Accounting and Tax returns in Norway

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Which services you need depends on your specific situation and business structure. Most foreign companies and expats operating in Norway choose an AS, limited liability company.

For AS companies there are various tax and administration obligations to meet in order to be fully compliant under Norwegian law.

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Required Accounting Services in Norway

Financial report

Annual obligation to submit a financial report (tax return) of your company to the Norwegian tax authorities.

Annual accounts

Submit annual accounts to the Business registry (Brønnøysund Register).

Shareholder report

Annual obligation to submit a shareholder report to the shareholder register of the Norwegian Tax Administration.

VAT / MVA return

VAT (MVA) tax return every second month. The standard VAT rate is 25 percent. Some businesses, such as healthcare professionals, are usually exempt from VAT reporting.

Salary administration

If there are any employees (including the owner if he or she is employed) a so-called "a-melding" needs to be submitted every month. This states the salary payment, tax deductions and the employer's national insurance contribution.

Bookkeeping

If there are any employees (including the owner if he or she is employed) a so-called "a-melding" needs to be submitted every month. This states the salary payment, tax deductions and the employer's national insurance contribution.

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Taxes for business owners in Norway

How much tax do I pay in Norway?

Let's take the example of a small AS limited company. The company is 100 percent owned and operated by the same person. That same person is also employed by his own AS.

The company has annual revenues of NOK 1.000.000 and NOK 100.000 in general expenses. The owner himself a salary of roughly NOK 750.000. By paying this salary he ensures his maximum earnings in the National Insurance Scheme. Because of this he enjoys all the benefits such as sick pay.

Corporate tax on company profits

First of all, a business in Norway pays a corporate tax of 22% on its taxable income. There is a range of deductions that are available to businesses, which reduces the amount of tax that they pay.

This means the company has an annual profit of NOK 200.000. This profit will be subject to 22 percent corporate tax. This means Company AS will pay 22 percent of NOK 200.000, meaning NOK 44.000 in corporate tax.

Wage costs & personal income tax

Employees in Norway enjoy many benefits. Many of those are financed by the employer. In turn, the employee pays personal taxes on the wage he or she earns.

As an employer you will need to pay your employee:

    1. Gross salary + Holiday pay (normally 10,2 percent of gross salary)
    2. Between 2 and 7 percent of the (1) amount in occupational pension
    3. Employer's contribution of normally 14,1 percent of (1)

Note: If you are employing yourself in your own AS, the occupational pension payment is NOT mandatory.

The salary of the employee is charged with income tax as stated below:

Personal income taxTaxable incomeTax rate
22% municipal and national tax, plus:1. Income up to NOK 190,3490
2. Income between NOK NOK 190,350 – 267,8991.7%
3. Income between NOK 267,900 – 643,799 4%
4. Income between NOK 643,800 – 969,19913.4% (residents of Finnmark and Nord-Troms 11.4%)
5. Income between NOK 969 200 – 1 999 99916.4%
Income over NOK 2,000,00017.4%

In addition to this, you will most likely pay contributions to the National Insurance Scheme of around 10 percent. This gives you certain rights and benefits such as sick pay.

How much salary should I take out of the company?

How much you should take out in salary depends on a number of factors. In most cases it is a question of how much you should take out in salary versus how much you should possibly take out in dividends.

How much you should take out in salary must be assessed on the basis of how the amount will affect tax and in relation to other taxes both for you privately and for the business. It will also be relevant in relation to social security benefits (and possibly pensions) for yourself.

To find out what the optimal salary is, a calculation must be set up that shows what the result is financially if you take out x in salary. This is where an accountant can help you.

calculation of total costs of an employee in norway

Employment and Salary Administration

Accounting and tax returns for NUF

NUF - Norwegian Branch of foreign company

Annual report for NUF

A Norwegian branch of a foreign enterprise must submit the annual report of both the Norwegian branch and the foreign enterprise to the Register of Company Account at the Brønnøysund Register Centre before 1 August the year after the end of the financial year.

Tax obligation for NUF

The branch is normally obliged to pay taxes to Norway, and must otherwise operate according to the Norwegian legislation. If foreign citizens are employed, these must have work and residence permits.

Find more information on the NUF in our Norway business guide.

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Accounting and tax returns for ENK (sole proprietorship)

ENK - Sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship, in Norway called an ENK, is a type of business that is owned and operated by one person. This person is responsible for all the debts and liabilities of the company. This type of business is only suitable for very small businesses of persons living in Norway. The ENK has less accounting obligations than an AS. Furthermore, the setup is very simple and cheaper. On the other hand, you do not build up the same social rights (e.g. sick-pay) as a person employed in his or her own AS.

Bookkeeping obligation ENK

A Norwegian sole proprietorship should have a clear overview of purchases and sales invoices. It is highly recommended to keep accounts in an online accounting system. There are some software packages on the market that make this very easy. Even for those who have no experience with bookkeeping.

Tax obligation for an ENK

The income your earn in the ENK is taxed with personal income tax. In practice you will report your total annual income (from the ENK and any other personal income you might have) to the Norwegian tax authorities. Usually, this tax is paid in advance, either at once or in instalments.

If your business is not exempt for VAT, you should submit a VAT tax return 6 times per year (every 2 months).

You can read more about the requirements, advantages and disadvantages of the ENK in our business guide.

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Accounting Software in Norway

Norwegian businesses primarily use Norwegian accounting software. Many of the systems out there are owned by Norwegian software giant Visma. There are also a few smaller ones. We recommend you to use one of these, since they integrate perfectly with the Norwegian accounting rules and systems.

Visma eAccounting

Visma eAccounting is a cloud-based bookkeeping software focused on small and medium-sized businesses. Easy to understand, also for those who are not familiar with the Norwegian accounting rules.

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Tripletex

Tripletex has become a very popular cloud-based accounting solution with an excellent online interface. It offers more advanced services and integrations. A good choice for more advanced administrations.

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Fiken

Fiken makes accounting super simple for those who want to do it themselves. The company focuses only on sole proprietors and very small businesses.

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Accounting and Banking

When doing business in Norway, you should keep private and company funds strictly separated. You will set up a bank account during the company formation process. In addition to your payment/current account, you will ask the bank to set up a 'Skattetrekkskonto' or tax deduction account. This account will be used to set aside wage taxes.

 

When you are just starting up your company you will need to deposit NOK 30.000 (EUR 3.000) in a Norwegian bank account. Note that not all banks offer this process to non-residents of Norway.

DNB

DNB Bank ASA is a Norwegian universal bank with headquarters in Oslo. It is the largest financial services group in Norway. The bank offers a full range of financial products and services to retail and corporate customers in Norway and internationally.

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Nordea

Nordea bank is a Norwegian commercial bank. The company is the largest financial institution in Scandinavia. Nordea provides a wide range of banking products and services, including loans, insurance, and investment products.

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BN Bank

BN Bank is a smaller bank from Trondheim, specialized in businesses and real estate investment. It offers a variety of financial services to its customers including loans, mortgages, and savings accounts.

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