Five important things to keep in mind when doing business with Swedes! Do you agree?

  • Be patient!

Swedes are slow, compared to Estonians. Just because you hear nothing from them for a couple of weeks does not mean they are not interested in your proposal – they might just be caught up in analysing it to see if it is the best solution. If in doubt, call and chat a bit and ask when to meet (again) to move things forward. To make decisions based on consensus takes time!

  • Enjoy meetings!

Because Swedes do! There might even be meetings about scheduling meetings. Follow the agenda and prepare diligently. If needed, send a written analysis beforehand so all who are expected to the next meeting have had the time to read it and contemplate.

  • Expect bureaucracy!

A lot of things can be done electronically in Sweden, but usually only if you have a Swedish BankID. If you do not live in Sweden, you cannot get it. To deal with Swedish authorities, there is still a lot that requires IRL signatures on physical papers that you send with snail mail.

  • Have fika!

Fika is slang for coffee but as a concept, it enhances much more, both physically as there could be a sandwich or a cinnamon bun added to the coffee, but also psychologically as it is considered as stress relief. Many companies have official fika breaks (“fikapaus” in Swedish) twice a day. Fika is also a good way to step away from the negotiation table and to get to know each other a bit more. With “fika”, you can have a break, come back refreshed and look at things from a different perspective.

  • Be Nordic!

Do not discuss politics, this makes Swedes nervous. Swedes might be critical towards their own system, but they do not appreciate hearing it from foreigners. Just be yourself but emphasise our common Nordic features and Swedes will feel more comfortable doing business with Estonians when they understand that we share much of our cultural background.

The article was written by NJORD partner and attorney of law Karolina Ullman. If you need help for successful negotiations with the Nordic countries, don't hesitate to contact Karolina HERE.

Latest news

NJORD Estonia: Agenda items for company’s general meeting

During the first half of every year, all companies are working hard to submit their annual reports. Annual reports must be submitted within six months after the fiscal year has ended. The submission deadline is usually June 30. Since the management board of a company must assemble all shareholders or stockholders at least once a year to approve the annual report, the following topics should be considered under the Estonian law. 

Cabotage and combined transport – beware!

For a long time, the legal position for combined carriage of goods by road has been more or less unclear. The Danish Transport, Building and Housing Authority has however recently issued an executive order implementing the rules of the so-called 'Combi Directive' (EU Directive 92/106). The executive order will come into force on July 1, 2018. In addition to implementing the directive, the executive order contains some 'new' rules that will clarify to what extent it is possible for foreign carriers to perform combined transport to and from Denmark.

NJORD Estonia: NORDIC BUSINESS CULTURE – summer edition

Travelling in Nordic countries during summer time might trigger your Estonian entrepreneurial mind to start thinking about how to reach these neighbouring markets with your products and services. Great! But, before you start, make sure to do your homework and do not expect anything to happen during the period starting from Midsummer until mid-August, as summer is long and lazy for our dear neighbours.

Get the latest legal news

We gladly share our knowledge with you. Subscribe to our newsletters.

Subscribe here