Starting a Business in Denmark
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Why Start A Business In Denmark?
You are probably racking your brain trying to figure out what else Denmark is famous for other than Hamlet and bacon. Well rack no more. Denmark connotes far more than sty-born breakfast and Shakespearean antiheroes. Denmark is the oldest kingdom in Europe and has endured Vikings, Reformation, absolutism, colonialism and the Napoleonic wars to find its footing today as a flexible, open economy with one of the highest GDPs in Europe. It has a rich cultural and intellectual heritage, and the corporate world is no exception.
Danish business is characterised by minimal bureaucracy, high education and unequivocal tax laws. It also focuses on the free exchange of goods and is an optimal choice for UK investors. It has robust purchasing power, ease of access, widespread use of the English language and inflation as temperate as its climate. There are obviously priority sectors that are welcomed more favourably by the Danes, notably in the areas of media, education, giftware, mass transit, and food and drink. But on the whole, investor opportunity is vast.
Denmark is also one of the greenest cities on Earth, both aesthetically and ecologically. It sets the enviable example the rest of us want to follow. Where the rest of Europe still stamps its carbon footprint with ardent athleticism, Denmark barely leaves a dust trail. Wind turbines line its roads and fields and 10% of its energy is created and expended in this way.
The Danish economy vaunts one of the best performing economies in the EU, with high growth and low unemployment. Coupled with low interest rates, this has boosted private consumption, offering an abundance of opportunities for new and seasoned investors. Denmark participates fully in the economic collaboration of the European Union, but has yet to join the European Economic and Monetary Union.
All together, Denmark is far less tragic than Shakespeare made out, and with the right idea, you too could become a part of the economic success story. Read on to find out why the Danes make the rest of the world go green with envy.
Denmark has one of the best economies in the EU. Although small, it is one of the most competitive economies in the world due to its very efficient workforce, highly developed infrastructure, and extensive welfare system. Denmark boasts a modern economy and is among the world leaders in wireless communications, internet and new media. Business is competitive to other countries, which is a very favourable interest for enterprises looking to invest in Denmark.
Denmark has high industrial productivity and profitability and has one of Europe's most efficient distribution systems. It is self-sufficient in energy as it produces oil, natural gas, wind-energy and bio-energy.
The country's main exports are dairy products, fish, furniture, leather, meat, gas, oil, machinery, chemicals, sugar, equipment and foodstuffs; with the main export partners being Germany, Sweden, the UK and the U.S. Denmark's main imports are machinery, equipment, raw materials, chemicals, grain, foodstuffs and consumer goods; with the main import partners being Germany, Sweden, Netherlands and the UK. 70% of trade flows are within the EU.
Denmark is home to many multi-national companies including Lego and Carlsberg and many international companies such as Dell, Microsoft and Nokia have large global business centres in Copenhagen.
What are the essentials to know?
Holidays - Holiday allowance depends on how long an individual has been working at their company. A year's work entitles an individual to 5 weeks of holiday.
Minimum Wage - Denmark does not have a national minimum wage rate, however, there are minimum wage rates set through collective agreements in different sectors.
Work Hours - Normal working hours are 37 hours per week and individuals are not permitted to work over 48 hours per week.
Business Hours - Business hours are 0800/0900- 1600/1700 Monday- Friday. However, many companies close early on a Friday.
- Typical business attire is a suit, for both men and women
- Handshakes are the accepted form of greeting in Denmark. It is customary to shake everyone's hand at the start and at the end of a business meeting
- Be prepared for negotiations. Danes are very good at analysing information so carry all information in written form
- Danes leave space between themselves whilst interacting so be aware of another's personal space
- Sending an agenda prior to a business meeting is very important mark of protocol in Denmark
- Danes are very punctual at business and social events and expect the same of others
A wide range of sources and finances exist in Denmark, including public incentives, private investors, banks, venture capitalists and institutional investors.
The choice of financing will depend on the company and its focus of business activities, the management, the company's stage of development and the capital needed.
When seeking finance, each company must be assessed individually in order to choose the right finance partner. It is advisable to seek professional advice when negotiating with investors and finance institutions so as to ensure smooth and legitimate business.
The following contacts will provide very useful information about setting up a business in Denmark:
UK Trade & Investment Enquiry Service
Tel: (0)20 7215 8000
UK Trade and Investment in Denmark
36-40DK - 2100 Copenhagen
Tel: + 45 3544 5106
For up-to-date advice and information on problems/situations that may arise in Denmark before you go over to the country (including political unrest, violence, natural disasters and epidemics), you can contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office:
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
Tel: (0)20 7008 1500
Organisations that can assist with Starting a Business
Sterling is a high quality provider of global relocation services to some of the world’s leading companies.
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We are Instant, the global specialists in flexible offices, and we have one goal: to fulfil our clients’ needs for the perfect workplace.
B2B International is a global market research agency that specialises in b2b markets. With experience in every industry sector and country imaginable, we are well placed to help you establish your business overseas.
Kompass has over 60 years experience in providing global business information that can be used for sales, marketing, research and purchasing.
Hardwick Co, trading as “Exxapatent ®” has been in the international IP arena since 1978.