The Norwegian government welcomes foreign investments. The tax system is neutral toward foreign and local investments. An industrial production facility placed in an under developed area would be favored by local and central governmental bodies.
The government supports free trade and non-interference. Some limitations do exist but only applied to the protected areas like fisheries & agriculture and based on environmental considerations.
The Norwegian government is generally positive toward all investments, foreign and local. For this reason, Invest in Norway, an official and nationwide body for attracting foreign investments, was established in 1993. Invest in Norway is an affiliate of the Norwegian Industrial and Regional Development Fund (Statens Narings og Distriktsutviklingsfond – SND), whose main purpose is to enhance profitable business and economic trade development throughout the entire country. It will contribute to product development and new establishments as well as expansion. The SND provides aid through loans, guarantees, subsidies, and investments with share capital stocks.
Norway imposes no currency and foreign exchange controls there are no licensing requirements in force. The only exchange control requirement is a reporting requirement for international payments and financial transactions. This reporting is generally taken care of by the transaction bank.
Forms of business enterprise
Norway supports the following types of business enterprises:
- Public limited liability company – Allmennaksjeselskap (ASA)
- Private limited liability company – Aksjeselskap (AS)
- Branch of a foreign company or corporation – Filial av utenlandsk-aksjeselskap
- Unlimited (general) partnership – Ansvarlig selskap (Ans)
- Unlimited (general) partnership with pro rata responsibilities – Ansvarlig selskap med delt ansvar (DA)
- Limited partnership – Kommandittselskap (K/S)
- Sleeping partnership – Stille selskap
- Joint venture – Samarbeidsavtale
- Sole proprietorship – Selvstendig naeringsdrivende firma
- Cooperative ventures – Samvirkeforetak
A private limited liability company (abbreviated AS) must have minimum share capital of NOK100,000. A public limited liability company (allmennaksjeselskap-ASA) must have a share capital of at least NOK 1 million.
Repatriation of funds
Subject to taxation, funds are freely and fully remittable. Dividends are distributed once annually, interest as agreed.
To establish a company (A/S or ASA), one founder is sufficient. At least one-half of the founders must be residents of Norway and have lived in Norway for the last two years, or be citizens of an EEA member state if resident in that state.
The Norwegian Industrial and Regional Development Fund-SND
The Norwegian Industrial and Regional Development Fund (Statens narings- og distriktsutviklingsfond – SND) was established in 1993 and has played an important role in the value-creating process of Norwegian trade and industry. SND promotes new and innovative business development by finding, refining, funding and following up interesting projects and enterprises. As from 1 January 2004, the new state owned company, Innovation Norway, has replaced SND and the following organisations:
- The Norwegian Tourist Board
- The Norwegian Trade Council
- The Government Consultative Office for Inventors
Innovasjon Norge (Innovation Norway)
Address: Akersgaten 13, N-0104 Oslo, Norway