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Doing Business in Denmark

As a modern and liberal nation, Denmark is a place where those in business are treated equally. A prosperous nation for business, it is one of the least corrupt in the world, ranked very highly on the World Bank’s scale for ease of doing business and the 2018 Index of Economic Freedom, and one of the most productive economies in the world, despite also having some of the highest tax rates.

Denmark is largely made up of small or medium-sized organisations in ever-growing numbers, having far fewer larger businesses than most major industrial nations in Europe. Smaller towns in Denmark tend to be dominated by medium-sized businesses. The Danes are often specialists, famous for their creativity, innovation and quality in their respective trades, rather than focusing on mass-market products and price competitiveness.

Despite these smaller companies’ reputation for excellence in product and design, the reputation of a smaller business is more fragile than that of a larger one: a significant concern is the possibility of staining its local image with any unpleasant activity (e.g. downsizing the workforce). In Danish industry, community relations are very important.

When doing business in Denmark one will soon realise that it is a strongly egalitarian nation when it comes to commercial culture, with many more women in higher positions than other countries. Danish business is very consensus-oriented with very open communication and lots of teamwork. Managers are not often strict authority figures so much as the first among equals. There is plenty of detailed discussions involved: in meetings, everyone gets to (and is expected to) share their thoughts. Communication is further aided by the fact that Danes normally speak two or three non-native languages; they also tend to use humour to keep things comfortable. However, body language can be limited, which can prove difficult for those who are used to a more expressive culture.

As you can see, doing business in Denmark is quite different from that in other countries. The World Business Culture website can offer many more insights and advice to help you do business with the Danes, including more information on their culture, economy and logistics.