Establishments, enterprises and accounts

Ownership and roles in industryQ4 2007


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Ownership and roles in industry
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.

New enterprise
A new enterprise in a given period is an enterprise registered with dates that indicate start-up in this period. The registration of a legal unit in the Central Coordination Register for Legal Entities counts as a new registration if the registered information assumes that the unit is to be operated as an industrial activity. See 3.1.

Newly established enterprise
The number of newly established enterprises is the number of new enterprises corrected for the change of ownership. This means that new enterprises that take over existing activity are not counted as newly established enterprises, but as new enterprises.

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

The population at the end of the statistical year (January 1st in t+1) is calculated as follows: population as of January 1st in year t

+ New registrations in year t

- Dropouts in year t

The population at the end of the statistical year is also corrected for old "sleeping" enterprises that take up activity in the statistical year in the form of new employees.

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, and board members and chairmen of the board in public limited companies.

Refers to age at the end 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.

Immigration category refers to various delimitations of persons without/with an immigrant background.

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

Standard for Industrial Classification SN2002
The current Standard for Industrial Classification (SN2002) in Statistics Norway is based on EC's standards NACE Rev.1 and can be found in the database for standard classifications .

Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NUS2000)
The Norwegian Standard Classification of Education, which was created by Statistics Norway in 1970, groups the educational activity. The standard has been revised; and the latest version is from 2000. The type of educational institution is classified by the International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities (NOS C182).

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

Administrative information

Regional level

National and county level

Frequency and timeliness

Frequency: Annually

Timeliness: The first time the statistics was published was on December 1st, 2004 and contained statistics for new established enterprises in 2003 and enterprises by January 1st, 2004. The statisticial population is always temporary the first year of publishing, and then final numbers are published the following year.

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) 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 players.

The first publication focused on women and immigrants in personally owned enterprises and the board of directors in public limited companies. The reason for only looking at public limited companies and not private limited companies is that it is only for the public limited companies that there is a law proposal for a minimum of 40 per cent of both women and men on the board.

The statistics has numbers for both newly established enterprises and population of enterprises by January 1st.

Users and applications

The users of these statistics are public authorities, research institutions, industry and the media. Central users among the ministries are the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, the Ministry of Children and Equality and the Ministry of Labour and Social Integration, the Institute for Social Research (ISF) and Innovation Norway.

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



Enterprise statistics based on annual populations comprise all industries according to NACE standards (see 4.2) except public administration and defence (industry 75). The primary industries (industry 01, 02 and 05) are also excluded.

The population on 1 January of the statistical year comprises all 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.

The statistics is demarcated in relation to public and social security administration, counties and municipalities, i.e. enterprises with institutional sector code 110 (public and social security administration), 510 (municipalities) or 550 (counties). 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 power and water supply (industries 40 and 41), education (industry 80) and health and social work (industry 85).

The Central Bank of Norway, public lending institutions, enterprises within public business operations, publicly-owned enterprises, municipal business operations and independent municipal enterprises, i.e. enterprises with sector codes 150, 190, 610, 630, 635, 660 and 680, 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.

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.

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. See also About Statistics for enterprises.

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). If the level does not distinguish the educational activities, the education is chosen with the highest class-level. If the class level does not distinguish the educational activities, the programme is selected that does not have a code for general field of study in NUS2000. If the field of study cannot distinguish between educational activities, the education programme is selected with the most recent completion date. If the completion date does not distinguish programmes, the programme is selected randomly. See About statistics for education.

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. In StatBank, the results are to be found for the whole country and by county.

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.

In connection with new registrations, the respondent is to state whether this is a new activity or a change in ownership. In cases where such information is lacking, a duplicate check against existing enterprises is carried out in order to identify possible ownership changes. All changes are not intercepted in these routines, and the number of new establishments is assumed to be somewhat high in relation to the number of new registrations. Furthermore, there are many newly established enterprises that do not start up any activity.

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.