Do you have to ask permission?

In some industries, certain requirements may apply or certain permits, approvals and authorisations may be necessary in order to run a business. Check which rules apply to you before you start your business.

Sectors subject to regulations

Examples of sectors which must comply with specific regulations include the catering sector (restaurants and cafés), alcohol outlets and accommodation providers, cleaning companies, the transport and construction and engineering sectors and manpower enterprises.

Restaurants and cafés

If you intend to start up a licensed restaurant or café, you must apply to your municipal authority for a catering licence and a licence to serve alcohol. Before you can apply for a licence, you as the owner or general manager must first pass a test which demonstrates your knowledge of the Food Services Act (serveringsloven) and the Alcohol Act (alkoholloven). Restaurants and cafés must register with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, and the premises in which the business is run must be approved by the municipal authority.

Cleaning services

If you intend to sell cleaning services, your business must be an approved by the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority as a registered cleaning business. In addition, your business will have to obtain HSE cards for your employees which are specific to the cleaning sector.

Road freight transport

The approval of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration is required before you can start a road haulage business using vehicles weighing more than 3,500 kg.

Taxi licence and other passenger transport

In order to run a passenger transport business, you will need a licence from either the county council or the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. There are several types of licence. The most common types are the licences to drive a taxi (drosjeløyve), a minibus with up to 8 passengers (selskapsvognløyve) or a bus (turvognløyve).

Construction and engineering

All enterprises that carry out work at construction and engineering sites are required to provide their employees with HSE cards for the construction and engineering sector.

Staffing enterprises

If you intend to hire out labour, you must apply for authorisation from the Labour Inspection Authority.

Regardless of the sector concerned, many businesses must apply to their municipal authority in connection with construction, a change of use or the conversion of premises.

It can be a good idea to talk to an advisor or one of your business contacts who can tell you more.

An overview of the permits that apply to different sectors  


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