Simplification and better regulation
The Swedish Agency of Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket) promotes simplification and better regulation for companies in several ways.
There are ongoing initiatives on a local, national and EU level to promote the competitiveness of companies and to reduce the negative effects of regulation.
Examples on simplification and better regulation
The work of simplifying for companies is about creating more accurate rules that achieve their purposes and simultaneously minimize their negative effects. Furthermore, it is about implementing existing regulation regarding for instance processing times and simplified and reduced reporting to authorities. We promote this work in several ways. For example:
Verksamt.se – a digital portal for businesses
On four government agencies – Tillväxtverket, the Swedish Companies Registration Office, the Swedish Tax Agency and the Swedish Public Employment Agency – have collected government information and services for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. We are developing the website in dialogue with users to ensure a growing number of profitable companies in Sweden.
On verksamt.se citizens and companies wishing to start a business in Sweden find summarised information and guides about rules, rights and procedures. Verksamt.se is also the electronic point of single contact for service companies in Sweden.
Digitization and reduced and simplified reporting
Digitization makes it possible to co-ordinate government regulation and processes. In collaboration with other public authorities on all levels we develop digital infrastructure, information, tools and services for simpler government contacts, processes and regulatory compliance. The intention is to help aspiring entrepreneurs and companies to find relevant information, guide them through the process, simplify and reduce reporting to authorities and shorten processing times. The ambition is to make the once-only-principle possible and connect processes between public authorities. Some of the results can be found on verksamt.se, for example digital personal guidance on how to start a company that requires multiple registrations, permits and licenses.
Regulatory impact assessments (RIA)
Tillväxtverket offers support to legislators in their RIA work. The support is flexible and adapted to the particular needs of the legislator, ranging from general and specific guidance and training to specific detailed scrutiny and feedback on draft RIAs. Tillväxtverket has developed a comprehensive guide on how to conduct a RIA, which focusses on the effects on business, including a digital tool on the categorization and calculation of costs. The guide also includes effects on the environment as well as gender and social issues. Examples of good RIA:s are published on the website.
Tillväxtverket´s staff providing RIA support to legislators generally also scrutinize RIAs on behalf of the Swedish Better Regulation Council (SBRC). However, the person who provides support for a specific legislative proposal is not involved in the scrutiny of the RIA formally submitted to the SBRC. Training and support is provided to governmental agencies, ministries and Commissions of Inquiry.
The Swedish government has set a target to reduce regulatory costs for business over time. Tillväxtverket follows up on how businesses’ costs are affected by new and/or amended regulations on an annual basis to determine whether the government’s target has been met or not. In addition to costs, indirect effects such as impact on competition are also included in the analysis.
Tillväxtverket provides a guide for regulators with information on how to calculate effects on businesses, i.e., effects that should be included in a regulatory impact assessment. Furthermore, a regulatory calculator is provided as additional assistance for the regulators when calculating the effects on business.
Tillväxtverket seeks knowledge about the companies' needs as well as the obstacles and problems they experience in their everyday lives regarding regulations and contact with authorities. We use the results primarily in our own work but we also share the results with others who can benefit from it in their work. For example needs analysis and the broader study The Situation and Conditions of Enterprises which focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises in Sweden and is conducted on a regular basis.
EU and international
Tillväxtverket represents Sweden in the Fit for Future Platform (F4F) and the OECD Regulatory Policy Committee. F4F is a high-level expert group established by the EU Commission as a part of its Better Regulation Strategy. The Platform, consisting of a government group and a stakeholder group, contributes to ensure that EU legislation is fit for purpose and does not create unnecessary burdens. OECD-RPC assists members and partners to promote strategic, evidence-based and innovative public policy outcomes, supporting efforts across governments to design and deliver effective regulatory frameworks, focussing on RIA, consultation and ex post evaluation.
The Swedish Better Regulation Council (SBRC) placed at Tillväxtverket is a member of Reg Watch Europe a network of independent regulatory oversight bodies. Its overall aim is to contribute to better regulation at national and international level through exchange of experience and dialogue.
Tillväxtverket also provides the Point of single contact under the EU Services Directive and the Professional Qualifications Directive, with the aim to facilitate cross border services.
Henrik Tegehed, Head of Better Regulation Unit