Ease of Doing Business Rank: 4
The Kingdom of Denmark is the southernmost Scandinavian country. It lies southwest of Sweden and Norway, and north of Germany. It consists of a peninsula and an archipelago with over 443 islands. The Kingdom also includes two autonomous constituent countries: Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
The peninsula of Jutland is the largest land mass. The largest island is Zealand and home to the capital of Copenhagen.
Danish is the de facto national language of Denmark, except in the Faroe Islands and Greenland where residents speak Faroese and Greenlandic. German is a recognized minority language in the Region of Southern Denmark.
Over 86 percent of Danes are highly proficient in spoken English as a second language, followed by German at 47 percent.
The population as of 2019 is approximately 5.78 million. The largest population lives in the capital region of Copenhagen, followed by the mid-Jutland region, and the southern areas.
The top industries in Denmark include agriculture, forestry & fishing, manufacturing, mining, quarrying, & utility services, construction, trade & transport, information & communication, and the services industry.
The US News & World Report rated Denmark 13th in the world for educational standards.
The Times Higher Education World Rankings report Denmark has seven universities within the top 500, with Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen ranking highest.
The most common business entities in Denmark are Private Limited Company, Public Limited Company, Limited Partnership, and General Partnership.
A Private Limited Company is the most popular small business type for foreign investors.
Danish incentives for business
Denmark’s tax rate is below the EU level at 22 percent. Additionally, employers in Denmark pay the world’s lowest social contribution rate including pension schemes, healthcare insurance, and holiday pay.
The country also offers attractive tax schemes for foreign researchers including a full rebate of R&D expenses. Alternatively, the taxpayer may choose to take tax depreciation in the same year and the following four years on a straight-line basis.
Denmark also allows companies to fully expense or amortize expenses related to patent and know-how purchases. Costs incurred for the exploration of raw materials may also be fully deducted in the same year.
The country does not charge an additional local tax or net wealth tax. As well, Denmark does not charge capital duty or share transfer duty and allows unlimited loss carry forward.
The World Bank Ease of Doing Business index ranks Denmark 3rd globally using eleven metrics measuring ease of starting a business, paying taxes, employing workers, and more.
Copenhagen is the largest economic center in Denmark, followed by Aarhus, Tórshavn on the Faroe Islands, and Nuuk in Greenland.
Copenhagen in the largest financial center and includes many large international groups and smaller institutions. Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark with many IT and research opportunities.
Denmark is a maritime nation with a rich history. However, it is also a modern country with many contemporary attractions that highlight their forward thinking spirit and innovation.
Notable historical sites include the impressive Frederiksborg Palace which houses the Museum of National History and world-renowned Tivoli Gardens. Kronborg Castle, dubbed Elsinore by Shakespeare, is a magnificent Renaissance castle.
The architectural wonder of the Oresund Bridge which links Copenhagen and Malmo, Sweden is a popular attraction and a necessity for over 17,000 vehicles daily. The statue of the Little Mermaid also stands guard of Copenhagen harbor. Aarhus’ Den Gamle By features a village mimicking the time of Hans Christian Andersen.
Denmark is also the homeland of the Vikings and boasts an interactive ship museum called the Vikingeskibsmuseet. The Danish also invented LEGO and is featured in the Legoland Museum with miniature displays of world–famous buildings and cities utilizing over 50 million LEGO bricks.
Denmark is also known for its stunning beaches and islands. With over 5,000 miles of coastline and islands such as Bornholm featuring forests, ancient villages, and regional arts and crafts visitors never lack activities.
Denmark is one of the oldest states in Europe and the oldest kingdom in the world. Its first inhabitants were nomadic hunters; however, is it most famous for the Vikings who began to plunder churches and monasteries around 800 AD. They were so successful that by the 11th century they ruled a vast kingdom including present-day Denmark, England, Norway, southern Sweden, and parts of Finland.
In the 16th century the Reformation swept through the country. Fighting ended in 1536 establishing a Danish Lutheran church headed by the monarchy. However, the country’s Thirty Years War with Sweden and Britain’s attacks during the Napoleonic Wars led to Denmark losing many of its lands.
Denmark declared neutrality in WWI, but Germany attacked Copenhagen and the country surrendered. Norway broke political ties with Denmark in the early 19th century, and the former Norwegian colonies of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands fell under Danish administration.
Today, Denmark is a nation state with a parliamentary representative democracy and a constitutional monarchy. It has a modern market economy, a high level of government services and transfers, and a high dependence on foreign trade.
Almost three-quarters of the population of Denmark are registered members of the Church of Denmark, the official Christian state-sanctioned religion. Statistics indicate 60% are Protestant, 2.2% are Orthodox and 1.2 % are Catholics. The remaining are non-religious or members of other religions.
According to 2017 Statistics Denmark, 86.9% of residents are of Danish descent, The remainder were migrants and their descendants from various countries such as Poland, Turkey, Germany, Iraq, Romania, Syria, Somalia, Iran, Afghanistan, and Yugoslavia and its successor states.
According to Forbes’ 2019 Best Countries for Business, Denmark ranks as the 6th most hospitable country for capital investment in the world.
The 2019 Index of Economic Freedom rates Denmark 14th globally and states, “Denmark’s economy continues to perform notably well in regulatory efficiency. Open-market policies sustain flexibility, competitiveness, and large trade and investment flows.”