In more than 90 countries

The consumer

Consumer Profile
The median age in Denmark is 42.3 years. The population is slightly ageing but this should stabilise in the coming years. The population growth rate in 2021 was 0.4%. Around 28.3% of the population is under 25 years old while 33.6% is over 55 years old (Data Reportal, 2022). On average, a household is composed of 2 people and this number is decreasing while the average was 2.2 people in 2007. Some 44% of households are people living alone and 43% are couples with or without children (Eurostat, 2020). The gender ratio is 99 men for every 100 women with 88.4% of the total population living in urban areas in 2022 (Data Reportal, 2022). Concentration points of the population are mainly along the coast and in the east of the country. The main city is Copenhagen, where the population of the wider urban area was 1.34 million inhabitants in 2022 (Statistics Denmark). The level of education in the country is high with 82% of people aged 25 to 64 having a secondary education, and 40.4% of people of the same age have a tertiary education (OECD, 2020). Some 27.5% of the active population are working as professionals, 18.5% are technicians, 18.4% are service and sales workers, 10.2% have elementary occupations, 7.4% are craft workers, 6.4% are clerical support workers, 4.9% are plant and machine operators, 2.7% are managers, and 1.4% are agricultural workers (Eurostat, 2021).
Purchasing Power
The GDP per capita PPP is USD 60,229 in 2020 (World Bank). The average salary of a full-time worker is DKK 44,513 per month (Statistics Denmark). Household purchasing power has been on the rise in recent years. The adjusted annual disposable household income is estimated USD 33,774 (OECD). According to Statistics Denmark, a decreasing part of the income of Danish households is spent on food, beverages and tobacco, while an increasing part is spent on almost everything else. Consumer spending on food and beverages represent 11% of total consumer spending, while housing (including rent and heating) account for 23.3% of total consumer spending (Statistics Denmark, 2020). The Gini index on income inequality is slightly below the European average and remains stable. Men earn on average DKK 46,157.97 a month while women earn only DKK 40,661.93 (Statistics Denmark, 2020). People working in the provinces of Kobenhavns Omegn and Nordsjëlland have the highest wages, while those working in the Bornholm and Fyn provinces have the lowest wages.
Consumer Behaviour
Denmark is a consumer society. Thanks to the high purchasing power and the good quality of life in the country, consumers are generally attracted by quality and innovative products. Danish consumers are among the most demanding consumers in Europe. New technologies and rapid access to information allow consumers to evaluate before making a purchase. It is not uncommon for consumers to inquire about a brand or product  before going to the store. To attract consumers, it is often necessary to create a shopping experience in-store or mall. Consumers are increasingly buying online the main reasons being to avoid till queues, traffic or even stockouts. Consumer confidence, which had been on the rise in recent years, dropped drastically in 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis. E-commerce has largely normalized in the country, with 5.77 million internet users (Data Reportal, 2022). Consumption on online sites is growing, with the value of online sales of local Danish online retailers amounting to DKK 132.9 billion in 2021 (Statista). The most-purchased products online are (in order of importance) fashion, electronics and media, games and toys, food and furniture. Foreign products are generally welcomed, but Danish products will often be preferred, as well as international products with a long-established brand in the country.

In general, consumers are relatively open to new products and brand loyalty is achieved primarily through good customer service and branding. Denmark is one of the most advanced countries in terms of new technologies and the use of social networks has an impact on consumption. According to a Deloitte study 61% of consumers say they are influenced by recommendations on social networks and 44% by people doing product placement (influencer). The protection of user data on the internet is an important issue in Denmark.

The consumption habits of the Danes are changing with environmental awareness. The country is among the first countries to have promoted organic products. Behaviours are increasingly adapting to responsible consumption for the planet but also for its health benefits. The food sector is the most marked with many consumers considering food like medicine. Transparent, sustainable, ethical, labeled, fresh, plant-based products are increasingly consumed. Also, consumers generally seek to reduce their waste, to consume a minimum of products with additives. The number of vegetarians and vegans is increasing but there is also an increase in flexitarianism especially among young people (reducing its consumption of meat and fish to consume only quality). The second-hand market is already developed in the country and becoming increasingly important. The products bought and sold range from electronics, furniture, fashion and vehicles. Second-hand shops exist but the use of websites and applications largely favours this market. The collaborative economy is progressing in Denmark, with the development of platforms for the rental of housing or for carpooling.
Consumer Recourse to Credit
Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Denmark. Visa and Mastercard are the most popular, but some shops also accept American Express and Diner's Club. To pay by card it may be necessary to show identification. The level of household debt in Denmark is high, without endangering the country's banking stability. The level of household debt relative to their disposable income exceeds 260%, but it has decreased since the crisis and is offset by a high level of savings. The majority of loans are made by bank but consumer credit institutions also provide them. In 2019, outstanding consumer loans to households amounted to DKK 3,538.9 billion, up 2.6% from the previous year (Statista). The loans are used mainly to finance real estate, studies and vehicles.
Growing Sectors
Non-alcoholic beverages, transportation and vehicle services, holidays, accommodation and food services, furniture and carpets, recreation and cultural services, appliances, telephones, home maintenance, repairs and home textiles.
Consumers Associations
Taenk Forbrugerraadet , The Danish Consumer Council (in Danish)
Danish Consumer Ombudsman
European Consumer Centre (ECC) , The European Consumer Centre in Denmark


Importing & Distributing

Import Procedures
For goods of a value under DKK 1,150 (excluding shipping costs), a verbal declaration at Customs, and presenting the invoice, is sufficient.
For higher values, you must deposit at the Customs office:

  1. A brief declaration (air or maritime manifest) to conclude the collection of the goods.
  2. A common law declaration (SAD, single administrative document), as well as the accompanying documents to allow their clearance.

The SAD form can be obtained from Chambers of Commerce or an approved printer. A computerised Customs clearance platform (SOFI: International freight computer system) can be accessed in Customs offices or in some Chambers of Commerce.

In the case of deliveries and purchases within the European Community, the declaration of exchange of goods (DEB) or Intrastat declaration must be sent to the Customs service.

As part of the "SAFE" standards advocated by the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the European Union has set up a new system of import controls, the "Import Control System" (ICS), which aims to secure the flow of goods at the time of their entry into the customs territory of the EU. Operators are required to pass an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to the customs of the country of entry, prior to the introduction of goods into the customs territory of the European Union.

For further information, you can also visit the website of the Danish Customs.

Specific Import Procedures
The is a wide range of EU regulations that importers should see before starting to import products in Denmark. It is especially the case for agricultural and fisheries products.
For more information, please visit the website of the European Customs Union.
Distribution channels
In 2020, Denmark’s modern grocery retail sector was valued at around USD 20 billion (New Zealand Trade and Enterprise). Modern grocery retailers, in particular discounters, hypermarkets and supermarkets, continued to see solid growth in 2021, although lower than in 2020. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic-related restrictions and closures, consumers spent more time cooking at home (MarketLine).
The food retail market is well developed in Denmark, and it is dominated by two large retail chains, COOP and Salling Group, which account for nearly 70% of the total market (, 2021). Danish grocery companies are struggling with a flat market, fierce competition and new eating habits among consumers, who are shifting from regular large-scale shopping trips to more frequent and spontaneous visits to local stores, buying products only when needed. Moreover, consumers are more and more aware about environmental problems and about health and wellness trends, thus big chains are trying to adapt their offer providing fresh, organic, and premium products (compared to that of discount-orientated competitors). There are about 30 significant independent food product importers in Denmark (, 2021).

The Danish grocery market is characterized by a high store density compared to European standards, with now approx. 2,600 discount stores, supermarkets and major grocery stores. In recent years, several brands have chosen to reduce the number of outlets (for example, the grocery group Dagrofa closed the discount chain Kiwi, while both Aldi and Coop have also closed some non-profitable stores). Danish supermarkets and discount stores are experiencing greater and greater pressure on earnings. The chains are fighting hard against each other in a market where the development in total sales is flat. Salling Group and Coop Danmark maintained their dominance of supermarkets in 2021.

Distribution market players
As opposed  to other European countries, small businesses (neighbourhood shops) hold an important market share in Danish retail.

There are two main groups in the mass market:
•    Salling Group: 34.1% of market share in 2020, with an estimated turnover of DKK 38.9 billion and a total of 27,500 employees (Coop)
•    COOP: 32.6% of market share in 2020, with an estimated turnover of DKK 37,2 billion and a total of 40,000 employees (Coop). It owns brands like Kvickly, Brugsen, OBS, Irma and Fakta. Different type of outlets, from hypermarkets, supermarkets and mini-markets to discount stores.

The other players include:
•    Reitan
•    Lidl
•    Dagrofa
•    Rema 1000
•    Fleggaard
•    Aldi

Retail Sector Organisations
The Danish Chamber of Commerce
The Trade Council


Operating a Business

Type of companies

Anpartselskab or ApS (Private Limited Company)
Number of partners: One or more. Minimum 1 director is required.
Capital (max/min): Minimum DKK 40,000 totally subscribed and released.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is limited to the amount contributed.
Aktieselskab or A/S (Public Limited Company)
Number of partners: One or more. Three directors and one manager required, must be citizens in the EU
Capital (max/min): Minimum DKK 400,000. 25% of the share capital has to be paid when the company is registered
Shareholders and liability: Liability is limited to the amount contributed.
Interessentskab or I/S (General Partnership)
Number of partners: One or more.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Partners' liability is indefinite and several.
Kommanditselskab or K/S (Limited Partnership)
Number of partners: Two or more. Two types of partners: active partners and sleeping partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Liability of active partners is unlimited. Liability of sleeping partners is limited to the amount contributed.
Setting Up a Company Denmark OECD
Procedures (number) 5.0 5.2
Time (days) 3.5 9.5

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.


Cost of Labour

Minimum Wage
According to the government data, the average monthly income is DKK 44,513 in 2020 (Statistics Denmark).
Average Wage
According to the government data, the average yearly income is DKK 326,048 in 2019.
Social Contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: Supplementary Pension Scheme (ATP) : DKK 2,271.60 annually
Maternity fund : DKK 1,350 annually
Industrial injury insurance : around DKK 5,000 annually (depends on type of work, number of employees, insurance company etc.)
Other social contributions : around DKK 5,000 annually
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: Supplementary Pension Scheme (ATP) : DKK 1,135.80 annually.

Intellectual Property

National Organisations
Danish Patent and Trademark Office
Regional Organisations
For the protection of patents: the European Patent Office (EPO). To control trademarks, designs and models: the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)


Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
VAT (Value-added tax - Meromsætningsafgift MOMS)
Tax Rate
Reduced Tax Rate
There are no reduced rates in Denmark, but some supplies are exempt (see above). Zero-rated supplies include newspapers, supplies to ships, and supplies of gold to the Danish National Bank.
Other Consumption Taxes
Various excise taxes (link in Danish) apply in Denmark to goods from jurisdictions outside the EU. These goods include tobacco, alcoholic beverages, chocolate and other foodstuffs containing sugar, energy products and vehicles, etc. The excise duty rates depend on the type of goods and in some cases on the category of the goods (e.g. the packaging like plastic bags, paper bags).
A motor vehicle tax applies in Denmark (for passenger cars is 25% of the value up to DKK 70.200, 85% on the value between DKK 70,200-218,100 and 150% of the value in excess). Between 2022 and 2026, the motor vehicle tax will gradually increase. Click here for further info.
Denmark also imposes environmental taxes, including carbon dioxide emissions and wastewater taxes.

Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
A company is deemed to be resident in Denmark for tax purposes if it is incorporated in Denmark and registered in the Companies Register as having a Danish place of business. Furthermore, foreign companies having their actual place of management (i.e. the place where the management decisions) in Denmark are also considered tax resident in the country.
Capital Gains Taxation
Capital gains are included in taxable income and taxed at the corporate income tax rate of 22%. However, gains from subsidiary shares, group shares, or unlisted portfolio shares are exempt, and losses from these sources are nondeductible. Foreign shareholders generally are not subject to Danish capital gains tax on the disposal of shares in Danish companies.
Gains from the sale of real estate property are taxable. Losses from the sale of land and buildings can only be used to offset taxable profits from real estate sales in the same year or carried forward indefinitely. Under certain conditions, a capital gain can be deferred if it is reinvested in properties. This reinvestment must occur no later than the income year following the year of disposal.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Ordinary business expenses are generally deductible. Tax incentives in the form of a full deduction of expenses on R&D, the acquisition of patents and know-how, depreciation on assets acquired for R&D purposes etc. are also available. Annual depreciation allowances for machinery and equipment can be claimed using the diminishing-balance method at a rate of up to 25%. Companies may deduct a small amount in gifts to certain organisations mentioned in the Danish tax authorities' guidelines (up to a maximum of DKK 18,300 for the tax year 2024). A Danish corporation can claim a deduction for royalties, management fees, and similar payments made to foreign affiliates if such amounts are made on an arm's length basis and reflect services received. Bad debts can generally be deducted unless they are inter-company debts.

The deduction for R&D is set at 108% for 2023-2025, and 110% for 2026.
Fines and penalties are generally not deductible, as they are not considered operational expenses. For corporate income tax purposes, taxes are non-deductible except for employer’s tax, non-recoverable VAT, land tax, and coverage charges.
Net operating losses can be offset against taxable income up to DKK 9,457,500 for 2024 (9,135,000 for 2023). Losses exceeding this amount can be deducted up to 60% of the taxable income. The carryback of losses is not permitted.

Other Corporate Taxes
Owners of non-residential property are required to pay land tax annually. The rate, set by the municipalities, ranges from 0.31% to 1.77% of the land's value. Additionally, municipalities may impose a special coverage charge on certain non-residential properties, with rates ranging from 0.08% to 1.8% of the land value.
Stamp tax is payable on certain documents, such as deeds for the transfer of real estate, mortgages related to real estate and cooperative housing, chattels, and intangible assets, as well as property reservations in motor vehicles. Therefore, there is no stamp duty on the transfer of shares. The stamp tax consists of a fixed amount, ranging from DKK 1,825 to DKK 1,850 (2024), along with a predetermined percentage based on this fixed fee.

Danish companies must pay environmental taxes to the companies that provide the energy, who then pay the taxes to the Danish tax authorities. Most of the environmental tax rates are regulated every year and can be partially reimbursed.

The employer’s liability for social security contributions amounts to approx. DKK 14,000-17,000 per year per employee, depending on the industry. Click here for further info.

Shipping companies may elect to pay tonnage tax for a period of 10 years instead of the normal corporate income tax.
Danish oil and gas upstream activities are subject to two "ring-fenced" taxes. The first tax is similar to the standard CIT, with a tax rate of 25% instead of 22%. The income earned from Danish oil and gas upstream activities is also ring-fenced, meaning that no tax losses from other income can be deducted from this income. The second tax, known as the "hydrocarbon tax," is levied on profits from oil and gas exploration and extraction on the Danish continental shelf at a rate of 52%. The 25% tax is deductible when computing the hydrocarbon tax, resulting in an effective tax rate of 64%.

The country does not impose any capital duty, transfer tax, or wealth tax.

Other Domestic Resources
SKAT (Danish Tax and Customs Administration)

Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
List of international tax treaties signed by Denmark
Withholding Taxes
  • Dividends: 0% (if the recipient is the beneficial owner of the dividends and owns at least 10% of the share capital of the payer, and the withholding tax would be reduced or eliminated under the EU parent-subsidiary directive or an applicable tax treaty)/15% (if the recipient holds less than 10% of the payer company)/27% (to non-residents, but companies can reclaim 5%, hence the effective rate is 22%);
  • Interest: 0% (residents and non-residents)/22% (paid to a foreign group member company that is tax resident outside the EU or any of the states with which Denmark has concluded a tax treaty);
  • Royalties: 0% (residents)/22% (non-residents)

The above rates may be reduced under tax treaties.