Key advantages when setting up a business in Denmark:
- Quick, informal and cost-efficient establishment procedures
- Online registration of new companies means you’re ready to do business within a few hours
- No resident requirements for management, including members of the Executive Board (CEO), Board of Directors or Supervisory Board Shareholders and board meetings can be held electronically
- No notarial deeds
- Flexible language requirements; registration of corporate documents of limited liability companies, “A/S” (Ltd.) and “ApS” (LLC), in Swedish or Norwegian language is possible as an alternative to Danish, and some documents may be registered in English
- Dividends can be distributed on an interim basis
- Danish company law is in conformity with current EU legislation
- It is tax efficient to establish your business in Denmark compared to other Nordic countries
Denmark as a Nordic headquarters
Denmark is often chosen as a company’s centre for Nordic or other European activities. In such cases, a company may establish a Danish company (A/S or ApS) which can then establish a branch in other Nordic or regional countries.
A Danish company can also serve as Nordic headquarters or holding company for other European activities.
Advantages of establishing a company instead of a branch office
It is much simpler, faster and more cost-efficient to establish a company rather than a branch. A new company can be registered and ready to do business within a few hours. The registration process of a branch may take several weeks and be more costly.
Another advantage of establishing a company in Denmark is that according to a unique Danish tax rule a foreign branch of a Danish company is generally not subject to tax in Denmark. Administration costs for handling double tax issues may be avoided by having the Nordic headquarters in Denmark instead of other Nordic countries.
Manufacturing and service businesses in Denmark
Manufacturing in Denmark may be carried out in various ways. A foreign company may establish separate production facilities, either by building, acquiring or leasing such facilities, or having products manufactured by establishing contacts to existing producers of similar products in Denmark. Establishing production facilities in Denmark is most often done by establishing a Danish company (A/S or ApS) and letting the company acquire or lease such facilities.
Service businesses in Denmark may be conducted through e.g. a distribution centre, a regional headquarters, or a shared services centre. Services are most often carried out through a Danish company (A/S or ApS), but can also be conducted via a branch or a representative office.
SE company – the European company
Denmark has fully implemented the EU rules regarding the European public limited company (SE company) for corporate purposes. The legal framework of the SE company is to a large degree subject to national company law. It is possible to change the nationality and place of residence of the company without liquidation and re-founding.
A Danish company, A/S or ApS, can be established in three different ways
On-line registration: A new company can be incorporated and ready to operate within a few hours by using the on-line electronic registration system provided by the Danish Commerce and Companies Agency.
Paper registration: A traditional paper registration of the company may still be used but registration will usually take two to three weeks.
Acquiring a shelf company: An “off the shelf” company is an already founded and registered company without any previous operations or activities, and can be acquired from day to day. However, as online registration is fast and cost efficient this is the most commonly used procedure.
Download our factsheet to learn more about Establishing a business in Denmark.