Why Do Baby Names in Sweden Need Tax Agency Approval?

baby-names-sweden-need-tax-agency-approval Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

There are a couple of reasons why the Skatteverket, the Swedish tax agency, oversees the names Swedes give to their children. Their goals are to protect children from potentially confusing or offensive names and to prevent Swedes from naming their children after the Swedish royal family.

The law may seem draconian, and some Swedes have rebelled against it. A couple reportedly tried to name their child Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 as a means of protesting (that name was rejected by the Skatteverket). However, overall Swedish people tend to like their nation's tax agency, which boasts an 83 percent approval rating as of 2014.

Some argue that the tax agency is providing an important public service for children whose parents have less-than-stellar judgment. For example, names such as Ikea and Allah have been rejected on the grounds that they may cause confusion (the former) or offense (the latter). On the other hand, the Skatteverket has allowed parents to give their children names like Google and Lego.