Norway, with its 5 million population, has around 6,385 foundations. About 802 are business foundations, with the rest being so-called non-profit foundations established for a wide range of purposes. Norwegian foundations are regulated by the Foundations Act.

A foundation is an entity with a legal basis in a disposition. It can be a gift or the similar, placing an object of economical values, most commonly money, at the independent disposal of a defined purpose, included but not limited to ideal, humaitarian, social, educational and economical activities.

Foundations are self owned legal entities, having the power to enter into contracts with third parties, and be a party in legal actions before the courts and official authorities.

Norway promotes foundations

According to the annual accounts (2021), Norwegian foundations equity capital is NOK 220 billion, approximately 20 billion euros. However, the total values managed by foundations are far greater than that. The Norwegian government regards foundations as a good long-term form of ownership. Politicians therefore wish to stimulate the use of foundations in several areas of society.

The Foundation register

All foundations are now registered in the Stiftelsesregisteret. This register enables the public, the foundation themselves, scientists, politicians, the media and others to retrieve information on Norwegian foundations.