Are you an employee or self-employed/engaged in business?

It is very important in terms of your rights and obligations in Norway whether you are regarded as an employee or as self-employed/engaged in business. If you receive a fixed wage or pay calculated on the basis of the work you perform, you are normally deemed to be an employee. If you have independent responsibility for the result of the work and your client can claim compensation for defects in the work, you are self-employed/engaged in business. 

The tax office will assess whether you are an employee or self-employed/engaged in business. 

If you believe that you are self-employed/engaged in business, you must read the ‘Miniguide for foreign businesses and employees’. 

In the vast majority of cases, it is easy to decide whether you are an employee or self-employed/engaged in business.

When considering whether you are an employee or self-employed/engaged in business, emphasis is placed on the following factors:

Factors indicating you are self-employed/engaged in business:

  • You have several clients, concurrently or successively 
  • You are not entitled to more assignments from your client
  • You are paid fixed amounts and not by unit of time 
  • You provide materials yourself 
  • You have your own operating equipment, e.g. machinery, tools, car 
  • You can have other people carry out the work for you 
  • The client can complain about the result 

Factors indicating you are an employee:

  • You have only one employer 
  • You are paid by unit of time or by some other unit, e.g. per kilo of strawberries picked (piecework) 
  • The employer provides all the materials 
  • The employer provides operating equipment or pays you extra for the use of your equipment 
  • You put your labour at the employer’s disposal 
  • You cannot have other people carry out the work for you 
  • The employer has professional and administrative control of your work
  • The employer bears the risk of the results of the work

It is the agreement between you and your client and how you have actually arranged things that decides whether you are deemed to be an employee or self-employed/engaged in business. If the conditions for self-employment are not fulfilled, you are an employee. It is important that you clarify as soon as possible whether you are an employee or self-employed/engaged in business pursuant to Norwegian tax rules. Contact the tax office or the Central Office for Foreign Tax Affairs. 

If you are an employee, you have rights that are intended to safeguard your pay and working conditions. More information is available from the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority.