The season for annual meetings is here. Many limited companies and cooperative associations will conduct their annual general meetings (AGM) within the next few months. The AGMs may coincide with the ongoing spread of the virus that causes covid-19. In order for shareholders and association members to have the opportunity to exercise their rights in connection with the AGM, but at the same time work to minimize the risk of dissemination, the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) has recently adopted a new law on temporary exemptions to facilitate implementation of annual general meetings for limited companies and cooperative associations (2020:198). The law provides for increased opportunities for gathering powers of attorney, postal voting, and participation in an AGM by proxy. As a result, the number of persons present can be limited at the same time as shareholders and association members retain their ability to influence decisions.
In addition to the newly enacted law’s facilitation of remote participation, it is also possible to hold a desk meeting (all shareholders sign the minutes of the meeting), an online meeting (all shareholders participate online) or a hybrid meeting (both physical participation on site and online participation possible). These alternatives are suitable for some companies and associations, but not for all. The number of shareholders or association members, consent from shareholders or association members, and access to technical solutions are examples of factors that determine whether the alternatives can be used.
If you have any questions regarding what alternative might be best suited to your situation, or if you have any other questions regarding AGMs or other corporate matters, you are more than welcome to contact Per Gruwberger and Louise Björneman.