Knowledge base
London Chamber
Knowledge base
Company Registration in Norway

Norway is a safe and easy country for doing business. The World Bank ranks Norway top 10 of 189 countries for Ease of Doing Business, a position Norway has held for several years.

The population of 5,3 million is modest in size yet still, its purchasing power is comparable to larger economies due to its high standard of living and evenly distributed wealth. Most Norwegians are fluent English speakers with French and German frequently spoken as well. Norwegians are generally well educated.

The country has the fourth-highest per-capita income in the world on the World Bank and IMF lists. On the CIA's GDP (PPP) per capita list (2015 estimate) which includes autonomous territories and regions, Norway ranks as number eleven. It has the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, with a value of US$1 trillion. Norway has had the highest Human Development Index ranking in the world since 2009, a position also held previously between 2001 and 2006; it also has the highest inequality-adjusted ranking per 2018. Norway ranked first on the World Happiness Report for 2017 and currently ranks first on the OECD Better Life Index, the Index of Public Integrity, the Freedom Index, and the Democracy Index. Norway also has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

In order to incorporate a company in Norway, the investors must draft the articles of association and other documents such as specimen signatures, special forms, or passport copies of the persons interested to open a company in this country.


Registering a Company in Norway

The way to register a business in Norway is through the Bronnoysund Register Center. You will need to complete the "Coordinated Register Notification" form on this website.

The form itself is only available in Norwegian, although the “Part 1 – Guide” section is available in English.

When setting up a company you may want to consider these factors:

1-Business Factors

Among the factors to consider when setting up businesses, business factors are relevant and in particular:

  1. The industry and type of business
  2. Nationality of the headquarters/individual(s) and
  3. Presence of existing trade agreements or relationships



Location will be another factor. Separate cities and regions may have different rules, costs, and availability. It is always recommended to seek advice from relevant professionals, such as business or legal advisors, accountants, and others depending on your needs.



Although 95% of the population speaks Norwegian, English is spoken by approximately 90% of Norwegians.



Private Limited Company (AS)

This type of company is one of the most commonly used by international businesses when registering a Norwegian entity.

In order to register a private limited company in Norway, you will need NOK 30,000 in the capital (roughly $3,200). This must be deposited in a bank, such as DNB. The bank account will be blocked up until the company is registered. You'll also have to pay a one-off charge of NOK 5,570 ($600) for your company to be added to the Register of Business Enterprises.

Your company will need at least two directors, one of whom must be a Norwegian or European citizen. Private limited companies have an accounting obligation and must submit annual accounts to the Register of Company Accounts

Conditions for starting a private limited company:


What are the main characteristics of a private limited company in Norway?

As mentioned above, this business form is of high importance to small and medium-sized companies operating on the Norwegian market but is also the main type of legal entity that is employed when operating through a subsidiary in Norway. When setting up this business form, it is necessary to appoint at least two directors and one of them has to be a Norwegian resident. The mentioned director can also be resident in one of the member states of the European Economic Area. Besides these characteristics, the private limited company in Norway is also represented by the following:

• limited liability for the company’s founders – the shareholders have the advantage of limited liability for any corporate debt, in the amount of the capital they have contributed with;

• right of being an employee – the company’s representatives can hire themselves as employees of the company, which will give them the social benefits and rights available for regular employees;

• separate legal personality – the business form is considered a different legal entity than the investors, which is not applicable to all Norwegian legal entities (the sole trader, for example);

• investor-friendly – the business form offers the same regulations that are applied to Norwegian businessmen.


The Norwegian branch of a foreign company (NUF)

If you're from a foreign company, another option is to set up a branch of your organization in Norway.

A Norwegian branch of a foreign company (NUF) is both easier to set up and easier to close down than AS and ASA companies. It is not a separate entity but instead acts as a registered office for the parent company.

There is no minimum requirement for share capital when starting this type of business. However, the parent company's assets will be included on the balance sheet of the branch, and the parent company will also be liable for any debts incurred by the branch.

The branch company must comply with Norwegian labor rules (more on these later) and must pay taxes in Norway. An exception to this is where the parent company is based in a country that has a double taxation agreement with Norway.

A branch is considered the establishment of a business by a foreign company in an office run by local management, employing local workers. A branch is easier to set up and close down than a limited liability company or a partnership.


How to invest in Norway as a foreign businessman 

Foreign businessmen who intend to start a company in Norway or to invest in a local business can obtain a Business Visa. This visa can only be obtained if certain legal requirements are met, one of them being the minimum investment that will be performed by the foreign businessman in this country, which is set up at EUR 100,000 (this being the minimum threshold, but the entrepreneurs may also invest a larger sum of money).

In order to obtain this type of visa, the investors will need to be the owners of one of the permits that are issued for this purpose, in this case, the C visa, the D visa, or the Residence Permit. However, it is necessary to know that the issuance of the visa is limited to investments in several economic sectors, such as shipping, oil and gas, IT data centers, the seafood industry, or the green energy sector.

This document allows foreigners to live in Norway and apply for permanent residency, which can only be granted by the local authorities if the person has been living in this country for a minimum of 3 years. Foreign businessmen may also apply for Norwegian citizenship after 7 years of continuously living in Norway. For specialized legal assistance in Norway, we collaborate with a reputable law firm in Norway that can help foreign investors in several commercial matters.

If you are not a citizen of an EU/EEA country and are planning to run a business in Norway, you need to have a residence permit that will allow you to work here. You can find information about the terms and requirements for resident permits on the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration's (UDI) website.

If you are a foreign national who is seeking to start and operate a business in Norway, you'll need a Norwegian identification number (D-number or personal ID number) and a Norwegian business address.

You can apply for a D-number at the same time as completing your registration in the Bronnøysund register.


Naming a private limited company

Private limited companies must have the form of incorporation or the abbreviation 'AS' either before or after the company name. More about choosing names (domain names, business names, and trademarks).


Deadline for registration

The Register of Business Enterprises must receive notification of the registration of the company no later than three months after the company is founded. The company is founded when the last founder has signed the memorandum of association. Companies cannot normally take on obligations until they have been registered.



Value-added tax

Companies are required to register on the VAT Register in Norway once their yearly turnover exceeds NOK 50,000. You do not need to charge VAT on any goods and services before this point.

Once your business is registered in the VAT Register, you must:


Economy overview in Norway

With high standards of living due to the stocks of natural resources (especially petroleum, forests, and minerals) compared to the size of the population, Norway is considered one of the most powerful countries in the world. Norway is placed at the top of the major exporters of oil, natural gas, and fish. It’s also known as a great maritime power (bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea) and a big hydropower producer.


Even though it has decided not to be an EU member, Norway has access to the European Internal Market by signing the EEU (European Economic Union) treaties. With flexible commercial laws for those willing to open a company in Norway and only a few steps that need to be fulfilled before starting a new business, this jurisdiction is considered one of the most suitable destinations for foreign investors.