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Types of Companies in Norway

Types of Companies in Norway

Updated on Wednesday 18th January 2017

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The Norwegian State offers to the investors a high diversity of company structures in order to respond to their different business needs and in order to increase the state functionality. The types of companies in Norway have various particularities which refer to:
  • the capital invested;
  • the domain in which the business runs;
  • the board members; 
  • the degree of liability. 

Main types of companies presented by our lawyers in Norway 

The most popular legal entities in Norway are the public (Allmennaksjeselskap – ASA)  or private (Aksjeselskap - AS) limited company. There is a minimum capital of 30 000 NOK needed for the small or family-owned companies and of 1 million NOK for the ASA. Although they differ from each other in some aspects concerning the management, both the ASA and the AS must follow the same regulations regarding:
  • labour requirements;
  • taxes and fees;
  • types of shares;
  • control;
  • promoters and shareholders;
  • board of directors.
For the foreign companies which intend to extend or initiate an activity in Norway, they must register the Norwegian branch of the company as NUF (Norskregistrert utenlandsk foretak). A branch company allows the parent company to enter much easily in business relations with the local market.
Another business form available in Norway is the Ansvarlig selskap (ANS) which represents the general partnership. The ANS can be started by anyone since there is no requirement for an initial investment capital. A partnership agreement must be written and signed and registered in the Norwegian Register (Foretaksregisteret). The ANS is a most appropriate legal form for medium or small enterprises which do not function in the most risky sectors of the business market. ANS, which in translation means liable company, is, as the name suggests, a company in which each individual owner bears legal responsibility for any debt, not only for the invested capital. Another form of a partnership is the Selskap med delt ansvar (DA), which refers to the general partnership with shared  liability. For the DA there must be two or more participants in the company, each of which is supporting its own liability. In case you are interested in opening a partnership in this country, our Norwegian lawyers can give you more details.
The BA stands for a company with limited liability similar to the AS. There is however a notable difference, regarding the way the profit is distributed. The regulations concerning the formation of a BA is stated in the Norwegian Act of Parliament 1997 ss 1-1(3).3.
Enkeltpersonforetak (sole trader company) stands for a legal form of enterprise in which there is only one owner. Legally speaking, the owner and the enterprise are the same. The owner must be aware of the fact that he holds the entire financial responsibility for all obligations and debts.
There is also a form of company, Kommandittselskap (KS) which stands for a company constituted by two different types of owners, differing from each other in the matters of their liability limitation. 

Legal consultancy offered by our law firm in Norway 

With such a diverse plethora of legal forms of enterprises, it is advisable to approach a local Norwegian law firm for counselling, support and further relevant information. Our local attorneys can offer all needed support regarding these matters. Please contact our team of lawyers for more information or for a personalized offer.


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