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Working remotely in Sweden can prove to be a difficult endeavor in some respects.
Remote working in Sweden is nothing new; before the 2020 pandemic, approximately 60% of jobs in Sweden already had an element of remote work. This, along with the generous leave policy, shows an emphasis on work-life balance that many remote workers would appreciate. The Swedish approach to work-life balance can be best characterized by the Swedish word lagom, which literally translates to “just the right amount”.
There are, however, things that are not perfect about remote work in Sweden- mostly related to the accomodation. Apartments in Sweden are difficult to find, particularly long-term rental contracts and especially for non-Swedes. Many recommend to just buy an apartment or a home in Sweden if you plan to live there long-term.
Another consideration is the size of apartments. Many are considered extremely small, with an average living space of ~35sqm in cities like Stockholm.
The issue of accomodation has a ‘flip-side’, however: there has been a marked increase in coworking spaces in recent years to meet the demand of remote workers who don’t want to work from their bed, couch, or kitchen table. This, also, has its drawbacks with the prices still high (as much as €400 per month for hot desks in some spaces) as supply races to meet demand.
Overall, Sweden is a good place to work remotely. If you’re not a local Swedish person, you should be aware of the many challenges you could face in getting set up in Sweden, but once those challenges are overcome, working remotely in Sweden can be a worthwhile and rewarding lifestyle, thanks to the balanced approach Swedes generally take to work-life balance.
Sweden has no laws on the books that relate specifically to remote work. All applicable employment laws apply whether the employee is a remote worker or an in-person worker.
Employees from the EU or EEA can work in Sweden without a residence permit for up to 3 months, after which point they must apply for a residence permit and apply for a tax number.
Non-EU citizens (and Swiss citizens) will need to have a work permit and residence visa in order to legally work in Sweden (remotely or not).
Currently, there is no digital nomad visa option available for Sweden.
Your business can easily hire employees in Sweden without opening a local entity. We handle local employment law, complex tax regulations, and international payroll in 185 countries worldwide. All you need to do is focus on your business.
Sweden is a tough country for freelancers and small business owners to succeed. With a steep 47% tax on freelancers and quarterly & annual reporting requirements, it’s a system that can be frustrating for freelancers just starting out. It is still possible to freelance in Sweden and make it work.
For fully-employed remote workers, it’s a different story. If an employee is legally able to work in Sweden and is employed full-time, the quality of life can be just as good or better than full-time office workers.
You have two main options if you want to hire a remote employee in Sweden:
Option 1: Hire a freelancer
You can hire a freelancer on a freelance brokerage site (for example, on Toptal, Upwork, or a local equivalent like Gigway for graphic designers)
This is a good option for small projects not directly related to the core business. If you hire a freelancer as a full-time employee, you may run the risk of employee misclassification which can come with harsh penalties.
Option 2: Hire an employee through an EOR like Horizons
You can also conduct a full search and hire a local Swedish citizen as a full-time employee, hire compliantly through an EOR structure. The EOR ensures all HR, tax, and local reporting compliance so you can focus on your business- risk free and with top talent.