The freelancer's guide to Sweden.

Words, hubbul

Innovative, fair and open-minded, Swedish businesses are global pioneers in corporate social responsibility. Committed to tackling environmental issues, the role they play in the community and workers' conditions, it comes as no surprise that in Sweden, freelancers and flexible workers are valued highly.

Work 

As a member of the EU since 1995, you aren't going to have to go through the hassle of visa applications if you're thinking of upping sticks and heading to Sweden to start freelancing - that is unless free movement is restricted as part of the UK's exit from the EU. For the time being however, as a UK freelancer, you are free to live and work in Europe as they please.

Sweden was recently voted a world leader in equality by the Global Gender Gap Report, something reflected in government. And in contrast to the UK, where for one reason or another until recently the gender balance in business and politics was unequal, Sweden enjoys an almost equal share of power and influence in business.

As a global leader in the IT and communications industry, Sweden gave the world the likes of Skype and Spotify – young and forward-thinking organisations that embrace the modern, flexible workforce.

Tax

Yes, the tax rumours that you may have heard are true, with most of the population paying between 49% and 60% in Income Tax. But what may come as a surprise, you don’t hear many people complaining. Year in, year out, Sweden near enough tops the OECD's global quality of life survey. 

Play

And if it’s culture you’re after, then you’ve come to the right place. Aside from the obvious Swedish musical talents, ingrained in the country’s history is art, fashion and inspiring architecture. There's plenty of galleries to choose from, and a tonne of exhibitions to visit over the course of the year, especially in Stockholm, the capital. As for the weather, don’t be fooled by the misconception that Arctic conditions engulf Sweden all year round. Thanks to the Gulf Stream just off Norway’s coast, average summer temperatures sit at around 17°c.

Invest 

In general, Sweden's pretty expensive. So if you’re looking to invest in affordable property to watch it rise in value, you’ll need deep pockets. That said, consistently voted as a world leader in innovation, and helped by the strong Swedish krona, the ICT industry is probably one of the better areas of the economy should you want to invest.

The Swedes are renowned as hard-working, honest and creative people who are good to do business with. Working for yourself in Sweden is more than just achievable for anyone with an eye on moving there. With all the right ingredients, contracting in Sweden is sure to be a fulfilling, not to mention prosperous experience. 

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