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Holding Companies in Norway

Why open a holding company in Norway?

A holding company is a parent company which holds the shares and has control of its subsidiaries companies.  A holding company is often used as an investment vehicle and risk management tool.  There are a number of merits of opening a holding company in Norway.  In terms of a Norwegian holding company formation, there is no restriction on its activities nor any capital duty payable.  Furthermore, Norway has a wide network of treaties with over 80 countries which eliminates double taxation and reduces withholding tax on dividends, interest and royalties.  

Though not a member of EU, Norwegian holding companies have equal opportunities and benefits as those in EU states because Norway is part of the Inner Market under the EEA agreement. By virtue of these treaties and agreements, there is no withholding tax on dividends and interests paid to EU/ EAA subsidiaries.

How to set up a holding company in Norway?

There are two ways of opening a holding company in Norway:

1.Private Limited Liability Company (Aksjeloven – AS)

2.Public Limited Liability Company (Allmennaksjeselskap – ASA)

ASA is intended for larger business and may (but does not have to be listed) on a stock exchange. Whereas, AS is an often-used vehicle for small and medium business.  For further details, please refer our page on types of Norwegian companies.   Our specialists in company formation in Norway can assist you in setting up a holding company.

If you want to open a company in Norway, you can rely on our local specialists. We offer support in drafting the necessary paperwork, as well as filing them with the Companies Register. We can also assist in other matters, such as tax registration and obtaining various business licenses in accordance with the type of activity to conduct.

Taxation of holding companies explained by our experts in company registration in Norway 

There is no special tax regime for holding companies in Norway.  In principles, the corporate tax rate in Norway is 25% (which may be reduced to 24% in the fiscal year of 2017) on net taxable income (the sum of profits and capital gains).  However, as mentioned above, holding companies in Norway enjoy the benefits under various treaties and agreements that are in place. Similar VAT rules apply to local enterprises and foreign companies who conduct business in Norway. Obtaining VAT numbers is a mandatory requirement for any of them. Contact our agents if you run a foreign business and require assistance with VAT registration in Norway. You can rely on us for other accounting services.

Dividends on shares from subsidiaries in EEA countries are exempt or 97% exempt from taxation, whereas dividends from subsidiaries in non-EEA countries is either 97% exempt or fully taxable.  Gain from the sale of subsidiary in EEA countries is generally exempt from taxation.  For sale of non-EEA subsidiary, gain is exempt or taxable, depending on the jurisdiction, percentage shareholding and period held. 

For details about the taxation of holding companies, please contact our Norwegian experts in company formation