EU residence as a self-employed person
You are an EU citizen and have established and run your own business in Denmark.
Normal processing time
How can I be registered as a self-employed person?
You can be registered as a self-employed person if you have established and run your own business in Denmark.
You must run your own business and bear the financial risk associated with it. The purpose of the business must be financial gain.
This means that you must be the founder or co-founder of the business and be the one who runs the business on a daily basis.
In addition, the business must be established and registered in Denmark.
The business must be genuine and effective. This means that genuine and effective work is carried out under the auspices of the business to a not insignificant extent.
It does not matter what legal status the company has.
SIRI makes a concrete assessment of the information and documents you submit in your application.
Below are a number of examples of factors that can be included in the assessment of whether you can be registered as a self-employed person:
• registration in the CVR register as a self-employed person
• the size of the turnover
• the business is active roughly regularly and for not a very short period
• information about VAT payments
• excise duties levied quarterly
• information about inventory
• annual statements
• lease or other indication of where the business is to be operated from
In ‘How to apply’ tab you can, amongst other things, see a number of examples of documents that may be relevant to submit together with the application form.
If your business in Denmark is not yet fully established and functioning, it may be difficult in some situations to show sufficient documentation that you can be registered based on grounds for residence as a self-employed person. In that situation, you can choose to apply to be registered on other grounds, such as a person with sufficient funds (self-supporting). Read more about self-supporting persons here [Link]. When your business is fully established at a later date, you can choose to change your registration.
What rights do an EU residence document give me?
An EU residence document is proof of a right that you, as an EU citizen, have when you enter Denmark, if you meet the conditions for grounds for residence under EU rules. This means you have the right to reside, work or study in Denmark with or without an EU residence document.
In Denmark, you will, however, in many situations need a Civil Registration System (CPR) number. You must present your EU residence document to your municipality of residence to be given a CPR number (and health insurance card and the like). The information below explains the rights an EU residence document (and CPR number) conveys to you, as well as the limitations that are placed on your residence.
As an EU citizen, you may freely enter Denmark and you may begin to work upon arrival. You do not need a permit to work in Denmark.
There is no limit on the number of hours you may work while living in Denmark. This also applies if you are studying in Denmark.
You do not need an EU residence document in order to begin work. This is the case even if you have – or have applied for – a residence document as a worker, as a self-supporting individual or for some other reason.
With an EU residence document in Denmark, you are entitled to partly user paid Danish lessons. However, you must have turned 18 and have your Danish address registered in the Danish National Register.
Your municipality of residence is obliged to offer you Danish lessons and refer you to a language centre.
If you have not been offered Danish lessons within a month after registering your address in Denmark, you can contact your municipality.
You will be taught together with other foreign nationals who have arrived in Denmark recently.
During your stay in Denmark under EU rules, you must normally be able to support yourself and your family financially. Depending on your grounds for residence, that means you, amongst other things, may not receive cash benefits or other forms of public assistance regulated by the Active Social Policy Act (lov om aktiv socialpolitik).
If you or a family member receive such benefits while living in Denmark, your right of residence can be terminated and you can lose your right to be in Denmark.
Benefit payments from the municipality or any other public authority to a foreign national are reported to SIRI. SIRI will then assess whether this affects your grounds for residence.
If you meet the requirements to be a worker as defined by EU law – or if you have retained worker status despite no longer working – receiving the above-mentioned benefits will normally not in and of itself lead to termination of your right of residence. The same applies if you have grounds for residence as the family member to a worker.
If you plan to live and work in Denmark, there are several things you need to consider. Depending on your situation, there may be more important information you need to be aware of.
The website lifeindenmark.dk contains information about:
- The CPR register
- Health card
- Tax matters
- Holiday entitlements
- School and daycare
- Danish lessons
- Car registration and driver’s license
How long may I stay in Denmark?
As an EU citizen, you may freely enter Denmark.
If you plan on remaining in Denmark for less than three months, you do not need to apply for an EU residence document. If you are seeking employment, you may remain in Denmark for up to six months before obtaining a residence document.
If you plan on being in Denmark for longer than three months, or six months if you will be seeking employment, you need to apply for an EU residence document. If you have a residence document, you may remain in Denmark indefinitely, provided you meet the conditions for your grounds for residence. There is no date of expiry for residence documents.
If your grounds for residence are terminated – e.g. if you stop working or studying – you must apply for a new residence document on other grounds – e.g. as a person with sufficient funds. If you are uncertain whether you meet the conditions for new grounds for residence, you must contact SIRI.
If you continuously have met the conditions for EU-secured grounds for residence in Denmark for five years, you can – regardless of whether you are a citizen of an EU state or a country outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland – apply for a permanent right of residence under EU rules.
If you hold a permanent right of residence you do not necessarily need to continue to meet the conditions for your original grounds for residence. Please note, however, that your permanent right of residence can lapse if you reside outside of Denmark for an extended period. Read more here. [Link]
What do I do if I stop running my own business?
If you have grounds for residence as a self-employed person, but your business closes or there is no longer any activity in it, your right of residence has as a rule been terminated.
If you have left or will leave Denmark in connection with your business being terminated, you do not need to do anything about your grounds for residence. All you need to do is to inform the Civil Registration System (CPR) about your departure. You can do this on-line at lifeindenmark.dk (requires NemID).
If you want to stay in Denmark after your business it terminated, you must contact SIRI for clarification of your grounds for residence. In some cases, worker status – and thus grounds for residence as a self-employed person – can be maintained for a period after you have stopped running your own business. This depends, amongst other things, on the reason why you stopped running your own business, whether you registered with the job centre within the allotted time after you stopped running your own business, and how long before that you have been a self-employed person in Denmark.
If you believe that you meet the requirements for other grounds for residence, as a worker for example, or as self-supporting person, you must submit an application on these grounds.
SIRI will write to you to inform you if it is considering making a decision that could affect your grounds for residence. In such instances, you will have the opportunity to provide information or documentation to support extending your residence.
If you no longer meet the requirements for grounds for residence under EU rules your ties to Denmark will be considered and this may influence whether you retain your right to residence. Among other factors this includes how long you have lived in Denmark and your work history here.
Can my family qualify for an EU residence document?
If you are an EU citizen, you can qualify for grounds for residence based on your own qualifications. You can also qualify as the family member of someone who has grounds for residence.
You have independent grounds for residence if you, as an EU citizen, work, are self-employed, are a student or are a self-supporting person.
Your grounds for residence can be derived from a family member who is an EU citizen.
If you are a citizen of a third country who is related to an EU citizen, your family can apply for family reunification according the rules for citizens of EU countries.
If you are citizen of a third country, granted residence as the family member of an EU citizen, you may not yourself sponsor an individual applying for family reunification. In certain cases, the EU citizen who sponsored you for family reunification can sponsor your family members.
What more do I need to know before I apply?
Applications for an EU residence document as a self-employed person should be submitted to the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI).
The ‘How to Apply’ tab (at right) provides more information about the application process, as well as the application form itself.
SIRI normally makes its decision based on the information and documents you submit with the application form. In some cases, SIRI will need to contact you to request further information.
Please note that SIRI will only request information from you. Your employer, for example, will not be contacted to provide information. Likewise, SIRI will not provide information about your application to others than you. If SIRI is contacted – by telephone or in writing – by anyone other than you requesting information about your application, the request will normally be turned down.
You may grant SIRI permission to give information about your application to others than yourself. To grant someone else permission to receive information, you must submit a power of attorney in advance. The power of attorney needs to indicate by name the individuals authorised to receive information about your application.
If you state in your application that you are being represented by a solicitor, you do not need to submit a power of attorney. Solicitors, due to their profession, are automatically granted power of attorney. If you are being represented by a solicitor, SIRI will send all correspondence about your application to your solicitor.
In this tab, you can read about the application process. You must submit your application to the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI).
You can submit your application in person at one of SIRI’s branch offices in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg or Aabenraa.
Before reading this tab about submitting an application for EU residence, we recommend that you read about the conditions for residence as a self-employed person etc. in the ‘Need to know’ tab at left.
You must bring the following to your appointment with SIRI:
As documentation of your grounds for residence as a self-employed, you can submit the following:
Expect to use
to complete the application form
You complete the application form yourself
In this step you have access to the relevant application form OD1.
The application form contains instructions for how to complete it and what kind of documents you must submit along with the form.
The form cannot be completed or submitted online. It must be printed out, completed and submitted in person at one of our branch offices together with the relevant documentation.
You can submit your application in person at SIRI’s branch offices in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg and Aabenraa.
Remember to book an appointment at SIRI
You can see the normal case processing time to the right of this tab. When we make a decision in your case, you will receive an answer.
SIRI will contact you if we need further information to process your case. In some cases, we will need to obtain further information, e.g. from other public authorities, including SKAT and the police and relevant authorities abroad.
You have the right to reside and work in Denmark while you wait for an answer.