Norway is one of the leading countries in the world. It is considered to be the leader in many sectors. The sectors include education, technologies, business, entertainment and economic state of course. Norway works on the basis of Scandinavian values, while it is the Nordic country. Great combination indeed right?
Norway has one of the best socio-economic standards in the world. The state of being a regular citizen is already very high. The unemployment and crime rates in the country are very minimal, it can be said that they are symbolic. The Norwegian people can be cold, as they are descendants of the Vikings, though they are extremely hospitable, cultural and tolerant towards everyone.
The population of Norway is not very big, the total number of the Norwegian population is 5.1 million. The number is very modest, though the success and achievements are far from being modest. The purchasing power is comparable to larger economies due to the high standard of living as well as relatively evenly distributed wealth. The education level of most of the citizens is also very impressive. Most Norwegians are fluent in English, as well as in German and French.
The industrial cluster is highly developed in Norway as well. Many activities are addressed to process intellectual property rights. Norway also actively participates in the EU research programs and activities, despite not being a member of the European Union (EU).
Norway is named as the third happiest country in the world, following Denmark and Sweden. The Nordic countries are definite leaders in these terms and they have a valid reason to boast with. Norway is named as the 10th best place to do business. The ranking is made via the World Bank and the country occupies 10th position out of 183 for several years. It is considered one of the best, safest, compatible places to start your business.
Despite that the country is not a member of the EU, it still complies with the rules and certain regulations, this may not touch all of the businesses, but has significant importance on some of them. One of the best examples could be the gambling industry. While online gambling and betting are not banned in any of the EU states, Norway also legalized online gambling. Though, the regulations regarding the safety and security of the nettcasino i Norge, aka the Norwegian online casino, apply to the local as well as the international operators. The Norwegians are very active gamers and punters. The betting and online slots are of the top popularity. This could have been the reason for the recent increase in numbers in the online casino operators in the country.
Taking into account that Norway should definitely be your destination point if you want to start your own business and more or less have the guarantee of success, you have to consider several factors before you start doing your job. The country initiates the activity of startups and encourages small and medium entities to operate in the market, which is the great motivation for other companies to become part of the crew as well and start business in Norway.
Norway as a country
Norway is a large country, with a relatively small population. Despite the size of the country, you can feel the lack of the metropolitan areas of global importance. While this is at some point a valid reason to start your business as there is more room for development, it may also come out as a problem for certain businesses.
Another problem connected to the location is that most of the businesses are set up in smaller cities. Thus, not all of the employees live in small cities, and consequently many of them have to get to the small cities from the further outer parts. The whole process of transportation can be challenging at some point.
As mentioned before, Norway operated according to the Scandinavian work values and culture. This means that you should expect to have the main value of your job and business the equality, which is of key importance. You should not expect much hierarchy but instead will witness the flat structures and informal communication between the employer and the employee even while doing business.
You should create an environment convenient for your business. This means that it should correspond to the values but also to the main goal of your business, while still being easy to navigate.
Not an EU, but an EEA
Norway is not a member of the European Union (EU) but is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA). Norway acknowledges the same trading code practice as the EU. This can cause certain challenges due to import and customs restrictions.
Employees and benefits
The Social Security tax in Norway is quite high for employers at a contribution rate of 14.1%. Besides this fact, it should be mentioned that finding professional employees in the field is not very easy in Norway. This is not due to the lack of professionals, but due to the very low unemployment rate.
This means that most of the best candidates should already be employed by the time you decide to set up your business. The historically low unemployment rate in the small population of the country created a big demand in the market, raised the standards and also set reasonable high salaries in the employees market. You also need to consider that while launching a business, you should provide the pension plan and also entice employees, which should be competitive.
It is not always easy to find quality employees because there is a historically low unemployment rate for the small population of the country. This results in an ‘employees’ market’, with high salaries on offer. Businesses operating in Norway must also offer a pension plan and to entice employees, it should be competitive.
Registration of your business
Everyone willing or already conducting business in Norway should be registered with the centralized Registry at Bronnoysund. After the registration, the business will receive the ID number, which is called the organization number or can also be the “org.no”. Having numbers is essential for making and signing and creating contracts, as well as for general operating legally in the Norwegian market. It will also be needed for issuing invoices and communication with governmental authorities or organizations.
All employees working for the business registered in Norway should have a Norwegian ID number. This should be done prior to starting the work. In order to get the number, the employees need to get to the tax office, where they can get it. It is not possible to claim the D-number via the internet in the online portals. Employers must also file reports to the tax office when new foreign employees start working.
There are certain limits put on bringing money in and out of the country. The maximum amount of money can be brought in the country or taken out of the country without any additional document is around 2,500 Euros, which is 25,000 Norwegian Kroner. Any other amount which exceeds the limit should be proved and declared at Customs. Transferring the amount of money exceeding the limit should be performed via the bank transfer or in accordance with the Norwegian Customs.
Norway is not part of the EU, but it admits EU citizens as any other EU member state country. Though, for the employees from the countries located outside of the EU, there are regulations.
Everyone who is not residing in the EU member state countries should have the residence permit. This document covers the right to live and to work on the territory of the country. There are different categories and employees of multinational companies who are usually categorized as “skilled workers”. The residence permit should be claimed before moving to work in Norway. The application should be submitted several months prior.
It is a very well known fact, that before setting up a company, the owner of the company should have a proper bank account. You can not launch a company in Norway without having a bank account registered before. The main thing here is that setting up a bank account in Norway happens with KYC.
The process needs several steps and goes through several stages. This means that it might be slightly time-consuming, and might take up to one month. This is done in order to identify and then verify the intentions of your business and to maintain everything within the legal framework.
Specific corporate tax registration simply does not exist in Norway. Thus, the tax office has all of the access to the Registry at Bronnoysund. It is expected that all entities, small businesses, and companies comply with the reporting obligations and file a tax return. The full information regarding tax regulations is available with the 2018 Financial Complexity Index document.
While this is more or less everything you have to know before setting up your business in Norway, also take into consideration that you will need some warm clothes and a lot of free time to first see all the beauty of this country.