1. Stavanger business region
  2. How to start a business?

How to start a business?

Updated : 6/15/2022

Stavanger´s ecosystem for start-ups has been growing rapidly, and the city now has more start-ups than several other large Norwegian cities.  

There is a vibrant startup community across the city, with hubs such as FOMO, Innovation Dock  and Valide, to mention a few.  

If you want to start and set up a business in Stavanger, please visit Altinn for stepwise guidance. You will also get information about how to choose the right legal structure.  

Other sites to check out: 

  • Skape provides guidance and individual counselling in Stavanger on behalf of the municipality.   
  • Innovation Norway contributes to innovation in business, development in the districts, and the development of competitive Norwegian companies.   



Companies are required to register on the VAT Register in Norway once their yearly turnover exceeds NOK 50,000. You do not need to charge VAT on any goods and services before this point. 

Once your business is registered in the VAT Register, you must: 

  • collect VAT on behalf of the Norwegian state 
  • determine how much VAT you need to pay when importing goods for your company 
  • report to the Norwegian Tax Administration on the amount of VAT you have paid and collected. These reports need to be based on updated figures 
  • pay the difference between VAT that you collect on your sales (output VAT) and the VAT you pay when importing goods (input VAT). 

We would recommend that you employ a professional accountant at an early stage when establishing your company in Norway. They can guide you on what financial information to report, when to report it, as well as helping you to avoid common pitfalls in the reporting process. 

Link to Business and organisation - The Norwegian Tax Administration (skatteetaten.no) 

Norwegian business life 

Norwegian business life means flat structure and little hierarchy.  

Employees are often included in making decisions and are used to speaking up and contributing in various circumstances. Remember to involve people in decisions and see yourself as the first among equals. It helps to see the flat structure and openness in Norway as a tool to achieve results and not a threat. 

Cooperation is highly valued and the basis for the “Norwegian model” is the cooperation between the Government, the employer federations and the employee organisations. At company level, cooperation between employers and employees, and between managers and subordinates, is vital. 

Gender equality is important in Norway, and women doing business in Norway will receive the same treatment as men. 

Here are some key elements of Norwegian business culture: 

  • Flat structures and little hierarchy
  • Quick and informal communication 
  • Focus on cooperation 
  • Trust among people 
  • Empowered employees 
  • Balance of work and private life 
  • Gender equality 
  • Risk willingness