Registering a New Company: Norway
The process of starting a small/mid-sized company in Norway is considered relatively easy when compared to other regions. In general, this process will involve establishing a private limited company (AS), depositing the minimum capital amount of NOK 30,000 in a bank, and then registering the company with the Brønnøysund Register Center.
OVERVIEW OF STARTING A NEW BUSINESS IN NORWAY
- In Norway, a private limited company (AS), which is also referred to as a limited liability company (LLC), is a typical business entity for small or medium-sized companies.
- All businesses in Norway "must register with the centralized Registry at Brønnøysund."
- Registration will require a physical address in Norway. A Norwegian national ID number or d-number will also be required.
- Before registering, Norway's paid-in minimum capital of NOK 30,000 must be deposited in a bank.
- Norway's official business registry site can be found here. Currently, the site reports a processing time of 13 days for limited liability companies.
- If there are 30 employees or more, an LLC will have to designate a company director.
- According to Healy Consultants Group PLC, it takes five weeks to set up a limited liability company in Norway. The time to set up a company bank account is approximately four weeks.
FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDING BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNTS
- According to the Altinn site, an informational resource provided by the Norwegian government, founders of an LLC should "ask the bank to set up a share capital account," and ask for confirmation of receipt after depositing the minimum capital. The value of any non-cash portion of the minimum capital will have to be verified by an auditor.
- According to TMF Group, the Know Your Customer (KYC) process when setting up a business bank account may take as long as one month, and it is, therefore, "pertinent to plan for this challenge."
- According to the World Bank, a common bank used for this purpose in Norway is DNB ASA. The bank account will be blocked "until the company has been registered."
- An official resource page on starting a business from the DNB ASA site can be found here, along with contact information.
IS NORWAY CONSIDERED CHALLENGING WHEN COMPARED TO OTHER REGIONS?
- According to TMF Group, Norway is generally considered an easy country to do business in. However, challenges specific to Norway may include the country's high Social Security tax and low unemployment rate, restrictions on employee permits, and its KYC process when setting up a business bank account.
- Norway is not a member of the EU, although it is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA). The country upholds the same trading code practice as the EU, which may also pose specific challenges to businesses because of import and customs restrictions.
- Norway is ranked #7 overall (out of 100) on the World Bank's 2019 Ease of Doing Business Score ranking.
- In comparison, Denmark is ranked #3 overall, the United Kingdom #9, and France #32.
- The US is ranked #8 overall.
- Regarding starting a business specifically, Norway is ranked #22 on the World Bank's 2019 Ease of Doing Business Score.
- In comparison, the US is ranked #53 for starting a business.
- Denmark is ranked #42 for starting a business.
- France is ranked #30 for starting a business.
To establish what the process of starting a new company looks like, we searched for information regarding specific procedures required to set up a new business in Norway and any relevant banking requirements and government regulations. We focused our efforts on the process of starting a business for small to mid-sized firms, and also on how the "ease" of Norway's process compares with other countries and regions, in order to provide the best answer possible. We were able to locate this information using official sites provided by the Norwegian government, several reputable international business consulting firms, and the World Bank.