Establishments, enterprises and accounts;Immigration and immigrants

Ownership and roles in business enterprise sector (discontinued)1 January 2007


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Ownership and roles in business enterprise sector (discontinued)
Topic: Establishments, enterprises and accounts

Responsible division

Division for Accounting Statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables

In the Standard for Industrial Classification (SN) an enterprise is defined as an organisational unit comprising all economic activities engaged in by the same owner. Hence, an enterprise is a legal entity covering one or more productive units. An establishment is defined as a local kind of activity unit, which mainly conducts activities within a special industry group.

In SN an establishment is defined as a local kind of activity unit, which mainly is conducting activities within a special industry group.

The population as of January 1st in the statistical year includes all enterprises with active operation in the current year that continues to be registered as of January 1st.

Organisational structure
Structure registered in BR. A distinction is made between sole proprietorships, public limited companies, general partnerships etc.

Personally owned enterprises
Personally owned enterprises refer to the organisational structures sole proprietorships, general partnerships and general partnerships with shared liability.

General partnership and general partnership with shared liability
Must have at least two partners, and these partners are known as partners with joint liability and partners with unlimited liability respectively. The partners are personally and economically responsible. In a general partnership, all partners can be claimed for the total debt of the company, but in a general partnership with shared liability every partner is personally liable for a certain part of the company's debt. In total, the partners are liable for the whole debt. Both physical persons and body cooperates can be partners. Having a board and/or manager is optional. In the tables, only the enterprises with physical persons as partners are included, and only the active roles are included.

Sole proprietorship
A sole proprietorship must have one, and only one, owner. The owner is fully and personally responsible for the whole establishment, and needs to be a physical person. It is possible to employ a manager who is someone other than the owner.

Public limited company and private limited company
These are organisational structures in which none of the owners have personal responsibility for the company's liability. The owners' responsibility for the company's debt is restricted to the share capital. A private limited company cannot, unlike a public limited company, receive share capital from the public.

All public limited companies and private limited companies must have a board of directors. This board must as a main rule consist of at least three members. In limited companies that have less than NOK 3 million in share capital, the board can consist of two members in addition to a deputy. All public limited companies and private limited companies with share capital of more than NOK 3 million must in addition have a manager.

The most important roles in these statistics are owners of sole proprietorships, partners with unlimited liability in general partnerships, partners with joint liability in general partnerships with shared liability.

Refers to age at the beginning of the year.

Immigrants includes persons who have two foreign-born parents and are born outside Norway themselves. In addition persons born in Norway with parents born outside Norway are also included in these statistics.

National background is the person's own, their mother's or possibly their father's country of birth. Persons without an immigrant background only have Norway (000) as their national background. When both parents are born abroad they are in most cases born in the same country. In cases where the parents have different countries of birth the mother's country of birth is chosen

The number of employees comprises all persons that work for an employer more than 4 hours a week. Persons with more than one job may be counted as employed in several industries. The population shows the number of employees at the time of counting.

Standard classifications

The current Standard for Industrial Classification (SN2007) in Statistics Norway is based on EC's standards NACE Rev.1.

Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NUS2000)
The Norwegian Standard Classification of Education, which was created by Statistics Norway in 1970.

Statistics Norway's use of terms in immigrant-related statistics are from the Immigrant Classification Standard (Statistics Norway 1994).

Administrative information

Regional level

National level, county and municipality.

Frequency and timeliness

The statistics concists of two parts. One (Ownership and roles) focus on the personal owners and shareholders. In the other part the main focus are on ownership structure in private and public limited companies.

Frequency: Annually

Timeliness: The first time the statistics was published was 2004 and contained enterprises by January 1st, 2004. And then numbers are published the following year.

Statisitics on ownership structure were first published in 2007 for the year 2006.

International reporting

Not relevant


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


Background and purpose

Since the units and structures in the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises (CRE) are entered into most large nationwide administrative data systems, such as the Register for Employers/Employees, an unambiguous connection is established between the individual employee and the enterprise in which the person works. Further, the employee's national identity number makes it possible to find relevant personal information within the system of population register data, for example in the population and the education areas. The information about roles in the Central Coordination Register for Legal Entities in Brønnøysund (BR) and shareholders in Directorate of Taxes' Register of Shareholders provides the corresponding connection to the enterprises through organisation number and to the population through national identity number.

The aim is to establish a statistical basis, based on different sources in Statistics Norway, which can focus on new aspects in business with the establishment/enterprise as a basis and unit in statistics, but focus on the owners and shareholders.

The implementation of the register of shareholders in 2004 made it possible to analyze the ownerstructure in limited companies.

Users and applications

The users of these statistics are public authorities, ministries, research institutions, industry and the media.

Coherence with other statistics

The figures for levels that are presented will deviate from the number of legal units in the Central Coordination Register for Legal Entities, and may on an industrial level deviate from what is presented in the structure statistics. The deviation in relation to the Central Coordination Register for Legal Entities is mainly caused by the fact that it comprises all legal units, including those that are not conducting industrial activities, and that CRE controls to find out whether an enterprise has activity or not.

The statistics on ownership and roles may also deviate from Statistics Norway's other statistics on enterprises. The reason for this is that these statistics only include enterprises that have physical persons as players.

Legal authority

Not relevant

EEA reference

Not relevant



Statistics on ownership and roles:

Enterprise statistics based on annual populations comprise all industries according to NACE standards (see 4.2) except public administration and defence (industry 84). The primary industries (industry 01, 02 and 03) are also excluded.

The statistics is demarcated in relation to public and social security administration, counties and municipalities. Enterprises within this section of public administration (administration and services) are not included in the statistics even if they formally are supposed to conduct activities sorted under industries included in the statistics. For industries that are characterised by a mixture of public and private services, the population may seem insufficient since public services are excluded from the statistics. This is especially the case for electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply,
water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities, education and human health and social work activities

The Central Bank of Norway, public lending institutions, enterprises within public business operations, publicly-owned enterprises, municipal business operations and independent municipal enterprises are included in the statistics if they conduct activities within the industries that are covered by the statistics. In theory, this is also the case for enterprises within all other institutional sectors.

The population on 1 January of the statistical year comprises all limited companies, sole proprietorships, general partnerships and general partnerships with shared liabilities that have activity. In the tables, enterprises with only body cooperates are excluded because the focus lies on background variables such as gender and national background. Only active roles are included. With regard to public limited companies, they must be registered in BR on January 1st of the statistical year.

information about shareholders in public and private limited companies are found in the stock statistics, which are based on Directorate of Taxes' Register of Shareholders. The statistics are limited to shareholders identified by personal identification number (personal shareholders) who owned shares on 31 December.

Statistics on ownership structure:

This part focus on the ownership structure in public and private limited companies per 1 January. The shareholders in these enterprises are both enterprises and personal shareholders. The source of this data is board and management statistics, and the stock statistics. The figures include enterprises involved in agriculture, forestry and fishing, but not enterprises involved in public administration.

Data sources and sampling

The numbers are based on the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises (CRE), information on roles from the Central Coordination Register for Legal Entities and population register data. The Division for Labour Market Statistics provides the number of employees. We also use stock statistics, which are based on Directorate of Taxes' Register of Shareholders

Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises (CRE)
Data are collected from structure business statistics (SBS) and from other administrative registers, i.e. VAT, accounting data and income tax returns from independent businesses in order to limit the population in relation to enterprises that in reality have ceased to exist.

Information about roles from Central Coordination Register for Legal Entities provides a survey of all physical persons and body cooperates that have roles in the Norwegian business enterprise sector. The physical persons are registered by national identity number or with a D-number, while the body cooperates are enterprises that are registered by organisation number. No one can register an enterprise in BR without also registering roles. The different types of organisational structures have different requirements concerning the roles. See 4.1.

Information about the physical person is updated continuously, and information is compared against the Central Population Register every 24 hours.

The statistics is based on population register data. Since 1946, each municipality has had a local population registry that registers all residents in the municipality pursuant to the Population Registration Act and its regulations. The population registries receive reports of births, deaths, marriages, divorces, migration etc. from various sources.

Populations highest level of education and NUDB
The Register of the Population's Highest Level of Education (BHU) is now drawn directly from the Norwegian National Education Database (NUDB). NUDB collects all statistics on ongoing and completed education from 1974/75 and BHU since 1970 in a common database. The basis of the BHU is people 16 years and above registered as resident in Norway as of 1 October in the corresponding year. The educational activity with the highest level in the Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NUS2000), which is registered in NUDB, gives the status for the highest level of attained education. In cases with more than one educational activity, the programme is selected with the highest level in the Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NUS2000).

Directorate of Taxes' Register of Shareholders. Starting in 2004 the statistics are based on data from the Directorate of Taxes' Register of Shareholders.The registers consist of all Norwegian limited companies, specifying the number of shares issued, the share capital, the share premium, and proposed and paid dividend. In addition the register gives information about the shareholders and received dividends

Not relevant

Collection of data, editing and estimations

The statistics uses only administrative data and already existing statistical registers.

The Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises (CRE) is a comprehensive register and its 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. See also 3.2.

The quality regarding the industry code for establishments and enterprises 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 with the help of statements of purposes with the Central Coordination Register for Legal Entities.

Not relevant


Not relevant

Comparability over time and space

The statistics is published every year so that the results are comparable.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Not relevant

Not relevant

Not relevant

Enterprise statistics
The statistics is based on statistical and administrative sources. Several administrative sources are instrumental in the work of updating the CRE, and are used both to define the population and to collect characteristics and information: the Central Coordination Register for Legal Entities, the VAT Register and the Register for Employers/Employees are used to collect information about the units. This may cause register errors that can 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 always up-to-date, which can lead to outdated information being used as a 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 to administrative registers. As a consequence, the population may be too high.

Population statistics
The quality of the data from the Central Population Register is generally very good for statistical purposes, however one relevant complaint is delayed reporting. Delayed reporting can lead to some events being registered and counted in the wrong year.

The Central Population Register consists of persons with a Norwegian national identity number or a D-number. Some of the persons with a D-number are persons living abroad, while working in Norway. These persons will not be issued with a national identity number, but persons immigrating to Norway will get a national identity number after a period of time. It can therefore be difficult to distinguish between immigrants who have moved to Norway and persons living abroad. Another problem could be persons who change their national identity number as a consequence of new information about their date of birth.

Education statistics
Education statistics consists only of persons living in Norway who have taken their education in Norway.