Niels Christian Docker. Doing Business in Denmark 07.06.2013


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Niels Christian Docker. Doing Business in Denmark 07.06.2013

  1. 1. Denmark by Partner, Attorney at law Niels Christian Døcker
  2. 2. You will learn • General overview about Denmark • Business opportunities in Denmark • How to set up your business in Denmark • Legal framework • Taxation • Migration • A few DOs and DON’Ts • Best kept secret… Today’s menu
  3. 3. About Denmark Size: 43,098 km² Population: 5,584,758 (126.4 per km²) Political system: • Constitutional monarchy • Government: Coalition of The Social Democrats, The Social Liberals and The Socialist People’s Party. First female Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt (since October 2011)
  4. 4. About Denmark GDP Euro 47,000 per capita (IMF) (rank 7) Economy • Denmark is characterized by political, economic and regulatory stability. Denmark has an open economy largely relied on foreign trade and international cooperation. The investment policy of Denmark is very liberal and encourages foreign investment
  5. 5. About Denmark Strong in • Wind energy – Vestas; about 20% of the world’s wind turbines supplied by Danish based companies. 22% of the electricity used in Denmark is generated by Danish wind power. The aim is 50% • Shipping - world’s biggest within container shipping. • Pharmaceutical products and medical equipment – world’s biggest within insulin
  6. 6. About Denmark Strong in • Enzymes for food production - • Hearing aids - and • Design and art (fashion, furniture, porcelain and jewelry) – and • Expanding market in the farming sector – Polen Invest, affiliated with Axzon
  7. 7. • Clusters Pharma Biotech Medtech SHQ IT Cleantech Entertainment Machinery Equipment Cleantech Mobile ITC Textile Fishing Oil Gardening
  8. 8. About Denmark Labour market • The Danish “flexicurity” model offers a high flexibility in hiring and firing practices. • 75% of Danish workers belong to a union • “Minimum wage” app. Euro 14 • Reasonable working hours • High productivity
  9. 9. About Denmark Highly qualified and motivated talent pool • 96 percent of young people complete a secondary education program and 47 percent a tertiary one. • English proficiency is in the world’s top three. 4 out of 5 speak English and half the Danes speak German.
  10. 10. About Denmark The perfect hub • Copenhagen Airport is the main hub in the Nordic and Baltic region with 57 operating airlines serving altogether 132 destinations and handling approximately 380,000 tons of airfreight each • Besides Copenhagen, Denmark has three other international airports in Aalborg, Aarhus and Billund, all located on the peninsula of Jutland
  11. 11. About Denmark • Surrounded by water. Makes for easy transportation of heavy goods • Often day-to-day delivery in the whole of Scandinavia, which benefits the Danish infrastructure
  12. 12. Business opportunities Word in Town: • "Denmark, the most business friendly climate in Europe" - World Bank, Doing Business Report 2013 • "Denmark is no.1 for commercial success" - Goldman Sachs, 2012 • "The Nordic countries are probably the best governed in the world" - The Economist, 2013
  13. 13. Business opportunities • Foreign-owned subsidiaries or branches have the same access to finance as Danish companies • Foreign investors (including non-EU nationals) do not need an investment permit to establish a branch • Import/export - In general little restrictions
  14. 14. Business opportunities – Where to invest? The Shipping Industry • Home to the world’s largest shipping company, A.P. Møller-Mærsk Group, and other major players like Torm, DFDS, J. Lauritzen, Svitzer and Norden, Denmark is a world-renowned and highly international hub for all types of shipping activities • Set up your shipping business in Denmark and get immediate access to: – World class shipping know-how and a vital business network – Universities and R&D institutions with maritime competences and a strong tradition of transferring and applying academic, technical knowledge to businesses – An attractive tonnage tax regime in DIS, the Danish International Ship Register – Stable and competitive framework conditions
  15. 15. Business opportunities – Where to invest? The Offshore Sector • The sector deals with oil and gas exploration, offshore wind power generation, wave energy development and various offshore support functions like engineering, material development, logistics, safety, facility management and training • Towards 2020 the construction of the Fehmern Belt Connection will result in investments of around 5 billion EUR
  16. 16. Business opportunities – Where to invest? Wind Power • Wind power companies looking to conduct production, research and development, project management, sales and testing in Denmark, will benefit from a unique industry that comprises world leading players like Vestas, Siemens Wind Power, Suzlon and Envision in one sector. • Some good reasons for investing in the sector: – Access to a complete value chain of sub-suppliers and professional services – A combined turnover of EUR 6.6 billion in the industry ensures a high degree of market knowledge
  17. 17. Business opportunities – Where to invest? The Financial Sector • Financial crisis to put financial sector in a tight spot (13 bankruptcies since 2008) • The ”bank packages” along with other government actions to secure depositors • Still substantial need for financing through out the sector – Potentially a good portion of money to be made in this area – However, the rules for investing and acquiring shares in the financial sector has been greatly tighten due to the latest recession and new rules about money laundering
  18. 18. How to set up your business • Legal framework • Taxation • Migration
  19. 19. Legal Framework • No need for boards in private limited companies • Easement of audit demands • Electronic general meetings
  20. 20. Legal Framework • Instant online registration of limited companies • Low minimum capital: • Private limited companies Euro 10,700 (soon to be lowered to Euro 6,700) • Public limited companies Euro 67,100 • No notary required
  21. 21. Legal Framework • Restrictions regarding acquisition of real estate • Persons who are not resident in Denmark and have not previously lived in Denmark for a period of 5 years can only acquire title to real estate with permission from the Ministry of Justice – The same applies to corporations, associations, public or private institutions, foundations and endowments that are not domiciled in Denmark, as well as foreign government agencies
  22. 22. Legal Framework Court Handling • Easy accessible – first instance app. 10-14 months • Highest possible court fee Euro 10,000 (same amount if appeal) • Low damages – calculated according to loss Case law regarding tort stipulates low amounts • Awarded low cost recovery
  23. 23. Taxation • Corporate tax is 25%, (22% in 2016?) • No tax on dividends to most foreign companies provided more than 10% ownership  below 10% the tax is 28% • Tax on dividends to foreign natural persons (27/42%) • No capital gains tax on sale of shares made by foreign natural persons and companies
  24. 24. Migration • Permission to work and stay in Denmark depends on nationality and qualifications Special rules for EU-citizens and those related to them • Permission to work and stay is based on a commercial and employment consideration The need for the skills offered in contrast to whether a person already staying in Denmark could manage the job in question
  25. 25. Migration • Special rules makes it easier for highly qualified and educated people to receive a working and residence permit: • Scientists and researchers • People with special educations which is on demand in Denmark • People with a certain ”higher than average” sallery • People coming to work via affiliated companies • People who wish to establish an independent commercial enterprise
  26. 26. Migration • Family and children can migrate along with the residence seeker under certain conditions, e.g.: • Marriage • Self-dependence, both financially and/or educational • Own residence – Depends on which grounds permission to work and stay was given and on the duration of the stay • Benificial taxes • App. 32% compared to app. 55.5% on personal taxes for up to 5 years • Requires annual salary of app. Euro 111,750 and employment with Danish registered company
  27. 27. To sum up – investing in Denmark • Easy access to the entire European Union • Flexible labour market • Highly qualified and motivated talent pool • Bribery and corruption is practically unknown • Dialogue between business and law makers • Highest worker motivation in Europe • Easy plug 'n play business set-up • A world leader in cleantech (25% of total energy compared to US with less than 3%) and life sciences • 25% corporate tax (22%?) and advantageous taxes for foreign employees
  28. 28. A few DOs and DON’Ts • Work - DOs • Participate/share opinions • Work independently • Admit mistakes • Look up social activities yourself • Motivate if you are a manager (challenges and professional development) • Informal and direct
  29. 29. A few DOs and DON’Ts • Work - DON’Ts • Eat lunch alone • Question the religion of colleagues • Be late • Give orders, but provide explanations • Work too late if you have family
  30. 30. Learn more • Copenhagen Capacity ( • Invest in Denmark (
  31. 31. THANK YOU! Niels Christian Døcker Partner, Attorney at law (L) Dir.: + 45 33 300 241 Cell: 27 10 04 02 The content of the presentation cannot be applied as legal counselling as this will always be subject to actual and specific knowledge of the client’s situation.