All companies and associations must register beneficial ownership in 2017

The Swedish parliament is expected to declare that 800,000 companies and legal entities must register their beneficial owners with Bolagsverket from the latter half of 2017. We are in the process of developing an e-service to make the process easier for companies and others who will have to register this information.

What is beneficial ownership?

A beneficial owner is someone who ultimately owns or controls a company, association or other type of legal entity. In order to build up the beneficial ownership register, almost all companies and associations in Sweden will have to identify who this or these owners are and report the information to us.

What is the purpose of the register?

The purpose of the register is to give banks, the Swedish finance police and others access to information about who has significant control of a company.  We will therefore develop a new e-service to enable information searches in the register. The information about beneficial ownership is intended to be a measure in combating money-laundering and financing terrorism.

How does registration work?

You should register digitally during 2017 from 26 June. This will be free of charge. The information must be signed with e-identification such as Mobile BankID and by an authorised signatory for the company or association. 

Who will have to register beneficial ownership?

This will affect around 800,000 companies and associations. Those needing to register beneficial owners include:

  • Limited companies
  • Trading partnerships
  • Limited partnerships
  • Economic associations
  • Tenant-owner associations
  • Non-profit associations
  • Foundations
  • Trusts
  • Community associations
  • Collective farming associations
  • Water boards
  • Savings banks
  • Co-operative banks
  • Mutual insurance companies
  • Insurance associations
  • Insurance companies
  • Joint-stock banking companies
  • Retirement and employee benefit plan funds
  • Unemployment insurance funds
  • Religious communities
  • Co-operative tenancy right associations
  • Sami herding communities

The following are exempt and do NOT need to register beneficial ownership: 

  • Limited companies with voting shares admitted to trading on a regulated market
  • The state, county councils and municipalities as well as legal entities where these have a significant deciding role
  • Estates of deceased or bankrupt persons

EU Anti-money Laundering Directive is the reason behind the new register

In 2015 a new Anti-money Laundering EU Directive entered into force. Its purpose is to combat money-laundering and financing of terrorism. The directive requires that every EU member state must implement a central register containing details of company beneficial owners. Bolagsverket will be given the task of implementing and maintaining the register in Sweden. We are currently waiting for a government draft bill and then for new legislation to be passed by Sweden’s parliament, the Riksdag.

More information in early 2017

From January 2017 we will regularly publish information about this on Bolagsverket’s website, including details of the regulations for all the types of companies and associations affected by the directive.


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