Business Permits and Licenses in Norway

Business Permits and Licenses in Norway

Updated on Monday 03rd December 2018

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If you intend to invest in Norway and start a business in this country you need to be informed on the conditions in which you can obtain a permit or a license that can allow you to conduct your activity in this state. Depending on the sector in which you operate there are different institutions that issue these documents. Our team of Norwegian lawyers can inform you in detail on the legal provisions regarding the issuance of business permits and licenses in Norway

What are the main types of business licenses in Norway? 

Not all domains of activity require a license in Norway. However there are a few fields that require special authorizations prior to the proper commencement of the business. If your company operates in one of the following domains then you will need to apply for a permit or license in Norway:
  • broadcasting in television and radio - in Norway, even natural persons are required to own a license for television services, which is issued by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation;
  • construction – for any building projects you need to obtain authorization of the enterprise;
  • oil, gas and hydro power sector requires special concessions for the initiation of commercial activity;
  • transportation licenses – necessary for transportation activities developed through buses, ferries and other public transportation;
  • licenses for food preparation or delivery – the license is obtained by applying at the municipal authority in the region in which the business is set up;
  • food manufacturing - companies in this field need to obtain certification from the Norwegian Food Safety Agency.
Some special conditions apply as well to advertising and marketing companies. According to the Marketing Control Act 2009, the commercial practices in Norway must respect certain restrictions when dealing with special category of products or services such as the health sector. We invite entrepreneurs to rely on our law firm in Norway for more information regarding the business permits and licenses available in Norway.

What are the main types of licenses for the exploitation of petroleum in Norway? 

Norway is one of the leading global producers and exporters of petroleum, most of which is extracted from the Norwegian continental shelf. In 2017, the local authority in the field – the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has issued a record number of production licenses (75) awarded for the exploitation of the continental shelf. 
The production licenses have been awarded for the exploitation on the continental shelf in the regions of the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea and most of the licenses were issued for petroleum operations in the North Sea (45 out of the total of 75).  
This type of license can be obtained provided that a petroleum company has applied for the licensing round opened by the Ministry. This type of license grants the right to drill in a given area and the applicants have to provide documents concerning their technical expertise, which has to prove that the respective companies will be able to exploit the country’s continental shelf in accordance with the local standards. 
Investors applying for production licenses should know that, as a general rule, the permits are issued for a group of companies that will perform various types of exploitation operations and other associated activities and they are granted for a period of six years, with the possibility of extension for 30 years; this is available only in the case in which the companies will be able to respect their work schedule. The issuance of the production license is performed following the regulations established by the Petroleum Activities Act No. 72.  
The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy also grants exploration licenses and companies should be aware of the fact that this type of license does not offer the right to drill in the country’s continental shelf. Our team of Norwegian lawyers can offer in-depth information concerning the main requirements for applying for this type of permit.  

Tourism and transportation companies in Norway 

If you intend to open a company in the accommodation industry in Norway, you will need to obtain a registration permit for any hotel functioning in this country. Alternative housing enterprises such as hostels and B&Bs (bed and breakfast) must follow the same procedure, according to the Norwegian Law
Operating in the transportation industry requires as well the issuance of a license from the authorities, as previously mentioned. Load carriage and international shipping enterprises must address the relevant authority and apply for international transport authorization. Feel free to contact our team of lawyers in Norway for further information on the business permits and licenses in Norway. They can help you elaborate specific documentation required in order to apply for any type of business authorization you need.