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Open a Joint Stock Company in Norway

Open a Joint Stock Company in Norway

Company formation in Norway is very offering from a legal entities’ point of view. Local and foreign investors can choose between non-corporate and corporate forms, among which there is also the joint stock or public limited liability company.

Below, you can find our guide on opening a joint stock company in Norway. After finishing to read this article, if you decide to set up a business under this form, you can get in touch with us for support.

Requirements to establish a joint stock company in Norway

In order to decide if this legal entity suits your interests, you must know the requirements imposed by the Company Law to register it. Here are the main highlights in this regard:

  • –  the public limited company can have one or more stockholders; the founder may be a natural person or a legal entity;
  • – the business must have a registered (local) address in Norway (please note that postal office boxes are not allowed, so instead you can opt for a virtual office);
  • – this legal entity must have a minimum share capital of 1 million NOK (a little over EUR 110,000) and it must be deposited in full upon registration;
  • – the company must have a board of directors, where at least 50% of them are Norwegian citizens or residents (EU and EEA residents are also accepted).

If you want to open a business in Norway and you are a citizen of a non-EU/EEA state, you must apply for a residence visa that enables you to do so first. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) is the authority in charge of accepting and processing visa applications. Apart from this, once you enter the country, you must also obtain a D number that serves for tax identification purposes.

Specific characteristics of public companies in Norway

The joint stock entity is the type of Norwegian company that has specific features, such as meeting certain trading name requirements.  ‘Allmennaksjeselskap’ or the acronym ‘ASA’ must appear before or after the company’s name. As an option, it can also be registered as a trademark, therefore, benefit from protection.

With respect to the Articles of Association of this type of company, they must state:

  • –  the company’s name, its public limited liability status, and the Norwegian city where its registered office will be located;
  • –  the company’s object of activity;
  • –  the share capital amount, the nominal value of the shares and the number of shares;
  • –  the number of directors, or the minimum and maximum number of directors.

In terms of management, it must be stipulated if the company will have two general managers or more, whether the board of directors or the corporate assembly will establish if the company will have two general managers or more.

If you want to open a Norwegian joint stock company and need support, our local agents are at your service.

We will also help you with VAT registration in Norway.

How to register a public company in Norway

The business registration procedure for a Norwegian joint stock company is the same as for the private entity. It can be completed by our consultants. Since it has been mentioned, a common process is to convert a private limited liability company into a public one in order to list it on the Stock Exchange.

So, if you want to start small, you can form a private entity and upon reaching the minimum share capital of a public one, convert it.

Taxation of companies in Norway

After setting up a joint stock company in Norway, here are the main taxes to consider:

  • –          the corporate tax is flat and applied at a rate of 25%;
  • –          after completing the VAT registration procedure in Norway, you can expect to pay it at a rate of 25%;
  • –          the withholding tax on dividends is 25%.

Should you need assistance in launching a joint stock enterprise in Norway, please contact us.