Business entities in Norway in 2021
Healy Consultants will assist our Clients with establishing the optimal corporate structure for their business activities in Norway. There are several ways of doing business in Norway, the most common being to set up an LLC. Our Clients intending to finance their business by issuing shares and/or listing on a stock exchange will also be interested to read about how to set up a Norwegian PLC. Alternatively, foreign companies can also set up a branch office or a representative office.
The Norway limited liability company (AS)
- The Norwegian limited liability company (LLC) is commonly used to setup a small and medium businesses. Multi-national businesses often use the AS company when they want to set up a Norwegian subsidiary.
- This type of Norwegian company is available to both our individual and corporate Clients, who will be required to contribute a minimum of NOK30,000 (€3,100) in share capital. Our Clients must also appoint a minimum of two directors, at least one of whom must be ordinarily resident in Norway of another country of the European Economic Area;
- Like other Norwegian companies, all Norway LLCs are required to appoint a statutory auditor at incorporation and submit audited annual financial statements. Norwegian company law requires that companies i) have at least 1 director designated by the employees if there are more than 30 employees and ii) have both genders represented on the company’s board if more than 50 people are employed.
The Norwegian public limited company (ASA)
- The Norway public limited company (PLC) can be incorporated by a single shareholder, who may be of any nationality and residence. In accordance with Norwegian regulations, our Clients are required to i) contribute at least €110,000 (NOK 1 million) to their company’s capital and ii) appoint at least 3 directors, at least 2 of whom must be ordinarily resident in Norway;
- All Norway PLCs are required to appoint a statutory auditor at incorporation and submit audited annual financial statements. As noted for the AS company above, Norwegian company law requires that companies i) have at least 1 director designated by the employees if there are more than 30 employees and ii) have both genders represented on the company’s board if more than 50 people are employed.
European stock corporation (Societas Europaea)
Two EEA-based companies may choose to merge as a European Stock Corporation. A minimum paid-up share capital of at least €120,000 will be required. The main advantage of this type of company is that our Clients will be exempted from setting up a complex network of subsidiaries under different national laws.
The Norway branch
Corporate law in Norway allows foreign companies to set up branch offices in Norway. The scope of operations for the branch will be defined by the parent company but the branch office will have an independent management team, including one resident representative in Norway. Branches must also submit audited annual financial statements.
Table of comparison between Norway entities
|Also known as:||AS||SAS||Branch|
|How long to set the company up?||5 weeks||5 weeks||7 weeks|
|How long to open company bank account?||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks|
|Wholly foreign owned?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Minimum paid-up share capital?||€3,000||€110,000||N/A|
|File annual tax return?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Corporate bank account?||Norges Bank||Citibank||BNP Paribas|
|Does our Client need to travel?||No||No||No|
|Resident director or representative required?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Resident shareholder required?||No||No||No|
|Minimum directors allowed?||2||3||1|
|Corporate shareholders allowed?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Norway corporate tax rate?||27%||27%||27%|
|Annual financial statements required?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Statutory audit required?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Allowed to issue sales invoices?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Allowed to sign contracts?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Allowed to import and export goods?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can rent an office in Norway?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can buy Norway property?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can own equity in other Norway companies?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Total Norway business setup costs in Yr. 1||€14,675||€10,175||€11,850|
|Subsequent annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fee)||€8,550||€6,050||€3,400|
|Sample engagement fee invoice||View invoice PDF||View invoice PDF||View invoice PDF|
Frequently asked questions
How long does it take to set up a Norwegian company?A Norwegian company normally takes 5 weeks to set up. Visit this page for more information on how long it takes to set up a company in Norway.
Do I need to visit Norway to set up a company there?No. Healy Consultants can legally incorporate your Norway company without you needing to travel.
Is a resident director required when setting up a Norwegian company?At least half of the directors must be resident in the EEA, which is the EU plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.
Are shareholder/director details of Norwegian companies available for public viewing?Yes. A register of directors and shareholders is available for public viewing.
What is the minimum investment required to set up a Norwegian company?A Norwegian PLC company must have a share capital of at least NOK 1 million, while a private limited liability company must have share capital of at least NOK 30,000.