The general rule is found in the Auditing and Auditors’ Act of 1999 which states that anyone subject to issue financial statements according to the Accounting Act is also subject to statutory audit.
Exemptions apply to most small companies. The following companies are subject to statutory audit:
- Private limited companies. Small private limited companies can choose not to have their annual accounts audited (opting out). Companies not exceeding any of these thresholds can opt out: Operating income NOK 5 million, balance sheet total NOK 20 million and average number of employees 10 man years. Opting out requires both a qualified majority vote by the general assembly and a decision by the company’s board of directors. Small parent companies cannot opt out.
- All public limited companies
- Branches of foreign companies if the operating income exceeds NOK 5 million
- Partnerships if the operating income exceeds NOK 5 million or there are more than five partners. Limited partnerships where the general partner is a legal entity with limited liability are also subject to statutory audit.
- Sole proprietors if their assets exceed NOK 20 million or if they have more than 20 employees, and the operating income in addition exceeds NOK 5 million.