Updated: 8 November 2022
Next update: 7 February 2023
About the statistics
The statistics shows active enterprises as of 1 January, annual figures on newly established enterprises and enterprise closures and quarterly figures on new enterprises. Also, it shows turnover and employment in active enterprises and it describes active enterprises by features of the employees.
In Standard Industrial Classification (SN2007), an enterprise is defined as the smallest combination of legal units which produces goods or services, and which has a certain degree of decision-making autonomy. In the statistics, a legal unit is regarded as an enterprise.
Enterprises as of January 1
The figures of enterprises as of January 1 in the statistical year (year t) cover all active enterprises which were still registered as of January 1 that year.
A new enterprise in a given period is an enterprise registered in The Central Coordinating Register of Legal Entities (ER) with the date of its founding and which has registered information indicating that it will have business activity. If there is no information on the date of its founding, the date of registration is used.
Newly established enterprises
Newly established enterprises are new enterprises corrected for change of ownership. That means that new enterprises which take over existing activities are not considered as newly established enterprises, but as new enterprises.
An enterprise becomes defunct when the activity is sold, closed, or when the enterprise is deleted from The Central Coordinating Register of Legal Entities (ER).
The number of employees is based on data from the so-called a-ordning which collects the number of employees for each establishment for mid-week each month.
Employment is the sum of employees and owners. Employment figures are an average of the number of employees at the end of five selected months in the year, and may not correspond to Labour force survey and national accounts figures, because the data sources and the calculation of the averages are different. In industries for which employment data are not collected through data collection for structural business statistics, employment figures are estimated on the basis of employee data in The Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises (CRE). Employees with more than one employer may be included in employment figures in several industries.
Turnover is the sum of payment of sales to customers, sales of goods for resale and gross income from other business activity. Turnover includes income from rent and commission income, but not government subsidies or profit from disposal of fixed assets. Value added tax is excluded from the figure. The concept of turnover in some industries is not clear-cut, and the figures for those industries are consequently not published. The industries are financial and insurance activities (industry 64-66), education (industry 85) and human health and social work activities (industry 86-88). Turnover for units in structural business statistics is collected from those statistics. Turnover data for other industries are collected from administrative sources (the VAT Register or the Register of Company Accounts).
Legal form in The Central Coordinating Register of Legal Entities (ER). There is a distinction between, among others, sole proprietors and public limited company.
The enterprise’s business address is used to determine the county in which the enterprise is located. If an enterprise comprises many establishments, then its headquarters are used to assign it to a county.
Standard Industrial Classification SN2007
Statistics Norway’s Standard Industrial Classification SN2007, which is based on EU’s industrial standard NACE Rev.2, is used as from the statistical year 2008. Standard Industrial Classification SN2002 was used until 2007. The industrial classifications are found at here. Industrial distributions according to SN2007 and SN2002 are not directly comparable, as there is no industry to industry correspondence between all industries.
Topic: Establishments, enterprises and accounts
Division for Business Dynamics Statistics
National, county and municipal level (for enterprises by features of the employees only on national level)
Business demography is published annually with figures for enterprises as of January 1 of year t, together with new enterprises in year t and defunct enterprises in the course of year t-1. New enterprises are published quarterly, about two months after the end of the quarter. Statistics on enterprises by features of the employees is published annually [not published after 2016].
Enterprise, turnover and employment are published annually, with a time-lag of two years.
Statistics on active enterprises, newly established enterprises and discontinued enterprises are reported to Eurostat, but the populations and thus figures differ from the ones that are published at www. ssb.no.
Figures on new enterprises (quarterly) which are reported to Eurostat are the same as the ones that are published at www. ssb.no.
Data on the populations are temporarily stored in SAS programming language and are stored long-term as text files.
Business demography covers statistics on the number of enterprises as of January 1, new enterprises, newly established enterprises, and cessations and discontinued enterprises. The statistics cover enterprises in all industries except primary industries and public administration. The annual population of enterprises is composed of the yearly structural turnover and employment statistics for enterprises in every industry except public administration.
The statistics were published for the first time in November 2002.
The users of the statistics are public administration, researchers, industry and the media.
Principles for equal treatment of users in releasing statistics and analyses
No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on www.ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar.
The published figures may not tally with the figures for legal entities in The Central Coordinating Register of Legal Entities (ER). The published industry figures may also differ from those in structural business statistics. The difference between the published figures and the figures in the Register of Business Enterprises is largely due to the fact that all legal entities are included in The Central Coordinating Register of Legal Entities (ER), irrespective of whether they are active or not. Statistics Norway conducts many checks to establish whether the enterprise is really active.
The annual populations (t-1) and the enterprise figures in year t are co-ordinated with structural business statistics in that, regarding the industries covered by structural business statistics, an enterprise is included only if it has turnover or employment. The figures by year (t+1) also include all new enterprises in year t which are still registered at the beginning of (t+1). Since cessations are often registered with a time-lag, these figures can be too high.
The figures for annual populations may differ from published structural business statistics figures for activity, because turnover and employment in an enterprise encompass total turnover and total employment, which means that turnover and employment in an activity in an industry different from the enterprise’s industry is also included.
Enterprises/business demography, annually
The statistics describe enterprises as of January 1, new and newly established enterprises, as well as defunct and discontinued enterprises by their industrial activity, legal form and number of employees (not for cessations).
1. The statistics cover all industries, with the exception of primary industries (01 Agriculture, 02 forestry, 03 fishing) and public administration and defence (84 public administration and defence), according to the Standard Industrial Classification SN2007. As from statistical year 2008, the statistics were demarcated by industry according to SN2007, while the statistics are restricted according to SN2002 from 2000 to 2007.
2. The figures as of January 1 in the statistical year consist of all enterprises having activity in Norway in the previous year. Newly registered and newly born enterprises in the statistical year are only those enterprises with information indicating that they intend to engage in business activity. That means that enterprises with some legal forms, for example, other estates, condominium flat owner, are excluded from the statistics.
3. Enterprises with sector code for general government are not included in the statistics. The codes are (Sector code 2014) 3100, 6500 and 6100, as from statistical year 2012. Enterprises having sector codes 110 (central government including social security funds), 150 (The Central Bank of Norway), 510 (county municipalities) and 550 (municipalities) are excluded from the statistics in statistical years 2000 to 2011. Those enterprises are not included even if they have activity in industries covered by the statistics. There may be shortcomings with the figures for industries which are mixtures of public sector service provision and private sector service provision, owing to the exclusion of public sector service provision from the statistics. This particularly applies to electricity and water supply, education, human health and social work activities. State lending institutions, enterprises in public ownership, central government enterprises, local government enterprises and local government incorporated enterprises, that is to say, enterprises with sector codes 3100, 3900, 1110, 1120, 1510 and 1520, are included if they have activity within industries covered by the statistics.
Enterprises, turnover and employment, annually
Enterprises are included in the annual population if they are registered as having active operations in Norway in the statistical year.
The statistics are demarcated by the enterprise’s industry, legal form, and sector code.
1. The statistics cover all industries except public administration and defence (84 Public administration and defence), according to Standard Industrial Classification SN2007. As from statistical year 2008, SN2007 was used to demarcate the statistics by industry, while SN2002 was used from 2000 to 2007.
2. Enterprises having certain legal forms, for example other estates, condominium flat owner, are not in the statistical population and are therefore not in the statistics
3. Enterprises with sector code for general government, that is, codes (Sector code 2014) 3100, 6500 and 6100, are not included in the statistics as from statistical year 2012. Enterprises having sector codes110 (central government including social security funds), 150 (The Central Bank of Norway), 510 (county municipalities) and 550 (municipalities) are not covered by the statistics, from the statistical year 2000 to 2011. These enterprises are left out even if they have activity in industries covered by the statistics. As regards industries that are mixtures of public sector service provision and private sector service provision, the figures may be deficient, since public sector service provision is not in the statistics. In particular, this applies to electricity and water supply, education, and human health and social. State lending institutions, enterprises in public ownership, central government enterprises, local government enterprises and local government incorporated enterprises, that is to say, enterprises with sector codes 3100, 3900, 1110, 1120, 1510 and 1520, are included if they have activities within the industries covered by the statistics
Enterprises by features of the employees, annually [not published after 2016]
The statistics cover all enterprises as of January 1 and newly established enterprises with employees, as well as high-growth enterprises. Enterprises in public administration and the primary industries are not included. The statistics do not cover sole proprietors, participants in general partnership, and general partnerships with shared liability.
New enterprises, quarterly
The statistics include all new enterprises registered in The Central Coordinating Register of Legal Entities (ER) and are published roughly five weeks after each quarter.
The Central Coordinating Register of Legal Entities (ER) and The Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises (CRE). The number of employees is obtained from the so-called a-ordning. Data on turnover and employment are collected from administrative sources and through Statistics Norway’s structural business statistics surveys.
Data from structural business statistics and data from other administrative registers such as the VAT Register, The Register of Company Accounts and income tax form for self-employed persons are used to restrict the population in relation to enterprises which no longer exist.
Administrative data and reuse of data from statistical surveys.
The Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises (CRE) is comprehensive. It is checked to ensure that it fulfils quality requirements, with regard to coverage and information on legal persons.
The quality of the population of active enterprises is checked, among other things, by directly contacting the enterprises during the data collection the structural business statistics and by linking the units to administrative registers in the monitoring system for The Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises (CRE).
The quality of the industrial codes for the establishments and entities in The Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises (CRE) is continually checked. Quality checks are conducted, among other things, by contacting the enterprises in Statistics Norway’s structural business statistics surveys, by other administrative sources, and by directly contacting the enterprise in other ways, and by the statement of purpose in The Central Coordinating Register of Legal Entities (ER).
The estimated cessation numbers are obtained by calculating the ratio of the preliminary figures to the final figures in an earlier year. The estimated enterprise numbers as of January 1 are based on the preliminary enterprise figures as of 1 January and the estimated number of discontinued enterprises. Enterprise size, measured by the number of persons employed the year before cessation, and legal form are the factors with the greatest effect on the ratio of the preliminary and final cessation figures to active enterprises.
In the statistics on enterprises, turnover and employment, turnover is not published if the number of enterprises is fewer than three.
Cessation of an enterprise is registered with a time-lag. New enterprises may also be registered with a time-lag, and many newly registered enterprises never become active. The number of enterprises as of January 1 t+1 is therefore lower the next time business demography statistics are published.
Regarding the annual population, the method for calculating turnover and employment for the enterprises included in structural business statistics was revised as from the year 2003. The revision affected industries 65-67 and 80-99, as well as enterprises in industries 10-41 (SN2002), which were excluded from structural business statistics for manufacturing (sole proprietors and enterprises with less than 0.5 man-years). The revision resulted in a reduction in the total number of enterprises and in the number of enterprises within the aforementioned industries from 2002 to 2003.
The data sources for the statistics are administrative registers. Several administrative registers are central to the work relating to updating The Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises (CRE) and are used to define the population and collect the variables and information. The Central Coordinating Register of Legal Entities (ER), the VAT register, and a-ordning are used to collect data on the units of analysis. Errors in the registers can be a source of uncertainty in the statistics.
Outdated information resulting from time-lag in the registers may be a source of error. Such time-lags are caused by the fact that changes are often registered some time after they have happened. The registers are consequently not completely up-to-date all the time, leading to outdated information being used in the statistics.
There is a time-lag between the cessation of an activity and its registration based on feedback in connection with data collection for structural business statistics or by linking administrative registers. Therefore, not all cessations in the period for which the figures are published are necessarily registered at the time of publication. A result of this is that the number of cessations will be too low, whereas the population figures as of January 1 in t+1 will be too high. New registrations are in some cases done with a time lag.
The respondent must state, in connection with new registrations, whether the activity is new or whether it is a change of ownership. When such information is lacking, duplicate checks are conducted to identify potential ownership changes. Not all ownership changes are found when these checks are conducted, and the number of newly established enterprises is presumably somewhat higher, compared with the number of new registrations. There are also many new enterprises which never start activity.