Company Formation Comparison between Norway and Sweden

The growing economy of Norway, boosted by its export of oil, makes this an exciting country to foreign and national investors. Here, national entrepreneurs and foreign investors are treated equally. Investors don’t have to live there to establish a company; all they need is a permanent Norwegian address.

In Sweden the economy is also stable and strongly oriented towards foreign trade, making it another great choice for international investors seeking new territorial markets. In general Scandinavia also boasts a very high quality of life and political and economic stability.

Norway has a flat Corporation Tax rate of 28 % and its company incorporation procedures are relatively quick and easy to complete. The two most common types of company in Norway are Public or Private Limited Companies. Shareholders must provide the minimum required capital, open a bank account, deposit a set amount and sign a deed that certifies the deposit prior to registration. An auditor studies the balance sheet and issues a statement confirming acceptance.

In comparison, Sweden’s Corporation Tax rate is 22% and there are few regulations governing foreign ownership or business operations. Profits can be freely remitted abroad. The labour market is highly regulated however, and subject to laws on employee contracts, the working environment, and corporate decision-making. The most common types of company in Sweden are Private Limited Company, Public Limited Company, Branch, Partnership and Sole Trader.

Favourable features of a Private Limited Company in Sweden include the board having as little as one member plus a deputy and a minimum share capital of SEK 50,000. A Public Company in Sweden allows a minimum share capital of SEK 500,000 (€53,568) and at least three members on the board of directors. A Limited Company has to file annual accounts with the Patent and Registration Office as well as an audit.  For businesses wishing to establish a company in Sweden without a Subsidiary, a Branch set up is available instead. It must have a managing director living in an EEA country though.

There are two kinds of Partnership in Sweden – General Partnership and Limited Partnership. For Sole Traders, one person is liable for all debts incurred.

Registering your company with the Register of Business Enterprises in Norway can be done via the web and is a quick and easy procedure. It is possible to upload copies of association, auditor statements and the certificate from the bank as attachments. The founders of a business must also apply for VAT registration. This is required when the company’s turnover exceeds NOK 50,000. It can take as little as 9 days to incorporate a company in Norway.