565 000 establishments in Norway
Establishments, enterprises and accounts
bedrifter, Establishments, employees, establishments by size, establishments by industryEstablishments and enterprises , Establishments, enterprises and accounts



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Key figures

565 054

establishments per 1st January 2017

Number of enterprises by size
2017Change in per cent
Number of establishmentsPer cent2016 - 2017
All size groups565 054100.01.1
No one employeed369 63065.40.9
1-4 employees95 30716.94.4
5-9 employees41 0857.3-0.2
10-19 employees29 3245.2-1.0
20-49 employees20 3593.6-1.7
50-99 employees5 9161.0-4.3
100 - 249 employees2 6890.5-3.6
250 employees and more7440.1-5.3

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Table 1 
Establishments by size and economic activity

Establishments by size and economic activity
Total number of establishmentsNo employees1-4 employees5-9 employees10-19 employees20-49 employees50-99 employees100 - 249 employees250 employees and more
All industries565 054369 63095 30741 08529 32420 3595 9162 689744
Agriculture, forestry and fishing66 64859 7745 6206663691773660
Mining and quarrying1 51083023712711878493338
Manufacture20 86611 2443 7901 9061 6821 343493307101
Electricity, gas and steam1 67393025114014313553165
Water supply, sewerage, waste2 1691 0363992562401874281
Construction66 09142 89512 8834 5923 1811 92944114228
Wholesale and retail trade: repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles71 69030 11516 55113 6927 9502 80242013723
Transportation and storage25 16714 3766 5711 8071 12081427014465
Accommodation and food service activities15 5186 2963 5742 3281 9541 091199724
Information and communication21 51514 9413 8661 0427805701819936
Financial and insurance activities3 9981 830935521313241815225
Real estate activities57 34149 6756 3178903341041650
Professional, scientific and technical activities58 51841 16911 8972 7511 5787971849943
Administrative and support service activities26 13317 6134 3381 5001 09294036922259
Public administration and defence: compulsory social security5 3233681 2951 01296598438222691
Education18 42111 5951 7738561 0201 86197628258
Human health and social work activities53 72728 1057 9824 4585 1545 5571 549767155
Arts, entertainment and recreation26 32422 3502 047732565467111439
Personal service activities21 31013 5184 8661 79175828164293
Households as employers activities58534010000
Extraterritorial organisations and bodies1013420000
Unspecified1 0449161081451000

Table 2 
Establishments, by size and county. 1st January

Establishments, by size and county. 1st January
Total number of establishmentsNo employees1-4 employees5-9 employees10-19 employees20-49 employees50-99 employees100 - 249 employees250 employees and more
The whole country565 054369 63095 30741 08529 32420 3595 9162 689744
Østfold29 49619 6464 8892 1151 46995727811626
Akershus58 94939 19210 0804 0282 7071 96062326792
Oslo86 04859 31113 4595 1183 7642 684928555229
Hedmark22 30714 8633 5921 6681 1397401979414
Oppland24 20216 6193 6961 6131 2077672088012
Buskerud32 02521 3345 4332 2381 5381 03229313126
Vestfold25 81716 7814 6701 8271 26889424710822
Telemark18 75312 2573 1981 3379947181706910
Aust-Agder12 3887 9292 243961660416127484
Vest-Agder20 27213 2653 3871 5421 0577152008521
Rogaland45 51929 3947 6233 3642 3991 87852525680
Hordaland48 88431 4028 1853 6802 7291 97755726787
Sogn og Fjordane14 4519 3712 4361 122819526125475
Møre og Romsdal27 71917 1884 8272 3631 7261 16730412024
Sør-Trøndelag31 92420 7665 0922 4321 7821 23539617348
Nord-Trøndelag16 08010 5332 7461 195825540180538
Nordland24 64414 6644 6592 2381 6391 04426811319
Troms - Romsa16 7019 9673 2421 4531 0067441968013
Finnmark - Finnmárku8 8755 1481 85079159636594274
County not stated000000000

Table 3 
Establishments, by county and the enterprises' sector

Establishments, by county and the enterprises' sector
Total number of establishmentsGeneral governmentFinancial corporationsNon-financial corporationsHouseholds and non-profit institutionsUnspecified sector/others
Total565 05430 2093 992273 270257 53152
Østfold29 4961 33813413 42614 5953
Akershus58 9492 33845328 58527 5703
Oslo86 0481 9341 05145 13937 90420
Hedmark22 3071 3731098 77112 0522
Oppland24 2021 5011099 18713 4041
Buskerud32 0251 51617014 91115 4253
Vestfold25 8171 22414512 64011 8071
Telemark18 7531 250918 4968 9133
Aust-Agder12 388854685 9065 5600
Vest-Agder20 2721 04511410 5308 5830
Rogaland45 5192 26130323 11719 8344
Hordaland48 8842 44336525 63620 4337
Sogn og Fjordane14 4511 317765 9087 1500
Møre og Romsdal27 7192 13020214 05011 3361
Sør-Trøndelag31 9241 85423015 36314 4752
Nord-Trøndelag16 0801 122776 8068 0741
Nordland24 6442 31815812 2629 9051
Troms - Romsa16 7011 403938 2176 9880
Finnmark - Finnmárku8 875988444 3203 5230

About the statistics

The statistics shows active firms as of 1 January, New establishments are included in the statistics when we have information from statistical or administrative sources. Other establishments that not active according to statistical or administrative sources, are not included in the statistic.


Definitions of the main concepts and variables


Establishment  is defined as a locally delimited functional unit which mainly operates within a particular industry group (Standard Industrial Classification).

Employees / Wage earners

Number of employees / wage earners are derived from the A-scheme from 2015. An employees is a person who works in another person's establishment for wages. Employers are obliged to submit monthly reports to all who receive salaries. It also made exceptions for certain types of employment where the employer does not have the usual authority to instruct the receiving salaries.

Standard classifications

Standard for Industrial Classification SN2007, based on the EU's standards NACE Rev. 1.

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Establishments
Topic: Establishments, enterprises and accounts

Next release

Responsible division

Division for Accounting Statistics

Regional level

National level, county and municipality.

Frequency and timeliness

Until the fourth quarter of 2008, every quarter the number of establishments in the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises (CRE) by the beginning of the quarter was published. From January 2009 the statistic is published once a year, by the beginning of the first quarter.

When these figures were published for the first time, they were by the 1st in the last month in the quarter (1st of June 2002).

Figures by the fourth quarter in 2003 were first published in the Statistics Bank as figures by the end of the third quarter.

International reporting

Not relevant


Micro data, information about sampled units and population are temporarily stored in the program language SAS and in long term as text files.


Background and purpose

First published in July 2002.

Users and applications

The public, public authorities, research institutions and industry use the statistics.

Equal treatment of users

 No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given inthe Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Coherence with other statistics

The figures for level that are presented will deviate from the number of legal units in the ER, and may on industrial level deviate from what is presented in the structure statistics.

The deviation in relation to the ER is mainly caused by the fact that the ER comprises all legal units -also the ones who are not conducting industrial activities.

These figures deviate from Structural Business Statistics as these only include establishments with turnover, while this statistic also comprise new establishments.

Industry 68.201 (cooperative housing is excluded from the structure statistics for industry 68.

Due to special conditions within the fishing industry, the number of employees for this industry will be lower than the number of fishermen according to what is published in the "NOS-Fishing Statistics". The share fishermen on fishing vessels are not recorded as employees. These have industrial income, but are not registered in the ER/CRE as self-employed unless they are joint owners in shipping companies or liability companies.

Legal authority

Not relevant

EEA reference

Not relevant



Establishment statistics comprise all industries according to NACE standards. As of January 2009 a new version of Eurostat’s industrial classification, SIC2007, is in use for classification of enterprises and establishments. It includes all establishments on the Norwegian mainland.

An establishment is registered to all new legal units, with some rare exceptions. There are some units that never take up any economic activity, and the number of registered establishments is therefore higher than the number of active establishments. New establishments are included in the statistics until we have information from statistical or administrative sources. Other establishments that not active according to statistical or administrative sources, are not included in the statistic.

Data sources and sampling

The Central Coordinating Register of Legal Entities (ER) and the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises (CRE). The number of employees is from the Register for Employer/Employees.

 Per 1st January 2015 there have been changes in the database. A new scheme (A -scheme) was introduced for reporting of wage and employment conditions to the Tax Administration, NAV and Statistics Norway in 2015. In the new scheme notified employees every month, not just by changes. This means that employers that have not reported will be left with zero employees. The introduction of A - scheme means break in the series.

Turnover and persons employed are collected from Structural Business Statistics and data from other administrative registers such as data from VAT, accounting data and income tax returns from independent businesses, in order to limit the population in relation to establishments that in reality have ceased to exist.

Not relevant

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Administrative sources and data from Structural Business Statistics (SBS) (see 3.2).

CRE is presently a comprehensive register and quality is ensured in relation to population and basic characteristics like addresses, legal form and industry codes.

The quality of the population of active enterprises is taken care of among other things by directly contacting units in connection with the data capture for the SBS and through links toward administrative registers in the monitoring system for establishments in the CRE.

The quality regarding the industry code for establishments and enterprises in the CRE is continuously taken care of. This takes place by contacting the enterprises in SN's SBS-surveys, through administrative sources such as the National Insurance Administration's annual check and in other ways through direct contact with the enterprises. Furthermore it is done with the help of statements of purposes with the ER.

Not relevant

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


Not relevant

Comparability over time and space

This statistics shows the number of establishments at the beginning of the quarter. When figures for 1st January are published, the register is updated with turnover and employment from Structural Business Statistics and data from administrative sources. In the quarterly publication, only changes in the register are recorded.

Changes between quarters are changes in the register and might refer to changes that actually occurred earlier, and the changes that actually took place will not be recorded until some time after they occurred.

The figures will be adjusted when the register is updated at the annual shift. The purpose of this statistic is not to show the development over time, but to give updated figures for structure of the business register.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty


The statistics are based on statistical and administrative sources. Several administrative sources are instrumental in the work with updating the CRE and are used both to define the population and to collect characteristics and information: The ER in Brønnøysund, the VAT-register and the A register are used to collect information about the units. This may cause register errors that may affect the uncertainty of the statistics.

A possible source for errors is out of date information caused by lags in the registration. Such lags are caused by the fact that changes are often registered some time after they have occurred. The consequence is that the registers are not updated at all times, something that may lead to using outdated information as basis for the statistics.

Discontinuances of activities are normally registered after they have taken place, based on information in connection with the collection of data for structure statistics or by links toward administrative registers.

Some enterprises is not correct registered regarding to establishment on different location or within different economic sectors. In some enterprises with more than one establishment, all employees is registered at one establishment.


Not relevant