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Svensk lagstiftning om ansvarsgenombrott i ABL - varför inte?

Carlson, Gustav LU (2011) HARM02 20102
Department of Business Law
Abstract
In Sweden, the most common type of company is the limited stock company (aktiebolag), which brings about several advantages. The strongest one is probably the shareholders’ limited liability. By this rule, the stock owners acquire protection from having to atone for any company debt exceed¬ing the already submitted equity stock. Keeping this in mind, one can consider the limited liability being an absolute condition realizing any risky and/or capital-intensive business. During recent years, making business in corporate groups has become very popular. Since there in Sweden is a lack of legislation in the field of corporate groups, they comply with the same legislation limited stock companies do, where the parent company accounts for the... (More)
In Sweden, the most common type of company is the limited stock company (aktiebolag), which brings about several advantages. The strongest one is probably the shareholders’ limited liability. By this rule, the stock owners acquire protection from having to atone for any company debt exceed¬ing the already submitted equity stock. Keeping this in mind, one can consider the limited liability being an absolute condition realizing any risky and/or capital-intensive business. During recent years, making business in corporate groups has become very popular. Since there in Sweden is a lack of legislation in the field of corporate groups, they comply with the same legislation limited stock companies do, where the parent company accounts for the shareholder position. As a direct consequence of the limited liability rule, a subsidiary company’s creditor lacks any legislated possibility to claim the parent company’s payment, should the subsidiary company go insolvent. Coping with companies and corp¬orate groups taking advantage of this, a “piercing of the corporate veil” has been developed in case law. This meaning that the courts in some rare cases have been able to unveil the corporate group, letting the parent company account for the subsidiary company’s payment liability. Even though several legislation attempts have been made, “piercing of the corporate veil” is yet only supported in case law. This thesis deals specifically with clarifying the legal position, as well as answering the question: why has Sweden adopted this path, choosing not to legis¬late the case law relating to “corporate veil piercing”? Initially a thorough research of the powers that affect limited stock companies and corporate groups are made. Following, the case law and different legislation attempts are being account¬ed for. A comparative chapter including the German corporate group law, the EU-legislation and other member states’ legislation is then presented. In the penultimate chapter, the possible reasons not to legis¬late, the legal position and the prospects are analyzed. Finally the conclusions are presented in the last chapter.

The author has found that based on the current limited stock company law alone, there is no possibility to legislate “corporate veil piercing”. For such a legislation to be possible, some form of corporate group-law is likely to be needed. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
I Sverige är aktiebolaget idag vår vanligaste associationsform och fördelarna är många. Den förmod¬ligen starkaste av dem är regeln om det begränsade ansvaret för aktieägare. Genom denna regel åtnjuter aktieägare skydd mot att behöva gälda bolagets borgenärer med mer än det redan satsade aktiekapitalet. Med detta som bakgrund kan det begränsade ansvaret sägas vara en direkt förutsättning för förverkligandet av riskabla och/eller kapitalkrävande affärs¬idéer. På senare år har det blivit allt vanligare att företagande bedrivs i koncernform, alltså ett kluster av aktiebolag med inbördes ägandeförhållanden. Då vi i Sverige saknar en specifik koncernlagstiftning faller koncerner in under aktiebolagslagen och moderbolaget räknas här som... (More)
I Sverige är aktiebolaget idag vår vanligaste associationsform och fördelarna är många. Den förmod¬ligen starkaste av dem är regeln om det begränsade ansvaret för aktieägare. Genom denna regel åtnjuter aktieägare skydd mot att behöva gälda bolagets borgenärer med mer än det redan satsade aktiekapitalet. Med detta som bakgrund kan det begränsade ansvaret sägas vara en direkt förutsättning för förverkligandet av riskabla och/eller kapitalkrävande affärs¬idéer. På senare år har det blivit allt vanligare att företagande bedrivs i koncernform, alltså ett kluster av aktiebolag med inbördes ägandeförhållanden. Då vi i Sverige saknar en specifik koncernlagstiftning faller koncerner in under aktiebolagslagen och moderbolaget räknas här som aktieägare. Således saknar en borgenär till ett dotterbolag – i enlighet med det begränsade ansvaret – en lag¬stadgad möjlig¬het att kräva moderbolaget om dotterbolaget skulle bli in¬solvent. För att komma till rätta med aktiebolag och koncerner som utnyttjar detta har vad vi kallar för ”ansvars¬genombrott” växt fram i praxis. Detta innebär att domstolar under vissa specifika omständig¬heter har möjlighet att låta ett moderbolag svara för sitt dotterbolags skulder, även om detta hör till ovanligheterna. Vid ett flertal tillfällen har lagstiftningsförslag i fråga om ansvarsgenombrott lämnats. Ändå har någon lagstiftning ej blivit av. Denna uppsats syftar till att klargöra det rättsliga läget och ge svar på frågan varför vi i Sverige valt denna väg trots upprepade lagstiftningsförsök. Inledningsvis görs i uppsatsen en genomgång av de grundläggande krafterna som inverkar på ett aktiebolag, såväl i enkel form som i kon¬cern¬förhållande. Vidare granskas den praxis som växt fram i ett flertal rättsfall och därefter gås de olika lagstiftningsförsöken igenom. Efter detta görs en komparativ utblick där den tyska modellen om koncernlagstiftning granskas, jämte EU-rätten och andra europeiska länder i stora drag. Därefter analyseras orsakerna till att lagstiftning inte blivit av, hur rättsläget ser ut, samt hur det kan komma att se ut i ett framtids¬perspektiv.

Författaren har funnit att det med nuvarande lagsystem kring aktiebolag inte är möjligt att lagstifta i frågan om ansvarsgenombrott allena. För att en lagreglering ska vara möjlig krävs sannolikt att vi övergår till någon form av koncernlagstiftning. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Carlson, Gustav LU
supervisor
organization
course
HARM02 20102
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
piercing the corporate veil, corporate groups, limited liability, ansvarsgenombrott, moderbolags ansvar för dotterbolags skulder, begränsat ansvar
language
Swedish
id
1766169
date added to LUP
2011-02-02 10:51:42
date last changed
2011-02-02 10:51:42
@misc{1766169,
  abstract     = {In Sweden, the most common type of company is the limited stock company (aktiebolag), which brings about several advantages. The strongest one is probably the shareholders’ limited liability. By this rule, the stock owners acquire protection from having to atone for any company debt exceed¬ing the already submitted equity stock. Keeping this in mind, one can consider the limited liability being an absolute condition realizing any risky and/or capital-intensive business. During recent years, making business in corporate groups has become very popular. Since there in Sweden is a lack of legislation in the field of corporate groups, they comply with the same legislation limited stock companies do, where the parent company accounts for the shareholder position. As a direct consequence of the limited liability rule, a subsidiary company’s creditor lacks any legislated possibility to claim the parent company’s payment, should the subsidiary company go insolvent. Coping with companies and corp¬orate groups taking advantage of this, a “piercing of the corporate veil” has been developed in case law. This meaning that the courts in some rare cases have been able to unveil the corporate group, letting the parent company account for the subsidiary company’s payment liability. Even though several legislation attempts have been made, “piercing of the corporate veil” is yet only supported in case law. This thesis deals specifically with clarifying the legal position, as well as answering the question: why has Sweden adopted this path, choosing not to legis¬late the case law relating to “corporate veil piercing”? Initially a thorough research of the powers that affect limited stock companies and corporate groups are made. Following, the case law and different legislation attempts are being account¬ed for. A comparative chapter including the German corporate group law, the EU-legislation and other member states’ legislation is then presented. In the penultimate chapter, the possible reasons not to legis¬late, the legal position and the prospects are analyzed. Finally the conclusions are presented in the last chapter.

The author has found that based on the current limited stock company law alone, there is no possibility to legislate “corporate veil piercing”. For such a legislation to be possible, some form of corporate group-law is likely to be needed.},
  author       = {Carlson, Gustav},
  keyword      = {piercing the corporate veil,corporate groups,limited liability,ansvarsgenombrott,moderbolags ansvar för dotterbolags skulder,begränsat ansvar},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Svensk lagstiftning om ansvarsgenombrott i ABL - varför inte?},
  year         = {2011},
}