Registration in the Value Added Tax Register for foreign businesses
by partner/lawyer Preben Kløvfjell
Foreign enterprises which carry out assignments in Norway must comply with the Norwegian VAT rules in the same way as Norwegian companies. This means that if you carry out an assignment where the turnover in Norway exceeds NOK 50,000 over a 12-month period, you must register the enterprise in the VAT Register on the Norwegian Tax Administration´s website. The registration is necessary regardless of whether the company intends activities over a longer or shorter period.
In order to register your enterprise in the VAT Register, you must register it in the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises (Foretaksregisteret) or the Norwegian Register of Legal Entities (Enhetsregisteret).
If you need to register as a foreign company in Norway and do not have a fixed place of business in the country, you must be registered with a Norwegian VAT representative. You must do this when you register your company in the Norwegian Register of Legal Entities (Enhetsregisteret) or the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises (Foretaksregisteret). However, there are exceptions for enterprises domiciled in the EEA countries Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Faroe islands, Germany, Greenland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Island, Italy, Croatia, Cypros, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden or United Kingdom. Enterprises from these countries can be registered in the VAT Register without a VAT representative.
If you come from one of the EEA countries referred to above, you can decide whether or not you wish to use a representative. If you choose to use a representative, the representative is not under joint and several liability for payment of VAT. The cost of using a representative will need to be considered in view of the benefits of using a representative that is familiar with Norwegian affaires.
Both you and your representative are responsible for ensuring compliance with the relevant bookkeeping rules. In addition, your sales documents must also state the name and address of the representative. Both you and your representative must retain copies of sales documents.
Upon registration, rights and obligations are conferred on the foreign company under the regulatory framework governing VAT, in line with those conferred on Norwegian businesses, for example the right to deduct VAT. Registration is conditional upon the general prerequisites for registration having been met.
Law Firm Tveter & Kløvfjell AS works with issues relevant for foreign companies from the EU / EEA / EFTA who want to conduct business in Norway. If you need legal assistance in connection with the establishment of a company, please contact the lawyers at Law Firm Tveter & Kløvfjell AS, who have expertise and experience within company law. Please send a non-binding e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +47 22 17 74 00.