Can a foreigner open a business in Norway?

Yes, a foreigner can open and own a business in Norway. The most common company type for a foreigner is a private limited company, in Norwegian: AS.

How much does it cost to set up a company in Norway?

The most common company type for a non-Norwegian is the AS, a private limited company.

The full company setup including basic legal structure and tax advice, bank account guidance and obtaining a D-number will cost on average € 2000,-.
On top of that, you will pay around € 600 to € 700 (NOK5570 to 6797) to the Norwegian company registry (Brønnøysundregistrene).

Besides that, the minimum share capital is NOK 30.000 (roughly € 3.000). You will deposit the share capital in the bank account, so this will remain yours. Find a full oveview of the costs on our Pricing page or request a personal quote.

How long does it take to start a company in Norway?

Establishing your Norwegian company and making it fully operational requires a few actions to be taken. Among them are the registration at the company registry, opening a bank account, D-number (personal ID) registration and vat registration.
The registration at the company registry (Bronnoysundregistrene) takes only a few days. On their website you can find the processing time (in Norwegian only). Other matters, such as the bank account opening, may take longer for foreign entrepreneurs. For foreign founders DNB Bank has a 4 week handling time. This means that they will not start handling the case and open a bank account until 4 weeks after the application is sent. The organization number has to be registered before we apply for banking. Internet banking is free.
When everything is done efficiently the entire process takes around 3 weeks. Usually it takes a client a bit more time to come up with the required paperwork, you are looking at around 4-8 weeks.
A Norwegian branch of a foreign company (NUF) does not need to go through the banking application in order to be established. As a result the registration time of a NUF is on average only 3 weeks.

What are the steps to successfully open a company in Norway?

The incorporation process of an AS goes as follows:
Step 1. Business structure setup, legal documents, application to a financial institution, AML and KYC.
Step 2. Bank account opening and share capital deposit.
Step 3. Application to the Business Registry.
Step 4. Applying for a non-citizen identification number for the individuals that are to have roles in the company in Norway.
Step 5. Access to bank account, Altinn (digital communication with all public entities and tax authorities) and providing you with a trusted accountant and auditor if required.

What are the maintenance costs of a company in Norway?

The main maintenance costs after the company has been set up consist of the costs of administration and tax return filings. You are obliged to keep an orderly administration, periodically submit tax returns and file annual accounts. This will cost on average between € 2000,- and € 4000,- per year.
Second, you will need a business address. Unless your company is registered at a residential address, this will usually be a recurring cost.
Third, you will pay a bank fee which will normally not be higher than a few hundred euros per year.

Find all our rates on our Pricing page.

What are the minimum requirements to starting a business in Norway?

In order to successfully open a private limited company in Norway, you need to meet the following requirements:
1. Your company should have a business address in Norway.
2. Everyone in the company should be over 18 years old.
3. At least 50 percent of the board members (NOT shareholders) must reside in Norway or another EEA country. The founders / shareholders do NOT have to be Norwegian citizens/residents!

What are the required documents to establish a company in Norway?

– In case the founder of the Norwegian company is a foreign company we will need any official document with company identification number (and preferably the VAT number) of the parent company.
– Share amount and value per share. The minimum requirement for share capital in Norway is 30 000 NOK. So If you want to have 30 000 shares, the value of each share has to be set to 1 NOK.
– Details of the persons that are to be board members for the company in Norway and who is appointed to be the chairman of the board.
– The name for the company to be registered in Norway.
– Location of the business in Norway. Even though you plan to run everything from abroad, you still need an address in Norway, this can be an C/O address as well.
– Official description of the business and what the purpose of the business is.

What is the minimum capital requirement in a company in Norway?

The minimum capital requirement for a private limited company in Norway is NOK 30.000, or around € 3000. This amount will be transferred into the business bank account and will remain yours. You do not lose this capital.

Is there a minimum amount I need to invest?

No, apart from the minimum capital requirement of NOK 30.000, there is no obligation to invest money.

Does it matter where in Norway I establish the company?

You can register the company at any address in Norway, wherever you prefer. The company will be centrally registered at the Bronnoysund company registry. The business address you choose will be the official seat of the company. Basically every region in Norway is interested in attracting new businesses. The central government tries to spread business activity all over the country. This is especially challenging far up north. This is why they have created a tax cut for people who move to northern Norway (Troms region). Furthermore, businesses established and operated from Svalbard can apply for a lower corporate tax bill. It is worthwhile researching what is the best place to establish a company considering the industry you will be active in. The four main cities – Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger – all have a very different profile and attract different types of businesses. Norway has much more to offer than those four hubs. We are always willing to discuss with you the best places to set up your business.

Can I register the company at a residential address?

Yes.

Can I use a virtual office as my business address?

Yes, this is possible. Request a quote or check out our pricing for more information.

Can I keep the identity of the owner of the company hidden from the public?

No, this is not possible.

Which Norwegian legal entity should I choose?

You can roughly choose between an AS (private limited company), NUF (Norwegian branch of a foreign company) or a sole proprietorship (ENK). In practice, most foreign entrepreneurs choose either an AS private limited company or a NUF. Most foreign entrepreneurs who want to establish real business activity in Norway are best of establishing a Norwegian private limited company, called an AS (in Norwegian: Aksjeselskap). This is the legal entity that is comparable with the UK Ltd., the German GmbH and the LLC in the USA. In some cases we advise to register a Norwegian branch of a foreign company, or NUF in Norwegian.

The sole proprietorship (ENK) is only suitable for very small businesses that will remain small and only have a single founder. This founder usually lives in Norway. The only advantage of a sole proprietorship is that the startup costs and the maintenance costs are lower than for an AS. If you will not (immediately) move to Norway, you cannot open a sole proprietorship. As a foreigner who does not live in Norway, your main option is the AS.
In the sole proprietorship (ENK) your company’s results will be taxed with personal income tax. An AS will be taxed with corporate tax. Personal income tax is almost always higher than corporate tax. 

In short:
If you are a foreigner setting up a new business in Norway with serious business activity, you should most likely choose an AS private limited.
If you have a very small business by yourself and you will live and work in Norway you could consider a sole proprietorship or an AS.
If you are a foreign company that wants to expand to Norway, you should consider either an AS or a NUF.

Should I choose an AS or a NUF?

You choose an AS if you plan to develop a long-term business activity in Norway. If you already have a company abroad and you are going to develop a business activity of a limited size, a NUF can be a suitable solution. The AS is seen as a more serious legal form than the NUF.

A NUF has a rather simple setup process, because technically it is just an extension of the mother company abroad. A NUF will have its own company registration number though. A NUF does not need a bank account in Norway and does not need an office address in Norway, but will use the address of the main entity as its address. The billing address will therefore be the main entity’s address.

Should I choose a single AS or a AS holding structure?

That depends. A single AS is one entity owned by you personally (and any other shareholders). In a holding structure you will own the shares in a personal holding AS. This holding AS will hold the shares in another AS, the operating AS. From a tax and risk perspective, a holding structure can have great advantages. When you pay out profits/dividends from the operating AS to the holding, this will be virtually tax free. A holding structure will have more administrative costs because you have two separate AS companies.

Do I have to live in Norway to establish and own a company there?

In principle the owner/shareholder in a company can live abroad. In terms of the registration of the company, it is irrelevant where the shareholders/directors are residents. Generally anyone can own a company in Norway. However, in order to work in Norway and run the company yourself you need to make sure you have the correct resident permit from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). Furthermore, 50 percent of the board should be a resident in the EU/EEA.

How much does my company have to pay in tax in Norway

The profits of an private limited AS in Norway are taxed with 22 percent corporate income tax.

Can I incorporate a company in Norway from abroad (remotely)?

Yes, that is possible. Establishing the company can be done without visiting Norway.

What are tax advantages for a business in Norway?

1. Participation exemption. Dividends received by a Norwegian AS limited company from another Norwegian limited company or a limited company resident in the European Economic Area (EEA) are basically tax-free.

2. Losses of the company can be carried forward indefinitely.
3. Norway has a relatively high number of double tax treaties to avoid double taxation.

4. The SkatteFUNN R&D tax incentive scheme is aimed at any company that develops or improves a product, production processor service with a Research and Development (R&D) project. Through this incentive, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can receive 20 per cent of the project costs as a tax deduction. Businesses that do not have any taxable income yet, can receive this tax advantage as a cash payment.

What is the personal income tax rate?

The effective personal income tax rate is determined by combining the personal income tax flate rate of 22% with the progressive bracket tax (see below).

Personal income taxTaxable incomeTax rate
22% municipal and national tax, plus:1. Income up to NOK 180 8000
2. Income between NOK 180,800 – 254,5001.9%
3. Income between NOK NOK 254,500 – 639,750 4.2%
4. Income between NOK 639,750 – 999,55013.2% (residents of Finnmark and Nord-Troms 11.2%)
5. Income over NOK 999,550 16.2%


On top of this, many employees pay a national insurance contribution of 8.2 percent of their income.

Which legal company entity should I choose?

In practice, most foreign entrepreneurs choose either an AS private limited company or a NUF. You should only consider a sole proprietorship (ENK) if your business is and will remain small. The only advantage of a sole proprietorship is that the startup costs and the maintenance costs are lower than for an AS.
You can roughly choose between an AS (private limited company), NUF (Norwegian branch of a foreign company) or a sole proprietorship (ENK).
If you are a foreigner setting up a new business in Norway, you should most likely choose an AS private limited.
If you have a very small business by yourself and you will live and work in Norway you could consider a sole proprietorship or an AS.
If you are a foreign company that wants to expand to Norway, you should consider either a NUF or an AS.

If you will not (immediately) move to Norway, you cannot open a sole proprietorship. As a foreigner who does not live in Norway, your only option is the AS.
In the sole proprietorship (ENK) your company’s results will be taxed with personal income tax. An AS will be taxed with corporate tax. Personal income tax is almost always higher than corporate tax. 

Can a foreign company own my company in Norway?

Yes, a foreign entity can own part or all of a company in Norway.

Can my Norwegian company be the owner of a foreign company?

Yes, that is possible.

Can my Norwegian company buy/own real estate?

That is possible. Do note that the ownership and use of privately owned housing or holiday property is not taxed. However, if the property is owned through a limited company, you must either pay rent for private use, or you will be taxed on the market value of the use. Generally, there are few benefits for small investors by investing in real estate through a limited company. This becomes more interesting if you have a large amount of capital.

Can my Norwegian company buy/own a car?

You can supply an employee (including yourself) with a company car. This benefit to the employee is considered to be an addition to the salary income. The benefit is calculated as 30 percent of the value up to NOK 314.400 and 20 percent over the excess value. Different incentives and calculations exist for electric cars.

Should I be employed in my own company?

You can be an employee in your own company, but you do not have to be.
If you are the shareholder in an AS, you can choose whether you want to be employed by the company or not. If you choose to not be employed by your own company, any payouts to yourself will be in the form of dividends. The main advantage of not being employed by your own company is that the taxes on those dividend payouts are taxed at a lower rate than tax over salary as an employee. The main advantage of being employed in your own company is that your will be eligible to receive certain benefits from the state, most importantly sick pay. You will pay higher taxes over your income than when you receive dividends only.

How much does it cost to hire an employee in Norway?

This depends on several factors. To give you an idea: if you give an employee a gross annual salary (before taxes and deductions) of NOK 500,000 (roughly €50,000), this will cost the employer roughly NOK 590,000. This includes holiday pay, national insurance contributions, pension costs, occupational insurance premium and other required costs.

Which legal contracts are required when running a business in Norway

Most companies in Norway deal with (personal) data in one way or another. Therefore, you should most likely comply with certain obligations from the European GDPR privacy regulations. This includes among others a privacy policy, cookie statement and Data Processing Agreement.
If you have employees (this can include yourself), these employees should have a written employment contract.
If you deliver any services or sell any sort of product (so almost always) you should have (general) terms and conditions.
In specific situations or industries other contract might be beneficial. Request a quote if you would like a personalized services and cost overview.

Is it difficult to open a business bank account for my business?

This depends on your situation. The more solid your plan, the better. If you are already a resident in Norway, it makes it easier. If you are not, it is often best if you already have a company abroad that will own the Norwegian entity.

Does my business need a VAT registration in Norway?

If your turnover per year will be over NOK 50.000, you should register for VAT. If you do not have a turnover of over NOK 50.000 you do not need a VAT registration.

Do I need a Norwegian bank account or can I use a foreign or online bank (Revolut, Transferwise etc.)?

It is required to have an actual bank account at a Norwegian bank. Foreign or online banks that are not Norwegian banks are not sufficient.

Is Norway considered to be a good country to do business in?

Yes. Norway is structurally in the top tier of easiest countries to do business in. It takes relatively little time to open a business. There is a high level of trust among people and in the governments and its institutions. Furthermore, there is easy access to capital. Read more about why you should consider Norway for your business.

In which industry should I start a business in Norway?

Norway is known as a huge player in the energy market, both traditional (oil and gas) and renewables. There is a large shipping and fisheries industry. Besides this, Norway is reforming its economy in a rapid pace. There are large opportunities in digital solutions, e-commerce, retail and many more. Read our Insights to find out more.

How do I get access to financing in Norway?

There are several public and many private initiatives to get your business funded. We can bring you in touch with the right ones.

How do I check if my business name is still available?

At navnesøk.no, you can find out whether the name you want to use is available as a domain name, enterprise name and trademark in a single search. When you are about to register, we suggest you follow this sequence:
1. Register the domain name
2. Register the enterprise name
3. Register any trademark

What is the advantage of being employed in my company versus non being employed?

The advantage of not being employed in your own company is that you can pay yourself dividend instead of salary. Dividend is subject to a lower tax rate than salary income. The advantage of being employed in your own company is that you are entitled to certain benefits such as sick-pay.

Do I need to take out a salary from the company?

You are not obliged to be employed by the company so you do not need to take out salary.

How much does it cost to rent an office in Norway?

That depends on many factors. We can offer you an office address from +/- 750 NOK per month. Find out more on our Pricing page.

When are the tax return deadlines in Norway?

The current tax return deadlines can be found on the website of the Norwegian tax authorities (Skatteetaten)

What costs can I put on the company?

There is a long list of things that can be deducted of your business income to decrease your tax bill. The most important ones can be found here.

How do I become a resident in Norway?

This is done through the Norwegian immigration authorities UDI. Follow the steps on their website to find out what you need to do in order to become a resident. Note that if you are an EU/EEA national, you automatically have the right to a residency as well as the right work and study in Norway.

Will I become a resident when I start a company in Norway?

Becoming a resident is a separate process from establishing a company. As a foreigner and a non-resident you can establish a company in Norway. This will not automatically grant you residency or a visa. Use the website of Norwegian Immigration to understand how you become a resident.

Why should I choose Norway over other Scandinavian countries?

Norway has a lower corporate tax than Denmark, and about the same as Sweden. The personal income tax in Norway is lower than Denmark and Sweden. The productivity in Norway is extremely high. Norwegians have one of the highest levels of disposable income in Europe. Furthermore, Norwegians adapt very quickly to new technology and are therefore an ideal testing ground for new concepts to be rolled out throughout Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. Finally, Norway has lots of capital to invest in new and innovative businesses. The government has made it clear that they want to steer the economy away from oil and towards other industries, among them renewable energy. This shift will give a lot of opportunity.

How do I deregister a company?

How you should close a business depends on the type of entity (AS, ENK etc.). Follow the steps on this page to see what applies in your case.

Other questions?

Contact support directly or request a personal quote.