Am I self-employed?

There is no clear definition in the law of when someone is considered to be self-employed. Hobbies are tax-free, while commercial activity is taxable.

Get help to find out whether you are self-employed

Using our wizard, you can answer up to five questions and get an indicative answer as to whether or not you are self-employed.

The wizard is intended for people who sell goods or services, blog, game (e-sport) or carry on small-scale letting.

To determine whether you are self-employed, it is necessary to consider whether your business: 

  • is carried on at your own expense and risk,
  • has a certain scope,
  • is likely to generate a profit over time, or
  • is aimed at having a particular duration.

Start-up period

  • Before the first year in which commercial activity is considered to be taxable, you can have a start-up period of up to five years.
  • The Norwegian Tax Administration requires expenses and income to be documented.
  • You must complete form RF-1298 "Oppstart av virksomhet" (Starting a business – in Norwegian only) in order to claim deductions for start-up costs incurred during previous years. Submit the form together with the first income statement after start-up of your business.

Employee or self-employed?

In certain contexts, you must consider whether you're an employee or self-employed. This affects the way in which payments for completed assignments will be handled.


See some examples of how hobbies can become commercial activity:

Online sales and services

The internet as a marketplace can also generate income on which you must pay tax. 

Odd-jobs and services

Income from paid work is taxable. The rules concerning tax exemption for certain types of odd-jobs are intended to provide simplification for clients, and not necessarily to enable contractors to generate tax-free income.