Get Local Guide. The Guide to living, working and studying in the Gothenburg Region. Foto: Michael Åkerström

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1 Get Local Guide The Guide to living, working and studying in the Gothenburg Region. Foto: Michael Åkerström

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS 03 WELCOME TO THE GOTHENBURG REGION 03 THE CITY OF GOTHENBURG 03 Emergency information 03 BUSINESS REGION GÖTEBORG 04 DISCLAIMER 04 Notes 04 Interpreters 05 REGIONAL CONTACTS 06 CHECK LIST, PERMITS AND VISA 06 CHECK LIST 06 Prior to moving 06 Once you have moved 07 RESIDENCE AND WORK PERMIT 07 Registering right of residence 07 Documents required to register right of residence 07 Registering your residency in Sweden 07 Residence and work permits for non EU/EEA citizens 07 Required documents 08 IDENTIFICATION NUMBER AND IDENTITY CARD 08 Registration and obtaining a personal identification number 08 Identity Card 08 CUSTOMS CLEARANCE 08 Import of personal goods into Sweden 08 Vehicles 08 Tobacco and alcohol 08 Pets 09 SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICAL CARE 09 SOCIAL SECURITY 09 MEDICAL CARE 09 Health Centres for mothers and children MVC and BVC 09 MEDICAL ASSISTANCE TELEPHONE 09 Sjukvårdsupplysningen 09 Medical assistance for children telephone 10 HOSPITALS 10 WALK-IN CLINICS 10 MEDICAL CENTRES 10 OTHER ALTERNATIVES 10 PHARMACY 11 DENTAL CARE 12 HOUSING 12 RENTING AN APARTMENT IN SWEDEN 12 First hand contract 12 Second hand conctract 12 Companies offering furnished rental apartments 12 PURCHASING AN APARTMENT OR HOUSE 12 RELOCATION COMPANIES 1 13 PRACTICAL ISSUES 13 ELECTRICITY 13 TELEVISION 13 TELEPHONY AND INTERNET 13 TELEPHONE 14 CELL/MOBILE PHONES 14 INTERNET

3 14 NEWSPAPERS 14 BANKS AND POST OFFICES 15 PUBLIC TRANSPORT 15 AIRPORTS 15 PORT 15 OWNING A CAR 15 Registering a new car 15 Annual roadworthy inspection 15 Speed limits 15 Drinking and driving 15 Winter tires 16 Safety: Dimmed headlights and seat belts 16 Pedestrian crossings 16 Parking 16 Idling 17 TAXES AND BUSINESS 17 TAXES 17 Salaries and trade unions 17 The structure of Swedish taxation 17 Tax on employment income 18 Tax on capital income 18 Tax relief for foreign key personnel 18 Corporate taxation 18 VAT (Value Added Tax) 18 BUSINESS 18 Establishing your own business, Patents and registration 18 Associations for entrepreneurs 18 Advisors 19 EDUCATION 19 THE INTERNATIONAL DAY CARE CENTRES 20 THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL AND BILINGUAL SCHOOLS 20 INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE PROGRAM IN ENGLISH 20 BOARDING SCHOOLS IN SWEDEN 21 UNIVERSITIES 21 GRADES AND LANGUAGE COURSES 21 Translation of degrees and grades 21 Swedish language courses 22 SPOUCES LOOKING FOR A JOB IN THE GOTHENBURG REGION 22 BEFORE MOVING TO THE GOTHENBURG REGION 22 Contact the EURES-office in Gothenburg (EU/EES) 22 Recognition of qualifications from abroad 22 Right to unemployment benefits? 22 WHEN YOU HAVE ARRIVED TO THE GOTHENBURG REGION 22 Establish contact with your local Arbetsförmedlingen 22 Register at a wide range of recruitment companies 23 CULTURE AND LEISURE 23 CONSERT HALLS AND MUSEUMS 23 ART GALLERIES 23 AMUSEMENT PARKS 23 GARDENS 23 SPORT AND EVENT STADIUMS 24 CHURCHES 24 CLUBS AND ASSOCIATIONS FOR EXPATS 25 TOURISM, SHOPPING AND RESTAURANTS 25 READING 2

4 WELCOME TO THE GOTHENBURG REGION! Foto: Shutterstock THE CITY OF GOTHENBURG Gothenburg is Sweden s second largest city, with approximately inhabitants living within the city centre and living in the Gothenburg region. Gothenburg is both a historical and an international city. The climate in Gothenburg has been an international one since the city was founded in The city s first council consisted of five Dutchmen, two Germans, two Scots and three Swedes and the city had three official languages at this time. Today the international feel of the city can be largely attributed to the influence of people from abroad. English is widely spoken and television programmes can be viewed in Swedish (of course), English, German, French and many other languages. You will find yourself feeling very much at home in Gothenburg after only a short time. It is a city that embraces a top quality of life, a rich cultural scene, a clean environment, good connections to the rest of Europe, a beautiful coastline and lots of accessible green areas. Gothenburg is a great place to work, live and enjoy. You have made a good choice. Welcome! 112 IN CASE OF EMERGENCY DIAL 112 This is a general number for all of Sweden. The operator will help you at all times with anything concerning, Ambulance, Rescue and Fire Brigade, Police, Medical Assistance, Poisons, Acute Dental Care or a Priest. BUSINESS REGION GÖTEBORG Business Region Göteborg is a non-profit organization that works to promote and augment growth and employment in the Gothenburg region. Business Region Göteborg works with business development and investment and also assists with the establishment of new businesses. Business Region Göteborg aims to foster and sustain a diversified business climate in the Gothenburg region, which includes 13 municipalities; Ale, Alingsås, Gothenburg, Härryda, Kungsbacka, Kungälv, Lerum, Lilla Edet, Mölndal, Partille, Stenungsund, Tjörn and Öckerö. Business Region Göteborg takes pleasure in inviting all newcomers to the Gothenburg region. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions: Petra Sedelius Helen Teame Head of Investment Service Establishment and Investment Advisor Phone Phone Mobile Mobile

5 DISCLAIMER Please contact the appropriate authorities, as listed in this guide if you have further queries or concerns. The companies and contact names used are examples only and their inclusion should not be seen as partiality. We advise you to look for other companies using the internet. All facts quoted are subject to change due to changing market conditions. Notes The internet provides a wealth of information. In the Get Local Guide we are giving you several useful web sites that will make moving and living in the Gothenburg region easier. The information presented in this guide should prove useful to expatriates, entrepreneurs, students or anyone relocating or moving to Sweden. The focus is on the Gothenburg region. Use or to find telephone numbers or addresses in Sweden. These sites are in Swedish. For the first question is Vad söker du? (What are you looking for?). Here you can write a person s name, name of a company or branch (e.g. Relocation Companies) and the second question asked is Var? (Where?). Here you can write Göteborg or a street name or area. Another useful site is a site where you can translate words from Swedish to English and the other way around. NB: All sites referred to in this guide include some information in English, unless otherwise stated as (Swedish only). You can use Google (www.translate.google.se) to translate sites that are in Swedish into your language. Please also note that there is a considerable difference between the regulations covering EU citizens moving to Sweden and non-eu citizens. It is easier for EU citizens to move between any countries that are part of the European Union. They do not need a residence permit or a work permit. Non-EU citizens must apply for a resident and work permit before moving to Sweden. This distinction has been made clear in the text. Interpreters You are entitled to request the service of an interpreter when speaking with Swedish authorities such as police, lawyers or government municipal departments. You need to specify that you need an interpreter in advance. The government authority pays for the interpreter s services. Month of publication: July

6 64 Tjörn REGIONAL CONTACTS Please contact the responsible municipality to obtain information about housing, schools, services etc in a particular town within the Gothenburg region. Here we provide you with contact information for the thirteen municipalities. Gothenburg Mr Roger Strömberg Director of Business Establishment and Investment Phone: Kungälv Ms Anette Svahn Business Development Manager Phone: Stenungsund Ms Anette Oscarsson Business Development Manager Phone: Ale Mr Jerry Brattåsen Business Development Manager Phone: (Swedish only) Alingsås Mr Peter Axelberg Business Development Manager Phone: Härryda Ms Jessica Waller Business Development Manager Phone: (Swedish only) Kungsbacka Mr Michael Fransson Business Development Manager Phone: Lerum Mr Björn EK Contact Trade and Development Phone: Lilla Edet Ms Kajsa Jernqvist Business Development Manager Phone: Mölndal Mr Lars Ekberg Head of Strategic Development Dept. Phone: Partille Ms Nina Orback-Schultz Business Development Manager Phone: Tjörn Mr Berndt Grönlund Business Development Manager Phone: Öckerö Ms Katarina Stensryd Business Development Manager Phone:

7 CHECK LIST, PERMITS AND VISA CHECK LIST Here is a check list with things to do to prepare for your move. Please note the differences for EU and non-eu citizens. You need to prepare well in advance for a move to a new country. The following is a suggested to-do list to prepare for a move to Sweden: Prior to moving Inform the appropriate authorities in your home country that you are moving abroad. Collect official documentation relating to your civil status, work experience, school and medical records etc. Renew your passport. Ensure that it is valid for at least 6 months as it could be difficult to obtain residence and work permits otherwise. Non EU citizens: Apply for residence and/or work permits. Non EU citizens: Apply for a visa to enter Sweden (if applicable). See web site of the government (regeringen) for a list of countries requiring visas for Sweden. Non EU citizens: Fill in a TV form for customs relief on personal belongings to be imported into Sweden. This form can be found at the web site of Swedish Customs (Tullverket): Make an inventory of all the household items you plan to ship to Sweden. Non EU citizens: If you plan to stay in Sweden for less than 12 months, arrange a comprehensive health plan in your home country. EU citizens: Bring the European Health Insurance Card (or E111) issued in your home country with you. This form covers health benefits until you are registered in the Swedish social security system. EU citizens: Apply for an E101 form, in your home country, if you plan to remain in its social security system. Arrange housing. Research day care centers, schools or universities for your children. (if applicable) Ensure that your driving license is valid for the whole period when you will reside in Sweden. (Non-EU citizens see information below). Once you have moved EU citizens: Report to your local tax office, (Skatteverket) in person, to apply for registration and a personal identification number (personnummer), if you intend to remain in Sweden for at least 1 year. Report to your local Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan) to register for social insurance benefits. (If you are in Sweden for at least one year and do not intend to remain in the social security system of your home country). Enrol children in day care, schools and universities. (if applicable) Resolve housing and remaining utility supply issues. Open a bank account (see lists of banks under heading Practical issues). Install a telephone and internet (see list of providers under heading Practical issues). Resolve issues regarding special taxation for expats, pension funds, trade unions etc. (see information under heading Business and taxes). Enrol in a Swedish language course (see information under heading Education). Apply for a Swedish ID card. (see information below). EU citizens: Register at the Migration Board (Migrationsverket) for right of residence. This form can be found at: Non EU citizens: If you plan to stay in Sweden for at least 185 days you can apply to the County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen) for permission to drive on your home country s driving licence while living in Sweden. You may need to ask a Swedish speaking person with help for this. The address for the form is: You will need a personal identification number to apply for this form on-line. (Swedish only). EU/EEA citizens only: More detailed information can be found on NB: EU citizens have to register their residency in Sweden, whereas non-eu citizens have to receive a residence and work permit from the Swedish Embassy/ Consulate before they leave their home country. See below for more information. 6

8 RESIDENCE AND WORK PERMIT You need to register right of residence. You will find information about how to do that here. Registering right of residence EU citizens and their families must register their right of residence within 3 months of entering Sweden. Nordic citizens do not need to register. When entering the country all family members need to have a valid passport or identity card proving their citizenship. All members of the family are entitled to begin working immediately. Documents required to register right of residence: A filled in form - see the web site of the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) A copy of your passport or identity card. A certificate of employment from your employer, stating the type and period of employment. This must be signed by the employer. It is advisable to use the Certificate of employment for citizens from the EU/EEA form. See Registering your residency in Sweden It does not cost anything to register and the registration certificate is permanent. You can do this in one of the following ways: on the Swedish Migration Board s (Migrationsverket) website by post to the Swedish Migration Board. at one of the Swedish Migration Board s Permit Units. Information about mailing and visiting addresses can be found on You will need to fill in the No form, irrespective of how you plan to apply. The following family members can be included: Husband, wife, registered partner or cohabitant. Children under 21 years of age. Residence and work permits for non EU/EEA citizens (this includes Swiss citizens) Non- EU/EEA citizens must have a work permit in order to work in Sweden. This must be entered in to your passport before your arrival in Sweden. You cannot travel to Sweden and wait for a decision here. If you plan to work in Sweden for more than 3 months, you also require a residence permit. An expert/specialist employed by an international concern, travelling to and from Sweden in this capacity, in order to carry out employment for temporary periods, does not require a work permit. This only applies if the duration of employment is less than 12 months. Required documents You require the following documents when applying for a residence and work permit in Sweden: (you do this at a Swedish embassy or consulate in your home country or country of residence. For a list of addresses, see ): A written offer of employment in Sweden. Your employer must fill this in and send it to you. (Form ) A passport, valid for the whole of your working period in Sweden. A filled in application form for a work permit (can be obtained from the Swedish Embassy or consulate in your home country). Two recent, colour photos (passport size). You will be notified by the embassy/consulate where you submitted your application. The procedure normally takes 6-8 weeks. Your spouse and children can also apply for a residence permit for the same period as yourself. Extension of permits: You can apply to the Migration Board (Migrationsverket) 7

9 IDENTFICATION NUMBER AND IDENTITY CARD Registration and obtaining a personal identification number: Entering Sweden: (both EU and non-eu citizens) If you plan to stay in Sweden for more than one year you need to visit the local tax office (Skattemyndigheten), in person, as soon as possible, to apply for civil registration and to receive a personal identification number. You will fill in a form ( Notification of Immigration into Sweden ), which is needed to clear your personal goods through customs when they arrive. Take with you: Your passport Your residence permit/visa (if applicable) Documents relating to your civil status (eg. Marriage certificate) Birth certificates for children under 18 years of age The tax offices in Gothenburg are located on: Östra Hamngatan 16 (Nordstan), Angereds Torg 3 and Frölunda Torg. All members of the family need to be present to register. Note that you need to have an address before you can register. Within a week, the tax office will send you a personal number for all members of your family. It is important to learn these numbers off by heart as you will be asked for them quite often. Identity Card It is recommended that you have such an ID card. You can order an ID card from the tax office (Skatteverket) Applicants must have a Swedish personal identity number (personnummer) and show a receipt that they have paid 400SEK to the Skatteverket account. You must personally visit the tax agency to prove your identity and to be photographed. You must have documentation to confirm your identity with you. Non EU citizens: Bring your passport with the residence permit in it. The tax office will then check this information with that registered at the Migration Board. EU citizens can use their EU passports as identification when obtaining a Swedish ID card. CUSTOMS CLEARANCE Rules concerning import of personal goods, vehicles, tobacco, alcohol and pets. Import of personal goods into Sweden EU/EEA citizens do not need to declare their goods with Swedish customs. Non EU-EEA citizens must fulfil certain conditions to be granted sales tax (VAT) relief. For more information see Swedish Customs (Tullverket) Vehicles For information about importing vehicles, registration and inspection requirements, see the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) Tobacco and alcohol Tax is payable on the import of alcohol and tobacco. For information see Swedish Customs (Tullverket) Pets There are a number of things to consider before bringing pets to Sweden. See the Swedish Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket) for detailed information. 8

10 SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICAL CARE SOCIAL SECURITY As soon as you have been registered (civil registration) in Sweden, Swedish social security will apply, covering benefits like pension, medical care and health insurance. Social insurance is an important part of the Swedish social security system. The Swedish social insurance covers everyone that lives or works in Sweden. It provides financial protection for families and children, for persons with a disability and in connection with illness, work injury and old age. Through the Swedish membership of the EU, you may also be eligible for social insurance benefits in other EU member states. For more information about this, visit the web site of Försäkringskassan MEDICAL CARE (Sjukvård) The company you work for may organize medical treatment for you. If they do not then you can contact your local Medical Centre (Vårdcentral) if you need to see a doctor. You can also contact one of the walk-in-clinics as listed below. Note that you may not always be able to see the same doctor. You can find your local Medical Centre at (Swedish only) You can register with a doctor at any medical centre. For more information see: Health Centres for mothers and children MVC and BVC You should contact your local Mödravårdcentralen (MVC) if you are pregnant or require information regarding birth control. If you have a child under school age (6) contact your local Barnavårdscentralen (BVC) to join the vaccination programme and to have your child examined regularly. You can find your local Mödravårdcentral or Barnavårdcentral at (Swedish only) Dial 1177 for Medical Care Hotline MEDICAL ASSISTANCE - TELEPHONE Sjukvårdsupplysningen If you call from the Gothenburg area you can speak to a nurse who can give you medical advice and advise you whether or not to seek further medical assistance. Most of these nurses speak English. You can also dial the number 1177 from anywhere in the country. Also see for on-line medical assistance. (Swedish only). If it is an emergency, however, always dial 112. Medical assistance for children telephone Call after 4pm and before 8am if your child is sick and you need advice as to what to do. 9

11 HOSPITAL Mölndalssjukhus (adults) Visiting Address: Göteborgsvägen 31, Mölndal Web Site: Phone: Sahlgrenska Sjukhuset (adults) Visiting Address: Gullhedsgatan 19 (Situated west of the city). Web site: Phone: Östra sjukhuset (adults and children) Visiting Address: Smörslottsgatan 1 (Situated east of the city. Drive along the E20 towards Stockholm). Web Site: Phone: Foto: Sahlgrenska sjukhuset HOSPITALS (Sjukhus) There are three main hospitals in the Gothenburg area. These are: Children up to the age of 19 has free healthcare. WALK-IN CLINICS (Jourcentral) These are local medical centers with extended opening hours. The fee varies between 120 and 480SEK. You usually need to book an appointment in advance. MEDICAL CENTRES (Vårdcentral) Here we present some of the medical centres you will find in the Gothenburg area. MEDICAL CENTRES Backa Läkarhus Visiting Address: Herkulesgatan 1K Web Site: (Swedish only) Phone: Opening Hours: Mon-Friday 8am-10pm. Sat 10am-4pm. Capio Vårdcentral Axess Visiting Address: Södra Allégatan 6 (Situated close to Järntorget) Web Site: (Swedish only) Phone: Opening Hours: 7am-10pm every day. Cityakuten Nordstan Visiting Address: Nordstadstorget 6, 6th floor (Femmanhuset) Web Site: Phone: Opening Hours: Mon 9am-8pm. Tue Fri 9am-5pm. Closed weekends. Hagakliniken Visiting address: Första Långgatan 16 Web Site: (Swedish only) Phone: Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 8am-8pm Fri 8am-6pm Sat 10am-5pm OTHER ALTERNATIVES Private Health Care (Privatläkare) There are also private doctors. You can search or for this information using privatläkare. The Mobile Doctor (Doktorn kan komma) This is a private doctor who makes home visits, see PHARMACY (Apotek) There is no longer a government monopoly on pharmacies. Many of the pharmacies will have the word apotek somewhere in its name - like Medstop Apotek and Apoteksgruppen. However there are pharmacies without the word apotek such as Kronans Droghandel. You can also purchase pain killers and other non-prescription medicines at supermarkets and even petrol stations. There are two pharmacies in Gothenburg with extended opening hours. These are: PHARMECIES WITH EXTENDED OPENING HOURS Apoteket Hjärtat Visiting Address: Götgatan 12 (Östra Nordstan shopping mall) Phone: Opening hours: 8am-10pm every day. Apoteket Smörblomman Visiting Address: Smörslottsgatan 1, Östra Sjukhuset Phone: Opening hours: 9am-10pm weekdays. 11am-10pm weekends. 10

12 DENTAL CARE (Tandvård) Children under 19 years of age have free dental care at the National Dental Service (Folktandvården) The national insurance also covers a small part of the treatment costs for adults. You can search for dentists on the internet (www.hitta.se or using tandläkare and Göteborg. EMERGENCY DENTAL CLINICS (Akut Tandvård) Akuttandvården Visiting Address: Odinsgatan 10 Web Site: Phone: Opening hours: 8am-8pm weekdays. 8am-4pm weekends. Call in advance to make an appointment. Tandakuten Visiting Address: Engelbrektsgatan 34C (City centre, near the Avenue) Phone: Opening hours: 8am-5pm (closed for lunch 1pm-2pm) weekdays. 8am-4pm weekends. Call in advance to make an appointment. 11

13 HOUSING Foto: Jonatan Fernström Sweden generally has a high standard of housing and most homes are well furnished and equipped with modern appliances. Many apartments that are let/sold will include a dishwasher (if already installed), washing machine, dryer and wardrobes. If there is no washing machine or dryer in the apartment, you will most likely find it in the basement of the building. RENTING AN APARTMENT IN SWEDEN In Sweden there are two types of rental contracts available. Both usually include the cost of heating and water in the rent. First hand contract (förstahandskontrakt) You rent directly from the owner of the building. It is currently difficult to obtain such a contract in the Gothenburg area, unless you are willing to pay a very high rent. First hand contract apartments are always unfurnished. You can also contact the Gothenburg Housing Association (Boplats Göteborg) Boplats Göteborg offers apartments to rent from all public real estate companies and man y of the private owned real estate concerns. Second hand contract (andrahandskontrakt) This is when you sublet from the individual who rents directly from the owner. Normally these contracts are for a limited period of time. The apartments can be rented furnished or unfurnished. Companies offering furnished rental apartments You can also contact the following companies (these generally offer apartments for short term rentals): Apartment AB (Swedish only) Design Apartments Företagsbostäder SGS Veckobostäder PURCHASING AN APARTMENT OR HOUSE When you purchase an apartment in Sweden you pay the purchase price and then a monthly charge which covers repairs, maintenance and sometimes electricity and heating. Almost all apartments and houses for sale in the Gothenburg area can be seen on (Swedish only). RELOCATION COMPANIES Here is an incomplete list of the relocation companies in the Gothenburg area. These companies can help you with everything relating to your move to Gothenburg. Cito Moveo AB Human Entrance AB Key Relocation Center AB Nordic Relocation Group Probis AB Västsvenska Industri- & Handelskammaren (primarily IT and India) For a complete list of relocation companies, please visit the web site of European Relocation Association, Note that relocation companies don t work directly with individuals, but with companies. 12

14 PRACTICAL ISSUES ELECTRICITY Sweden has over 100 electricity providers. You are not free to choose your net provider but you may choose your electricity provider. The major providers in the Gothenburg area are: Fortum Göteborg Energi Mölndal Energi (Swedish only) More information about electricity can be found at the web site of the Swedish Consumer Electricity Advice Bureau, and at (Swedish only). The electricity voltage in Sweden is 230 volts/50hz. TELEVISION The Swedish Broadcasting Corporation (Sveriges Television) (Swedish only) is state-owned and financed from compulsory license fees. For more information about the compulsory radio and TV fee, see You can search the internet for information about cable and satellite television providers. Some of these are ComHem (Swedish only), Boxer (Swedish only) and Canal Digital (Swedish only). TELEPHONY AND INTERNET Telia Tele2 ComHem Bredbandsbolaget Glocalnet Telenor All Tele 3 Comviq Telephone Cell/mobile Internet installation phones subscription Note: Several of these providers offer Swedish website only TELEPHONE There are about 40 different companies that can install a telephone for you. These are listed at The most common providers are listed above. All information about names, addresses, telephone numbers etc. (for both companies and private persons) can be found on or These are both in Swedish but relatively simple to understand anyway. You can dial for directory assistance. 13

15 CELL/MOBILE PHONES Europe has a GSM 900/1800 system. Gothenburg adapted the 4G network as one of the first cities in the world. The city centre is well-equiped with WiFi hotspots. Cell phones must be able to use the GSM or 3G network. There are plenty of shops selling mobile phones. The personnel will be able to assist you and answer your questions. You can buy a phone and then buy a prepaid phone card or you can pay less for the phone and then sign a contract for months and receive a monthly bill. See the list for some of the major providers. INTERNET There are several internet providers. See See the list for some of the major providers. NEWSPAPERS Daily Swedish newspapers in English on the web Göteborg Daily, offers Swedish news in English on the web from a Gothenburg point of view. The Local, offers Swedish news on the web for all of Sweden. Rather Stockholm oriented but presents general information as well. The Gothenburg Region - daily newspapers in Swedish Göteborgs-Posten (GP) - Other Swedish daily newspapers (Swedish only) are Svenska Dagbladet Dagens Nyheter Sydsvenskan and Dagens Industri BANKS AND POST OFFICES Banks There are four major banks in Sweden; Handelsbanken Nordea (Swedish only) SEB Swedbank Other banks are represented in the Gothenburg region, such as DnB Nor (www.dnbnor.se) and Danske Bank (www.danskebank.se). You will find many more by searching on the internet. Post offices You can send letters and parcels and collect parcels at supermarkets and petrol stations. Contact the Post Office (Posten) to find out where the nearest postal centre to you is. 14

16 PUBLIC TRANSPORT The public transport in the Gothenburg Region is provided by Västtrafik. The system is well developed and the commuting area is expanding every year. On you find general information about commuting in the region as well as information about journey planning and where you can buy your transport tickets. AIRPORTS Göteborg Landvetter Airport Göteborg Landvetter Airport, the international airport of Western Sweden, is situated about 25 kilometers from the city centre and is easily accessible by bus or taxi. For more information see Swedavia, (all Swedish airports). Göteborg City airport Göteborg City Airport is situated 15 kilometers from the city centre and is primarily for low-cost airlines. For more information see PORT Port of Gothenburg This is the largest port in the Nordic area. Almost three million passengers pass through the port annually, mostly via ferries to Fredrikshamn (Denmark) or Kiel (Germany). See for more information. OWNING A CAR If you have a company car then the practicalities will be looked after by your company. If you purchase a car, yourself, you will have to register the car etc; Registering a new car Once you have purchased a car you need to report this to the Traffic Registry Department at the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) The dealer will usually assist with this. You will receive a registration certificate verifying that you own the vehicle. You will need to pay an annual registration fee. This information will be sent to you. All motor vehicles, including mopeds, must be covered by third party liability insurance. You can obtain a list of insurance companies on or by searching for bilförsäkring Göteborg, such as: Folksam IF (Swedish only) Länsförsäkring Trygg-Hansa (Swedish only) Annual roadworthy inspection (bilbesiktningen) All motor vehicles older than 3 years old must be inspected annually to ensure safety and environmental standards. See the web site of the Swedish Motor Vehicle Inspection Company (Svensk Bilprovning)- Speed limits There are speed limits on all roads and these vary considerably from 20km/h in some tightly built up areas to 110km/h, on some highways. Common speed-limits are 50 km/h, 70km/h and 90km/h. It is essential that you observe these limits. Look for the speed limit signs. Drinking and driving Sweden has very strict laws regarding drinking and driving. The legal limit is 0.02%. A police officer can stop you and ask you to take a breathalyzer test at any time. Winter tyres (vinterdäck) In Sweden you need a summer and a winter set of tyres. There are two different types of winter tyres that are approved in Sweden. One is with steel studs (dubbdäck) and the other is without. Your car must be fitted with winter tyres from December 1 until March 31, if winter conditions are in force (if there is snow or ice on the roads). You are not allowed to have winter tyres (with studs) on your car before October 1 or after April 15. Some European countries have banned these tyres (with studs) on their roads. The Traffic Registry Department at Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) will give you more information about this. There are certain streets in Gothenburg (Odinsgatan and Friggagatan) where you are not allowed to drive with studded tyres. More streets will be included in the winter of See: for more information. 15

17 Safety: Dimmed headlights and seat belts All cars must have their lights on, even during the day. The law also requires that everyone in the car wear a seat belt. Children under the height of 135cm must be secured in a child s seat. Pedestrian crossings Pedestrians have right of way at pedestrian crossings. Parking presents a list of parking areas. Chose Göteborg where it says Välj Stad. Some of them are: Heden (Outdoor parking area) P-Hus Aveny and Kungsgaraget P-Hus City (Swedish only, shows a map) P-Hus Nordstan If you live in the city you are eligible for a residential parking permit (Boendeparkering). You need to have a personnummer (personal identification number) and a registration plate number to obtain one of these. Go to and see under Travel and Transport/Parking permits for more information. Idling (tomgångskörning) Drivers are not permitted to leave their engines idling for more than one minute. 16

18 Foto: Jonatan Fernström TAXES AND BUSINESS TAXES Salaries and Trade Unions Swedish salaries are greatly influenced by the trade unions (fackföreningar). There are different unions but they are all part of a central organization. See for more information about the unions and working in Sweden, in general. Look under the heading Work and then Labor market. The structure of Swedish taxation The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket), will provide you a lot of information regarding the Swedish tax system. You may need to consult a tax specialist if you have income or property in both Sweden and in your home country. You will find more information on under the heading Work and then under The Swedish System. Tax on employment income For employment income the main taxes are municipal income tax and state income tax. The municipal income tax rates vary slightly according to in which municipal the person lives in. In Gothenburg the municipal income tax for year 2011 is approximately 32%. Based on progressive tax rates the highest tax margin rate in Gothenburg is approximately 57%. Tax rates applicable to resident individuals in 2011 (in SEK): Taxable income over Not over State income tax Municipal income tax % Approx. 32% % Approx. 32% and above 25% Approx. 32% An individual who is resident in Sweden is liable to pay Swedish taxes on his/her worldwide income. A person will be considered as resident in Sweden if he/she is domiciled in Sweden (i.e. has a permanent home in Sweden), stays continuously in Sweden for more than six months or has an essential connection to Sweden. Taxable income includes all remuneration received from employers, whether in cash or in kind, such as free food, free accommodation, company cars etc. Pensions, unemployment benefits etc. are also included in the taxable income. It is permissible to deduct certain costs from the income, e.g. travelling costs between work and home. An individual who is nonresident (for example is working in Sweden for less than six months) is subject to Swedish income tax only on income arising from sources in Sweden. There is no longer any wealth tax on assets in Sweden. 17

19 Tax on capital income Capital income is taxed separately from employment income at a flat rate of 30%. Capital income is for example interest, gains from the sale of capital assets and dividends. Interest expenses and capital losses can be set off against capital income. 30% of a net capital loss (or 21% when the total net capital loss exceeds SEK 100,000) can be set off against tax on income from employment. Tax relief for foreign key personnel Special rules on taxation apply to foreign experts and key personnel. This legislation entitles a 25% reduction on taxable income during the first three years of employment in Sweden i.e., only 75% of the individual s income, including benefits, will be taxed. Some benefits, e.g. school fees for children are tax exempt. In addition, employers will receive a 25% reduction on the base on which social security contribution is calculated. In order to qualify for tax relief you must be able to prove that: a) You are a specialist, scientist or expert with competencies that are not available or difficult to find in Sweden. You can also be a senior executive or belong to the senior management group of a company. b) You are employed by a Swedish company or a foreign company which has a permanent establishment in Sweden. c) You are not a Swedish citizen and have not been a resident in Sweden during a 5 year period prior to the assignment in Sweden. d) Your stay in Sweden is not expected to exceed more than 5 years. Application forms and more information can be found on the web site of the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) and Forskarskattenämnden This special tax relief for experts must be applied for within 3 months from the start of the employment in Sweden. Corporate taxation Sweden has a corporate tax of 26.3%. VAT - Value Added Tax (moms) VAT is generally charged with 25% on the sale of goods and services (for example for clothes and household appliances). The amount of taxation varies according to the type of goods and services. A lower tax rate, 12%, applies on e g food products. Books, newspapers and entrance to sporting and cultural events are taxed at 6%. For expertise regarding international tax issues you may wish to contact a company that offers financial and taxation support. You are welcome to contact Business Region Göteborg or search the internet (www.hitta.se or using skatt/finanskonsulter and Göteborg. BUSINESS Establishing your own business, Patents and Registration The Swedish Patent and Registration office (Patent- och Registreringsverket, PRV) can assist you with the following: Starting up a business Registering a new business Applying for a patent Registering a trademark Providing competitor information The Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket) can help with information regarding different types of legal business entities. Associations for entrepreneurs (Företagarföreningar) The Swedish Association of Ethnic Entrepreneurs (Internationella företagarföreningen i Sverige) can assist with starting up or expanding a business in Sweden. The information on their site is available in a number of languages. The Centre for New Entrepreneurs, (Nyföretagarcentrum) (Swedish only) can assist those considering starting up their own businesses. Advisors Business Region Göteborg, can assist anyone interested in developing business in the Gothenburg region. You will get the right contacts, finding professional advisors, and developing networks that suit your particular business needs. Invest Sweden, can provide you with a wealth of information regarding the costs of establishing a business and the advantages of establishing in Sweden. 18

20 EDUCATION In Sweden schooling is compulsory for all children between the ages of 7 and 16. Pre-school is offered from the age of 6. The school year begins in August and ends in early June. The majority of schools in Sweden are publicly financed and all children have the right to a free education. For parents on parental leave the English Speaking Playgroup is a place where you can go with your children to play and meet other stay-at-home parents. See for further information. Foto: Shutterstock INTERNATIONAL DAY CARE CENTERS Sweden has many well-equipped day care centers that are of a high standard. Both of the parents must work, study or be looking for a job, in order to keep their children at a day care center. The child must be between 1 and 5 years of age and have a personal identification number. You can obtain more information at the web site of Skolverket (Swedish only). There are a number of international day care centers in Gothenburg: ABC All About Children Preschool Centrally located in the city. The English School Gothenburg, ESG Day Care and Nursery school. Located in Västra Frölunda. The French School Swedish school with a French profile. Located in the city. Happy Kids Education Bilingual pre-school. Two locations Kållered and Kungsbacka. My Little Tribe Bilingual pre-school. Located in the western part of Gothenburg. The International Preschool Three locations Gullheden, Biskopsgården and Majorna. Vittra A bilingual school and pre-school (Swedish and English). Four locations in the Gothenburg region City Central, Mölnlycke, Alingsås and Kungsbacka. 19

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