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ACCOUNTING IN NORWAY

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Running a business involves many obligations, including bookkeeping in Norway. As an entrepreneur, you will need to be familiar with the rules and regulations governing your business - you can either carry out your own bookkeeping in Norway, or leave it to a qualified accounting firm. It is advisable to know the applicable deadlines and rates and to strictly observe them - basic knowledge is essential, regardless of whether you do your own bookkeeping or outsource it to a specialist.
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FORMS OF BUSINESS ORGANISATION IN NORWAY

[Infographics] [TYPES OF BUSINESS ORGANISATION IN NORWAY: sole proprietorship (ENK - Enkeltpersonforetak), joint stock company (AS - Aksjeselskap, ASA - Allmennaksjeselskap - limited liability company, DA - Delt Ansvar / ANS - Ansvarlig Selskap - general partnership), subsidiary of a foreign company (NUF - Norskregistrert utenlandsk foretak)].

Enkeltpersonforetak is the most common form of business in Norway - it is chosen by new entrepreneurs who cannot predict the company's profits and have little funds. The owner is liable for any liabilities of the company with all his/her assets - the owner's assets are also the assets of the company.

Partnerships are another popular form of business in Norway - especially AS (Aksjeselskap). A limitation of this type of company is the need for a financial contribution - the share capital must be a minimum of NOK 30 000, but this can be used to set up the company and start the business. The owner is not liable for the company's liabilities - any liabilities are collected up to the amount of the share capital.

NUF (Norskregistrert utenlandsk foretak) is a subsidiary of a foreign company - the company is based in Poland, but operates in Norway. Financial liability is incurred in both countries, so the extent of tax liability in Norway (double taxation agreement) should be carefully analysed, which depends on the nature of the activity and its duration.
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COMPANY TAX IN NORWAY

Income tax

In 2021, there have been several changes to the Norwegian tax rules - personal and company income tax is still 22%.
The amount of tax may increase depending on what income has been earned - the actual tax payable is calculated using the tax thresholds set by the authority each year, which indicate how excess income is taxed.

Tax thresholds for 2021:

  • first (184 800 - 260 100 NOK - taxation on the excess is 1.7%),
  • second (260 100 - 651 250 NOK - taxation of the excess is 4%),
  • third (651 250 - 1 021 550 NOK - taxation of surplus is 13.2%),
  • fourth (more than NOK 1 021 550 - taxation of surplus is 16.2%).
[Infographics] NORWAY'S TAX PROGRESSES FOR 2020. I THRESHOLD (+1.9%) 180 800 NOK II THRESHOLD (+4.2%) 254 500 NOK III THRESHOLD (+13.2%) 639 750 NOK IV THRESHOLD (+16.2%) 999 550 NOK]

The amount of tax due must be paid within the prescribed deadlines - depending on the type of business.

Owners of sole proprietorships in Norway should pay tax in advance in four instalments:
  • 15 March,
  • 15 June,
  • 15 September,
  • 15 December.
[Infographic] [INCOME TAX ADVANCE PAYMENTS IN A ONE MAN COMPANY MUST BE PAID BY: 15 March 15 May 15 September 15 November]
An entrepreneur in Norway at the beginning of the business or at the beginning of the year declares through Altinn.no the company's expected profit for the next year, the so-called overskudd (form RF-1102). In subsequent years, the authority calculates advance income tax payments based on the company's profit in past years
If the actual income was higher than that declared, the amount due must be paid up - by 31 May of the following year - otherwise interest will be added to the arrears.

Owners of AS (Aksjeselskap) companies in Norway should pay tax in two instalments:
  • 15 February,
  • 15 April.
An AS company receives advance income tax payments calculated by the office (based on the company's income from previous years) in January of the following tax year.

VAT

VAT is a tax on goods and services - companies whose income has exceeded NOK 50,000 in a consecutive 12-month period are obliged to register for VAT in Norway.

VAT rates in Norway:

  • 25% (standard rate),
  • 15% (reduced rate: food, beverages),
  • 12% (low rate: TV, radio, cinema).
[Infographics] [VAT DECLARATION The VAT return must be submitted every two months - electronically via Altinn.no - by the deadlines: 10 April (for January, February), 10 June (for March, April), 31 August (for May, June), 10 October (for July, August) 10 December (for September, October), 10 February (for November, December)].

Invoices in Norway

It is worth remembering to keep your invoices correct, because if a customer does not pay for goods or services and there is an error on the invoice, the debt collection company may refuse to help you collect the debt.
[Infographic] [ON THE REVENUE INVOICE - ISSUED TO CUSTOMERS FOR GOODS / SERVICES - INCLUDE: the invoice number (at the top of the document, numbering is continuous from year to year), the company organisation number (nine-digit number - VAT payers add the abbreviation MVA at the end), date of issue of the invoice (to qualify the revenue for the period), invoice payment date (important for cash flow management), details of the seller (company name and address), buyer details (name, surname, address), bank account number (necessary to make the transfer for the service, goods), description of the service / goods (detailed), amount to be paid (for the goods / service)].

Revenue invoices should be posted to the specified accounts:

  • 25% VAT on sales - 2700 (Utgående merverdiavgift, høy sats,
  • clearing of accounts with customers - 1500 (Kundefordringer),
  • revenue from sales subject to VAT - 3000 (Salgsinntekt varer, avgiftspliktig).
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BUSINESS COSTS IN NORWAY

When running a business you have to reckon with costs, which vary depending on the type of business and the scope of services provided. It is worth remembering the need to prove the reasonableness of the costs incurred.

[Infographics] [FIXED COSTS ARE: costs for renting premises (the premises should be declared as a place of business; if a dwelling is used for business purposes, a maximum of NOK 1700 can be deducted - without having invoices or a proportional value - depending on the area of the dwelling and the area used for business), hiring employees (employees place a significant financial burden on the company - the employer has many obligations towards them, so the profitability of hiring an employee must be recalculated), depreciation and expenses related to the use of a car (cars are depreciated for several years in a row, all expenses related to the use of a car for business purposes are a cost for the company), company telephone subscription (for a sole proprietorship, telephone deductions are partial - an amount of NOK 4392 is deducted from costs)."].

[Infographic] VARIABLE COSTS ARE: materials / goods (necessary to generate revenue), tools / equipment (purchases over NOK 15,000 are accounted for several years in a row - depreciation rate depends on the type of equipment), travel expenses, per diems (expenses should be documented, working more than twelve hours a day means that NOK 89 per day can be deducted), entertainment costs (in order that the office cannot question the deduction, it must be clearly stated on the bill for what purpose the meeting was held - VAT cannot be deducted on such costs), advertising (business cards, internet or newspaper advertisements, flyers), office supplies (computers, scanners, printers), training, licensing and authorisation costs (training in the services provided, purchase of professional literature, fees for trade cards - Byggekort, Renholdskort].

In order to be able to calculate the costs that a company has incurred in Norway, cost invoices, i.e. invoices issued by suppliers and vendors, must be used - it is necessary to scrupulously check the correctness of the data, in particular the amounts (the amount of VAT charged and the gross amount - the sum of the net amount and VAT) and the company details of the entrepreneur. The invoice should clearly indicate the company of the buyer.

When accounting for an expense invoice, use:

  • the account for settlements with suppliers from Norway - 2400 (Leverandørgjeld, innland),
  • the cost account by type (depending on what the cost invoice relates to),
  • account 2710 - Inngående merverdiavgift, høy sats (25% VAT on purchases).
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COMPANY CAR

Having a company car can sometimes be essential for running a business in Norway, but in addition to the possibility of deductions, it also means additional responsibilities. Expenses related to the use of a company car are very often a basic cost of running a business, and thus reduce the tax base.
There are two ways to recognise the car as a business expense:
  • use the Kjørebok form (when a private car is used for business purposes)

OR
  • enter the car in the fixed asset register.
[Infographics] [FILL IN THE KJØREBOK FORM TO ENTER: car details, the date and purpose of the journey, the number of kilometres travelled (the number of kilometres is calculated by Elektronisk Kjørebok), which is then multiplied by the corresponding rate (for 2017: NOK 3.5 per kilometre - when the car is used by the company owner, NOK 4.1 per kilometre - when the car is used by a company employee), It is not necessary to collect invoices and receipts related to the use of the car - only the vehicle log book needs to be filled in.]

The choice of this form is advantageous when:
  • the company uses the car infrequently (6,000 km per year can be deducted),
  • the company uses a private car (the amounts spent on the use of the car have an impact on the tax benefits),
  • the car is borrowed,
  • the car is about to be sold (the sale of a private car is not company income).
Entering the car in the fixed asset register means that the costs associated with the use of the car should be allocated in the accounting software:
  • fuel: 7000 (Drivstoff),

  • repairs: 7020 (Vedlikehold) etc.
Attachments related to expenses and depreciation have to be attached to the tax return, which will reduce the tax.

The entry in the fixed asset register involves keeping receipts and invoices for expenses related to the use of the car.

Entering a car in the fixed asset register is beneficial when:

  • the company uses the car frequently,
  • the car was bought on company credit or is leased,
  • the car is of considerable value and will not be sold in the near future (the sale of a company car constitutes company income).
The amount of the annual car payment (Årsavgift) depends on the type of car.
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LAWS GOVERNING ACCOUNTING IN NORWAY

Norwegian accounting is regulated by two laws:

According to the Acts, transactions carried out by every Norwegian company should be recorded (e.g. in an accounting programme) and the related documents should be kept in accordance with current legislation - up to several years.

An annual tax return must be submitted each accounting year - the laws also regulate the profit and loss account, balance sheet and valuation. In Norway, the tax return should be submitted by 31 May of the following year - the company's income information (Skattemelding) is submitted via Altinn.no (it is necessary to have MinID codes), and the office calculates the tax due (to be refunded or paid) within a few months - Skatteoppgjør.
You can do your company's bookkeeping in Norway yourself - there is no obligation to employ an accountant - but you must take careful care to meet deadlines and ensure that your calculations are correct, as errors in your accounts and failure to meet deadlines will result in frequent audits from the authorities.
Some companies in Norway are obliged to have their annual reports externally audited - a chartered accountant checks the balance sheet and annual reports of the business. Revisorloven is the Act on Auditors, which regulates the types of companies that are obliged to have this type of audit.
Failure to meet filing deadlines means that the Norwegian authority will charge a penalty - the penalty imposed (for each title and deadline) cannot, however, exceed NOK 52,450.

Penalties for failure to meet the deadline:

  • VAT return: fine of NOK 524.50 for each day of delay,
  • report for employees A01: fine of NOK 104.90 per employee for each day of delay,
  • shareholder report: fine of NOK 2,098.00 for each day of delay,
  • other statements (for example, Skattemelding): fine of NOK 524.50 for each day of delay.

The altinn.no portal

The portal Altinn.no is Norway's electronic platform for submitting various types of applications, settlements, corrections and appeals, which can be used to submit documents relating to tax returns, VAT settlements, advance income tax payments or social security settlements.

In order to log in to Altinn, you must have individual MinID codes - codes consisting of a set of five-digit passwords that can only be given to people with:
  • personal number (fødselsnummer)
or
  • a temporary number (D-nummer).
After registering on the website, the taxpayer receives the codes necessary to use the portal by post.
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ENK (SOLE TRADER) ACCOUNTING

One of the advantages of running a sole trader business is that accounting is relatively uncomplicated - it is important to know the accounting laws and to book transactions correctly.

[Infographic] [ENK ACCOUNTING ACCOUNTS 2050 Annen egenkapita (equity) 2060 Privatuttak (private expenditure) 2070 Forskuddsskatt (advance payments of income tax)]

An entrepreneur in Norway should pay advances on income tax in four instalments (the amount of advances is determined by the authority on the basis of the income declaration) - the advances are included in account 2070 (Forskuddsskatt), the balance of which at the end of the year must correspond to the advances listed on the Skattemelding.

In contrast to AS companies, Enkeltpersonforetak allows company funds to be used for private purposes (transfers and cash withdrawals) - the account 2060 (Privatuttak) is used for this purpose. This account is also helpful if expense invoices go missing - the statement lists all payments from the company account.

At the close of the accounting year, the account balances (2060 and 2070) should equal zero.

The 2050 account (Annen egenkapital) calculates the equity, or Egenkapital, which must be shown on the annual tax return (Annex RF-1175 Næringsoppgave 1 must be attached).

A sole proprietorship is subject to audit if it meets certain conditions:

  • turnover exceeds NOK 5 000,000,
  • the balance sheet total is greater than NOK 20 000 000 or it has more than 20 employees (full-time).
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NUF ACCOUNTING

Bookkeeping of a foreign company's subsidiary in Norway (based in Poland but operating in Norway) is quite complicated - it requires knowledge of accounting and import regulations. In addition, it very often involves the need for a representative to deal with the company's tax and other obligations.
A tax representative can be a company or a person who has a permanent address and lives or works in Norway.

Branches of foreign companies should submit:

  • Skattemelding (by 31 May),
  • Årsregnskap (by 31 July).
NUF has an audit obligation when the company's turnover exceeds NOK 5 000 000 - in which case the auditor should check the company's balance sheet and annual reports.
NUF → TURNOVER > NOK 5 000 000 → AUDIT
Note that there is no Privatuttak, or private expenditure account - 2060 - in the NUF chart of accounts.
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AS COMPANY ACCOUNTING

Company accounting for a public limited company in Norway is very complicated and requires hiring a professional. A considerable disadvantage is the lack of free use of company funds - there is no private expense account - 2060 (Privatuttak) in the chart of accounts, and every expense and operation in the company's account must be registered and documented - shareholders cannot freely withdraw company funds.

Shareholders in the company are remunerated on the basis of:

  • employment (as employees),
  • shareholder remuneration (styrehonorar),
  • dividends.
[Infographic] [REMUNERATION OF SHAREHOLDERS IN COMPANY AS EMPLOYEES OR SHAREHOLDER REMUNERATION OR DIVIDEND]

AS companies pay income tax in two equal instalments in the year following the tax year - the office calculates advances based on previous years' income.

Every AS company is subject to an audit obligation, but can be exempted from it if it meets certain conditions:

  • there is an entry in the incorporation documents that the auditor is waived,
  • the company's turnover does not exceed NOK 6,000,000,
  • the company's balance sheet total does not exceed NOK 23,000,000,
  • there are less than ten employees in the company (full time).
[Infographic] [COMPANY AS - AUDIT RESIGNATION Auditor's exemption Turnover < NOK 6 000 000 Balance sheet total < NOK 23 000 000 Employees (full-time) < 10]

AS companies should submit certain documents:

  • Aksjonærregisteroppgaven (by 31 January),
  • Skattemelding for aksjeselskap (by 31 May),
  • Årsregnskap (by 31 July).
Annex RF-1167 Næringsoppgave 2 must be attached to the tax return.
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ACCOUNTING RULES IN NORWAY

It is good practice to set up a company bank account - bedriftskonto - and to separate private and business transactions. In order to set up a company account, it is necessary to present proof of business registration and a valid passport of the business owner to the bank.

A chart of accounts is necessary in order to be able to demonstrate to the authorities the economic events that have occurred in the company - the standard chart of accounts is NS4102, which indicates the scheme of qualification of a given economic event (it consists of several pages).

Accounting accounts consist of four digits - the first digit qualifies an account to a specific group of accounts:
  • 1000 (Eiendeler) - company assets: all fixed assets,
  • 2000 (Gjeld og Egenkapital) - debt and equity: accounts with suppliers, banks, authorities, etc,
  • 3000 (Inntekter) - revenue: company revenue (net amounts from revenue invoices),
  • 4000 (Varekjøp) - purchase: breakdown of purchases of materials, goods, domestic, foreign etc,
  • 5000 (Lønnsutgifter) - costs related to employees: salaries, allowances, ferienpenger, etc.,,
  • 6000 (Annen driftskostnad) - operating costs: depreciation, purchase of tools, work clothes, office supplies, etc., etc,
  • 7000 (Annen driftskostnad) - operating costs: advertising costs, business trips, etc.,,
  • 8000 (Finansinntekter og - kostnader, periodens resultat) - financial income and expenses: interest on loans, financial result for the year, etc.
[Infographics] [ACCOUNTING ACCOUNTS 1000 (Eiendeler) - company assets 2000 (Gjeld og Egenkapital) - debt, equity 3000 (Inntekter) - revenue 4000 (Varekjøp) - purchase 5000 (Lønnsutgifter) - employees 6000 (Annen driftskostnad) - operating costs I 7000 (Annen driftskostnad) - operating costs II 8000 (Finansinntekter og kostnader, periodens resultat) - financial income and expenses]
It is important to correctly match the business event to the relevant accounting account, as at the end of the accounting year the account balances are entered in the annual tax return.
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AUDIT OBLIGATION

Detailed information on the obligation of external audit of annual reports can be found in the Norwegian Act on Auditors - Revisorloven.

In principle, all AS companies in Norway are subject to the audit obligation, but a company may be exempted from the obligation if it meets certain conditions:
  • there is an entry in the founding documents that the auditor is waived,
  • the company's turnover does not exceed NOK 6 000,000,
  • the company's balance sheet total exceeds NOK 23 000,000,
  • there are less than ten employees in the company (full time).
[Infographic] [COMPANY AS - RESIGNATION FROM AUDITING Auditor's exemption Turnover < NOK 6 000 000 Balance sheet total < NOK 23 000 000 Employees (full-time) < 10]

The audit obligation does not apply to sole proprietorships in Norway, however, if a company has a turnover of more than NOK 5 000 000 and a balance sheet total of more than NOK 20 000 000 or has more than 20 employees (full-time) - an audit obligation for a sole proprietorship (ENK) arises.

The audit obligation applies to subsidiaries of foreign companies that pay income tax in Norway and have a turnover of more than NOK 5 000 000.
NUF → TURNOVER > NOK 5 000 000 → AUDIT
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HIRING EMPLOYEES

Hiring employees is sometimes necessary, but it is important to bear in mind the associated responsibilities and costs - fixed and variable.

Fixed costs amount to a total of 26.3% on the gross salary amount:

  • employment levy (14.1% on gross salary),
  • pension insurance (2% on gross salary),
  • ferienpenger (10.2% on gross salary - employees up to 60 years of age, 12.5% on gross salary - employees over 60 years of age).

Variable costs are approximately 5% of gross salary, among others:

  • sick pay,
  • employee training,
  • working clothes.
[Infographic] [EMPLOYEE IN THE COMPANY FIXED COSTS 26,3% ↓ employment fee ↓ pension insurance ↓ feriepenger VARIABLE COSTS 5% ↓ sickness benefit ↓ training ↓ work clothes]

An entrepreneur who intends to employ an employee should:

  • make an entry in the Aa- register et (on the Samordnet registermelding del 1(BR-1010B), mark JA under 3.3 and send it to BRØNNØYSUNDREGISTRENE),
  • open a bank account (Skattetrekkskonto) that will be used to secure advance income tax payments for the employee,
  • sign a contract with the employee (in duplicate on paper - this may be in two languages; the rates in the contract may not be less than those set by the NAV office - it is worth monitoring these rates as they change every year),
  • notify the employee to NAV (notification is made on form A-melding, this must be done by Friday of the week following the signing of the contract),
  • pay compulsory pension insurance (OTP - Obligatorisk tjenestepensjon: for each employee with at least 3/4 time employment; this contribution is a minimum of 2% of the salary and is an employer expense - it is not deducted from the employee's paycheck),
  • the employee is obliged to provide a Skattekort (otherwise a 50% advance on income tax may be charged) and a personal and bank account number (Norwegian law does not provide for payment in cash).
[Infographic] [EMPLOYEE EMPLOYMENT IN COMPANY entry in AA-REGISTER ET skattetrekkakonto contract declaration to NAV OTP insurance].

In addition, each employer is obliged to provide employees with the necessary training - depending on the nature and scope of the business - health and safety training, work clothing and identification badges - Byggekort or Renholdskort.

Documents related to the employment of employees:

  1. A-melding (the company is obliged to inform the authority of the employment status and payments - this must be done by the 5th of the following month),
  2. Lønnslipp (document showing gross salary, net salary and advance income tax),
  3. Sammenstillingsoppgave (information on income and income tax advances given to employees by 31 January of the following year),
  4. Timeliste (a printout showing the employee's working hours for the month - wages are paid on this basis if the employer accounts for working hours).
The employment of employees entails the payment of the indicated taxes:
  1. Arbeidsgiveravgift (employer's tax - the rate depends on zone membership),
  2. Forskuddstrekk (advance payment of the employee's income tax).

The employer is obliged to pay employment taxes by:

  • by 15 March (for January, February),
  • by 15 May (for March, April),
  • by 15 July (for May, June),
  • by 15 September (for July, August),
  • by 15 November (for September, October),
  • by 15 January (for November, December).
The foreign employee should have a personal number and a Skattekort - once the contract is signed, the employee should submit a corresponding application to the tax office. If the person is from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) he/she should have a valid residence permit in Norway.
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SAFETY AT WORK

Occupational safety is particularly important when a company has employees - it is the entrepreneur's responsibility to ensure proper working conditions. Proper attention to safety is ensured by completing basic health and safety training (HMS training).
According to the Norwegian Labour Code, it is mandatory to complete a health and safety course:
  • the owner of the company (when he/she employs at least one employee),
  • the owner of the company (when subcontracting tasks),
  • the manager (daglig leder - responsible for the safety and health of employees).

One-person companies are exempt from the obligation to conduct a health and safety course.
Some companies, due to the nature of the work, require special industry cards (badges) established in Norway - this includes cleaning services or construction work.

Norwegian law regulates 168 professions (list of professions) - people setting up a business that requires a permit should have a certificate proving the relevant qualifications (this applies to the medical industry, lawyers, accountants, drivers and massage therapists, among others).

The only institution that has the right to issue a Byggekort badge (for employees of construction companies) or Renholdskort (for employees of authorised cleaning companies) is Idemia Norway AS (in previous years it was Oberthur Technologies) (www.byggekort.no, www.renholdskort.no). The badges are valid for two years from the date of issue, and the cost of making the badges is always borne by the employer - a change of employment means that a new badge must be made.

[Infographics] [EVERY ID badge SHOULD HAVE THIS INFORMATION ON IT: company name organisation number (organisasjonsnummer) expiry date details of the owner of the badge (name, surname, date of birth, sex, signature) data of the issuing person (name, surname, address)]

Deadlines for submission of industry documents:

  • Renholdskort (immediately after registration of the company - owner, immediately after employment - employee),
  • Byggekort (immediately after registration of the company - owner, immediately after employment - employee).
Companies dealing with foodstuffs, animals or cosmetics should have a permit from Mattilsynet.
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IMPORT AND EXPORT

All Norwegian and foreign companies and sole proprietorships that resell goods or have at least five employees are required to register with Foretaksregisteret - the Norwegian Register of Enterprises.
The exchange of goods between Poland and Norway is possible due to Norway's membership of the EEA, the European Economic Area.

For companies listed in the VAT register, the import of goods and services to Norway is exempt from VAT - however, the obligation to report goods and services from abroad in the tax return remains.

Specific goods are assigned customs rates and tariffs and are exempt from these duties and customs. The duty rates are set by the Norwegian Customs Service (www.toll.no).

The SAD contains all information about the goods - you must present it at the Norwegian border. The SAD is prepared by customs agencies that have up-to-date information on customs procedures and applicable fees. The SAD should be accompanied by an invoice for the purchase of the goods, because if an invoice with VAT is issued, the trader must send a confirmation of export of the goods and ask for the invoice to be corrected.

Sometimes customs procedures are completed by shipping companies and the buyer has access to a copy of the customs declaration through the portal Altinn.no.
Imported goods should be credited to account 4001 (purchase of goods from abroad). Purchases below NOK 350 (including insurance and transport) are not subject to import declaration.

The MVA tax on imports is 25 per cent and 15 per cent - the following are not taxable:

  • electric cars,
  • ships and their parts,
  • electric windmills (energy sources), etc.

It is possible to export goods abroad when the export requirements are met:

  • one has an invoice,
  • the goods are declared on the export declaration,
  • you have an export certificate for the goods (attest for utførsel).
The export of services is exempt from VAT when the service is wholly intended for consumption abroad - otherwise the part of the service intended for use in Norway should be taxed accordingly.

Exchangeable services that are delivered electronically are also exempt from VAT - this includes advertising services, consulting services or legal services.

[Infographics] [Depending on the type of goods, their export may require the following authorisations: medicines (www.legemiddelverket.no) arms (www.politi.no) food / food supplements (www.mattilsynet.no) alcohols seedlings (www.mattilsynet.no)]

Sales of exported goods or services are recorded in account 3100.
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COMPANY RECORD KEEPING

The retention time for documents related to the business conducted in Norway depends on their type and is 3.5 or 5 years from the closing date of the relevant accounting year.
Company documents should be stored in an archive located directly in the company or in a storage company (the storage entity is obliged to make the documents available in case of, for example, an inspection from the authorities).

At the end of the company's bankruptcy procedure, the trustee in charge of the case decides what should be done with the documents - it is the trustee who decides whether the documents should be destroyed or given to authorised persons.

Keeping documents in designated binders is helpful in maintaining clarity - it is worth creating special tabs, e.g. account statements, cost invoices or income invoices - in the event of an audit or the need to check information, such a solution will make the whole process much easier and faster. When hiring employees, you can separate a binder for employee documents - sick leave, employment contracts, etc.

Documentation is divided into:
  • primary,
  • secondary.
[Infographics] [COMPANY DOCUMENTATION PRIMARY annual declarations cost documents vat declarations revenue documents register of accounts specifications balance sheets staff documents CONTINUING correspondence concerning accounts contracts stock documents]

Primary documentation - i.e., inter alia, annual declarations, cost documents, register of accounts, VAT declarations, revenue documents, personnel documents, balance sheets, letters from the auditor, fixed asset specifications, accounts payable specifications - should be retained for 5 years from the closing of the accounting year.

Secondary documentation, i.e. any contracts, stock records, correspondence relating to accounting - should be kept for 3.5 years from the closing of the accounting year.

Depending on the type of business, documents such as customs declarations, loan documentation, accounting records should be kept for between 5 and 15 years.
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FAQ

I NORWEGIAN PORTALS AND OFFICES

What is Altinn?
Altinn is a digital administration platform that provides a tool for dealing with many formalities. It is possible to access most Norwegian offices on the portal. Altinn is a great alternative for people who do not have time to go to an office in person to visit an office.
What is altinn.no used for?
Through the altinn.no portal, you can handle many official matters. You can send electronic applications to Sktteetaten and other state institutions. You can also submit MVA declarations, tax returns, send electronic applications, store data and much more.
How do I create an account on altinn.no?
On the website, select register ny bruker, set your login password, email and phone number. It is important to provide a valid phone number so that you can log in if you forget your password.
Is it possible to recover or change the password to altinn.no?
In such a situation it is best to contact the lawyers of the portal by phone (75 00 60 00) or e-mail (support@altinn.no).
What can I do if my access to altinn.no has been blocked?
When you log in to altinn.no and select MinID, you need to click on the glemt passord and enter your personal number. A temporary password to unlock your account will be sent to your phone number or e-mail address, which is why it is important to provide the correct details during registration. You should be able to choose a new password within a few minutes.
Is it possible to reply electronically to a letter received from the office?
Yes, via altinn.no.
How do I correct my MVA declaration?
Once you have registered on altinn.no, you need to find the VAT form (RF-0002), select the period to which the correction relates and then click on korrigert oppgave -> neste, correct the incorrectly entered amounts and provide an explanation for the correction. The electronically signed form can be sent.
What are MinID codes?
MinID codes are used to get things done on altinn.no.
How do I order MinID codes?
MinID codes can be ordered via altinn.no. After logging in, select the MinID tab, then bestill PIN-code, enter your personal number and click bekreft. Within 3-5 days the codes will be delivered to us by post.
How do I register with NAV?
This can be done in person, by post or electronically.
Can I only register with NAV when I lose my job?
If you know that your employment contract will not be renewed, you can register with NAV three weeks before the end of your contract.
When should I register on udi.no?
The obligation to register on udi.no comes with employment.
How do I register with Enhetsregisteret?
By completing the Samordnet registermelding form (BR-1010) on altinn.no or in paper form.
Is it possible to receive correspondence from the office electronically?
Yes, this is possible upon prior notification.
How do I make a request to receive official correspondence electronically?
You should log on to altinn.no and fill in form RF-1299. This service is called e-bruker.
Where can I find the address of the relevant tax office?
The addresses of the offices are available at: http://www.skatteetaten.no/no/Om-skatteetaten/Kontakt-oss/Kontor/. Enter the name of the city in which you are looking for the tax office in the search engine.
Where can I find the list of fees for amendments to the foretaksregisteret?
A list of all fees is available at: https://www.brreg.no/bedrift/gebyr/.

II OWNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS IN NORWAY

Do I need to register to run a business in Norway?
While staying in Norway for more than 3 months, everyone is required to register. At the same time, it is important to note that a business established in Norway must have a Norwegian address.
What documents do I need to complete when changing my business name?
The same as when you set up your business.
Is it possible to reply electronically to a letter received in connection with registration of a sole proprietorship as a VAT payer?
Yes, once all the conditions are met, this can be done via altinn.no
If I want to transfer my business from Poland to Norway, do I need to translate all documents into Norwegian?
Documents, such as an extract from the register of economic activity (KRS or entry in CEIDG) confirming the company's data, must be translated into Norwegian or English.
What is the RVO and why do construction company owners have to pay it?
RVO is an institution that controls construction companies. The payment of the obligatory fee for its things is intended to improve work safety on construction sites and to inform companies about the applicable regulations.
How is the RVO calculated and what does it depend on?
The lowest amount that can be paid is NOK 250. The amount increases depending on the number of people employed in the company - the owner of the company must pay 0.03% of the gross wages of the people employed by him to the RVO (if the owner also works on the construction site, his wages are also included in the fee). It is important to note that the calculation only applies to people working directly on the construction site, it does not apply, for example, to people working in the company's administration department.
Does it make a difference whether materials are paid for from a company or private account?
Yes, it does. A maximum of NOK 10 000 per year can be purchased from a private account with the same contractor. Only then will you be able to deduct this expense as a business expense.
What is Kjørebok?
It is a 'driver's log book' that must be kept for the purpose of being able to make payments from the company account for petrol for a car that is not registered to the company. The maximum amount per year is 6,000 km * NOK 3.50 per kilometre.
Can phone charges be included in business expenses?
Yes, if it is a company-issued phone then it can be charged as a business expense.
How do I remind defaulting customers of their payments?
The first step is to send a purring or reminder to the customer if payment is not made within two weeks of the invoice being issued. Up to NOK 70 can be added to such a reminder as a penalty fee - the deadline for repayment is 14 days. The next step is Inkassovarsel, which works on the same principle. The final step is to use the services of a debt collection company, which adds its own fee and percentage.
Does a Polish company have to report the signing of an assignment contract in Norway?
If the remuneration for the contract is less than NOK 10 000, there is no need to report the assignment anywhere. If the turnover of a Polish company exceeds the threshold of NOK 50 000 within 12 months, the company should either establish a branch in Norway or set up a Norwegian company. At the same time, it is the principal's responsibility to inform the authorities about the contractor and employees. The contractor, on the other hand, should report its employees to the tax office using form RF-1199 within 14 days of the start of the work.
Does the spouse involved in the running of the company have to be employed by the company?
He or she does not have to, but it should be borne in mind that money withdrawn by the wife from the company account will not be treated as a business expense by the tax office and will be shown as private in the company's books. The company's profit or loss is then shared between the spouses and the annual tax return will take this into account.
How do I complete form RF-1030 Skattemelding for formues - og inntektsskatt - personlig næringsdrivende when submitting the annual tax return for a sole proprietorship?
This form is for company income. If you are running a sole proprietorship, you can document your income when you select RF-1175 Naeringsoppgave 1 and complete the boxes for income and individual expenses.
How can fixed assets (e.g. machinery necessary for the operation of the company) be accepted as equity instead of crowns?
If the equipment is appraised at market value and this is confirmed by an auditor, it can replace an equity contribution in the form of cash.
Is it possible to change my business address free of charge?
No, if you change your business address via altinn.no, you will have to pay a fee of 2 265 kroner or 2 832 NOK

if you submit the application in paper form. Data changes are only free of charge if the company is only listed in Enhetsregisteret.
How much equity capital do I need to bring with me when opening my own business?
The amount is NOK 30,000.
Above what amount does the company have to be registered for VAT?
Above the amount of 50 000 kroner, if this amount is reached within 12 months of starting the business.
Is it required to use a special accounting programme when running a sole proprietorship?
No, there are no such requirements.
Operating what industry requires the business owner to obtain special licences and permits?
Special permits and licences must be obtained when carrying out activities related to:
• treating people,
• physiotherapy,
• accounting,
• auditing,
• law,
• brokerage,
• real estate brokerage.

In addition, travel agencies must have bank and insurance guarantees, and catering companies, restaurants and cafés must be authorised by the relevant municipality. Special approval must be granted by Mattilsynet, the Norwegian Food Safety Agency. Construction companies must obtain a byggekort from the Norwegian Labour Inspectorate, and all transport activities must be approved by issuing the relevant licence.
How long should accounting documents be archived?
Financial statements and reports must be archived for 5 years, time cards and employee records for 3.5 years. More information can be found in the accounting legislation: Accounting Act, Bookkeeping Act and Tax Act.

III REQUIRED PERMITS FOR COMPANIES

How do you find out whether a company that needs an operating permit (e.g. a cleaning company) can already start providing services?
By means of the company's organisational number, which must be entered on the Arbeidstilsynet portal (http://www.arbeidstilsynet.no/). In the column labelled 'status', check whether the word godkjent appears. If so, this means that the company has received the relevant permits.
What documents are required to open a bank account?
A passport and a document with a personal number (Utskrift av D-nummer or Melding om flytting til Norge).
What conditions must be met in order for a company to do business legally in various industries?
You must submit the application that you submitted when you opened your business and select the option 'update company data'. The company's industries in which it is to operate must be entered in the appropriate space (scope of activities).
Can one company provide different types of services?
Yes, provided that the types of industries are entered in the scope of activity.
Can I carry out construction work for a Norwegian company without a green card?
Without a green card you cannot take on any building contracts in Norway. All companies that carry out construction work in Norway must obtain a green card or byggekort for their employees, which can be obtained from Oberthur Technologies.
When running a business in Norway, can you only employ staff when you have an assignment?
In Norway, only employment agencies and employers have the right to take on temporary employees in certain situations:
• employment for seasonal work,
• employment for work of a different nature than usual company tasks,
• employment as a trainee or replacement employee,
• employment by an employment office or in connection with labour market programmes,
• employment of a sports coach or referee,
• employment in connection with a sporting, artistic or research activity.
What do I need in order to apply for a loan in Norway?
You need a personal number, an indefinite employment contract signed min. 6 months in advance and an own contribution of between 15 and 30 per cent.
If I run a company in Norway and pay tax here, can I count on medical assistance in other EU countries?
Medical care is available in all EU countries, the EEA and Switzerland. You must bring proof of your entitlement to this care. This may be the European Health Insurance Card (europeisk helsetrygdkort in Poland known as EKUZ), form E-106 or E-109.

IV ISSUING INVOICES

How long after registration can I start issuing invoices?
You can start issuing invoices as soon as you receive confirmation of registration from the authority, as this document contains the Norwegian company organisation number, which must appear on every invoice issued. In addition to this, you will need a company account with a bank.
What do I need to do to be able to issue invoices?
To be able to issue invoices in Norway, you will need an Organisasjonsnummer, which is the registration number under which the company can be found at Brønnøysundregistret - without these formalities you cannot issue an invoice.
What can you do if you issue an incorrect invoice?
You must issue a correcting note, known as a kreditnote.
How are subsequent invoices numbered? Do the customer numbers change?
Invoice numbers must be continued even after the start of the new year, where f is the number of the last invoice in the previous year and f+1 is the invoice in the new year. The customer numbers do not change.
How are invoices for materials purchased for the company recorded?
Operations made through the company account are recorded automatically in the accounting software. Therefore, it is safer to make payments from the company account rather than from the private account, especially as the tax office pays special attention to expenses incurred from the company account during audits.
How do I book a revenue invoice?
  DEBET   CREDIT
ACCOUNT NO. AMOUNT ACCOUNT NO. AMOUNT
4000 net 2400 gross
2710 VAT
2400 gross 1920 payment of the invoice if paid from a company account
2400 gross 2060 payment of the invoice, if the payment is made from a company account

  DEBET   CREDIT
ACCOUNT NO. AMOUNT ACCOUNT NO. AMOUNT
3000 net 1500 gross
2710 VAT
1500 gross 1920 Receipt on account
1500 gross 2600 paid in cash
How do you book an invoice from a subcontractor of an assignment?
  DEBET   CREDIT
ACCOUNT NO. AMOUNT ACCOUNT NO. AMOUNT
4500 net 2400 gross
2710 VAT
2400 payment of invoice from company account 1920 payment of an invoice from a company account
How do I book the costs associated with the company account?
These costs should be booked on the debit side of account number 7770.
What is a Kreditnota?
This is another way of correcting an invoice.
What is a zero invoice?
It is an invoice without VAT. It is a good idea to get one when importing goods to Norway, as it means that you do not have to pay VAT on the imported products.
What elements should be on the invoice?
In order for an invoice to be considered genuine, it must contain:
• the invoice number at the top of the document.
• the organisational number of the company selling the product or service. This number consists of nine digits and VAT payers should add the abbreviation MVA at the end of the number (this is very important).
• date of issue of the invoice.
• date of payment of the invoice.
• details of the seller.
• Buyer's details.
• Bank account number.
• description of the service or goods.
• amount to be paid.
Are bank charges incurred in connection with the maintenance of a business account and the transactions made on it a business expense?
Such fees are an expense for the company and can be booked.
How should interest income accrued by the bank on funds held in a company account be booked?
Interest on funds in a company account is usually charged by the bank on the last day of the year and is booked on the credit side of account no. 8040.

V CALCULATING NORWEGIAN TAX

Who must have a tax identification number?
You must have this number (Organisasjonsnummer) if you are an entrepreneur doing business in Norway and also if you employ people working in Norway.
What is a tax identification number useful for?
You will need your tax identification number to identify yourself as a corporate entity, pay tax deductions, insurance premiums and VAT. It is also necessary when dealing with banks and financial institutions.
Are revenue invoices sufficient for calculating VAT?
No, because VAT is also paid on the basis of the costs incurred for the business.
How can I obtain a tax identification number?
In order to obtain such a number, you must register your business with the Enhetsregisteret.
What is a likningsverdi?
Likningsverdi is another word for tax value, which is calculated on the basis of Skatteetaten publications.
Can the purchase of a flat be included as a business expense?
No, because it is not a business expense. You can, however, deduct the interest on the loan on your private return.
What is the function of a resident?
A resident is an individual who has a permanent personal number or a Norwegian company. He/she becomes a VAT representative and is responsible for calculating and paying tax on behalf of a Polish entrepreneur cooperating with a Norwegian company.
How do I recover VAT in Norway for goods paid for and imported from Poland?
In order to reclaim the tax you have paid, you should contact the seller who issues an invoice that does not include Polish VAT and send him documents confirming that the goods were imported to Norway. After the correction, the seller should return the value of the VAT to the purchaser. At the same time, the buyer must pay the MVA, i.e. the Norwegian value added tax, on entry to Norway. When preparing the VAT return in Norway, the amount of tax paid at the border should be included, which will reduce the amount of output tax to be paid.
What is output tax?
This is a tax calculated on the value of goods and services sold, which must be paid to the tax authorities.
Can I seek to recover VAT on goods purchased before my business was registered for VAT?
Yes, but you must inform the office that you wish to reclaim VAT from the period before you registered your business as an MVA and you should do this as soon as possible after you have registered your business with the VAT Registry (MVA).
For what purpose is the abbreviation MVA used on invoices?
MVA is an abbreviation for Mervediavgift, which stands for goods and services tax, or VAT. Colloquially known as 'moms'. This abbreviation and the organisational number of the seller on the invoice allows the buyer to deduct the VAT charged.
How often should VAT be accounted for?
Companies with a high turnover must submit a VAT return every two months, on the basis of which settlement is made. Companies with an annual turnover of less than SEK 1 million may, upon application, submit a VAT return once a year per year.
How can you register your company for VAT at Skatteetaten?
You can do this in person, send the application by post or submit it electronically via altinn.no - this can only be done with a special login code.
How do I recover VAT for materials purchased before the company was entered in the VAT register?
After making such a request to the office, the entrepreneur will be sent a form in which the expenses incurred at that time will have to be indicated. Attached invoices and receipts will be proof of the expenses incurred. Once the documents have been completed and the receipts prepared, an additional VAT return must be sent to the office for the period prior to the registration of the company as a VAT payer.
What should I do if I am charged too much VAT?
In the event that the office questions our accounts, it is necessary to re-check the completed tax returns and, once they have been audited, to submit a letter of appeal against the decision of the office.
What happens if we do not submit our tax return?
In this situation, the office is entitled to calculate the tax according to its own documentation. This is often higher than the minimum necessary.
How do I calculate the amount of VAT to be paid?
The amount of VAT payable resulting from the VAT return is calculated by subtracting the amount of VAT from the cost invoices from the sum of VAT from the sales invoices. For example: in February, the company purchased goods for which it paid a total of NOK 25 000 gross (i.e. NOK 20 000 net + NOK 5 000 VAT). The company issued two invoices to the customer in April for a total of NOK 40,000 gross (i.e. NOK 32 000 net + NOK 8 000 VAT), i.e. the amounts from the example will appear in the VAT return for the 1st term: NOK 8 000 (i.e. sum of VAT from revenues) - NOK 5 000 (i.e. sum of VAT from expenses) = NOK 3 000 The company should pay to the authority the amount of VAT of NOK 3 000.
How much time does the company have to settle the underpayment due to paying too little income tax in the previous year?
The difference must be paid by the end of May (to avoid interest) or by the deadline set by the office. If the amount exceeds NOK 1 000, it can be divided into two instalments.
How do I submit my VAT return online?
When you log on to altinn.no, you will find form RF-0002, select hovedoppgave, and choose the period for which you want to submit the return. Enter the revenue without VAT (it will be automatically calculated) and enter the total VAT paid for goods and services at the appropriate rate (10%, 15% or 25%) in the costs. Once this information has been completed, the software will calculate the amount of tax to be paid in the field avgift a betale or to be refunded in the field til gode.
How do I calculate the approximate value of my income tax in such a way as to avoid a high underpayment?
The easiest way is to use the calculator available on the Norwegian Tax Administration's server. By entering information such as marital status and length of employment in Norway, income from business, employment and spouse's income, selecting the tax allowances you are entitled to and the amount of advance tax payment (Betalt Skatt), you can calculate the approximate amount of tax to be paid (rest skatt) or refunded (til gode).
Is it possible for a one-person company to declare advance tax payments?
Yes, you can do this by letter, in person or electronically. The manner in which you do this depends on whether you have previously registered with the tax authorities.
How do I apply for advance income tax payments?
This can be done in two ways. If your one-person business is your first employment in Norway, you will need to submit a completed form RF-1102 in person or by post to your local tax office. If you have previously registered with the tax office (e.g. in connection with a job), you will need to log in to the tax office's website. Then, using the MinID codes, complete the electronic form Søknad om endring av eller krav om skattekort/forskuddsskatt.
What should I do if I am charged too much advance income tax?
Once you have received the decision with the amount to be paid, you should submit an appeal via form RF-1102. The method of submission is the same as above: if you are a first-time employee, you should do it in person or by post, if you have an account on altinn.no you can do it electronically.
What is the percentage on overpayment of tax?
Overpayment of tax in Norway carries an interest rate of 1.08%.
Over what period of time will reaching 50 000 kroner of turnover mean that a company must be entered in the VAT register?
In a period of twelve consecutive months.
By what date should I receive the Skatteoppgjøret?
By 25 June, 6 August or 15 October.
Can the Skatteoppgjøret be received electronically?
Yes, if you have selected in advance when submitting your return to altinn.no that the Skatteoppgjøret should be sent electronically (e-bruker service). Then, when you log in to altinn.no to your account, it will be possible to find the return from the office there.

VI NORWEGIAN BENEFITS

What is the insurance situation in Norway? Do I have to pay any contributions?
Compulsory health insurance is included in the tax (11.4%) - by paying advance income tax, the business owner becomes a member of the Norwegian social insurance scheme, folketrygden. It is also possible to take out additional private insurance.
How is sickness benefit calculated in Norway?
If you pay the standard health care contribution (11.4%), you will be paid 65% of your income from the 17th day of illness. If you pay 1.9% on top of the 11.4% contribution, the benefit will be paid from day 1 at 65%; if you pay 2.6%, the benefit will be paid at 100% from day 17 of illness; if you pay 9.5%, the benefit will be paid at 100% from day 1 of illness.
What documents are needed to receive child benefit for a child born in Poland?
You will need a document from your country confirming paternity (birth certificate), an employment contract, a document with an assigned personal number and a completed child benefit application form from NAV.
Is a man working in Norway and expecting a child in Poland entitled to a 'paternity'?
Not if your wife has not earned maternity pay in Norway.
What is the amount of maternity pay?
A special form and form completed by your employer will show information about your income - usually the amount of maternity pay is the amount entered by your employer.
What is dagpenger?
Dagpener is another word for unemployment benefit.
What documents do I need to receive dagpenger?
You will need a completed application for the benefit, your permit, your employment contract, your notice of termination and a document from NAV about the reason for your dismissal from your employer.
When can I register as unemployed?
One month after losing your job.
When is unemployment benefit stopped?
Benefits are withheld if you work for more than 50% (or 60% in the case of those temporarily laid off) of your normal hours for a minimum of 6 weeks.
What do I do if I receive sick leave while on sickness benefit?
Sick leave must be sent to NAV if you do not want to lose your benefit. Once you have recovered, you must register with the authorities as unemployed.
How much is the unemployment benefit?
The unemployment benefit is 62.4% of your current income.
How much is the amount of family allowance?
After deduction of tax, the amount of child benefit is NOK 970.
Can I continue to run my business and issue invoices while on parental leave (fedrekvote)?
No, the same as during sickness benefit.

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