Opening a Business in Norway

Opening a Business in Norway

Updated on Tuesday 23rd April 2019

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How easy is it to set up a business in Norway?

The help of a specialized Norwegian lawyer is advisable in the process of company registration in Norway, mostly in order to overcome language barriers. The process of company incorporation in Norway is not very difficult and it takes only a few working days, depending on the type of company you intend to open and the specific incorporation requirements. After the elaboration and gathering of all the documents, one of the key steps in the registration process in the filling of the documentation with the Register of Business Enterprises.

How easy is it to hire personnel in Norway?

The foreign and local investors are advised to contact an employment agency in order to find the most suitable candidates for the vacant places in their company.
The Norwegian Labor Law demands that all the workers hired in a local company must take part in the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme. Consequently, companies must ensure that the national insurance contributions are payed to the authorities, in compliance with the Norwegian legal provisions.
Another requirement is to register for the mandatory occupational pension plan for employees. All these steps must be taken by a newly formed company before starting the business. Our law firm in Norway can advise you in regard to these matters.

What are the main points of interest for foreign investors?

Norway is known worldwide for its maritime industry, owning a large maritime fleet containing both traditional shipping boats as well as offshore vessels. 
Most of the foreign investors choose Norway as a destination for their investments even though it is not a large state. Despite its size, this country is known as a large exporter of oil and gas, and it is recognized as one of the biggest suppliers on the energy markets in the entire world. 
Norway is also a pioneer in renewable energy since hydropower provides almost all of Norway’s electricity.
Norwegian Seafood Industry is also a source of profits for the local and foreign investors. Sea food exports from Norway rely mainly on salmon spring cod. The country is one of the world’s major aquaculture states.
The ICT industry is also well known across Norwegian borders thanks to its high-tech companies which provide high-end consultancy services.

What are the advantages of a holding company in Norway?

The holding companies opened in Norway benefit from advantageous polices, deriving from the vast number of treaties, signed during the last years between Norway and other states. First of all, there are the double tax treaties, which stipulate exemptions or tax reductions for profits or dividends. Moreover the Parent-Subsidiary EU directive establishes advantageous conditions for EU subsidiaries, by offering withholding tax exemption for dividends.

The holding companies are usually an inspired choice for investors who intend to obtain control of another company or large properties with less investment or who try to increase the number of shares of the parent company.

What company types are the most popular in Norway?

The most popular types of entities in Norway are by far the limited companies either public (Allmennaksjeselskap – ASA ) or private (Aksjeselskap - AS). The main advantage of this type of companies is the fact that they can suit small or family owned enterprises for an initial capital of only 30.000 NOK. 
Other business structures which are frequent on the Norwegian market are the ANS - Ansvarlig selskap, or the general partnership. This type of company has no requirements concerning an initial investment capital, and it functions very well in those business areas which are less risky from the point of view of the economic fluctuations.

What files must be provided within the registration documentation in Norway?

In order to register a company with the Foretaksregisteret - the Norwegian Business Register, any investor must gather a specific documentation. One of the most important files which need to be provided to the authorities can be elaborated by our Norwegian lawyers and it consists of the articles of association or the memorandum which specifies the responsibilities of the board as well as the main objectives of the company. Other papers which might be required upon registration are identity documents, as well as bank statements certifying the clean financial record of the investor. 

What are the costs to open a business in Norway?

The costs for the opening a new business in Norway depend in great measure on the type, size and profile of your enterprise. If you intend to open a sole proprietorship based on manufacture, your costs might be minimal, while if your plan is to set up an IT corporation, you will have larger costs for the renting of the space and for the acquisition of adequate equipment.
Another important cost which must be taken into consideration by a business owner in Norway are the money that have to be submitted as initial capital in the bank account of the enterprise. Moreover you should know that other costs may appear for the translation and legalization of your documents into Norwegian. The corporate tax, the VAT and the dividend tax might also add to the amount that you will have to pay in order to make your company work in this country.
For more details about the business options available in Norway, feel free to contact our attorneys in Norway.