It is possible to be granted a work and residence permit in order to be self-employed and/or operate an independent company in Denmark.
If you are a Nordic citizen
, you are free to reside, study and work in Denmark. If you are an EU/EEA citizen
or Swiss citizen seeking residence in Denmark based on the EU regulations on freedom of movement, you may be subject to special rules. More information about EU/EEA and Nordic citizens
If you already hold a Danish residence permit based on family reunification or asylum, or hold a residence permit on humanitarian grounds, you do not need a work permit in order to work in Denmark.
It is your own responsibility to obtain a work permit if you are required to. If you work illegally in Denmark, you risk deportation, and you and your employer risk fine or imprisonment.
When processing your application, the Danish Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment will pay particular attention to the following conditions:
There must be particular Danish business interests related to the establishment of your business in Denmark
You must present documentation that you have access to sufficient financial means to run your business
Your presence and involvement must be vital to the establishment of the business, and you must participate actively in its day-to-day operation. If you have only financial interests in the business - for example, if you are a shareholder - you are not eligible for a Danish residence and work permit
Normally, you will not be eligible for a residence and work permit for the purpose of opening a restaurant, retail shop, small business enterprise, or similar, in Denmark.
If the nature or purpose of your company changes considerably, or if you shut down your company and open a new one, you must apply for a new residence and work permit.
Your residence permit can only be granted or extended up to three months before your passport expires. In other words, if your passport expires in 12 months, your residence permit can only be granted for, or extended by, nine months.
If you have been granted a residence and work permit as a self-employed person, you do not automatically have the right to bring your family to Denmark. Your spouse, registered partner or cohabiting partner, as well as any children under the age of 18 who are living at home with you, may be eligible for residence permits. However, your family members must be able to support themselves and you must live together in Denmark at the same address. Your spouse, registered partner or cohabiting partner is allowed to work full-time for the entire period his or her permit is valid.
How to apply
Read more about how to apply for a residence and work permit.