An aktieselskab is the Danish
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 name for a stock
The capital stock of a business entity represents the original capital paid into or invested in the business by its founders. It serves as a security for the creditors of a business since it cannot be withdrawn to the detriment of the creditors...

-based corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

. An aktieselskab can be both publicly traded and private.


The shareholders of an aktieselskab are not liable for the debt of the company. This can be used to protect the assets of the company against creditors by making a group of companies. If an A/S is owned by a holding company
Holding company
A holding company is a company or firm that owns other companies' outstanding stock. It usually refers to a company which does not produce goods or services itself; rather, its purpose is to own shares of other companies. Holding companies allow the reduction of risk for the owners and can allow...

 (typically another A/S), the profit from the production company can be transferred to the holding company. Since there is no liability for the owners of an A/S, creditors from the production company will not be able to claim the profit in case of bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

. Professional creditors like banks protect themselves from this by demanding that the holding company guarantees for the debts of the production company.

Formation of an A/S

The formation of an aktieselskab follows five steps:
  • Notification concerning the formation to the Danish Commerce and Company Agency.
  • Registration of the company.
  • Resolution to form the company at the first general meeting.
  • Subscription for shares and payment of the share capital. The share capital must be greater than 500.000 DKK.
  • The signing of a memorandum of association which must contain a draft of the articles of association of the company.

An aktieselskab can only acquire rights or incur obligations as a company when it has been registered at the Danish Commerce and Company Agency.

The share capital

The share capital registered at the Danish Commerce and Companies Agency must be at least 500.000 DKK. The capital can come from contributions of cash or other assets.

If half of the capital is lost the board of directors must convene a general meeting within six months.

The board of directors

An aktieselskab must have a board of directors
Board of directors
A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors...

 consisting of at least three members. Members of the board can be elected for a period of up to four years depending on the articles of association.

The board members are usually elected at the general meeting. The articles of association may confer upon public authorities or any third party the right to appoint one or more members of the board of directors. In companies with an average workforce of over 35 employees during the last three years, the employees are entitled to elect among themselves a number of members of the board of directors equal to half the members of the board of directors elected by the shareholders or appointed by third parties.

See also

  • Aksjeselskap
    Aksjeselskap is the Norwegian term for a stock-based company. It is usually abbreviated AS or A/S, especially when used in company names. An AS is always a limited company, i.e. the owners cannot be held liable for any debt beyond the stock capital...

     (the corresponding concept in Norway)
  • Aktiebolag
    Aktiebolag is the Swedish term for "limited company" or "corporation". When used in company names, it is abbreviated "AB" or "Ab"...

     (the corresponding concept in Sweden)
  • Aktiengesellschaft
    Aktiengesellschaft is a German term that refers to a corporation that is limited by shares, i.e. owned by shareholders, and may be traded on a stock market. The term is used in Germany, Austria and Switzerland...

     (the corresponding term in Germany)
  • Anpartsselskab
    ApS is an abbreviation for "", the Danish term for a limited liability company. ApS, when appended to the end of a Danish company name, is similar to Ltd. after the name of a British company. An ApS is required to have capital of at least 80,000 DKK .-References:*...

     (another Danish type of corporation equivalent to the limited liability company)
  • Limited liability company
    Limited liability company
    A limited liability company is a flexible form of enterprise that blends elements of partnership and corporate structures. It is a legal form of company that provides limited liability to its owners in the vast majority of United States jurisdictions...

  • Naamloze Vennootschap
    Naamloze Vennootschap
    is the Dutch term for a public limited liability company. The company is owned by shareholders, and the company's shares are not registered to certain owners, so that they may be traded on the public stock market....

     (the corresponding concept in the Netherlands and Belgium)
  • Osakeyhtiö
    Osakeyhtiö, literally a "stock company", is the Finnish equivalent of a limited company or Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung . It is abbreviated to Oy and is used either before or after the company's name, sometimes with the addition of the Finland-Swedish equivalent Ab...

     (the corresponding concept in Finland)
  • Public limited company
    Public limited company
    A public limited company is a limited liability company that sells shares to the public in United Kingdom company law, in the Republic of Ireland and Commonwealth jurisdictions....

     (the corresponding concept in the UK and in Ireland)
  • S. A.
    S.A. (corporation)
    S.A. designates a particular type of corporation in various countries, mostly those employing the civil law. It originated in Spain during the 16th century. Depending on language, the abbreviation stands for various phrases meaning anonymous society, anonymous company, anonymous partnership, or...

    (the corresponding concept in France, Spain and other Romanic countries)

External links

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