Financing and subsidies

illustration: financing
You will need capital to realise your idea. The amount you need will depend on the type of business you are starting.
It is important to have a clear, realistic idea of how much money you will need to get the business up and running and keep you going until you start making a profit. This means that you need to find out how you will finance the start-up capital.

For most entrepreneurs this means using hard-earned savings, taking out loans and/or finding investors who have faith in the project. It is important to be realistic in this connection.

3 ways to finance new businesses:

1. Own capital and investors

In many cases, the initial financing needs have to be met by means of the entrepreneur's own capital. It is therefore a good idea to have some capital of you own when starting up a business.

Think about who you involve
Many friendships and families have suffered as a result of friends/family members being financially involved in each other's projects. Think carefully about who to ask for help and what could happen if your business venture is unsuccessful.

Crowdfunding – raising funds over the Internet
This is the street singer variant of financing. Crowdfunding is a fairly new, Internet-based way of raising money. You present your product or service on a crowdfunding website, where people who like your idea can donate or invest what they want and can afford. It is common to offer investors some form of reward or preferential treatment.

Venture capital
Venture capital firms invest in companies that are in the start-up phase and have good growth potential. In addition to capital, they often provide assistance in the form of expertise and networks through active ownership in the companies in which they invest.

Business Angels – angel capital

Business angels or angel investors are individuals that can inject capital into your company and/or provide expertise or networks. There are many business angels in Norway who are on the lookout for interesting projects in which to invest.

2. Loans from private individuals/banks

What about loans and collateral?
After years of rising house prices, many people are now in possession of valuable assets they can use as collateral for borrowing a bit more money. We recommend that you consider the issue of applying for a loan carefully and discuss it with your family before contacting us. Borrowing is not risk-free.

Amortising (instalment) loans are often used to finance investments in real estate, machinery or equipment.

Overdraft facilities
(credit lines) can be used in periods when liquidity is tight. When you send an invoice, there is generally a lapse of time till payment is received from the customer, so it is a good idea to have an overdraft facility to compensate for this.

Guarantees: There are many different types of guarantees. A rent guarantee can, for example, be used instead of a security deposit. Sometimes you may need to provide a guarantee, other times it can be a good idea for you to demand one from others.

A letter of credit (LC) is a type guarantee that is used in connection with cross-border transactions. With an LC, both payment to the supplier and delivery to the customer are guaranteed.

3. Support and grants

NAV (the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration)
Individuals who are starting up a business may keep their unemployment benefits for up to six months, which can be very helpful. In addition, they can apply for an extension of the unemployment benefits for up to three months after the business is up and running.

» You can get more information from NAV

Start-up grant from Innovasjon Norge
Do you have a unique business concept from a regional, national or international perspective? Innovasjon Norge offers start-up grants for entrepreneurs whose business concept is unlike anyone else's in the same market.

"Legathåndboken" - (the trust manual)
You can also sometimes get support in the form of endowments and grants. "Legathåndboken" (the trust manual) contains the names of several hundred organisations to which you can apply. Some of the information is posted online. You can also order the book on  It may be worth your while. The manual is only available in Norwegian.

Norges Forskningsråd (The Research Council of Norway)
Norges Forskningsråd offers business subsidies for companies that want to develop products through research and development (R&D) or want to commercialise new products and solutions. There are two schemes that may be particularly relevant for companies that are in the start-up phase:
  • FORNY2020: Research-based innovation
  • SkatteFUNN: All Norwegian companies that have R&D projects, or that plan to start up such projects can apply to SkatteFunn for approval to enable the company to claim a tax deduction.
There are a number of public and private subsidy schemes:
» Overview of support schemes (
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