Haines Watts

Doing Business in Denmark

Often noted for its good work/life balance, Denmark is evidently a great place to be an employee. But is it also a suitable place for UK companies to do business?

It is. In fact, the country’s ranked in third place in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.

And while it’s a small economy, and so used to trading with its neighbours, Denmark offers access to some progressive and exciting sectors, such as life sciences and renewables, as well as more familiar maritime and agricultural industries.

Denmark has an excellent education and social care system, which means it also has a highly flexible and skilled workforce.

Haines Watts is a member of the GGI Network, which means it can refer clients to member accountancy businesses around the world, including Denmark. One such connection is Preben Hoej, of Danish accountancy firm, Dansk Revision. They are seeing more UK investors moving in on local companies that are for sale.

Open to growth

Denmark is a small country with an open economy, the population is around half that of London. Denmark simply has no choice but to be outward looking. Everyone there speaks English, for instance.

According to research published by Danske Bank in January 2017, the Danish economy is predicted to grow by 1.5% this year, compared to the 1.2% growth predicted for UK GDP for the same period.

This may not match increases seen in surging markets such as China, but it demonstrates that Denmark is performing strongly compared to its European neighbours.

Preben informed me that it is a culture based on trust and transparency. Denmark was top out of the 176 countries included in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2016.

It is also a culture where people prefer to do business with contacts they know and trust, so getting the right introductions is important. That’s where a network like GGI offers real value for businesses coming over from the UK.

Infrastructure for success

While the taxation system is complex, the process of setting up a company is relatively simple, from registering to opening bank accounts.

The Danes have invested heavily in infrastructure, from transport to phone networks, since the economic crisis of 2008/09. And, though Denmark itself may not represent a large exporting opportunity, the Danish land border with Germany makes it an important gateway into other European markets for a UK seeking to reconnect post-Brexit.

For SMEs considering a move into Europe, Denmark is a relatively easy location to set up shop. Its culture is more similar to the UK’s than those of other markets offering opportunities, such as the Middle East.

Haines Watts also has access to the local expertise of its Danish GGI Network partners, who can offer clients access to expanded services with member accountancy firms who have already undergone due diligence. That offers real peace of mind.