The Register of Business Enterprises

The Register of Business Enterprises is responsible for registering all Norwegian and foreign business enterprises in Norway. The register shall ensure legal protection of business names and provide a financial overview of a business enterprise. It is also an important source of information for anyone in need of correct information about participants in Norwegian business and industry. The Register of Business Enterprises has continued the functions of the approximately 100 former local trade registers.

All enterprises operating business activities - both those with unlimited as well as limited responsibilities - are obliged to register with the Register of Business Enterprises. This also applies to sole proprietorships operating a trade with purchased goods or which employ more than five persons in primary positions. Other sole proprietorships may register on a voluntary basis.

Registration in the Register of Business Enterprises provides a business enterprise with:

  • The right to operate a business enterprise
  • Legal protection of the business name
  • A certificate of registration as identification for lenders, legal registration authorities, and customs and excise authorities
  • A business enterprise organization number as important identification to authorities and for coordinating private and public business registers
  • Identification of the executives of a business enterprise

One of the most important objectives of the Register of Business Enterprises is to establish beyond doubt who is responsible for what in a business enterprise. The members of the board, the general manager and the auditor must sign to prove that they have assumed these responsibilities. If any changes are made to the distribution of duties in a business enterprise, these must be promptly reported to the Register of Business Enterprises for registration. If the business enterprise neglects to do so, it will be ordered to rectify the situation. Thus the Register of Business Enterprises will always be able to supply up-to-date information about who holds the various positions in a business enterprise, changes to share capital, whether a business enterprise has been sent to the bankruptcy court for enforced dissolution or is undergoing liquidation proceedings, and a number of other matters.

Most information in the Register of Business Enterprises is available to the general public, making it an important source of information for those who require reliable facts and key information about a business enterprise.

The Register of Business Enterprises can also supply other information about a business enterprise, for example copies of memorandums of association and articles of association. Moreover, it is possible to provide information from the historical archives that contain documents from the former trade registers.