Sales Representative in Sweden

Overview by

Commercial Intermediaries

Trading Companies
  • Type of Organization
To penetrate the Swedish market, you have to go through wholesalers/importers/agents, especially for staples and raw materials. Distribution chains generally work like buying groups; they import through the main office which takes charge of distributing to the different stores all over the country.
  • Main Actors
For a list of retail sales companies in Sweden, click here. For the biological sector, click here.
  • Type of Organization
2/3 of Swedish imports are carried out by importers or wholesalers. Importers, wholesalers, suppliers and distributors are grouped together in the Swedish Trade Federation (Svensk Handel). Four groups control 80% of the wholesale market: COOP NORDEN, ICA GRUPPEN, UNITED NORDIC (Axfood), REITAN GROUP.
  • Main Actors
Alt-Grönt, Direkt Frukt & Grönt, ICA Frukt & Grönt (ICA Ahold), Saba Trading (Dole)
Useful Resources
The Swedish foodstuffs market, FAO
List of associations and trading companies

Using a Commercial Agent

The Advantages
Generally, an exclusive agent or distributor is appointed to cover the Swedish market. Swedish agents or distributors often represent several foreign companies.
Where to Be Vigilant
Visiting the local market is the best way to appreciate the prospection of an agent or a distributor.
Elements of Motivation
Regular contacts with your agent or distributor from the very beginning are recommended.
The Average Amount of Commission
.An agent on commission is paid according to the turnover he achieves.
Breach of Contract
The termination of an agency contract is carried out with one month's notice during the first year, two months' notice the second year, and three months' notice the third and following years. The agent is entitled to compensation if he is not the cause of the breach of contract.
Finding a Commercial Agent
Agenturforetagen, Swedish Association of Agents
Find Sales and Distribution Service Providers in Sweden on

Setting Up a Commercial Unit

The Advantages
It should be considered especially with a long term view.
Different Possible Forms of Settlement
  • A Representative Office
A representative office cannot engage in any commercial activity (other than pure marketing). It cannot draw up invoices for services rendered. This means that the representative office is not allowed to act in its own name using employees. Nor can it be given power of attorney to act in the name of the foreign parent company. However, it means not paying taxes in Sweden.
For a guide to creating a representative office in Sweden, click here.
  • A Branch Office
A branch office can take and fill orders and carry out a marketing or advertising program, recruit the sales force and carry out promotional activities.
  • A Company
Setting up a subsidiary needs time and leads to considerable expense. However, it offers a better guarantee of protection for the registered trade mark, of obtaining credit and of breaking into the market.


Evolution of the Sector
In Sweden, there are 12 000 franchises for 300 networks, whose turnover is estimated at 9 billion EUR and whose workforce is 100 000 people. Franchises in ready-to-wear clothes and sport, in home decoration and way of life, in Viennese pastry baking and catering, as well as in services, make up a popular distribution network in Sweden. Interest in franchising has grown a lot in Sweden over the last few years. More and more foreign commercial concepts consider Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries as an attractive market where they can set up their systems. Hotels, estate agencies, service companies and especially restaurants and stores have realized the advantages offered by the Scandinavian market.
For many young businessmen in Sweden, franchising is an effective way to spread their business ideas. Many businessmen of the younger generation are not prejudiced against this type of company as preceding generations may have been.
Some Big Franchises
Swedish Association of Franchising
For Further Information
Svenska Franchise Föreningen, Swedish Association of Franchising
Guidelines for starting a franchise business

Finding Assistance

Export Trading Companies
Alligator International
Axel Johnson AB
Find more on about Selling to Sweden.

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