After getting a confirmation of registration from Bolagsverket I could apply to be godkänd för F-skatt (approved for F tax, where F stands for företag).
There are way fewer things to decide or figure out in this application compared to the Bolagsverket one. They are:
SNI code(s) — which industry is your company in exactly,
dates and sizes of salaries + number of employees if any,
approximate revenue and costs of the company (probably already estimated after talking to the bank),
the redovisningsmetod — choosing one of the two.
The application can be done online or offline, the latter being slower in processing. I did it online, so I needed BankID. The registration form opens from the “F-skatt, moms, arbetsgivare och SNI” page on verksamt.se. To do it offline, download, print, fill out and send out the Företagsregistrering form.
Apart from the speed and built-in validation, the online route is also better with explaining what every field in the form means.
The first thing to fill out is delägare: who owns how many shares. This doesn’t have any effect on the actual shares, this is just for Skatteverket's records.
Unlike in the Bolagsverket application, the description of what the company will actually do has to be expressed in cold hard numbers out of a special classification (and not in free-form text). The official website of this classification has multiple search functions.
If more than one SNI code is entered, each one has to be attributed a share of its contribution to profits (i.e. activity with this SNI code gives 30%, activity with that code gives 40%, etc).
If the limited company is going to pay out salaries to anyone including the shareholders, it has to be registered as an employer and comply with all the corresponding regulation. I skipped this part for now since I expect it to take a while for the business to earn enough.
Under F-skatt and Moms I got to estimate how much the company will earn this year and therefore how much preliminary tax it should pay. One of the most frequently asked questions to Skatteverket is “how the hell am I supposed to know my future earnings if I’ve never done this before”, and they kindly suggest to (a) make your best guess, and (b) adjust the guess as early as possible.
The resulting number can very well be zero if the projected profits are below 2400 SEK per year. Skatteverket makes an assessment of the provided budget and sends a separate decision about the preliminary tax right after it approves the application as a whole.
For VAT reasons, Skatteverket also wants to know whether the market for the company is going to be domestic, almost domestic (EU), or not domestic at all (non-EU).
The important field here was “the start date of the company”: since I had already made some purchases for the company, I made sure to look at the receipts to fill out this field.
Closing the books
There are two ways to do accounting of the invoices (faktura). Faktureringsmetoden means that the company accounts/declares the invoices when it sends them to its customers (and therefore the tax has to be paid even if the invoice was not paid by the customer yet). With kontantmetoden, declaration happens when the money actually comes in. The latter method can only be used by companies with less than 3 million SEK turnover.
When a couple of weeks passed after signing and sending the application, I received a request from Skatteverket. Since my aktiebolag was small (defined as “maximum 4 shareholders control more than 50% of votes”), and one of the shareholders had not been a registered resident in Sweden for the last two years, we had to prove somehow the absence of tax and social security debt in another country. We called the government agency in that country and they said they don’t issue certificates proving anything of the sort since it is technically impossible to have such a debt due to the way their tax system works.
They offered to issue an official reply to this as a “general inquiry” if we sent this question as a paper letter. This was not fast enough for the deadline we had from Skatteverket though, so I called to try and extend it.
Not only did the case handler move the deadline by two weeks but she also sent an example of the document Skatteverket has previously accepted from the same country we were dealing with. In the end, the paper we got from that government was completely different from that example, but got accepted too. I have also read on the internet about people struggling with their countries not having a special form or certificate for this, and providing Skatteverket with things like “no criminal record” document instead.
if getting your AB registered fast is essential, don’t start it with people who haven’t been a registered resident in Sweden for the last two years. Let them buy into the company later
the case handler is there to help, calling and/or writing them works wonders
kontantmetod has nothing to do with kontant (cash) and is probably what you want when just starting out.
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