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Denmark – Self-Employment

Denmark is known for its strong business environment and high quality of life, making it an attractive destination for expats looking to start their own business or work for themselves. Self-employment and start-ups in Denmark are open to anyone, including expats, but there are certain requirements that need to be met in order to operate legally. In this article, we will discuss self-employment and start-ups in Denmark, including how it works for expats, how to register as self-employed, how to start a company, and incentives available to encourage entrepreneurship.

How Self-Employment Works for Expats in Denmark

Expats who want to work as self-employed individuals in Denmark will need to obtain a CVR number, which is a Danish business registration number. This number is necessary for tax and registration purposes and allows you to legally operate your business in Denmark. As a self-employed person, you will be responsible for managing your business, filing your taxes, and providing for your own benefits such as health insurance, retirement savings, and other benefits.

Registering as Self-Employed in Denmark

To register as self-employed in Denmark, expats will need to follow these steps:

  1. Determine your business structure – Before registering, you will need to decide on the legal structure of your business. You can choose between a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company (LLC).

  2. Apply for a CVR number – To work as a self-employed individual in Denmark, you will need to obtain a CVR number, which is a Danish business registration number. You can apply for a CVR number online through the Danish Business Authority (Erhvervsstyrelsen).

  3. Register with the tax authorities – You will need to register with the tax authorities (SKAT) to obtain a tax identification number (CPR number) and set up your tax reporting system.

  4. Obtain necessary permits and licenses – Depending on the type of work you will be doing, you may need to obtain additional permits and licenses at the national or municipal level.

  5. Set up your benefits – As a self-employed person, you will not be eligible for employer-sponsored benefits such as health insurance or retirement savings. You will need to set up your own benefits, such as purchasing private health insurance or contributing to a retirement savings plan.

Can You Work as a Digital Nomad in Denmark?

Denmark is a popular destination for digital nomads, but working as a digital nomad in Denmark comes with certain restrictions. If you are a non-EU citizen, you will need to obtain a work visa in order to legally work in Denmark, even if you are working remotely for a foreign company. It is recommended that expats work with a local legal expert to ensure they are in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

How to Start a Company in Denmark

Expats who want to start a company in Denmark will need to follow these steps:

  1. Determine your business structure – You will need to decide on the legal structure of your business, which could be a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company (LLC).

  2. Apply for a CVR number – To start a company in Denmark, you will need to obtain a CVR number, which is a Danish business registration number. You can apply for a CVR number online through the Danish Business Authority (Erhvervsstyrelsen).

  3. Register your business – You will need to register your business with the Danish Business Authority (Erhvervsstyrelsen), including obtaining a tax identification number and registering with the Central Business Register (Det Centrale Virksomhedsregister).

  4. Obtain necessary permits and licenses – Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may need to obtain additional permits and licenses at the national or municipal level.

  5. Set up your benefits – As a business owner, you will not be eligible for employer-sponsored benefits such as health insurance or retirement savings. You will need to set up your own benefits, such as purchasing private health insurance or contributing to a retirement savings plan.

  6. Hire employees (if necessary) – If you plan to hire employees, you will need to register with the social security authorities and obtain necessary permits and licenses.

Incentives or Programs for Expats in Denmark

The Danish government offers a range of incentives and programs to encourage entrepreneurship, including for expats. Some of these programs include:


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  1. Danish Business Authority – This government agency provides information and support for entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Denmark. The agency offers a range of services, including legal and financial advice, site selection, and employee recruitment.

  2. Start-up Denmark – This program is designed to attract international entrepreneurs to Denmark. It offers expedited visa processing and other benefits to entrepreneurs who are starting a business in Denmark.

  3. Danish Growth Fund – This fund provides financing and support for Danish start-ups and small businesses. The fund offers a range of financing options, including equity investments, loans, and guarantees.

Expats who are interested in starting a business or working for themselves in Denmark should explore these programs and services to determine which ones may be right for them.

Self-employment and start-ups are a viable option for expats in Denmark. Whether you are looking to register as self-employed, start a company, or work as a digital nomad, Denmark offers a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurs. By following the steps outlined in this article and exploring the incentives and programs available, expats can take advantage of the opportunities available and build successful businesses in Denmark. It is recommended that expats work with a local legal expert to ensure they are in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.


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