Open a Private Limited Company in Norway - 2024 Guide

Open a Private Limited Company in Norway

Updated on Monday 11th March 2024

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Open Private Limited Liability Company in Norway
Numerous investors in Norway decide to organize their enterprise as a private limited liability company, locally called Aksjeselskap (AS). There are many investment opportunities in this country and the AS provides a convenient legal form due to multiple reasons, including the limited liability that the investors can benefit from. Businessmen who want to invest in this country can rely on the company formation services provided by our law firm in Norway. Our attorneys can offer advice on the main advantages of this business form

What are the particularities of a private limited company in Norway?

The Norwegian Company Law provides several legal forms in which a business can be organised, such as partnerships, sole proprietorships or limited liability companies. Unlike the sole proprietorship, the AS allows the registration of the business by several shareholders, who are liable for the losses or gains in the limit of their contribution.
Compared to the public limited companies, for which investors must deposit a capital of EUR 370,000, the base capital on which an AS can be formed is of only NOK 30,000- representing approximately EUR 3,000 (prior to 2013, the capital for this type of business was established at NOK 100,000) thus making of the AS one of the most popular types of companies on the Norwegian market
The formation and functioning of the AS are regulated through the Norwegian Private Limited Liability Companies Act and its amendments from July 2013. Our lawyers in Norway can offer more details on the advantages of organising a business as a private limited company and can help with advice on the formation procedure
The following video offers a short presentation on the registration of a Norwegian private limited company:


Main steps in opening a private limited company in Norway in 2024

The company formation process in Norway follows a typical procedure even in 2024. The opening of a private limited liability company starts with finding a suitable name for the business. The name must be checked with and approved by the Register of Business Enterprises. A bank account is another requirement for the formation of an AS. Our team of Norwegian lawyers can give all the details on the specific conditions that banks of this country impose on foreign investors in Norway.
Secondly, a list of documents and information must be filled through an application process by which the company will be registered with the Register of Business Enterprises. Those documents consist of the memorandum of association as well as documents mentioning the names of the board members, the commercial domain of the company and its main objectives and roles. After the amendments of 2013 to the Private Limited Liability Companies Act, the extensiveness of the documentation has been reduced significantly. 

Minimum registration requirements for a Norwegian private limited company  

When starting a business in Norway through a private limited company in 2024, the investors will have to comply with other minimum requirements, besides the one presented above. It is necessary to know that the registration procedure was further simplified, investors now being able to register through the online platforms of the local institutions. Regardless of the manner in which the registration is conducted, investors will have to comply with the following, as well: 
  • appoint minimum two directors, out of which one has to be a Norwegian citizen;
  • it is necessary to deposit the paid-up share capital (the entire amount);
  • the AS is liable to VAT and it is compulsory to register it for the payment of this tax once the company’s turnover reaches NOK 50,000;
  • the company’s representatives may also register for VAT purposes during the incorporation procedure.  

How many companies are there in Norway ?

According to data from the Statistics Office in Norway, at the level of 2023:
  • the total number of companies operating in Norway at the beginning of 2023 was 646,884;
  • out of these, 438,084 were sole traders;
  • 103,654 or 16% had between 1 and 4 employees;
  • the number of large companies with more than 250 employees was 939.
According to the latest data:
  • in March 2023, the Current Account generated a surplus of 27.3 USD billion;
  • the same month, the Nominal GDP of Norway was recorded as 128.6 USD billion;
  • in June 2023, Norway's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) decreased by 1.8 USD billion, after rising by 4.2 USD billion in the preceding quarter;
  • in June 2023, Norway Direct Investment Abroad increased by  1.1 USD billion;
  • the same month, its foreign portfolio investment decreased by USD 4.2 billion.
The statistics show a record low of -26.2 USD bn in December 2016 and an all-time high of 19.9 USD bn in December 2010.
Foreign investors are welcome to contact our attorneys in Norway, who can help in elaborating a complete and correct documentation in order to register as soon as possible a private limited liability company in this jurisdiction in 2024. Our attorneys can provide advice on the business permits that can be imposed when performing a specific type of activity in this country.