Norway, with its 5 million population, has more than 6.500 foundations . About 860 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.
Self owned legal entities
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
The Foundation Authority assumes that Norwegian foundations have a total equity capital of between 50 and 100 billion NOK ( between 6.25 and 12.5 billion EURO). 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.