Legal Information ... in Sweden

There are no special laws or legal norms that differentiates social enterprises from private enterprises. Neither there are any tax benefit. There are no special fund allocated for Social Enterprises in Sweden. No financial support from government. No special support scheme for WISES or social enterprises.

Thus, a work integrated social enterprise are legally recognised due to its legal form, as is any other enterprise in Sweden.     

Swedish government changed the regulation to that public procurement could use social clauses in procurement following the Directive no. 2004/17,18/EC. In Swedish law for public procurement (ch1 §9.a LOU) it is stated that “authorities could take environmental and social consideration in public procurement when it may be motivated”. All clauses has to be in porpotion to the procured services or products.
Social clauses may be one of the final requirements for contract – and in some cases be considered to raise the most economic efficient bid. But normally, economic requirement may not be subordinated social or environmental aims.
According to LOU 30.3.2007/3481 kap 14§ An authority that procures may reserve the right to participate in a procurement for sheltered workshops or similar units or provide that the contract is conducted within the frame of program for sheltered employment, if the majority of the employees have disabilities thet means that work ability is limited. The governmental owned and nationally spread “sheltered workshop” company SAMHALL is an example. Also almost all municipalities have some kind of work central for sheltered employment.      
Combined with LOU all performers have to relate to the law of competition. It is for example inappropriate to take advantage of a dominant market position (25%) ie too low price settings. The Swedish competition Authority is the supervisory body for public procurement.

The government has also created quasi-markets in which the Government, in their role of service purchaser, open up for both enterprices and NGOs  from to range and provide "consumers" a variety of competing providers. One step in this process is another public procurement law – LOV, Law of freedom of choise (2008:962) This law is obligated to county councils but optional for municipalities. The law conforms to freedom of choices for services related to elderly- disability-, and healthcare. LOV is optional as an alternative to LOU. It gives the individual option to choose performer.

In Sweden, public secured employment (OSA) is delivered by public employers, thus either municipality or governmental bodies. OSA is given to people with a social medicine disability, legitimate interventions due to law (1993:387) Support and services to disabled or people with long term or non working experience due to mental illness. People with OSA may be “placed” at social enterprises but may not be employed by them, keeping the OSA employment. Social enterprises – who is defined as being non public - does not benefit from either of this.     
represent SE    MUNICIPALITIES Municipalities can support work integrated enterprices according to the law of Social servic (SoL). Support may be given this way ie as of facilities without rent and by given a supervisor/instructur. LOU shall be used whenever it concerns a purchase of service.

It is also important to higlight the intentions of empowerment by many of the laws adressed to the target groups of social enterprises and its indirect impact on this matter.