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Factsheet for measure SE-1997-1/2732 Updated – measures in Sweden

The Business Emergency


Country Sweden , applies regionally

    • – SE123 Östergötlands län
      – SE125 Västmanlands län
      – SE211 Jönköpings län
      – SE232 Västra Götalands län
      – SE311 Värmlands län
      – SE331 Västerbottens län
      – SE332 Norrbottens län
Time period Open ended, started on 01 January 1997
Context Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Rescue procedures in case of insolvency or adaptation of insolvency regulation
Author Anna-Karin Gustafsson (Oxford Research) and Eurofound
Measure added 11 July 2022 (updated 10 November 2022)

Background information

The Business Emergency (Företagsakuten) is a company helpline that provides an established and well-functioning method for helping enterprises facing insolvency.   This instrument was initiated by the Secretariat of Industry in the municipality of Gothenburg and the former National Business Organisation. The helpline is run by Business Region Göteborg AB and several partners (including Almi Företagspartner Väst AB, Ackordscentralen, Öhrling PriceWaterhouseCoopers) in the Region Västra Götaland.

Content of measure

The Business Emergency is a helpline that is available to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are facing insolvency and have fewer than 20 employees. It started in 1997 in the Gothenburg area and ever since more regions have started their own Business Emergency. The Business Emergency is funded by the regional governments. Coverage extends to the following regions: Västra Götaland, Värmland, Mälardalen, Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Östergötland and Jönköping.

The Business Emergency offers advice and negotiation assistance to SMEs that are suffering a crisis. It is mainly of an economic or legal nature. For example, expert advice can help SMEs to avoid bankruptcy. The helpline gives five hours of consultation free of charge. In some cases, it is sufficient to get them back on track. If not, companies can request further assistance from consultants who are experts in a restructuring of companies and auditors that belong to the network of the helpline service. Each case is treated confidentially.

The helpline is being led and driven by qualified staff. All cases are treated confidentially and anonymously.

However, according to an evaluation by Västra Götalandsregionen, the Business Emergency helpline had problems reaching troubled companies at the right moment and often support has been provided too late, making it more difficult to save companies.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

30 September 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme was extended by the Swedish Goverment from a regional level to a national level, i.e., enterprises in the whole of Sweden could apply for support. However, the extension measure was temporary and ended 30 September 2021.

Use of measure

The Business Emergency was established in 1997 and since then over 1,600 companies have received economic counselling (Business Region Göteborg, 2020)

During 2017, 41 companies received help from insolvency, for a total of 121 jobs (Business Region Göteborg, 2018). In 2019, this number of companies who received help was 137. These companies employed 137 people in total.

In 2017, 71% of the companies who applied for help avoided bankruptcy. In 2019 the success rate had increased by 19 percentage points - the percentage of companies who had applied and avoided bankruptcy in 2019 was 90%

Assessments regarding long-term effects are also available. Between 2014 and 2016, a total of 169 companies received help through the company helpline. Six out of 10 companies who applied for help were still active in 2018. Between 2016 and 2018, the number of companies was 127. Five out of 10 of these companies remained active in 2019.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
Local / regional government
Local funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A



Views and reactions



  • 01 January 2009: European Commission Enterprise and Industry. Small Business Act-Database of Good Practices (
  • 28 February 2018: Business Region Göteborg (2018) (
  • 10 February 2020: Business Region Göteborg (2020) Rådgivning räddar nio av tio företag i svårigheter (
  • 06 December 2021: Realtid (2021), Government extends the duration of loans under Företagsakuten (Regeringen förlänger löptiden på lån under Företagsakuten) (


Eurofound (2022), The Business Emergency, measure SE-1997-1/2732 (measures in Sweden), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.