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Important commercial and corporate law updates | Norway

The following content relates to advice on updates in relation to commercial,corporate and data protection law via our firm network connection, Bird& Bird, for Norway.

20 April 2020

Commercial

The political parties in parliament have agreed to a support plan for or businesses with a significant loss of income due to  the coronavirus, in which the government will cover certain regular expenses such as rent, lighting, water and insurances up to a certain percentage. In short, businesses that have had an income drop of 20% in March, and 30% in April and May, compared to the corresponding months in 2019, will be entitled to compensation of up to 90% of their regular expenses. The maximum support amount for each legal entity will be NOK 30,000,000. Certain limitations apply, and the details are subject to further regulations.

The support plan entered into effect on 17 April 2020. The application process was opened on Saturday 18 March for businesses that have been instructed by the government to close, while other businesses that have had an income drop will be able to apply in the coming days.

The application process is done through an online system.

16 April 2020

Commercial

  • The political parties in parliament have agreed to a support plan for or businesses with a significant loss of income due to the coronavirus, in which the government will cover certain regular expenses such as rent, lighting, water and insurances up to a certain percentage. In short, businesses that have had an income drop of 20% in March, and 30% in April and May, compared to the corresponding months in 2019, will be entitled to compensation of up to 90% of their regular expenses. The maximum support amount for each legal entity will be NOK 30,000,000. Certain limitations apply, and the details of the plan are still being developed. The plan will likely come into effect in late April.

    As of 16 April 2020, there is still uncertainty relating to the exact date of when the application process will open, partly due to the need for establishment of technical systems.
  • Restaurants may only stay open if sufficient infection control routines are established. Employees and visitors should be able to maintain a distance of at least two meters of each other, and it is required that sufficient hygiene and cleanliness routines are practiced. Food may not be served as buffet. In addition, the government is generally recommending that people distance themselves from each other, and imposes a 14 day quarantine for any person who enters Norway from a foreign country. The regulation was originally presented on 12 March, but is continuously being updated. There are also certain local restrictions, in particular in the north of Norway, where certain cities has set out their own quarantine rules for travellers arriving from the south of Norway.

Corporate

The board of directors of a private limited liability company may resolve to conduct board meetings and general meetings without setting up a physical meeting. It is required that participants on any alternative solution such as phone conference, Skype or Teams, may be identified, and that the recording of votes is done in a safe and proper manner.

In addition, some companies in Norway have set out a specific deadline in their articles of association relating to the date on which their annual meeting must be held. Many companies have set out a date in April or May, and are now struggling to conduct their general meetings as planned due to the corona outbreak. A new regulation has been put in place which allow private limited liability companies to deviate from their articles of association, and instead follow the Companies Act, which sets out a deadline of six months after the end of an accounting year (30 June for most companies).

14 April 2020

Commercial

The Norwegian government have recently indicated that some corona-related restrictions will be reduced gradually (for instance it is expected that some kindergartens and schools will start to open next week). The restrictions which have been put in place for restaurants, will however remain in place for the time being.

6 April 2020

Commercial

The political parties in parliament have agreed to a support plan for or businesses with a significant loss of income due to  the coronavirus, in which the government will cover certain regular expenses such as rent, lighting, water and insurances up to a certain percentage. In short, businesses that have had an income drop of 20% in March, and 30% in April and May, compared to the corresponding months in 2019, will be entitled to compensation of up to 90% of their regular expenses. The maximum support amount for each legal entity will be NOK 30,000,000. Certain limitations apply, and the details of the plan are still being developed.  The plan will likely come into effect in late April.

2 April 2020

Commercial

  • Restaurants may only stay open if sufficient infection control routines are established. Employees and visitors should be able to maintain a distance of at least two meters of each other, and it is required that sufficient hygiene and cleanliness routines are practiced. Food may not be served as buffet. In addition, the government is generally recommending that people distance themselves from each other, and imposes a 14 day quarantine for any person who enters Norway from a foreign country. The regulation was originally presented on 12 March, but is continuously being updated.
  • For personnel that are temporarily laid off, a regulation has been introduced which allows the government to issue advance payment of unemployment benefits, while the application process is ongoing. Delays in the ordinary application process may be expected, due to the large amount of individuals who are applying for unemployment benefits. In addition, the employer-financed period in the event of a lay-off will be reduced from 15 until 2 days, and the government will cover full salary from day 3 until day 20.
  • The Norwegian government is currently negotiating a solution for businesses with a significant loss of income due to  the coronavirus, in which the government will cover certain regular expenses such as rent, lighting, water and insurances up to a certain percentage. The plan is still under discussion, but details are expected in the coming days. It is expected that this solution will come into effect no later than by late April.
  • Small and medium sized businesses in a liquidity crisis may apply for a state guarantee for loans issued by financial institutions which are licensed to operate in Norway. Certain restrictions apply, for instance the business must not have had economic difficulties as of 31 December 2019.

Corporate

The board of directors of a private limited liability company may resolve to conduct board meetings and general meetings without setting up a physical meeting. It is required that participants on any alternative solution such as phone conference, Skype or Teams, may be identified, and that the recording of votes is done in a safe and proper manner.

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