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Establish a Branch in Norway

Updated on Tuesday 24th July 2018

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A branch opened in Norway offers foreign companies the possibility to merchandise their goods and services in the country and conclude new contracts with local businesses. It is not considered a legal entity, so for the major decisions the approval from the parent company is necessary and the liability for its action is also taken by the parent company abroad. All foreign investors interested in setting up a branch office in this country should receive professional assistance from our team of company formation consultants in Norway.
 

Registering a branch office in Norway

 
One of the main aspects that have to be concluded before starting any business activity in Norway is the registration with the Register of Business Enterprises (known as “Foretaksregisteret”). The documentation for registering a branch is more complex than for registering a local company and includes the name of the foreign company and its address, as well as a copy of the articles of association.
 
It is also required to offer a list with the company’s managers and secretary, the name of the branch and the address, the name of the person in charge with the registration of the branch and the activities that will be performed by the branch. It will also be required to provide the following:

 

  • a copy of the decision of the competent body to set up a branch office in Norway;
  • the name of the person who is entitled to take decisions in the name of the parent company;
  • the names of the persons who are part of the branch office’s board (if applicable);
  • the proof that the company is registered in the foreign country and the certificate of registration
 
All the above documents must be notarized and accompanied by a Norwegian translation. As a result, the branch will receive a registration number and a certificate of registration. After that, the company will receive a letter with questions regarding the future activities of the branch. After completing it, the company is registered for the payment of specific taxes and  value added tax (VAT).
 
In the situation in which the branch office will hire employees, it will be necessary to register them for social security purposes, as requested by the local legislation. Only when all the above steps were taken, the branch may begin the commercial activities. The entire process doesn’t take longer than ten working days if all the documents are accurate.
 

Requirements for investors outside EU/EEA 

 
Foreign investors who want to open a company in Norway as a branch office, who are citizens outside the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), will need to obtain a residence permit prior to starting their business activities here. The residence permit will also allow the foreigner to work in Norway. Our team of specialists in company formation in Norway can provide legal assistance to foreign businessmen outside these regions, but details on the documents that must be submitted may also be obtained from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration
 

Other requirements when opening a branch in Norway

 
There is no minimum share capital required when opening a company in Norway that operates as a branch office. The company's capital and the assets of the branch must be provided by the parent company abroad. A list with all the branch’s assets will also include the assets of the foreign company and in case of liquidation, these assets can be used to cover the debts.
 
A Norwegian branch must pay the same taxes as a local company, with some exception in the cases where the company is from a country which has signed double tax treaties with Norway. In this case, the withholding tax on dividends, interests and royalties may be exempt or decreased and the corporate tax on income may be credited or exempt. 
 
If you need to set up a branch office in Norway fast and easy, we invite you to contact our experts in company registration in Norway, who will take care of the entire registration procedure so that you can start your business activities in this country as fast as possible. Moreover, if you are interested in setting up branches in Japan, Hong-Kong or Singapore, we can put you in contact with our Asian partners.

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