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Verksamhetssyftet och 8 kap. 42 § aktiebolagslagen - En analys av tillämpningen av 8 kap. 42 § aktiebolagslagen vid styrelsens eller den verkställande direktörens överskridande av verksamhetssyftet

Olsson, Signe LU (2018) JURM02 20181
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Det råder oklarhet kring hur 8 kap. 42 § ABL, vilken behandlar behörighets- och befogenhetsöverskridanden, ska tillämpas vid styrelsens och den verkställande direktörens överskridande av verksamhetssyftet när de rättshandlar för bolaget. Syftet med denna uppsats att undersöka och analysera denna oklarhet. Vid författandet av uppsatsen har både rättsdogmatisk och EU-rättslig metod använts.

Styrelsen har behörighet att binda bolaget genom rättshandlingar som faller inom förvaltningen av bolagets angelägenheter. Den verkställande direktören har behörighet att binda bolaget genom rättshandlingar som faller inom den löpande förvaltningen. Styrelsens och den verkställande direktörens befogenhet begränsas av föreskrifter i bolagsordningen och... (More)
Det råder oklarhet kring hur 8 kap. 42 § ABL, vilken behandlar behörighets- och befogenhetsöverskridanden, ska tillämpas vid styrelsens och den verkställande direktörens överskridande av verksamhetssyftet när de rättshandlar för bolaget. Syftet med denna uppsats att undersöka och analysera denna oklarhet. Vid författandet av uppsatsen har både rättsdogmatisk och EU-rättslig metod använts.

Styrelsen har behörighet att binda bolaget genom rättshandlingar som faller inom förvaltningen av bolagets angelägenheter. Den verkställande direktören har behörighet att binda bolaget genom rättshandlingar som faller inom den löpande förvaltningen. Styrelsens och den verkställande direktörens befogenhet begränsas av föreskrifter i bolagsordningen och av föreskrifter från överordnat bolagsorgan. Det finns även befogenhetsinskränkningar som följer av lag.

Verksamhetssyftet utgör en befogenhetsinskränkning. Enligt 3 kap. 3 § ABL ska, om bolagets verksamhet helt eller delvis ska ha ett annat syfte än att ge vinst till fördelning mellan aktieägarna, detta anges i bolagsordningen. Har bolaget vinstsyfte framgår detta alltså av lagen, medan ett annat syfte framgår av bolagsordningen.

8 kap. 42 § andra stycket ABL behandlar befogenhetsöverskridanden. Enligt andra styckets första mening gäller en rättshandling inte mot bolaget om styrelsen, den verkställande direktören eller en särskild firmatecknare har överskridit sin befogenhet och tredje man insåg eller bort inse befogenhetsöverskridandet. Enligt andra meningen i samma stycke gäller detta dock inte när styrelsen eller den verkställande direktören har överträtt en föreskrift om bolagets verksamhet eller andra föreskrifter som har meddelats i bolagsordningen eller av ett annat bolagsorgan. 8 kap. 42 § andra stycket ABL har i utsträckning utformats mot bakgrund av en bestämmelse i ett direktiv från EU. Direktivbestämmelsens syfte är att skydda tredje mans intresse, men den reglerar inte uttryckligen överskridanden av verksamhetssyftet.

Mot bakgrund av ordalydelsen i 8 kap. 42 § andra stycket ABL finns det en risk att om ett annat syfte än vinstsyfte är för handen så tillämpas andra meningen på överskridanden av verksamhetssyftet, och om vinstsyfte är för handen tillämpas första meningen. Om det rör sig om ett bolag som har vinstsyfte men som ändå har skrivit in syftet i bolagsordningen, skulle det rimligen finnas grund för tillämpning av både första och andra meningen. Detta framstår som en orimlig ordning och är heller sannolikt inte lagstiftarens avsikt. Rimligen borde alla syftesöverskridanden behandlas på samma sätt.

Eftersom EU-direktivet, och till följd av detta även den svenska bestämmelsen, uttryckligen stadgar att överskridanden av bolagsordningsbestämmelser inte ska kunna leda till ogiltighet vid motpartens onda tro, tycks mycket tala för att överskridanden av verksamhetssyftet ska behandlas enligt 8 kap. 42 § andra stycket andra meningen ABL. Detta beror framför allt på det faktum att verksamhetssyftet i svensk rätt ibland kan finnas i bolagsordningen. Den i detta stycke föreslagna tolkningen framstår vara den tolkning som är mest förenlig med direktivet. (Less)
Abstract
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the question of how the provision 8 ch. 42 § in the Swedish Companies Act (ABL) is to be applied when the Board of Directors or the Chief Executive Officer, whilst acting on behalf of the company, has acted outside of the purpose of the company. This paper aims to analyze and investigate this issue using legal dogmatic and EU legal methodology approaches.

The Board of Directors has the competence to bind the company through acts that fall within the scope of the management of the company’s affairs, whereas the Chief Executive Officer has the competence to bind the company through acts that fall within the scope of the day-to-day management. The authority of the Board of Directors and the Chief... (More)
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the question of how the provision 8 ch. 42 § in the Swedish Companies Act (ABL) is to be applied when the Board of Directors or the Chief Executive Officer, whilst acting on behalf of the company, has acted outside of the purpose of the company. This paper aims to analyze and investigate this issue using legal dogmatic and EU legal methodology approaches.

The Board of Directors has the competence to bind the company through acts that fall within the scope of the management of the company’s affairs, whereas the Chief Executive Officer has the competence to bind the company through acts that fall within the scope of the day-to-day management. The authority of the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer is limited by the Articles of Association and decisions from a superordinate organ of the company. ABL also contains limits to the authority.

The purpose of the company constitutes a limitation to the authority of the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer. According to 3 ch. 3 § ABL, the purpose of the company needs to be set out in the Articles of Association if the purpose is, fully or partly, something other than to generate profits for the shareholders. If the purpose of the company is to generate profits the purpose will consequently follow from ABL, whereas if the purpose is something else, it will follow from the Articles of Association.

The second paragraph in 8 ch. 42 § ABL deals with situations where the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer or the authorised signatories have acted outside of their authority. According to the first sentence in this paragraph, the company shall not be bound by such acts, if the third party knew, or, in view of the circumstances, could not have been unaware that the acts done by the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer or the authorised signatories were outside of their authority. According to the second sentence in this paragraph, the company will, however, always be bound by the acts done by the Board of Directors or the Chief Executive Officer if these acts were outside of the object of the company’s business, the Articles of Association, or decisions from a superordinate organ of the company. The provision in the second paragraph of 8 ch. 42 § ABL has, to a large extent, been affected by a provision in a directive from the EU. The purpose of the provision in this directive is to ensure the protection of third parties, but it does not explicitly say how acts outside of the purpose of the company are to be dealt with.

Given the wording of the second paragraph of 8 ch. 42 § ABL, there is a risk that the first sentence is to be applied on acts outside of the purpose when the purpose is to generate profits, but that the second sentence is to be applied on acts outside of the purpose if the company has another purpose than to generate profits. If the company’s purpose is to generate profits and this purpose has been stated in the Articles of Association, both the first and the second sentence might be applicable on acts outside of the purpose. This seems to be an unreasonable way of dealing with acts outside of the company’s purpose, and is most likely not what the legislator has intended. It seems more reasonable that all acts outside of the purpose are treated the same way.

Given the fact that the directive, and as a result also the Swedish provision in question, explicitly states that acts outside of the Articles of Association always are binding upon the company, it is likely that, when the Board of Directors or the Chief Executive Officer has acted outside of the purpose of the company, the second sentence in the second paragraph of 8 ch. 42 § ABL should be applied. The main reason for this is the fact that the purpose of the company sometimes can be found in the Articles of Association. This seems to be the interpretation most compatible with the directive. (Less)
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author
Olsson, Signe LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The Purpose of the Company and 8 ch. 42 § in the Swedish Companies Act - An analysis of how 8 ch. 42 § in the Swedish Companies Act is to be applied when the Board of Directors or the Chief Executive Officer has acted outside of the purpose of the company
course
JURM02 20181
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
associationsrätt, EU-rätt, civilrätt, förmögenhetsrätt
language
Swedish
id
8941468
date added to LUP
2018-06-08 14:01:21
date last changed
2018-06-08 14:01:21
@misc{8941468,
  abstract     = {There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the question of how the provision 8 ch. 42 § in the Swedish Companies Act (ABL) is to be applied when the Board of Directors or the Chief Executive Officer, whilst acting on behalf of the company, has acted outside of the purpose of the company. This paper aims to analyze and investigate this issue using legal dogmatic and EU legal methodology approaches. 

The Board of Directors has the competence to bind the company through acts that fall within the scope of the management of the company’s affairs, whereas the Chief Executive Officer has the competence to bind the company through acts that fall within the scope of the day-to-day management. The authority of the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer is limited by the Articles of Association and decisions from a superordinate organ of the company. ABL also contains limits to the authority.

The purpose of the company constitutes a limitation to the authority of the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer. According to 3 ch. 3 § ABL, the purpose of the company needs to be set out in the Articles of Association if the purpose is, fully or partly, something other than to generate profits for the shareholders. If the purpose of the company is to generate profits the purpose will consequently follow from ABL, whereas if the purpose is something else, it will follow from the Articles of Association. 

The second paragraph in 8 ch. 42 § ABL deals with situations where the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer or the authorised signatories have acted outside of their authority. According to the first sentence in this paragraph, the company shall not be bound by such acts, if the third party knew, or, in view of the circumstances, could not have been unaware that the acts done by the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer or the authorised signatories were outside of their authority. According to the second sentence in this paragraph, the company will, however, always be bound by the acts done by the Board of Directors or the Chief Executive Officer if these acts were outside of the object of the company’s business, the Articles of Association, or decisions from a superordinate organ of the company. The provision in the second paragraph of 8 ch. 42 § ABL has, to a large extent, been affected by a provision in a directive from the EU. The purpose of the provision in this directive is to ensure the protection of third parties, but it does not explicitly say how acts outside of the purpose of the company are to be dealt with. 

Given the wording of the second paragraph of 8 ch. 42 § ABL, there is a risk that the first sentence is to be applied on acts outside of the purpose when the purpose is to generate profits, but that the second sentence is to be applied on acts outside of the purpose if the company has another purpose than to generate profits. If the company’s purpose is to generate profits and this purpose has been stated in the Articles of Association, both the first and the second sentence might be applicable on acts outside of the purpose. This seems to be an unreasonable way of dealing with acts outside of the company’s purpose, and is most likely not what the legislator has intended. It seems more reasonable that all acts outside of the purpose are treated the same way. 

Given the fact that the directive, and as a result also the Swedish provision in question, explicitly states that acts outside of the Articles of Association always are binding upon the company, it is likely that, when the Board of Directors or the Chief Executive Officer has acted outside of the purpose of the company, the second sentence in the second paragraph of 8 ch. 42 § ABL should be applied. The main reason for this is the fact that the purpose of the company sometimes can be found in the Articles of Association. This seems to be the interpretation most compatible with the directive.},
  author       = {Olsson, Signe},
  keyword      = {associationsrätt,EU-rätt,civilrätt,förmögenhetsrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Verksamhetssyftet och 8 kap. 42 § aktiebolagslagen - En analys av tillämpningen av 8 kap. 42 § aktiebolagslagen vid styrelsens eller den verkställande direktörens överskridande av verksamhetssyftet},
  year         = {2018},
}