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Doing Business in Norway

Forms of Business Organisation

The usual form of organisation for foreign investors in Norway is the limited liability company. Less often used are other types of firms, such as general and limited partnerships, individual enterprises and branches.

The specific requirements of a limited liability company are:


Public: Allmennaksjeselskap (ASA), the shares of which are normally freely available to the investing public,
whether Norwegian or foreign. For these companies, share capital is a minimum of NOK 1m.

Private: Aksjeselskap (AS), individual or family owned companies and other small firms that do not go to the investing public to raise capital. The minimum share capital is set at NOK 100,100.

The capital must be paid in within three months of formation and notified to the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises. Limited liability companies must hold general meetings at least once a year, with shareholders approving the annual accounts and annual report.

Promoters & Shareholders

There must be at least one promoter (the party or parties who are to subscribe for shares). Both physical and legal persons may act as promoters. There are no restrictions on foreign promoters.

Board of Directors

The members of the board are elected by the general meeting. A minimum of three members is required if capital exceeds NOK 3m in limited liability companies; in all public limited liability companies a minimum of five members is required if the company holds “assemblies”. In public limited liability companies, both sexes must be represented according to detailed rules based on the total number of board members. If the board of directors has one or two members, at least one alternate member must be elected. At least one-half of the directors must be resident in Norway, although exceptions are possible. The residence requirement does not apply to European Economic Area (EEA) citizens resident in an EEA member state.

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