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Open a Liaison Office in Norway

Open a Liaison Office in Norway

liaison office in Norway, also called a representative office, provides foreign investors with a contact point with the local market in this country. The head office of a company situated abroad can open in Norway a representative office, which does not have the right to undertake commercial tasks but can conduct liaison activities.

Our specialists in company formation in Norway are ready to explain to you in detail the procedure for opening a liaison office in this country and the advantages that this legal form offers to foreign investors.

Requirements to create a Norwegian representative office

The parent business must register the Norwegian liaison office with the local authorities, specifically the Trade Register, even though it is not a legal entity in and of itself.

 Quick Facts  
 Liaison office A liaison office in Norway is a representative office of a foreign company, allowing it to conduct specific non-commercial activities in Norway. 

 Non-commercial activities

 Liaison offices are limited to non-commercial activities, such as market research, information gathering, and promoting parent company interests.

 Legal entity

 A liaison office is not a separate legal entity but an extension of the parent company, with no independent legal status.

 Registration To open a liaison office in Norway, registration with the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises is required. 
 Parent company relationship

 The liaison office must have a clear and demonstrable relationship with the foreign parent company.

 Local agent/Norwegian representative

A local agent or a Norwegian representative must be appointed to act as a liaison between the office and Norwegian authorities. The services of our company formation agents are at your disposal.  

 Scope of activities

The scope of activities is restricted to activities that do not generate income in Norway. 

 Banking and finance

 Liaison offices must open a bank account in Norway to conduct financial transactions and cover operational expenses.

 Duration of existence

 The duration of a liaison office’s existence is typically limited, and extensions require renewing the registration.

 No commercial contracts  Liaison offices cannot enter into commercial contracts on behalf of the parent company or undertake trading activities.
 Reporting requirements

 The office must submit annual reports and financial statements to the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises.

 Intellectual property

 Intellectual property rights remain with the parent company and cannot be registered or protected through the liaison office. However, if you are interested, our experts can help you set up a liaison office in Norway. 


 While Norwegian is the official language, English is widely spoken, making business interactions accessible for non-Norwegian speakers.

 Privacy and data protection

 The office must adhere to Norway’s data protection regulations when handling personal data. Our company incorporation experts can assist you in opening a liaison office in Norway.

 Legal assistance  Engaging our local experts can ensure compliance with Norwegian laws and regulations for the liaison office.
Liaison office means  A liaison office is a representative office established by a company in a foreign location to facilitate communication and information exchange.  

 Applicable legislation 

 Norwegian Companies Act.


No trade name or distinctive identity. 

Indirect activities    A liaison office in Norway cannot engage in commercial activities, it can still indirectly contribute to the overall income growth of the parent company, mostly, by promotions. 
Minimum share capital  

Not required.  


Representative offices in Norway have no authority to make decisions; the liaison office has solely an advisory role. 

Subject to tax 

No, the Norwegian liaison office is not subject to any income tax. 

VAT registration  


Land acquisition  

The establishment of a representative office in Norway does not permit the acquisition of any real estate. 

 Compliance required for a liaison office in Norway (Yes/No) Yes, must comply with the local laws and regulations.  

A liaison office in Norway sustains itself using funds received from the parent company.  

Hiring local staff 


Identification number required (yes/no) 

Yes, and it is of two types: Norwegian national identification number, and temporary (number D). 



            – Easy to establish;

            – Effective for market testing;

             – Requires minimal maintenance. 


Additional services offered by our team  Contact our Norwegian company formation agents if you need additional services like; VAT registration or open a bank account in Norway. 

The following steps must be taken in order to open a liaison office:

  1. appointing a local representative;
  2. choosing an operating space for the representative office;
  3. enrolling employees in social security benefits (this is the main obligation a liaison office has from a taxation point of view).

The procedure for operating a representative office is considerably simpler than setting up a business in Norway.

In addition to an application form and registration fee, the following papers must be submitted to the Companies Register in order to establish a representative office in Norway:

  • certified copies of the articles of incorporation of the parent company;
  • the personal information of the officer or officers acting as the foreign company’s representatives.

Despite the imposed restrictions, the Norwegian liaison office also has several advantages. If you want to set up such an entity, you can rely on our local advisors.

How to register a liaison office in Norway

The procedure for opening a liaison office in Norway must take place according to the legal framework in this country. A representative office can be registered with the Norwegian Company Register, in a similar way to company registration, after a preliminary name reservation and approval. 

You should know that a liaison office in Norway will not be subject to taxation provisions since this legal form does not perform any commercial activities.    

Characteristics of the representative office

A Norwegian representative office has no separate legal identity, which means that:

  • it depends on the parent company entirely;
  • it has no distinctive identity or trade name;
  • it has no independent assets;
  • the parent company will be liable for the office’s debts and other obligations.

The liaison office is not financially or legally independent from the parent company either. It has no authority to engage the company in a commercial activity, nor can either it or its employees sign contracts on the company’s behalf. However, it can represent the foreign business in various transactions.

If you are interested in opening a company in Norway in a way that you can engage in commercial operations, our local advisors can help you choose a suitable entity.

A liaison office is a beneficial approach for foreign businesses to enter the Norwegian market and keep in touch with their clientele. By opening a representative office, potential clients and associates can keep in touch with the overseas enterprise. Also, the parent business can track the market and modify its operations as necessary.

Marketing activities and other non-transactional operations will be carried out through a representative office in Norway. After completing its activities, such an entity can be converted into a branch office.

The liaison office from a taxation point of view in Norway

As mentioned above, opening a liaison office in Norway implies no income tax for the local office or parent company.  However, a local agent is required to submit the overseas company’s financial records to the Companies Registry annually. Also, considering the parent company will assign at least one representative, the respective person must be enrolled for social security purposes, cases in which social security contributions must be paid.

It is also possible for the office to register for VAT in Norway in order for the parent company to claim back some of the expenses related to the Norwegian entity.

The main law for VAT registration in Norway outlines requirements that apply to both domestic and foreign businesses, as well as to sole proprietors who voluntarily register for this tax. They can also get a lot of advantages, such VAT refunds, depending on various aspects. Do not hesitate to contact our local consultants for guidance on the advantages of having a VAT number.

Why open a liaison office in Norway

liaison office or representative office allows a parent company to promote financial collaboration between the head office and other enterprises or collaborators in Norway. Although a liaison office cannot directly perform a business activity, it can however support and impulse the performance of a company, through the communicational ties that it can establish in the new markets.

foreign investor in Norway may choose to open first a representative office in this country, in order to establish partnerships and relations and also in order to support the recruitment of new members.

Our specialists in company registration in Norway can help you appropriately establish a liaison office in this country by explaining to you what laws of the Norwegian state regulate the formation of representative offices

How many companies operate in Norway?

Every year, the Norwegian Statistics Office keeps track of the number of businesses with operations in the country. For 2023, the gathered data indicate that:

  • at the beginning of the year, there were a total of 646,884 enterprises operating in Norway;
  • out of these, the largest number of 438,084 was attributed to sole proprietorships,
  • also, 16% of the total number of businesses – 103,654 – were small companies with one to four employees, and 939 were major corporations with more than 250 workers.

Don’t hesitate to contact our experts in company formation in Norway in order to ask your questions and clarify all the aspects implied by the establishment of a liaison office in this country.