Reporting obligations for Norwegian registered foreign businesses

Last updated: 25 January 2018 .

Norwegian registered foreign businesses (NUF) that operate or participate in activities in Norway or on the Norwegian continental shelf, and are subject to Norwegian taxation in accordance with internal Norwegian legislation, are obliged to submit annual accounts.

An NUF which operates business in Norway has the right and the obligation to register in The Register of Business Enterprises. The Register of Company Accounts assumes that an NUF which is registered in the Register of Business Enterprises is bound to maintain accounting records and is obliged to submit annual accounts to the Register of Company Accounts. The obligation to submit accounts applies until the company is struck off from the Register of Business Enterprises.

NUF companies legally bound to report accounting records must submit annual accounts containing:

  • note disclosure
  • annual report (does not apply to small businesses)
  • auditor’s report

According to The Auditors Act there are some exceptions where entities do not have to submit the auditor’s report.

Which accounts do I submit?

You submit the accounts for the Norwegian branch. If the foreign main entity is legally bound to report accounting records in its country of origin, you have to submit these accounts as well. If so, you fill in the accounts for the foreign main entity in the attachment form and add the Norwegian accounts as a separate attachment.

The registered contact person has sufficient access to submit the annual accounts in Altinn.

NUF companies are not legally bound to report accounts if the company within the accounting year

  • has had no business activity
  • has no tax obligations according to Norwegian internal law
  • has had a turnover of less than NOK 5 million, and has a temporary business in Norway

Exemption from tax obligations based on tax agreement is not the same as an exemption based on Norwegian internal law.

If NUF companies which are registered in the Register of Business Enterprises are not legally bound to report annual accounts, you have to notify the Register of Company Accounts each accounting year in writing through the contact form.

Special rules for the reporting of annual accounts

Norwegian registered foreign business enterprises (NUF) which are legally bound to submit annual accounts1, must submit one copy of the annual accounts, the annual report, the auditor’s report of the company to which the branch belongs, in the same state which these documents are made, revised and publicized following the legislation in the homeland.

A complete set of the annual accounts must be submitted at the same time as being publicized in the homeland based on native legislation. The submission must contain information about when the accounts were settled, and when they are going to be made public based on native legislation. The documents must be drawn up in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish or English2.

Entities which are legally bound to maintain accounting records must draw up annual accounts and annual report according to regulations in the Accounting Act3. For Norwegian registered foreign business enterprises accounting obligations will normally involve submittal of special accounts for the branch meeting the requirements of the Accounting Act, comprising the activity in Norway exclusively, in addition to accounts which are created, revised and publicized following the legislation in the homeland. The Accounting Act is based on principles. This implies that if the documents which are made, revised and publicized following the legislation in the homeland of the NUF comprise the activity in the Norwegian branch exclusively and follow the requirements pursuant to Norwegian legislation, the submittal of these documents will be sufficient to comply with the company’s accounting and auditing duties in Norway. This might be the case if the company as a whole has activity in Norway exclusively, and the homeland legislation allows the compilation of accounts meeting the requirements of the Norwegian Accounting Act. If so, notification about this must be added to the annual accounts. Companies with activity in Norway and abroad will normally have to create special accounts for the branch, irrespective of whether the accounts for the company as a whole is created pursuant to the Accounting Act.
In order for the annual accounts created, revised and publicized following the legislation in the homeland of the main company to meet the requirements of the Accounting Act, it must be stated in the notes of the annual account that it is created pursuant to the principles of the Accounting Act and Norwegian generally accepted accounting principles4. For the auditor’s report in the annual accounts of the main company, based on auditing complying with legislation in the homeland, to meet the requirements of the Auditors Act, it has to meet the requirements of the Auditors Act sections 5-6, including a separate statement from the auditor regarding:

  • the annual accounts being created and set pursuant to Norwegian law and regulations
  • the company management having met its obligation pursuant to the Bookkeeping Act and regulations set according to the Bookkeeping Act to make sure that the registration and documentation of accounting information is done properly and in a tidy manner.
  • The information in the annual report, the conditions for continued activity and suggestions for the use of profits or the covering of loss being in correspondence with Norwegian law and regulations, as well as being in correspondence with the annual accounts5.

For the submission of these documents to be sufficient to meet the accounting and auditing obligations of the NUF in Norway, the submission of a separate annual account for the branch, an annual report for the branch and the auditor’s report for the activity of the Norwegian branch must not be necessary. The agency which pursuant to the regulations of the homeland works out the annual accounts is responsible for making sure the documents meet the requirements of Norwegian law and regulations. In addition, companies with auditing obligations will have to include in its auditor’s report a confirmation stating that the submitted documents meet the obligations pursuant to Norwegian law and regulations.

The Auditors Act does not in any way prevent any branch accounts being audited by the same auditor who performs the audit of the company accounts, provided that this auditor is allowed to do auditing in Norway. When auditing the accounts of the branch the auditor will have to carry out the work connected to auditing which is necessary in order to provide an auditors report meeting the requirements of the Auditors Act section 5-6. If the auditor through the work with auditing the company’s accounts pursuant to the legislation of the homeland can state with certainty the aspects required by the Auditors Act sections 5-6. If the auditor through the work with auditing the company’s accounts pursuant to the legislation of the homeland can state with certainty the aspects required by the Auditors Act sections 5-6, the auditor is not obliged to perform further auditing tasks as a part of the audit of the branch accounts.

1. Cf. the Accounting Act sections 1-2 first paragraph no. 13.
2. Cf. the Accounting Act sections 8-2 second paragraph.
3. Cf. the Accounting Act sections 3-1 first paragraph.
4. Cf. the Accounting Act sections 7-2.
5. Cf. the Auditors Act sections 5-6 fourth paragraph.