The employer’s contribution-free amount

Employers in zone 1a are eligible for the contribution-free amount scheme. Employers in zones II-V that carry on sector-exempt activity and enterprises experiencing financial difficulties are also eligible for the scheme.

Only one contribution-free amount is granted per employer

In this context, ‘employer’ is understood as a legal entity, see sections 2 and 4, subsection 1, of the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities Act (in Norwegian only). Even if several legal sub-entities have been registered within a single legal entity, you will only be entitled to one contribution-free amount as an employer. If the legal entity is part of a group of enterprises, the entire group must be considered a single entity. ‘Group’ is understood as a collection of enterprises that are associated with each other through one enterprise having a controlling influence over at least one other enterprise.

The contribution-free amount scheme in zone Ia

If you're an employer in zone 1a, you'll be eligible for a contribution-free amount scheme. The contribution-free amount is NOK 500,000 per year. Employers in zone 1a can calculate employer’s national insurance contributions using a rate of 10.6 percent until the benefit it provides amounts to NOK 500,000. When the difference between employer’s national insurance contributions calculated using the highest rate (14.1 percent) and contributions calculated using the reduced rate (10.6 percent) exceeds NOK 500,000, the employer must switch to using the highest rate (14.1 percent).

Employers can calculate when the enterprise can no longer apply the 10.6 percent rate as follows: Total salary expenses using the 10.6 percent rate = 500,000/(0.141-0.106).

The contribution-free amount for road freight transport is NOK 250,000.

To see which municipalities belong to zone 1a, see the Directorate of Taxes’ report on employer’s national insurance contributions to the National Insurance Scheme.

The contribution-free amount scheme in zones II-V for sector-exempt activity

Employers performing sector-exempt activity must generally pay employer's national insurance contributions at the highest rate (14.1 percent). This applies regardless of where the enterprise is located.

However, employers performing sector-exempt activity can still use the differentiated rates up to a contribution-free amount of NOK 500,000 in zones II-V. The general contribution-free amount scheme in zone Ia also applies to sector-exempt activities.

The contribution-free amount means that employer's national insurance contributions can be calculated using the differentiated rates until the differences between the contributions calculated according to the highest rate and those according to the rate in the zone in which the employer is registered amounts to NOK 500,000 during the income year. Once the limit for the contribution-free amount is reached, the employer must switch to using the rate of 14.1 percent.

The contribution-free amount scheme for enterprises experiencing financial difficulties, etc.

Enterprises that are considered to be experiencing financial difficulties in accordance with the ESA's guidelines concerning state aid to enterprises in difficulty and employers with outstanding claims to repay unlawful state aid should generally pay employer's national insurance contributions using the high rate (14.1 percent). This applies regardless of where the enterprise is located.

However, enterprises applying the reduced rate can continue using the differentiated rates in zone Ia-V after they begin experiencing financial difficulties or receive outstanding repayment claims, but then only within a free amount of NOK 500,000 (NOK 250,000 if the enterprise operates road freight transport). Once the limit for the contribution-free amount is reached, the employer must switch to using the rate of 14.1 percent.