Construction—Sweden—Q&A guide
Construction—Sweden—Q&A guide

The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Construction—Sweden—Q&A guide
  • 1. If a foreign designer or contractor wanted to set up an operation to pursue the local market, what are the key concerns they should consider before taking such a step?
  • 2. Must foreign designers and contractors be licensed locally to work and, if so, what are the consequences of working without a licence?
  • 3. Do local laws provide any advantage to domestic contractors in competition with foreign contractors?
  • 4. What legal protections exist to ensure fair and open competition to secure contracts with public entities, and to prevent bid rigging or other anticompetitive behaviour?
  • 5. If a contractor has illegally obtained the award of a contract, for example by bribery, will the contract be enforceable? Are bribe-givers and bribe-takers prosecuted and, if so, what are the penalties they face? Are facilitation payments allowable under local law?
  • 6. Under local law, must employees of the project team members report suspicion or knowledge of bribery of government employees and, if so, what are the penalties for failure to report?
  • 7. Is the making of political contributions part of doing business? If so, are there laws that restrict the ability of contractors or design professionals to work for public agencies because of their financial support for political candidates or parties?
  • 8. Is a construction manager or other construction professional acting as a public entity’s representative or agent on a project (and its employees) subject to the same anti-corruption and compliance as government employees?
  • 9. Are there any other important legal issues that may present obstacles to a foreign contractor attempting to do business in your jurisdiction?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to construction rights in Sweden published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: August 2020).

Authors: Foyen Advokatfirma—Jacob Hamilton; Per Vestman; Richard Sahlberg

1. If a foreign designer or contractor wanted to set up an operation to pursue the local market, what are the key concerns they should consider before taking such a step?

Depending on the individual situation, a main concern would be Swedish labour law. In Sweden, the model of collective agreement between the employer’s association and trade unions has a predominant role – the ‘Swedish model’. The freedom to contract is extensive. To facilitate foreign companies, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and the Swedish Trade Union Confederation have agreed a recommendation to foreign companies to apply for membership in the employer’s association for a limited period. Thereafter, a collective agreement is negotiated specifying the conditions for the workers of the foreign company. A benefit to the foreign company is that it will avoid being subject to blockades or other actions from the Swedish trade unions.

Historically, Swedish trade unions have demanded that foreign contractors sign collective agreements, even if they have no Swedish staff and no members of any particular trade union. Any contractor refusing to comply could expect to be boycotted, effectively preventing it from carrying out its

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