Establishing a company in Norway

Norway is situated in Northern Europe, on the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. Geographically, it is a long and narrow country bordering on its west with the Norwegian Sea and Atlantic Ocean, to its east with Sweden, and to its north it shares borders with Finland and Russia. It has a population of 5.15 million, and its capital is Oslo, located in the country’s more southern area. Norway is a Nordic-Scandinavian country, extremely developed and successful, a leader in international economic and social ranking indices. Its citizens elected to not become a member of the EU, its economic strength contributing greatly to this decision. However, Norway is a member of the EFTA (European Free Trade Association), a fact that proves advantageous for entrepreneurs who maintain business contacts with various European countries and wish to establish a company in Norway.

Norway has two official languages: Bokmål, which serves as a means of communication, and the Norse dialect of Nynorsk. Like other Scandinavian countries, Norway citizens also speak fluent English and it serves as an accepted third language. However commonly spoken, English is not accepted for company incorporation, and all relevant documents must be submitted in the Norwegian language. Norway is considered a global leader in the institution of democracy, the quality of life for its citizens, per capita income, and welfare conditions – primarily thanks to the huge economic growth made possible by discovering large natural gas and oil deposits in its national territories.

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Three things you did not know about Norway:

  • Apart from its booming economy and impressive welfare policy, Norway is also one of the world’s most beautiful tourist destinations. This northern country enjoys 24-hour sunlit days in the summer months, whale observatory posts, a rich cultural heritage in the capital, and of course spectacular cruises along the fjords crossing the length of its coastline.
  • Prior to the discovery of oil and gas deposits in the 1960s, Norway was not particularly modern or developed. These extensive natural resources allowed it to grow its economy significantly. An interesting example of the Norwegian mindset is evident in how the government decided to use a major percentage of its energy sector profits. Since 1995 Norway has been managing a sovereign wealth pension fund with assets estimated at over USD 870 billion, funding for which is generated primarily from the gas and oil industry. This fund invests globally, and designated for securing the pensions of Norwegian citizens, protecting the state from oil and gas reserve depletion, and providing better control of local economy with a huge in-flow of money.
  • Although Norway is one of the world’s biggest oil exporters, it is also known for renewable resource ingenuity, and a large part of the country relies on renewable energy. It also maintains a high taxation rate for fuel, despite being a fuel producer.

Norway’s economy

Similar to other Scandinavian countries, Norway balances a free market economy with an excellent welfare policy. Being the richest of the Scandinavian countries, it can provide its citizens an extremely high standard of living and many government-funded services. Per income capita is ranked second in Europe and fourth in the world. The country is also ranked seventh in global oil exporters, and third among gas exporters, with many more natural reserves, and potential deposit sites close to the North Pole. Apart from oil and gas, constituting a quarter of GNP, Norway also has additional natural resources that contribute greatly to the economy, including minerals, a forestry industry, fishing, and hydroelectric power generation.

Norway has a large and powerful public sector, with large corporations in energy, banking, and communications still controlled by the government. However, local economy is very competitive and encourages entrepreneurialship, providing convenient and efficient terms for international companies and businesspeople who wish to establish a company in Norway.

Mellius offers its clients a range of business contacts in Norway, providing the best solutions that are tailor-made to client needs and type of activity.

Additional information about establishing offshore companies in Norway:

General
Type of company
Private Limited Liability Company (A.S.)
Relevant Companies Law
Private Limited Liability Companies Act of 1997
Offices
Law requires companies to provide a local office address
Language of original incorporation documents
Norwegian
Finance and Taxation
Currency
NOK
Corporate tax rate
27%
Standard share capital
30,000 NOK
Office Holders
Secretary
Obligation to appoint company secretary
Not required
Obligation to appoint local secretary
Not required
Type of entity that may function as company secretary
Irrelevant
Director
Obligation to appoint company director
Not required
Obligation to appoint local company director
At least half of directors and deputies must be EEA residents
Minimum number of directors
2 (a deputy must be appointed)
Type of entity that may serve as company director
Individual and/or company
Shareholders
Obligation to register shareholders
Required
Obligation to register local shareholders
Not required
Minimum number of shareholders
1
Type of entity that may register as shareholder
Individual and/or company
Type of shares
Registered shares
Accessibility of Information
Company registrar
Information regarding office holders is accessible to the public
Annual Assembly and Reporting
Obligation to hold annual assembly
Required
Obligation to prepare financial reports
Required
Obligation to submit financial reports
Required