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Norway

Services

Updated 10/2012

Legal requirements

The Services Act (Services Directive) was introduced in Norway on 28 December 2009, with the aim of making it easier to establish service activities and provide cross-border services, while maintaining a higher quality level in the services and general aspects.

Some areas the Act does not cover are:

  • supply of workers from temporary staffing agencies
  • a number of social services
  • healthcare services
  • financial services
  • transport services
  • gaming
  • private security services
  • postal services

Other acts that may apply are:

Consumer rights relating to the purchase of services

The rights of consumers purchasing services are regulated by several acts and regulations. This regulatory framework is supervised by the Consumer Council, which is an interest group representing Norwegian consumers. The Consumer Council helps consumers with things like complaints and information on purchases, and draws up consumer policy proposals to ensure that authorities and industry offer consumers better conditions.

The labour market

The Central Office for Foreign Tax Affairs (Norwegian: SFU) assesses foreign businesses and their foreign employees working in Norway or on the Norwegian continental shelf.

When a foreign company wants to take on a contract in Norway, its employees have to notified to the Central Office for Foreign Tax Affairs.

Most jobs in Norway do not require specific recognition of foreign qualifications, but there are some professions that demand authorisation. The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) can provide information on higher education abroad and the system for recognising these qualifications in Norway.

 

Administrative procedures

Points of contact

Altinn contains help on the regulations, licensing and authorisation requirements and the necessary reporting forms. Most forms can be submitted electronically via the portal.

Notification

In order to provide services in Norway, an enterprise generally has to be listed in the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities and possibly the Register of Business Enterprises. If the service is VAT-liable, the enterprise has to apply to the VAT Register. The registration requirement is the same whether you are providing services or supplying goods.

For some services, however, a permit or authorisation is also required.

There is no separate VAT number in Norway. The organisation number suffixed with the letters MVA (VAT) indicates that the enterprise is entered in the VAT Register. Only enterprises entered in the VAT Register can add the letters MVA to their organisation number. The rules for entry in the VAT Register are covered by the page on 'Paying taxes'.

Foreign service providers working in Norway under contract, without a permanent place of business, can register in the VAT Register via a VAT representative.

The Bookkeeping Act lays down strict requirements for the content of invoices. See Altinn for information on invoice contents.

Refunding of VAT

Foreign economic operators can apply for a refund of the VAT that they pay on purchases of goods and services in Norway or on imports of goods into the country.

Be aware that VAT is not covered by the EEA Agreement. This means that Norwegian businesses do not have the same access to the simplified system established in the EU.

The Central Office for Foreign Tax Affairs (Norwegian: SFU) assesses foreign businesses and their foreign employees working in Norway or on the Norwegian continental shelf.

National insurance

Employees from EEA countries who are to excused membership of the national insurance scheme while working temporarily in Norway must document this using Form E 101.

Form E 101 is issued by the social security authority in the country the employee comes from. The form is sent to NAV Utland for registration.

Recognition of qualifications

The agency responsible for recognising their qualifications depends on the industry the bidder operates in. Altinn contains details of the various qualification requirements.

Applying for a work permit

Information on work permits can be obtained from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration.

Resources

You can find further information on the following web sites:

The Consumer Council is an interest group representing all consumers of goods and services in Norway.

Altinn/Start and run a business, tel. +47 800 33 840, is a toll-free national information service for people establishing and running a business. The aim of the service is to make it easier to launch and run businesses in Norway.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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