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Staff register

Catering establishments, hairdressers, beauticians, and car repair and car care businesses must keep a staff register.

All entities registered in the Brønnøysund Register Centre in sectors that must keep a staff register, can order a free staff register book from the Norwegian Tax Administration.

Order your staff register book free of charge

Order staff register

What’s a staff register?

A staff register is a list of everyone who works for the business, including unpaid and hired employees. The register must state when they start and end their working day. The register must be kept at the workplace and be available for inspection during the opening hours of the business.

Why do we need to keep registers?

In some sectors, it has proven necessary to introduce measures to combat illegal undeclared labour. Experiences from Sweden show that staff registers are a way of quickly providing proof that the employment circumstances of a business are in order. The Norwegian Tax Administration will carry out checks and cooperate with NAV, the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority and others to monitor the situation and identify irresponsible actors.

Sectors that must keep staff registers

In this sector, we include cafés, restaurants, pubs, takeaways and other catering businesses.

Beauty care include facials, manicures, pedicures, body treatments, spa treatments, eyelash and eyebrow dyeing, tattooing of eyebrows, eye contours and lips, teeth whitening and piercing. Solariums are exempt.

Car repair and car care include car repair shops, car washes and car paint.

Who must be on the list?

When an enterprise has employees, both the owner and the employee must be entered in the list every day. This also applies to the general manager and/or the owner. 

You must keep a staff register for each day your enterprise is open if you have employees. This applies to both you and the employees. You have to keep a staff register every day, even if you only have a casual assistant some days a week. The staff register must include employees cleaning outside opening hours.


It’s not necessary to keep a staff register if the owner and his/her spouse and children under 16 years of age are the only employees.

A register must be kept if the business hires or borrows other employees. Everyone in the staff register must be able to present identification with a photograph.

The exemption does not apply when a number of shareholders or partners work for the enterprise. 

The obligation to keep a staff register also applies to temporary activity, and regardless of whether the staff consists of volunteers or ordinary salary recipients.

There are some exceptions. The obligation to keep a staff register does not apply to catering establishments that are run by a club, association or other similar organisation, when the sole aim of raising money is to run the club or association (for example a kiosk/café run by a sports club). 

If you mainly run an enterprise not required to keep a staff register, you're exempt from the requirement of keeping a staff register.

As a main rule, you’re exempt from the requirement of keeping a staff register if 75 percent or more of sales derives from a business not subject to the requirement for a staff register. 

Example: A hotel where sales derive from room letting and catering. The income from catering amounts to between 15 and 18 percent of the total sales. The hotel is then exempt from the obligation to keep a staff register. 

At festivals, the area that the staff register must cover - the catering - is limited to the bar areas only. Only staff working in these areas must be included in the staff register.

Unpaid staff should generally also be included in the staff register. If you’re able to document that the pupil is with you as part of a work placement week or Operation Day's Work, you do not need to include the pupil in the staff register.  

It’s also assumed that such short-term, documented work placement agreements do not result in any obligation to keep a staff register for enterprises that come under the exemption in section 8-5-6 last subsection in the Bookkeeping Regulation (family businesses)



Self-employed contractors should not be included in the staff register. 

Example: Hired tradesmen doing improvements at the work site. 

You can keep staff registers electronically

You can keep staff registers electronically, e.g. in booking or time tracking systems, if they meet the requirements for staff registers. If you have an inspection, you have to be able to either

  • print out the list on paper, or
  • present the list on screen

If you’re not able to print out the list, you have to be able to transfer it electronically to the inspector, for example to an e-mail address or a memory stick. You must find out for yourself which suppliers offers these systems.

You cannot use a spreadsheet or word processing program in which the information can be corrected or altered directly. Read more about how to enter and present a printout.

Keeping a manual register?

The Norwegian Tax Administration will send a staff register book to anyone who requests one. The books are bound with pre-numbered pages and have space to write names, national identity numbers and times (in/out). National identity numbers and D numbers can be replaced with unique codes if you’re afraid that the numbers could go astray. Enterprises can determine the codes themselves. In such cases, an overview of the codes and associated national identity numbers or D numbers must be prepared. The code overview is considered to be part of the staff register and must be available in the event of an inspection.

One staff register book must be kept per enterprise, not per department or person.

What happens if you do not keep a staff register?

If the Norwegian Tax Administration discovers that you do not keep a staff register or the staff register is not correct, you’ll have to pay a fee. The fine for failing to keep a staff register is 10 court fees for the first offence, and 20 court fees for further offences within the next 12 months. A fine of two court fees will also be imposed for every person not listed in the register at the time of an inspection. Read more about when you have to pay a fee, here. 

The fee must be paid by the business (employer), not by the employee.