries
To help industries such as the durable industry (for example clothes, toys and home electronics) and the hotel and restaurant industry, the Government has proposed that the renegotiation of rents should be accelerated. The proposal is that the state accounts for 50 percent of the rent reduction and up to 50 percent of the fixed rent. The support is valid from 1 April – 30 June 2020 and can be applied afterwards.
Read more about temporary discount on rental costs at the Government Offices of Sweden´s website (in Swedish)
Payment respite for tax is to be extended
The government has proposed to extend the previous proposal on payment respite for tax so that you who report your VAT annually should be covered by respite payments. The proposal applies to VAT which is reported from 27 December 2019 to 17 January 2020.
Possibility to get back preliminary tax for 2019
If you are a sole trader and have difficulties because of corona and covid-19 the Government has proposed to change the rules for allocation funds. This means that you can deduct 100% of your taxable profit for year 2019 in your allocation fund. The ceiling is up to SEK 1 million and you will then be able to offset this against your future losses.
Read more about the possibility to get back preliminary tax for 2019 at the Government Offices of Sweden´s website (in Swedish)
Exceptions to the rule on dormant companies
If you suffer from unemployment and have a company, you can be exempted from the rule that the company may only be put to rest once during five years.
We will update as soon as more information is available.
Payment respite for tax due to temporary payment difficulties
If you currently have payment difficulties in your company because of the corona and covid-19, you have the possibilty to apply for a respite of tax payment according to existing rules.
Read more about the conditions at the Swedish Tax Agency’s website (in Swedish)
Proposed new possibilities for payment respite of tax
In addition to the current rules, the Government has also proposed that you, as an entrepreneur, should be able to have better opportunities for respite of tax payment. You will be able to get respite of tax payment for employer contributions, preliminary tax on salary, and value added tax which is reported quarterly and monthly. The respite of tax payment will include three accounting periods and you can get the respite for up to one year. The new rules are proposed to apply from 7 April, 2020, but you can apply retroactively from 1 January 2020.
Covid-19: Information to Swedish business owners in English: Dismiss employees
Short-time working allowance is introduced
If you have employees and because of the coronavirus and covid-19, are under severe pressure, you can get financial support. The support is called the short-time working allowance. You can apply on the website of the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, starting 7 April 2020. You can apply retroactively from 16 March 2020.
The short-time working allowance means that the employee can have reduced working hours and still receive more than 90 percent of their wages. The State covers a large part of the costs. The objective is for affected companies to be able to retain their staff and gear up quickly again when the situation turns around.
Read more about the short-time working allowance the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth´s website
Read more about Laying off employees
Covid-19: Information to Swedish business owners in English: Financing, support and advice
Financial support from the Riksbank
The Executive Board of the Riksbank has decided to lend money via the bank to help companies that are financially impacted by the coronavirus. It is your bank that then passes the money on to you as a business owner.
The Riksbank is offering the banks up to SEK 500 billion, which can then be passed on to companies with operations in Sweden.
Read more at Riksbank.se/en
Advising and business loans
There are several organizations and government agencies that can offer information, support and advice to businesses.
If you want to discuss your business situation with an adviser you can, for example, contact Almi. Contact information can be obtained through customer service on telephone number 0771-55 85 00 or on Almi’s website. Almi is also offering business loans.
If you want to apply for respite of loan amortization at Almi, you should first contact your advisor.
The Government has proposed that Almi receives a capital contribution of SEK 3 billion to increase Almi´s lending to small and medium-sized companies in the whole country.
Read more about Almi
Business Sweden and Enterprise Europe Network
If you have questions related to export or trade with other countries you can, for example, contact Business Sweden or the Enterprise Europe Network for guidance and support.
Read more at Business Sweden´s website
Read more at Enterprise Europe Network´s website
To support your company in managing corona-related risks on international markets, Business Sweden offers guidance and 24/7 support in three key areas: secure global supply and logistics chains, defend your market share and client relations and get your local coronavirus impacts under control.
Read more at Business Sweden´s website
The Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN)
Exporting companies can also turn to the Swedish Export Credit Agency (Exportkreditnämnden, EKN), which has different types of guarantees, to secure risks of not being paid at export business.
The Government has presented proposals for measures on credit guarantees, which means new and improved opportunities for companies to borrow. This applies to small and medium-sized export companies, larger export companies and their subcontractors.
Read more at The Swedish Export Credit Agency´s website (Exportkreditnämnden, EKN)
The Swedish Export Credit Corporation (Svensk Exportkredit, SEK)
The Swedish Export Credit Corporation offer loans to Swedish export companies and their buyers abroad.
The Government propose that The Swedish Export Credit Corporation´s loan limit should increase from SEK 125 to 200 billion to issue both government supported and commercial credits to Swedish export companies.
Read more at the Swedish Export Credit corporation´s (SEK) website
Organizations and advisors in your region
Here you will find organizations and advisors offering support and advice in your region
Covid-19: Information to Swedish business owners in English: New rules regarding illness
The state proposes to be responsible for sick pay costs
The government has proposed that the state will, temporarily, cover the cost of sick pay for you as an employer. The rules concern you who run a limited company. The new rules are made by making the rules more generous for the existing support “Compensation for high sick pay costs”.
When you have F-tax, the proposal for an abolished waiting deduction is extended during day one, so it applies to day 1-14. This means you get sick pay for all these days. The new rules are proposed to apply in April and May 2020.
Read more about this at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency´s website (Försäkringskassan)
The qualifying deduction for sick pay is temporarily abolished
In order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, covid-19, the qualifying deduction for sick pay and sickness benefits is temporarily suspended. The Swedish state will bear the costs of the temporary rules. The new rules apply from 11 March to 11 May 2020. Employers should make qualifying deductions as usual. Self-employed persons will also be compensated for one qualifying day.
That means that employees may retroactively seek compensation from the state for the first day of sick leave. The application is made retroactively via the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).
Read more at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency´s website (Försäkringskassan)
Proposal for the temporary abolition of the doctor´s certificate requirement
The government has proposed to temporarily abolish the doctor certificate requirement during the sick pay period. The proposal means that an employee who is sick can stay home from work for up to 14 days without a doctor´s certificate. For employers, this means that the employee does not have to provide you with a doctor’s certificate.
Read more at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency´s website (Försäkringskassan)
A doctor may decide that you are not allowed to work because you are – or may be – infected with a socially dangerous disease. The coronavirus, covid-19, is considered to be such a disease. You may then be entitled to compensation in the form of a quarantine allowance.
This applies for limited companies
This applies for sole traders
New rules for restaurant, cafes and bars
If you run a serving business, for example a restaurant, cafe or bar, you get help by new rules from the Public Health Agency (Folkhälsomyndigheten) to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, covid-19. Among other things, congestion in the premises should be avoided, all guests must have a seat and only table service and take away is allowed.
With the new rules, you can continue to run your business and receive guests as safely as possible.
Culture and sport
Financial support for culture and sport
The government proposes that if you are engaged in activities in culture and sport, you should be able to apply for support for income loss due to the new corona virus, covid-19. For example, this may be support for canceled events. Events under 50 participants are also covered.
The support should apply to all forms of businesses plus freelancers and associations. The total support package is SEK 1 billion, of which SEK 500 million will go to the cultural sector and SEK 500 million to the sport industry.
The government will shortly return with more information about the conditions for the support, such as how and when you, as an entrepreneur, will be able to apply.
Read more in the Goverments press release (in Swedish)<
Planning aid for staffing shortages and the supply of goods and services
The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap, MSB) has developed an aid for government agencies and companies to help them identify which activities must be maintained and which are of a lower priority. They also have an extensive methodological aid for systematic continuity management.
Read more about the coronavirus at the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency´s (MSB) website
Public gatherings and general meetings
Limited possibilities for public gatherings and events
The Government has decided to limit the possibility of public gatherings and public events. The decision applies starting on 12 March, and the restriction means that a maximum of 500 people can participate in gatherings/events. The information will be updated here whenever new notifications are received.
Read more about these limited possibilities at Emergency information from Swedish authorities´website (krisinformation.se)
Questions and answers about holding a general meeting
Due to the risk of being infected by the coronavirus, the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket) receives many questions about holding a general meeting during these times. You can find answers to the most frequently asked questions on the Swedish Companies Agency’s website.
Questions and answers about holding a general meeting due to the corona virus (in Swedish)
Travels and transports
Temporary ban on travel to Sweden
The Government decided, on 18 March, to temporarily stop non-essential travel to Sweden. The reason is to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus, covid-19, outbreak and reduce the spread of the disease.
There are exceptions in the ban, for example people who transport goods to Sweden. Necessary deliveries of, for example, food and medicines will not be affected. The regulation is valid for 30 days to begin with.
Read more about the temporary ban on travel to Sweden at the Government Offices of Sweden´s website (Regeringskansliet)
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs advises against travelling abroad
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs advises against any non-necessary travels to all countries. In countries or areas where the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has previously advised against travel, these decisions apply. The decision to advise against travel abroad was taken on 14 March 2020 and applies until 14 April.
Read more about advise against traveling abroad at Emergency information from Swedish authorities’ website (krisinformation.se)
Temporary derogation from driving and rest times
To make it easier for you who run companies in the transport industry, the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) has decided for temporary derogation from driving and rest times. The decision applies to those drivers involved in domestical and international transports. The daily driving time allowed is extended from 9 hours to 13.5 hours and during a calendar week there must be at least 24 hours coherent rest. The decision took effect on 16 March and is valid until 14 April.
Other collected information from government agencies
Read more information about the new coronavirus, covid-19, for example how to protect your employees from infection, and also read frequently asked questions.
Official information from the government agencies at Emergency information from Swedish authorities´website (krisinformation.se)
Frequently Asked Questions at the Swedish Public Health Agency (Folkhälsomyndigheten)
Collection page for employer-related information about the coronavirus, covid-19, at the Swedish Work Environment Authority´s website (Arbetsmiljöverket) (in Swedish)