Debt recovery activities that concern collection of claims on behalf of someone else or debts that have been taken over for enforced collection need a licence. It is free of charge to apply for a licence to operate debt recovery activities. Use the form on the right.
When is a licence not needed to operate debt recovery activities?
- Collection of one's own claims, so-called own debt recovery.
- Collection of claims for companies within one's own group of companies, so-called group debt recovery.
- Debt recovery activities operated by companies under the supervision of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority. This primarily applies to banks, financing companies and insurance companies. The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority monitors that these companies comply with the Debt Recovery Act and observe accepted debt recovery practices in their debt collection activities.
Note that companies that are only registered with the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority after notification but are not under its supervision need the Swedish Data Protection Authority's permission to be allowed to operate debt recovery activities.
- Lawyers' and law firm employees' collection of clients' debts. Handling of such debts is subject to supervision by the Swedish Bar Association.
What qualifications are required to be granted a debt recovery licence?
Under Section 3 of the Debt Recovery Act (1974:182) the Swedish Data Protection Authority examines whether the debt recovery activities can be considered to be carried on in a knowledgeable and judicious manner based among other things on evaluation of the applicant's qualifications. The Swedish Data Protection Authority's evaluation is made mainly on the basis of qualification documents submitted by the applicant.
A person who is the subject of evaluation must have good insight into the day-to-day work of debt recovery and is able to influence debt recovery procedures. The main rule is that it is a person who is evaluated but there can be exceptions. If the Swedish Data Protection Authority finds that the person under evaluation does not alone possess the necessary qualifications, the evaluation can include this person together with another person at the debt recovery agency. This is normally the person who will in actual fact lead the day-to-day work of debt recovery or a lawyer employed at the agency.
Here are the people who can be evaluated at legal entities:
- Limited companies: CEO/managing director, board member or other senior executive of the company.
- Trading partnership: a partner.
- Association: a board member.
- Foundation: a board member.
If the applicant is a natural person – with or without a sole proprietorship – this person is evaluated.
Expert knowledge can be proven by means of certified copies of grades and certificates referring to theoretical education and/or practical experience of debt collection. In general, documented university or other higher education in law is required. Long practical experience can in some cases offset shortcomings as regards theoretical education through the applicant providing certificates and references proving long practical experience of debt collection or comparable work experience. With regard to certificates and references the Swedish Data Protection Authority looks at what kind of tasks have been carried out, to what extent and for how long, and testimonials.
Judiciousness can for example be proven by means of certified copies of references from previous employers.