Guide for newcomer spouses: Build your own business

If you're a spouse or partner of a newcomer to Skellefteå and want to start your own business, we've got you covered. Our guide outlines the steps you need to take to get your business up and running. We even have a few ideas for you.

It might not be quite as easy as this, but building a business in Skellefteå is within reach.

It might not be quite as easy as this, but building a business in Skellefteå is within reach.

Foto: Archive image

Engelska2023-04-11 18:48

1. If you are a foreign citizen and want to start your own business in Sweden, the rules that apply vary depending on whether you are an EU/EEA citizen or a citizen of a non-EU/EEA country.

An EU citizen has the right to live in an EU country which is not their country of origin, as long as they can support themselves, and that covers their partner or spouse. This means that you can stay in Sweden without a residence permit. You also have the right to start and run a private business, even as a spouse or partner.

2. If you are a citizen of a non-EU country and are a spouse or partner of a person who has a work permit, you can get a residence permit for the same period. If the permit is for more than six months, you can also get a work permit.

Maybe a dog walking service? Someone needs to walk all those dogs.

If your spouse obtained a permit to work in Sweden, a family member (e.g. husband/wife/partner and unmarried children under 21) may also be granted a residence permit for the same period of time. If your spouse received a permit for at least six months, as a member of their family, you as a spouse or partner can also obtain work permits. 

Permits are usually issued for a maximum period of 2 years at a time. Therefore, it is advisable to ensure that your passport is valid for at least 2 years to avoid the need to submit additional applications unnecessarily.

3. Do I have a business plan?

Before you start a business, you should have an idea of what you want to do and how to achieve it. Take some time to formulate a business plan. 

To think about: 

  • What product/service do you want to sell?
  • Who might be interested in those products/services?
  • What are your strengths in comparison with competitors?

Try to formulate a simple business plan, one step at a time. The following are points that are often included: 

  • Business concept
  • An idea of the price of your product/service 
  • Customers and market
  • Marketing strategy
  • Competitors
  • Budget 
  • Potential risks and strategies
  • A timetable 

4. Decide which kind of enterprise you want to register. 
Choose between: enskild firma (sole trader), aktiebolag (limited liability company or limited company), handelsbolag (trading partnership), kommanditbolag (limited partnership), or ekonomisk förening (economic association). If you just want to start a home business, the sole trader route is easier and cheaper, but can limit your profits and growth later on.

Electricians are in big demand in Skellefteå.

5. Register your business at (in English).
They have excellent advice on their website and will guide you step by step.

6. Register with the Swedish Tax Agency Skatteverket (in English)

7. Network like crazy. Making connections is crucial for business owners in Sweden. It is important to seek out experienced individuals who have faced similar challenges and share your business field. It is recommended to network with both Swedish and, especially, non-Swedish business owners who have already undergone the process. These connections can provide invaluable support and guidance, particularly during times of uncertainty or while navigating a foreign market.

In Sweden, email communication is more or less pointless unless you know the person you're contacting. Consider picking up the phone or, even better, visiting the organization in person to speak to someone in charge of the area in which you require expertise. Face-to-face conversations are much more efficient in Sweden.

Personal training is big business.

8. Take advantage of local support. If you lack business experience or education reach out to Smartup Skellefteå, which is a collaborative effort by various organizations in the Skellefteå business and innovations sector to support those seeking to launch new ventures. 

The initiative offers a range of resources, including inspiration and knowledge, coaching, tools, and networking opportunities, to help develop, verify, finance, or scale business ideas and innovations in a more effective manner. 

The majority of Smartup's activities take place at The Great Northern, or HouseBe, Skellefteå's co-working spaces and innovation hubs, which bring together a diverse range of startups, incubators, and events. Additionally, entrepreneurs looking to develop their ventures in a creative environment can also rent office spaces, or just single seats, in these buildings. Starting up with Smartup is straightforward. Simply email

There is also support available from national bodies:

The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket)

Business Sweden

The Swedish Association of Young Entrepreneurs (Ung Företagsamhet)

The Swedish Startups Association (Svenska Startups)



Nordic Innovation

Networking with other newcomers is a good way to build your experience.

9. Consider sustainability. Sweden is known for its strong commitment to sustainability and environmentalism. This means that businesses that prioritize sustainable practices and ethical sourcing may be particularly well-received in the local market. Additionally, there are several government programs and incentives available to encourage businesses to adopt sustainable practices.

For example, the Swedish government offers tax incentives for companies that invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as funding for research and development of sustainable technologies. Additionally, many Swedish consumers prioritize environmentally friendly products and services, which can provide a competitive advantage for businesses that prioritize sustainability.

10. Just looking for a business you can run from home? How about these?

  1. Virtual assistant: offer administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely from home. This is a big growth market.
  2. Social media management: help businesses manage their social media presence and engagement on various platforms.
  3. Electrician: Skellefteå is crying out for good electricians.
  4. Online tutoring: offer virtual tutoring services for students in various subjects or test preparation.
  5. Freelance writing or blogging: write articles, blog posts, or other types of content for websites, magazines, or companies.
  6. E-commerce store: sell products or services through an online store platform like Etsy or Amazon.
  7. Pet sitting or dog walking: offer pet care services for busy pet owners.
  8. Personal training or fitness coaching: offer fitness or wellness coaching services remotely to clients.
  9. Cleaning or home organization services: Skellefteå is short on good cleaning services.
  10. Translation or language services: offer translation services for Skellefteå businesses or individuals who need documents or content translated into your native language.
Building a business from home is possible.
Building a business from home is possible.