Operating a Business

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In this page: Legal Forms of Companies | The Active Population in Figures | Working Conditions | The Cost of Labour | Management of Human Resources

 

Legal Forms of Companies

Aksjeselskap, AS (Limited Company)
Number of partners: One or more with no maximum.
A minimum of two directors must be appointed, one of whom must be a Norwegian or European citizen.
Capital (max/min): NOK 30,000
Shareholders and liability: Liability is limited to the amount contributed.
Allmenne aksjeselskap, ASA (Public Limited Company)
Number of partners: One or more with no maximum.
At least 3 directors, at least 2 of whom must be residents in Norway.
Capital (max/min): NOK 1 million
Shareholders and liability: Liability is limited to the amount contributed.
Ansvarslig selskap med delt ansvar, DA (General Partnership w. shared liability)
Number of partners: Two or more with no maximum.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Unlimited, but each owner is responsible for the share of debt corresponding to his/her share of the ownership
Ansvarslig selskap, ANS (General partnership)
Number of partners: Two or more with no maximum.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is unlimited.
Enkeltmannsforetak (Sole proprietorship)
Number of partners: Only 1 person.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is unlimited.
 

Business Directories

Financial Information Directories
Brønnøysund - Directory with announcements from the Register of Business Enterprises of Norway
Dun & Bradstreet - Worldwide directory with financial information on businesses
Kompass - Norway Business Directory

To go further, check out our service Business Directories.


 

Professional Associations

General Professional Associations
NORSKINDUSTRI - Federation of Norwegian Industry
NHO - Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise
VIRKE - Federation of Norwegian Enterprise

To go further, check out our service Professional Associations.


 

Business Setup Procedures

Setting Up a Company Norway OECD
Procedures (number) 4.00 5.21
Time (days) 4.00 9.47

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

 
The Competent Organisation
Brønnøysund Register Centre maintains open annual accounts on all Norwegian companies.
For Further Information
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in Norway.
 

Recovery Procedures

Principle
The Bankruptcy Act and the Creditors Recovery Act are the main Norwegian insolvency laws. If the equity of a company is less than 50 % of registered share capital or otherwise seems to be less than what is required, the Board of Directors is required to take action.

Bankruptcy proceedings may be initiated if applied by the debtor or an unsecured creditor. The applicant must show that the debtor is insolvent (unable to pay debts as they fall due) and insufficient (debtors’ liabilities exceed his assets). In bankruptcy proceedings all the debtor’s assets to which the creditors have access are confiscated and liquidated for distribution among the creditors. The debtor loses control of these assets from the time of application for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy is publicized and registered in public registries.

Minimum Debt-to-Capital Ratio Triggering Liquidation
No.
Bankruptcy Laws
The Bankruptcy Act and Norwegian Creditors Recovery act.
Reorganization and Rehabilitation Laws
Debt reorganisation proceedings may only be initiated with the consent of the debtor. The debtor must be able to demonstrate that he is insolvent but not likely to obtain a composition with his creditors. If an application for debt reorganization proceedings is granted, it will generally stay a bankruptcy application for a period of three months, if it's not supported by at least three unsecured creditors, who also represent at least 40 % of the claims.

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The Active Population in Figures

201820192020
Labour Force 2,799,9582,829,7592,836,708

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
201720182019
Total activity rate 77.23%77.77%78.17%
Men activity rate 79.24%80.13%80.60%
Women activity rate 75.11%75.27%75.61%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
Employed Persons, by Occupation (% of Total Labour Force) 2015
Human health and social work activities 19.8%
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 13.6%
Manufacturing 8.6%
Education 8.6%
Construction 7.8%
Public administration and defence; compulsory social security 6.2%
Professional, scientific and technical activities 5.9%
Transportation and storage 5.5%
Administrative and support service activities 4.2%
Information and communication 3.8%
Accommodation and food service activities 2.9%
Mining and quarrying 2.6%
Arts, entertainment and recreation 2.2%
Financial and insurance activities 2.0%
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 2.0%
Real estate activities 1.0%
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 0.6%
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 0.5%
 
For Further Statistics
Statistics Norway
For Further Information About the Labour Market
International Labor Organisation's (ILO) page on Norway

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Working Conditions

Opening Hours
 
  • Legal Weekly Duration
35.5 hours for shift workers and 37.5 hours for others. This includes a half an hour lunch break.
  • Maximum Duration
Allowed overtime per year, week and day is strictly regulated. Overtime is limited to 10 hours per week and 25 hours in a four-week period. Yearly overtime for an employee cannot be over 200 hours. Maximum length of a single work-day is 13 hours. In exceptional cases, and after approval by the authorities, more overtime can be used. 
  • Night Hours
Night hours are between 9 pm and 6 am. Night work is permitted only for defined activities that cannot be performed during day time.
Working Rest Day
Weekly rest day is Sunday. Working on Sundays is allowed only by special permission or agreement with a labor union.
Paid Annual Vacation
Legal minimum is four weeks plus one day of continuous holiday (25 working days off). Employees age 60 and older are entitled to have at least five weeks of vacation. It's a common practice that high-level employees get 31 days off. 
Retirement Age
Official retirement age is 67, but early retirement is allowed at 62. Employees have the right to continue working until the age of 70. 
Child Labour and Minimum Age For Employment
15 years.
Informal Labour Market
In 2001 undeclared work amounted to approximately NOK 11 billion.

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The Cost of Labour

Pay

Minimum Wage
No minimum wage exists.
Average Wage
According to the Statistics Norway, in 2021 Norwegians earned NOK 50,790 per year on average.
Other Forms of Pay
  • Pay For Overtime
40%. However, in practice,  many employees get 50%.
  • Pay For Rest Days Worked
Working on Sundays is allowed only in special cases. Compensation may vary according to collective or regional agreements.
  • Pay For Night Hours
Night work is permitted only in specially defined cases. Pay may vary according to collective or regional agreements.
  • Pay For Overtime at Night
Night work is permitted only in special defined cases. Pay may vary according to collective or regional agreements.
 

Social Security Costs

The Areas Covered
All residents in Norway are covered by the National Insurance Act. This national insurance scheme covers unemployment benefits, medical treatment, sickness benefits, maternity benefits, child benefits and support during the illness of children and pensions. National insurance is financed by contributions from employers, employees and the Norwegian government.
Contributions
Contributions Paid By the Employer: Employer’s social security contributions are due for all employees in both the private and the public sector. The normal rate for the employer is 14.1 percent on gross earnings. The contribution is geographically differentiated according to the municipality where the work-place is.
Contributions Paid By the Employee: An individual working in Norway is subject to Norwegian social security contributions. The employee’s contribution is 8% based on gross wages. This contribution is not required when the salary is less than NOK 64,650 per year.
Competent Organization
Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration

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Management of Human Resources

 

Recruitment

Method of Recruitment
Usually an advertisement is placed in the classified advertisements of the daily newspapers. Largest newspaper for recruitment ads is Aftenposten. Aftenposten's ads are also available in Internet at www.finn.no/jobb (in Norwegian). Aspiring candidates can call for more information and send their CV accompanied by a letter after which a number of candidates are selected for an interview. Usually majority of the vacancies are also listed in the Internet.
Recruitment Agencies
The Public Employment Service is available throughout the country and widely used. The number of private recruitment agencies is limited, although increasing. Manpower and Adecco are the largest recruitment and temping agencies.
Recruitment Websites
The Public Employment Service
Manpower Norway
www.finn.no/jobb (in Norwegian)
Adecco Norway
Norges Vikar
Randstad
 

The Contract

Type of Contract
Legal clauses regulate employment contracts and to a lesser degree collective agreements and individual negotiations. The terms of employment contracts are rather rigid.

Breach of Contracts

  • Retirement
Retirement age is 67, but early retirement is allowed at 62.
  • Dismissals
Termination of employment contracts is extensively regulated in The Working Environment Act. Minimum notice period for termination and dismissal varies from one to six months based on the period of employment and the age of the employee. The employer is obliged to discuss with the labor union if a member of the union is about to be given notice due to economic or personal reasons. 
  • Other Possible Methods
To be legal, dismissals must be based on either the circumstances directly related to the employee's work performance or the changed conditions of the company. In many situations, the employer is required to inform employee representatives before any economic decisions (restructuring, closing a department) are made. Please consult The Working Environment Act.
Labour Laws
The Working Environment Act
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labor regulations that apply to local entreprises.
 

Dispute Settlement

 

Conciliation Process

Cases of Dispute
Working conditions, unfair dismissal, sexual and moral harassment, verbal violence, physical violence.
  • Legal Framework
Please consult The Working Environment Act
  • Procedure
The Working Environment Act
 

Judicial Structures

  • Legal Framework
The Working Environment Act
  • Competent Legal Body
See The Working Environment Act.
 

Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
Norway has strong traditions in collective bargaining, and trade unions hold a prominent position. Although the trade union density rate has been decreasing in recent years, more than half of the Norwegian labour force is still collectively organised. Strong emphasis is placed on central organisations of employers and employees. Compulsory collective agreements supplement legislation in wages, working conditions and benefits. Results of central wage negotiations between the large employee's and employer's organisations serve as guidelines for the local wage negotiations.
Unionisation Rate
52%
Unions
The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO)
Confederation of Unions for Professionals
Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations
Regulation Bodies
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
 
 

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Latest Update: November 2022