Sweden – Self-employed worker

Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to work as a self-employed person in Sweden? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.

If you intend to start your own business or become a (part) owner of a company for more than three months, you must apply for a residence permit.

You do not need a work permit.

Where and how to apply

You can apply online in the country you are living in.

You will probably be required to pay an application fee.

If you are not able to apply online, you must fill out the form Application for a Swedish residence permit for self-employed persons, number 125011, and submit it to a Swedish embassy or consulate-general in your country of residence. The application form specifies which documents to enclose. Contact the embassy or consulate-general before you submit your application.

Requirements for obtaining a residence permit as a self-employed

In order to obtain a residence permit, you must:

  • have a valid passport;
  • show that you have significant experience in your field and previous experience of running your own business;
  • have documented and relevant knowledge in Swedish and/or English;
  • show that you are running the business, that you have the ultimate responsibility for it and that you own at least half of the business;
  • show that the business’ services or goods are sold and/or produced in Sweden;
  • show that you have sufficient funds to support you and, if applicable, your family during the first two years (equivalent to SEK 200,000 for you, SEK 100,000 for your spouse and SEK 50,000 for each accompanying child);
  • show reliable source documentation for your budget;
  • show that you have established customer contacts and/or a network in Sweden;
  • show that your company, following a 2-year probationary period, will have its finances in balance and you have the ability to support yourself and, if applicable, your family (income support is calculated according to the Swedish national standard for income support plus housing costs).

The Swedish Migration Agency will assess your business plans from a financial perspective.

The Migration AgencySearch for available translations of the preceding link will evaluate the business plan from a financial perspective and decide whether or not to grant the residence permit. Its decision will be communicated to you by the Swedish consulate or embassy where you submitted the application.

Documents required

Enclose the following documents with your application:

  • Copies of the pages in your passport which show your personal information, photograph, signature, passport number, passport issuing country, the period of the passport’s validity, entry and exit stamps and whether you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin;
  • bank statements which show that you have sufficient funds to support you and your family during the first two years (equivalent to SEK 200,000 for you, SEK 100,000 for your spouse and SEK 50,000 for each accompanying child);
  • bank statements which show, if applicable, that you have sufficient funds to buy the business and to cover the estimated costs and investments necessary to run the business;
  • contract of sale if you have bought or intend to buy the business or enterprise;
  • partnership agreement or stock register;
  • bank document which shows that you have paid the purchase sum or your part of the purchase sum, if you have bought the business or enterprise;
  • contracts with customers/suppliers and for premises;
  • annual accounts/reports for the previous two years (if the business has been in operation earlier);
  • balance sheet and income statement (report) for the current financial year, up to and including the previous month;
  • course certificate or other evidence that you speak Swedish and/or English;
  • certificates to substantiate your educational background;
  • certificates from previous employers;
  • certificate of registration for companies you own or have own outside of Sweden.

Make sure to extend your passport if it is about to expire. You cannot get a permit for longer than your passport validity period. You must have a permit that is valid for at least one year and stay in Sweden for at least one year if you want to be registered in the Swedish population register.

The documents should be translated to Swedish or English by an authorised translator. Copies of original documents should always be included.

Duration of validity of permits

Your residence permit is granted for one year at a time for a two-year probationary period. It can be extended, but you must apply approximately one month before it expires. The Migration Agency does not send out reminders.


If the Migration Agency refuses your application, you can appeal the decision within three weeks from the date when you were informed of the decision. Information on how to lodge an appeal can be found in your decision.

Further information

More on residence permits for self-employed workers

More on working in Sweden

The Swedish Public Employment Service

Long-term residence

Permanent residence permit

You can be eligible for a permanent residence permit after two years.

EC long-term residence

After five years of legal and continuous residence, you may be granted an EC long-term residence status.

You must prove that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself and your family.

You must also have a permanent residence permit.

More on long-term residence

Family reunification

Your family members may be granted residence permits for the same period as your residence permit.

Family members include:

  • your husband/wife or common law spouse;
  • your children under 18 years or those of your husband/wife or common law spouse. If you have children who are 18 or older, they must be dependent on you or your husband/wife or common law spouse, for support.

If you have the right to work for more than six months, family members may also be granted work permits.

More on bringing your family to Sweden

No information available at the moment.