What rules should you bear in mind?


While there are definitely things you need to take care of, there is also a lot of help available to make it easier for you to understand and follow the required process.


The most important things to consider are contracts, tax and social security.

  • If you recruit within the EU, it is important to write an employment contract that is valid for more than 366 days.
  • It is the means of entry into the community for global talent.
  • The recruit can then be officially registered into the Swedish civil system, apply for social security benefits and pay tax in Sweden.

Do bear in mind that the person you recruit is likely to have limited knowledge of Swedish labour law. Your responsibility as an employer is to explain relevant information so it is clear.

  • Other important rules to be aware of are the requirement for the position to be advertised with the Public Employment Service and for pay to be at market rates.
  • If you recruit from a non-EU country, often referred to as a third country in this context, the recruit must be in his or her home country when the decision for employment is taken.
  • It may sound like a lot to keep track of with many pitfalls on the way. But relax, help is available. At Global Talent Gothenburg, you can get answers to many of your questions and find links to e.g. the Public Employment Service/Eures, the Migration Board, the Social Insurance Agency and the Swedish Tax Agency.
  • There is also further information about additional services such as tax consultants and relocation consultants etc.


Catarina Böös, legal advisor and consultant in global mobility, PwC:

"Actually, it's not that difficult"

“I can understand that the legal issues may raise a few questions, but actually, it's not that difficult.

If you want to recruit somebody who is a non-EU citizen, you need to obtain a work permit. The process can be perceived as difficult and it may also take some time. Get help from a professional who is certified by the Migration Board; this will guarantee the quality of the application which not only increases the chances of getting it approved, but also speeds things up.

The next thing I recommend is to have a tax briefing for the new recruit. It is important that the recruit gains an understanding of how the tax system works in Sweden to reduce the risk of unpleasant surprises. A concrete example would be if the employee has a property in his home country where real estate sales are not taxed, and then sells the property after moving to Sweden – where Swedish capital gains tax must be paid as a starting point.

The law also provides the opportunity to subject international recruits to expert tax. This means people who are not Swedish citizens, have not lived in Sweden for the past five years and who have been recruited by a Swedish employer, may pay tax at lower rates. If the recruit is considered to be a key person, such as a CEO, or earns above a certain amount, then 25% of the income may be exempted from income tax as well as social security contributions for three years, which is a major gain for the employee and employer alike.

Many also wonder how labour law works in international recruitment – and it's not that complicated. Labour law is actually precisely the same; international recruits for local employment in Sweden have exactly the same rights and responsibilities as other employees. Just make sure you have the right employment contract and explain the terms and conditions for the very best chance of a successful recruitment.”