The Swedish government has announced that it will abolish the requirement for small businesses to employ an accountant. The move is aimed at removing some of the unnecessary red tape that hinders an estimated 250,000 small businesses across the country.
At a press conference last week, Swedish enterprise minister Maud Olofsson said, “This is an important step to simplify regulations for companies.” She went on to say that the legal amendment will result in savings of up to SEK 2.5 billion (USD 346 million) for affected companies. The Local also reported that the state will stand to save an additional SEK 1.3 billion (USD 180 million), which will be generated by higher stamp duties and increased property taxes on hydroelectric power..
The Swedish Federation of Business Owners welcomed the move, acknowledging that Olofsson had endured a bitter battle with the finance ministry in pushing through the new legislation, which will come into effect on 1st November.
“This is a hard-won victory for the enterprise minister Maud Olofsson. She has had to toil away like a northern Swedish cart-horse while the finance minister Anders Borg has worked against her,” said Anna-Stina Nordmark, the federation’s CEO. While the group admitted they would have preferred higher thresholds to include more firms, the reduction of administrative duties was well received.
An accountant will still be required by law to be hired by companies banking more than SEK 1.5 million (USD 206,000) and for those with an annual turnover in excess of three million kronor (USD 412,000).