How to start a business in Denmark



Guiding you through the process with advice from the Danish Business Authority.


Photograph: Unsplash

Text: Mariano Anthony Davies


The Danish Business Authority (DBA) seeks to create the best conditions for growth companies in Europe, focusing on making it easy and attractive to run a business in Denmark.


Is registration mandatory?

Yes, it is mandatory for companies, associations and organisations who must register to gain a CVR number (VAT or business registration number) to have a Digital Post mailbox for receiving letters from public authorities. The mailbox is free and can be set up online.


Registered organisations receive important messages regarding sickness benefits, criminal records, MOT tests and financial statements in a digital mailbox.


The digital mailbox will have the same status as a regular mailbox. This means that a company must check and read any new digital messages.


Once a company has set up a digital mailbox, it can choose how a digital message should be processed. For example, a company can specify an e-mail address or a mobile number and receive a notification when a new message has been sent.


A company will need access to the Danish NemID system to set up the digital mailbox to participate.


Establishing a business in Denmark

If you are a self-employed person or a business in another EU or EEA country and wish to provide services by establishing a business in Denmark, DBA has a straightforward online guide where you can read the rules.


First of all, you must register your company at the DBA. After that, you can register various company and association types.


Once you have chosen a company type, you can register using the self-service online form provided by DBA. The solution requires that you have a Danish social security number (CPR) and Danish eID 'NemID' access or a foreign eID, which is approved in accordance with eIDAS. Seeking help from a law firm to complete the process is advised.


You must also submit the application for VAT registration in Denmark at the latest 8 days before you start doing business in Denmark. If you do not submit the application in time or not at all, or the information that you have provided is not correct or insufficient, you may be sanctioned with a fine.


Furthermore, if your company already has or intends to have employees, it is your responsibility to withhold Danish tax and labour market contributions from the wages you pay to your employees for the work they carry out in Denmark.


"If you are a self-employed person or a business in another EU or EEA country and wish to provide services by establishing a business in Denmark, DBA has a straightforward online guide where you can read the rules."

Temporary business in Denmark

If you intend to work on a short-term basis in Denmark, you must follow specific Danish rules. If you are a self-employed person or have a business in another EU or EEA country and wish to carry out temporary work in Denmark on a short-term basis, you can do so without establishing a business in Denmark. Whether your business activity can be considered "short term" will depend on the nature and duration of the work in Denmark.


As a rule, all services carried out in Denmark must be registered in the RUT (The Register of Foreign Service Providers).


Workers posted in Denmark for a period longer than 3 months must apply for an EU residence document at the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) after arriving in Denmark and no later than 3 months after entering Denmark. Additional rules may apply to workers who are citizens of a country outside the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.


As a foreign company in Denmark, you will have to follow Danish rules on the working environment in the workplace. The Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA) is responsible for inspecting the working environment in Denmark.


If your company has employees that carry out work for your company in Denmark, you may be obliged to pay social security contributions to the Danish State in accordance with Danish law.


Your employees will be subject to Danish Social Security Law if it is not otherwise stated in EC regulation 883/2004 on the coordination of social security schemes or in conventions on social security Denmark has signed.


DBA's Services Contact Point is a public service providing information to service providers from other EU and EEA countries on Denmark's relevant rules and registrations. It is only relevant if you are already established in another EU or EEA country as a business or self-employed person.

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