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Opening a Branch vs. a Subsidiary in Norway

Opening a Branch vs. a Subsidiary in Norway

Updated on Friday 13th January 2017

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The foreign companies which intend to extend their business in Norway should consider two main options: either opening a branch in Norway or a subsidiary‚Äč. The difference between the two legal forms consists in the type of liability that they hold and in the degree of independence which they might have from the parent company. Before initiating the opening procedure it is advisable to contact a law firm in Norway for professional counselling in these matters. 

Steps for the establishment of subsidiaries in Norway

Subsidiaries are often subject to tax incentive, and they also possess their own legal personality. The parent company can own shares in the Norwegian subsidiary, but this newly organised legal form remains a separate legal entity. The majority of the subsidiaries are registered as private or public limited liability companies.
The registration of a subsidiary in Norway must go through a series of steps such as:
  • Finding a unique name;
  • Opening the bank account for the future subsidiary;
  • Deposition of the capital;
  • Preparing the documentation for the Registration;
  • Application for VAT number.

Opening a branch office in Norway 

In order to open a branch in Norway there are several documents concerning the parent company which must be provided on registration. Some of these documents are:
  • articles of association;
  • the board’s decision to establish a branch in Norway;
  • a designation of such a branch;
  • other documents required for the purpose of having evidence on the good standing of the Parent company. 
These documents need to be translated prior to the registration procedure. The company may to choose to be represented instead of going itself directly through all the branch establishment procedures. A good choice would be to call on a team of lawyers in Norway and employ its establishment legal services. 
The branch is an entity which depends on the parent company. This is also why in Norway, the branch must have attached at the ending of its name the standard abbreviation NUF, which stands for ’Norwegian branch of foreign company’. Nevertheless, the company can employ its preferred currency and it remains entitled to the same legal treatment as the Norwegian enterprises.  
Don’t hesitate to contact our law firm in Norway in order to prepare in good time and order all the documentation needed for your establishing a branch or subsidiary in this country.  


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