Establishing and registering a foundation

Have you established a foundation? If so, in most cases you will need to register it with the County Administration Board.

The e-services and forms of the County Administrative Board in this field are not available in English. If you wish to submit an application or notification, you may contact the County Administrative Board, which can inform you how to proceed.

Most foundations must be registered with the County Administration Board. This does not include foundations whose assets are only used in favour of specific natural persons. For certain foundations, specific requirements apply regarding establishment and registration. You can read more about what is required to establish and register a foundation under each foundation form. Contact a solicitor if you need guidance on how to establish a foundation.

Registering foundations

A registration application must be sent to the County Administrative Board no later than six months after the foundation is established. Foundations that operate a business must be registered before the business begins operating. It is the board or trustee of the foundation who must register the foundation.

The application must state:

  • the name of the foundation, its registered office (county and municipality) and, where appropriate, its organisation number (note that if the board or trustee has changed the name of the foundation at any time, the minutes concerning the decision to change the name must be attached)
  • the address and telephone number of the foundation
  • the name of the chairperson of the foundation's board (this does not apply if the trustee is a legal person)
  • board members’ names, national ID numbers, addresses and telephone numbers or the trustee’s name/business name, address and telephone number
  • the auditor’s name, national ID number and address
  • the company's organisation number and the name of the responsible auditor if the auditor is a registered auditing firm
  • information on who has the right to represent the foundation (authorised signatories)
  • information on the foundation's assets (market value)
  • information on the organisation's financial year.

Documentation to be attached:

  • A copy of the foundation's charter (for example a will, donation letter or minutes). Note that a charter for a foundation established after 1 January 1996 must always be drawn up in writing and signed by the founder(s).
  • a copy of the articles of association
    Attach the original articles of association and, if the articles of association have been amended, minutes of meetings at which the amendments were adopted, or alternatively decisions made by the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (Kammarkollegiet) or the government, and the amended articles of association.
  • signed confirmation that the auditor has accepted the assignment
  • board minutes stating who may sign on behalf of the foundation
  • a document showing the foundation's assets (e.g. a breakdown of the foundation’s financial statements or most recent annual report). Newly established foundations must attach a bank statement or equivalent in the name of the foundation.
  • a copy of a passport or other identity document of any board members, deputies, authorised signatories/representatives who are not resident in Sweden.

Remember that you may also need to submit certain information to the Swedish Companies Registration Office External link..

  • A general foundation is established when one or more founders separate off certain property for independent administration on a permanent basis in order to serve a specific purpose.
  • A foundation must have a written ‘foundation charter’ (stiftelseförordnande), e.g. a will or letter setting out how the foundation is to be managed. It must be signed by the founder or founders.
  • The foundation charter may state whether you may are operating a business in the foundation’s name.
  • If the foundation is to operate a business, this must be declared for registration before any business is commenced.
  • The foundation’s name must contain the word stiftelse (foundation).
  • A natural person must assume responsibility for managing the foundation according to the foundation charter. This can be a board (natural persons) or a trustee (legal person).
  • A board must have a chairperson.
  • The foundation must be reported to the County Administrative Board for supervision and registration by the board or trustee. This must be done no later than six months after the foundation is established.

A fundraising foundation is established through

  1. one or more founders stipulating that money which is collected following an appeal is to constitute an independent asset and be used to promote a specific and permanent purpose
  2. a natural person undertakes to receive the money for administration according to the charter.
  • You establish a fundraising foundation in order to collect money which is to be used to support a specific purpose.
  • The purpose must not be temporary in nature, but something that continues over time.
  • In order to collect the money, you must carry out an ‘appeal’, e.g. by placing an advertisement in a newspaper in which you explain what the money will be used for.
  • The founder does not contribute any of their own money to the establishment of the foundation; this money is expected to be collected as a result of the appeal. It is therefore important to document how the appeal was carried out.
  • The money you collect must not be used for any other purpose.
  • A foundation must have a written ‘foundation charter’ which stipulates how the foundation will be managed. It must be signed by the founder or founders.
  • A natural person undertakes to receive the money for administration according to the foundation charter.
  • The foundation’s name must include the word insamlingsstiftelse (fundraising foundation).
  • The administration of the foundation may be managed by a board (natural persons) or a trustee (legal person).
  • A fundraising foundation's board must have a chairperson.
  • A fundraising foundation must have at least one auditor who is authorised or approved.
  • The foundation charter may state whether you may are operating a business in the foundation’s name.
  • If you may operate a business in the foundation’s name, this must be declared for registration before any business is commenced.
  • Fundraising foundations must always prepare an annual report and be registered in the foundation register.
  • Newly established fundraising foundations do not need to submit information about the foundation’s capital.
  • The fundraising foundation must be reported for supervision and registration by the board or trustee. This must be done no later than six months after the foundation is established.
  • The fundraising foundation is under the complete supervision of the County Administrative Board.

Specific requirements when registering fundraising foundations

Fundraising foundations must attach a copy of the founders’ appeal and a description of when and how it was carried out. The fundraising foundation is officially established through the appeal. The appeal can be public, e.g. an advertisement in a daily newspaper or on a website. It can also be more limited in scope and targeted at a narrower group of people.

General foundations, fundraising foundations and collective agreement foundations may operate a business. In order to do this, it must be permitted by the foundation charter.

Before a foundation starts to operate a business, the board or trustee must submit information for registration in the foundation register regarding

  1. the name under which the business will operate
  2. the type of business concerned.
  • If you have considered operating a business in another county, you can ask for your company to also be registered in that county.
  • If a business operation ceases or if any other information that has been registered changes, the board or trustee of the foundation must immediately declare this for registration in the foundation register.
  • A foundation's name must clearly differ from other organisation names that have previously been entered in the foundation register.
  • The foundation may operate the business under its own name or under a different name.
  • If the name of the business differs from the foundation’s name, the word stiftelse (foundation) or an abbreviation thereof may not be included in the name of the business.
  • If the business is operated under a different name to the foundation, the board minutes which include the decision regarding the name must be submitted together with the application.
  • If the value of the foundation’s assets is less than the sum of the foundation’s liabilities, the foundation may be obliged to go into liquidation.
  • You can read more about what applies in the event that the use of a business name is prohibited and concerning cancellation of the registration of a business name in the Swedish Company Names Act.

Swedish Company Names Act on the parliament’s website External link.

If you are an employer, you can establish a pension foundation and set aside money to safeguard pensions for your employees.

The pension foundation must be established according to the provisions of the Pension Obligations Vesting Act.

Act on safeguarding of pension commitments etc. on the Swedish Parliament’s website External link.

  • The sole object of a pension foundation must be to safeguard a pension commitment and not, for example, to operate a business.
  • The foundation's name must include the word pensionsstiftelse (pension foundation).
  • For pension foundations which set aside pensions for at least 100 employees or the surviving relatives thereof, specific conditions apply regarding investments. The Financial Supervisory Authority is responsible for supervision regarding these aspects.
  • The board of a pension foundation must consist of an equal number of persons from the employer and from among the employees covered by the object of the foundation.
  • If the foundation provides a pension to the main shareholder, the County Administrative Board must appoint an impartial chairperson to the board. In other foundations, the board members themselves appoint the chairperson.
  • Pension foundations must have at least one auditor. The auditor must possess relevant experience in order to perform the task. If any specific qualifications are stipulated in the foundation charter, then these qualifications will apply.
  • The pension foundation must be declared for supervision and registration by the board no later than six months from the date on which it assumed the task of managing the administration.
  • Pension foundations must prepare an annual report and be registered in the foundation register.
  • Pension foundations are subject to the full supervision of the County Administrative Board.

Specific requirements when registering pension foundations

Pension foundations must report the names of board members who represent the employer and employees respectively. A copy of the employer’s certificate of incorporation must be attached.

Pension foundations which safeguard pension commitments relating to main shareholders must submit a proposal for a person who the County Administrative Board may appoint as chairperson of the board. Information on name, national ID number, address, telephone number and a brief job description must be attached to the report.

Foundations which safeguard pensions for more than 100 people are considered to be institutions for occupational retirement provision (IORP) and must state this in the application.

If you are an employer, you can establish a personnel foundation which sets aside money for the welfare of your employees or their surviving relatives. It must not be intended to provide a pension, salary or other benefit.

The foundation must be established according to the provisions of the Pension Obligations Vesting Act.

Act on safeguarding of pension commitments etc. on the Swedish Parliament’s website External link.

  • The sole object of a personnel foundation must be to promote the welfare of the employees and not, for example, to operate a business.
  • The name of the foundation must include the word personalstiftelse (personnel foundation).
  • The board of a pension foundation must consist of an equal number of persons from the employer and from among the employees covered by the object of the foundation.
  • The members of the foundation appoint the chairperson themselves.
  • A personnel foundation must have at least one auditor. The auditor must possess relevant experience in order to perform the task. If any specific qualifications are stipulated in the foundation charter, then these qualifications will apply.
  • Personnel foundations must be declared for supervision and registration by the board no later than six months from the date on which it assumed the task of managing the administration.
  • Personnel foundations must prepare an annual report and be registered in the foundation register.
  • Personnel foundations are subject to the full supervision of the County Administrative Board.

Specific requirements when registering personnel foundations

Personnel foundations must declare the names of board members who represent the employer and employees respectively. A copy of the employer’s certificate of incorporation must be attached.

Contact

County Administrative Board of Jämtland