Law and Compliance in Sweden

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Business Contract

General Observation
Sweden is part of the Convention of Rome (1980) which details the legal rules governing the drawing up of international sales contracts for goods, the obligations of the buyer and the seller, recourse in case of breach of contract and other aspects of the contract.
Law Applicable to the Contract
The sale of goods is covered by the Law Applicable to the Sale of Goods, incorporated into the Convention of The Hague (1955). Sweden is part of the Vienna Convention. The Convention of Rome (on the law applicable to contractual obligations) allows Sweden to keep its national regulations concerning legal conflict relative to goods transport by sea.
Advisable Incoterms
It is preferable to choose an incoterm FOB  or CIF. Avoid EXW, if you do not want to have to take care of the transport in Sweden which can be complicated.
Language of Domestic Contract
Other Laws Which Can Be Used in Domestic Contracts
The signatories to a contract can choose which law applies to all or part of the contract as well as the competent court in case of dispute. If the parties have not explicitly chosen an applicable law, the contract is governed by the law of the country with which it has the closest ties, according to the principle of proximity (usual place of residence, or central administration, of the provider, the location of the main establishment or the establishment which provides the service, etc.).

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Independence of Justice
Judicial power in Sweden is totally independent.
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreign nationals can have an impartial trial.
The Language of Justice
Swedish is the language of justice, but English is commonly used.
Recourse to an Interpreter
Legal Similarities
The legal system is based on a system of civil law influenced by common law. The main law is the Constitution of 1974. As Sweden belongs to the European Union, its national law must submit to the conditions of Community legislation.

The Different Legal Codes

Accounting regulations Annual Accounts Act (1995)
Book-keeping Act (1999)
Contract and property law Swedish Competition Act
Consumer law Marketing Act
Company law Act on Identification Designation for Legal Entities (1974)
Swedish Code of Corporate Governance
The Swedish Competition Act
Investment law The Sveriges Riksbank Act (Law on the national bank of Sweden)
The Swedish Investment Funds Act
Labor law The Labour Disputes (Judicial Procedure) Act
The Work Environment Act
Checking National Laws Online

Legal research on the web: Sweden
Other Useful Resources
Legal system
Legal information
Country Guides
LexMundi, A guide to doing business in Sweden

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The Jurisdictions

District Courts, Courts of Appeal, Supreme Court Private law, Criminal law
Administrative Courts Public law
Special Courts Labor law, Commercial law

Court Officials

In Sweden, all lawyers are private (the offices of public lawyers have been abolished). Contrary to many foreign legal systems, Sweden allows citizens to plead personally before a court. So, there is no obligation to get representation or to resort to the services of a lawyer in our country. Nor does Sweden have a monopoly of lawyers, imposing on authorized representatives or legal counsel to be lawyers.
Clerk of the Court
The Clerk of the Court is a State employee who works in a Clerk's Office. He is in charge of enforcing court decisions and of cases relative to private and public debt which are pending. In addition, the State is often represented by a Clerk in Court in cases of bankruptcy negotiations, signing of market contracts and discharge of debts.
Most judges work in one of the two general jurisdictional organizations. The first one, that of general courts, includes a large number of district courts, six appeal courts as well as the Supreme Court. The second one is made up of general administrative courts and includes a large number of administrative courts, four administrative appeal courts and an administrative Supreme Court.
State Prosecutor
State Prosecutors play a very important role within both the legal system and criminal procedures. They investigate offences, decide indictments, and plead before the court. In principle, State Prosecutors benefit from the same independence as judges and give rulings personally on indictments.
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