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Board work

Here we describe what issues a board of directors should work on and who is on a board. By developing your board work, you can develop your business and increase your growth.

A board can play a crucial role in development issues such as import/export, sustainability and digitalisation. Sometimes banks, auditors or private equity may suggest more sophisticated board work, for example to grant loans or provide funding. Issues that a board can work on:

  • preparing, formulating and prioritising the right issues for the company. A board of directors must be able to deal with criticism of both the company's management as well as the board
  • future issues and tracking trends, either through the board members' own sectoral expertise or by deciding to bring in external help
  • having a clear role in relation to the general director and owners in terms of strategies and business development
  • systematically following up on decisions and having the courage to be decisive without dragging out issues.

A limited company must have at least one board member and one alternate. If the board has fewer than three members, there must be at least one alternate. Keep in mind that having a board of directors made up of experienced people with different skills and business contacts can be good for the company.

It can be useful to have at least one board member with expertise in areas such as marketing, innovation or digitalisation. The level of expertise you need on the board depends on the sector in which you operate. By carefully analysing the current situation and noting your company's future plans, you can identify the skills you need on your board. This facilitates the recruitment of new board members.

Developing your company's board of directors can be one way to develop your company. When you do, it may be important to make a clear distinction between the board of directors and the management team, with the board working on strategic issues and the management team working on operational issues. The board should avoid working on issues that are too close to the business or related to management. In that sense, it can be important to bring in external board members with different expertise.

The law requires that board meetings in limited companies be held at least once a year and be convened by the chairman. Shareholders exert influence by appointing the company's board of directors and auditor at the general meeting as well as by setting the guidelines for the company's business. This can also be done with a so-called owner directive. If the company is to have a general director, he or she is appointed by the board of directors.

Different kinds of general meetings

Read more about the general meeting, annual general meeting, extraordinary general meeting and continuing general meeting.

General meeting at bolagsverket.se

An owner directive clarifies the will and vision of the owner(s) regarding how to develop the company in the medium term, about three to five years. It establishes that the owners, board, general director and financiers share the same goals, values and expectations for the company. The owner directive should be a concise working document that is regularly updated and which indicates the direction of the company.

The Agency for Economic and Regional Growth has collected examples of how you can write an owner directive.

Owner directives at the Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (in Swedish)

Styrelsetrappan (The Stairs of the Board)

The Agency for Economic and Regional Growth has produced a guide for those interested in different board forms and working methods, ways to develop a company with strategic and active board work and inspiration from other companies.

Styrelsetrappan at The Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (in Swedish)