Starting a company in Norway

Foreign companies starting up business in Norway will soon enough encounter Norwegian compliance, formalities and reporting responsibilities.

Overwhelming as it may seem, you are on the right track if you consider these nine key steps.

  1. Make sure to register at the Norwegian company register. Your company will obtain a Business Register Number, which is essential to fulfil reporting responsibilities. For more information: Register a company in Norway

  2. Should your company VAT-register in Norway? No need to wait if your company’s Norwegian turnover exceeds NOK 50 000 (over a 12-month period). A VAT-registered entity is entitled to a refund of the input VAT on its own purchases of goods and services in the business. An early VAT-registration could give your company an important liquidity advantage. For more information: Should your business register for VAT in Norway?

  3. Avoid penalty charges by reporting contract information about your Norwegian assignment to the Central Office for Foreign Tax Affairs (COFTA). For more information: Business in Norway - Avoid sanctions and penalty charges

  4. Analyse and understand the contract with your Norwegian client. The distinction between a so-called “genuine subcontracts”, with product and result responsibility, and "hired labour contracts" is important – and essential for the taxability of the company and the workers. For more information: Help with contracts

  5. Book appointments for ID-checks for your workers. Remember to bring passports. For more information: ID control for foreign employees in Norway

  6. Should your workers obtain a HSE Card for Building and Construction in Norway? If the work takes place on a construction site, the answer is probably yes. For more information: ID cards for building and construction sites in Norway

  7. Should you obtain A1-forms for your workers? If Your workers are working in Norway for a Limited time, the answer will often be yes. The A1-form confirms that your workers are members of the Social Security Scheme in their country, which should exempt both the company and the workers from Social Security Contributions to Norway. For more information: Norwegian National Insurance Scheme

  8. You don’t need your workers to be subject to Advance Tax Deduction in two countries at once. In Norway, it’s possible to apply for an exemption when it’s probable that the workers will avoid Norwegian taxability. For more information: Taxes in Norway - employee taxation

  9. Remember that both company and workers must file Norwegian Tax Returns – even in cases where there’s no Norwegian taxability. For more information: Do the right things when doing business in Norway

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For more information about Norwegian compliance, formalities and reporting responsibilities, download our free guide here:

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Article first published 23 October 2018 - Updated 25 March 2019