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Imports and Exports in Denmark

Imports and Exports in Denmark

Denmark is a country with a strong economy and a liberal trade policy. Among its main exports, the country is known for being a net exporter of food and energy. Denmark has a positive trade balance. Imports and exports in Denmark are performed according to the country and EU laws. The country is a member of a number of trade organizations. 

Investors who want to open a company in Denmark that operates in the trade sector can request specialized assistance and counseling for company formation from one of our agents.

What are the main Danish exports?

The main Danish exports include foodstuffs, machinery, instruments, packaged medicaments, different types of machinery and others. The major export destinations include Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway and other EU countries. Many international trade companies, like U.S. companies, have established a branch or a subsidiary in Denmark. The country has an advantageous position for maritime trade but Danish companies that export in Europe can also choose land transportation.

In 2017, Denmark was the 38th largest export economy in the world and the 19th most complex economy, according to the Economic Complexity Index. Its main neighboring countries are also some of its top export destinations, making it advantageous for local producers to export their goods. For example, investors who open a business for the manufacturing of food and/or beverages may consider exporting their products to Germany (once the business is established on the Danish market and it is ready to expand). Locally sourced, organic products can be successful in other surrounding markets as well as on the local market. investors can choose to explore their business options for exporting their goods when they draw up the business plan in the early company formation stages.

In order to open a company in Denmark that engages in exports, investors will need to obtain special permits and licenses. Some of the export documents that are commonly requested can include customs documents, certificates of origins, GSP certificates and others.  Please keep in mind that customs clearing differs and some types of goods may be subject to special regimes, as well as temporary storage. One of our agents who specialize in company formation in Denmark can assist you with information. 

What are the most important Danish imports?

Refined petroleum, cars, computers, chemicals, consumer goods, machinery, and equipment are some of the main imported goods. Major import partners include Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, China, Norway or the United Kingdom.

Investors who are interested in Danish company formation and need to import goods for their business can ask our agents more questions about the specific procedures in this case. 

What are some import and export statistics for Denmark?

According to Statistics Denmark, the total external trade in 2019, with a seasonal adjustment for exports was the following:

  • – live animals, food and beverages as well as tobacco: 11,113.1 million DKK in September;
  • – inedible crude materials, except for fuels: 2,304.7 million DKK also in September;
  • – machinery, not including transport equipment: 15,284.5 million DKK in August;
  • – the total value of exports in September 2019: 60,781.5 million DKK.

According to the same source, the seasonal adjustments for imports yielded the following figures:

  • – live animals, beverages, food and tobacco: 7,102.8 million DKK in September 2019;
  • – inedible crude materials, not including fuels: 1,590.3 million DKK in August 2019;
  • – machinery (without transport equipment): 12,870.7 million DKK in July 2019;
  • – miscellaneous manufactured articles: 9,643.1 million DKK in September 2019.

For the analyzed period, the main export partner was the EU, with top countries including Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and France. Outside of the EU, the top export destinations remained the USA and China. 

Investors who are interested in knowing more about the total external trade and, more importantly about the conditions for companies involved in trade, can reach out to our team of Danish company formation experts.

How can investors open an import/export company in Denmark?

Company formation in Denmark is accessible and straightforward for foreign investors. Foreign ownership is permitted for all of the available types of companies.

Below, we present the main steps to opening a business in Denmark:

  1. Choose the business form: the partnership, the private limited company, and the pubic limited company are examples of business forms that can be selected by local and foreign entrepreneurs. 
  2. Prepare for registration: this step includes drafting the Articles of Association for corporations as well as selecting a registered office address and establishing the ownership structure.
  3. Register the company: every company is to be registered with the Danish Business Authority via an online registration system.
  4. Register with the tax authorities: once the business registration is complete, investors can move forward to tax registration (with the Customs and Tax Administration – SKAT); separate registration is required for import/export activities.
  5. Hire employees: once all of the registrations are complete (including that for social security), the company may start to issue employment contracts and start its business activities.

Please remember that these steps are only briefly described in this list.  For a more detailed description of the various business forms, please reach out to our Danish company formation agents. They will provide more information about the ApS as well as the other forms that may be used by investors interested in starting a trade business. For reasons concerning the liability of the company founders, the private limited company is commonly used for a number of business activities, including imports and/or exports. It not only provides protection in case of company liquidation but also helps maintain a credible and professional business image both in front of the clients and in front of other business partners. 

As far as taxation is concerned, Danish companies are subject to a corporate income tax of 22%. Double taxation relief is possible for international trade companies that also have a registered office in Denmark. Companies in this business field will also need to comply with VAT registration in Denmark. If you want to open a company in Denmark and need more information on the double tax treaties, one of our specialists can help you.

Contact our agents for more information on company registration in Denmark.