Norwegian Company Formation

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Introduction to Company Registration Norway

Few countries can beat Norway when it comes to quality of life. The world’s third biggest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and Russia, Norway is a wealthy, stable democracy with an enviable ability to balance free-market capitalism and social welfare. The business climate is surprisingly benign, with a flat Corporation Tax rate of 27%. It is fairly straightforward to open a Norwegian company, provided you comply with the formalities. We offer a range of company formation services to guide you through the process, so please contact us for further details.

**Click here to see if your company name is available in Norway.**

What are the main types of Norwegian company formation structures?

The three most popular forms of company to incorporate in Norway are:

  • Private Limited Company (AS)
  • Public Limited Company (ASA)
  • Branch of a foreign company


What are the main features of a Private Limited Company (AS)?

  • This is the most popular format for small and medium businesses
  • The minimum amount of share capital is 30,000 NOK (€3,597), which must be fully paid up
  • At least one shareholder and a board of directors of required
  • If the shareholder/director is a non EU citizen then 50% of board members must be Norwegian residents – nominees can be provided


What are the main features of a Public Limited Company (ASA)?

  • This is a standard format for large companies
  • The minimum amount of share capital is 1m NOK (€128,360), which must be fully paid up
  • At least one shareholder and a board of directors is required
  • If the shareholder/director is a non EU citizen then 50% of board members must be Norwegian residents – nominees can be provided


How easy is it to set up a Branch in Norway?

A foreign company may establish a Branch in Norway provided that the foreign company is registered in its home country. Companies resident outside the EU area must obtain permission from the Minister of Industry. The Branch must be registered in the Register of Business Enterprises.


To what extent is Norway a high-tax country?

Norway imposes high rates of tax on individuals – the higher rate of Personal Income Tax is more than 53% – but companies are treated more leniently. There is a flat rate of 28% on all capital income and in addition, Norway provides a full dividend credit. This means it has the lowest combined dividend tax rate in the OECD.


Are there any restrictions on foreign investment in Norway?

Generally speaking the Norwegian government places foreign investors on an equal footing with domestic investors, but exceptions occur where the authorities feel the country’s strategic interests would otherwise be threatened. For example, foreigners may own no more than 40% of a Norwegian fishing fleet and foreign ownership of a Norwegian air transport company is restricted to 30%, however, the all-important oil sector is now largely free of restrictions for international investors considering Norwegian incorporation.


Norway Incorporation

How easy is it to recruit staff in Norway?

Norway has low unemployment and high labour costs, a combination that can make recruitment more difficult than in many other countries. There is a shortage of workers in certain sectors such as construction, but there are recruitment agencies throughout the country and we will be happy to refer you to our network of local recruitment specialists. It is worth noting that there are restrictions on bringing in foreign personnel from abroad. Obtaining work permits, particularly for semi-skilled workers, can also be problematic. Please contact us for further information and assistance.


What is the Norway incorporation regulatory environment like?

Norway has eased its regulatory regime significantly in recent years for foreign investors wishing to open a Norwegian company. Foreign exchange controls were largely abolished in the early 1990s and profits and dividends can be freely repatriated subject to Central Bank reporting requirements. All companies are required to file accounts with the Register of Business Enterprises and a statutory audit must be carried out each year.


How easy is it to close a Norwegian company?

Please click here for further details and services on closing a company.


Company Registration Norway

Are there financial incentives available for those considering company registration in Norway?

Norway offers no significant general tax incentives for either domestic or foreign investors but there are exceptions for specific regions and industrial sectors:

  • Companies investing in the far north of Norway pay lower employee taxes
  • Tax rates on the Arctic island of Spitzbergen are minimal 
  • A state fund provides grants for investment in areas of low employment
  • Tax deductions are allowed for research costs in key sectors, such as oil


And what about banking facilities?

Norway’s financial sector is highly advanced and well attuned to the needs of international investors seeking to open a Norwegian company, but opening a bank account can be a bureaucratic challenge. We can organise this on your behalf so contact us now for further information.


To talk to a Norway formation specialist call us on

+44 (0)208 421 7470,

Speak to us live on Live Chat,

or simply fill in the enquiry form below and we’ll get back to you.



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