If the enterprise is required to prepare accounts, you must submit tax returns to the Norwegian Tax Administration and submit annual accounts and any annual reports to the Register of Company Accounts.
The annual accounts of enterprises which are subject to the accounting obligation are public information. The aim of this is to disseminate relevant information concerning the overall financial development and position of an enterprise in such a way that the user of the information can make appropriate decisions. Anyone who is considering applying for a job with the enterprise may find it useful to look through the annual accounts. Another example is someone who is investing in the enterprise.
Annual accounts must be prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Accounting Act and associated regulations, as well as generally accepted accounting practice. Separate simplified rules have been drawn up for generally accepted accounting practice in small enterprises. You will find these in Norwegian Accounting Standards Board - NRS 8 God regnskapsskikk for små foretak (available in Norwegian only).
A complete set of annual accounts must include the following:
- Income statement
- Balance sheet
- Cash flow analysis (not small enterprises)
- Audit report (if subject to the audit obligation)
Limited obligation to prepare annual accounts
Some enterprises are subject to a limited accounting obligation. If you are covered by these rules, you can prepare a set of annual accounts based on the submitted tax report combined with adapted note information. This applies to sole proprietorships and general partnerships which are subject to the accounting obligation where none of the partners are legal persons (enterprises) with limited liability. They must also be covered by the rules for small enterprises in the Accounting Act.
In the notes, you must provide additional information to the annual accounts, so that anyone who reads the accounts can obtain more detailed information on the enterprise. Chapter 7 of the Accounting Act stipulates the minimum information that notes must contain.
In addition to the annual accounts, enterprises that are not considered to be small under the Accounting Act must submit an annual report. An annual report is a report from the board of directors and the CEO/general manager which gives an account of developments in the business and the outlook for the enterprise as a going concern.
Annual accounts and annual reports must generally be written in Norwegian. The tax office may grant dispensation for using a language other than Norwegian upon application.
In the case of businesses which are required to prepare accounts and which have a board, all board members must sign the annual accounts. If the business has a CEO/general manager, he or she must also sign the documents. If the business has neither a board nor a CEO/general manager, the partners or members must sign.
Annual accounts and any annual report must be submitted electronically via Altinn. The obligation to prepare and submit annual accounts and annual reports applies even if the enterprise is dormant. This obligation also applies to enterprises which are in the process of being wound up, until they have finally been deleted.
For new enterprises, the first financial year may be up to 18 months. This means that enterprises that are established on 1 July or later can decide whether they will prepare the annual accounts for the current year or combine these with the following year. It is not necessary to notify the Register of Company Accounts of this.
Annual accounts and, if relevant, annual reports must be approved by the general meeting no later than six months after the end of the financial year. They must be sent to the Register of Company Accounts within one month after they have been established by the general meeting or corresponding body.
In order to avoid late payment fees, the complete annual accounts must be submitted by no later than 31 July.
For the income year 2020, the due date has been postponed by two months. To avoid late payment fees you need to submit no later than 30 September. The postponement does not apply to Public Limited Liability Companies, or companies under supervision by the Norwegian Financial Supervisory Authority.
For enterprises with a closing date which falls during the period 1 January - 30 June, the corresponding deadline is 31 January. It is not possible to apply for an extension to the deadline. The board is responsible for ensuring that the accounts are submitted by the relevant deadline. If the enterprise does not have a board, the partners or members and the general manager will be responsible for this.
Annual accounts, annual reports and audit reports are public information.
Under the Accounting Act, anyone can turn up at your office and ask to see your annual accounts, annual reports and any audit reports, i.e. the same documents that are made available from the Brønnøysund Register Center. However, documentation (vouchers) used to prepare the accounts is not public information.
You can also order the annual accounts for the enterprise concerned directly from the Brønnøysund Register Centre. This is probably the most common way of obtaining annual accounts.