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Start-up Denmark (self-employment)

An entrepreneur with an innovative business idea, which can contribute to growth and new employment in Denmark can be granted a residence and work permit in order to operate an independent company in Denmark.

As a self-employed person you should apply for a residence and work permit under the Start-up Denmark scheme. This scheme can also be used by two persons who wish to establish a company together.

Before you apply for a residence and work permit, your business idea must be approved by a panel of experts appointed by the Danish Business Authority. There must be particular Danish professional or labour market interests in the establishment of the company in Denmark. Consequently, you cannot be granted a residence and work permit in order to establish a restaurant, retail shop, small business, import or export enterprise or similar.

Read more about the criteria for approval on the web portal of the Danish Business Authority (new window)

You can also upload your business plans on the webportal.

Please note that a maximum of 50 residence and work permits will be granted under the Start-up Denmark scheme per year, that is, from 1 January to 31 December. Applications will be processed in the order that the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration receives them.

Conditions

  • Your business idea must be approved by the panel of experts
  • You must document that you can support yourself during the first year of your stay in Denmark
    Read more about financial requirements
  • You must participate actively in the day-to-day operation of the company, and your presence and involvement must be vital to the establishment of the business. 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

Duration

A residence and work permit under the Start-up Denmark scheme is granted for a maximum of two years with the possibility of extension for three years at a time.

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.

Please note that it is a requirement that your passport is valid for at least three months beyond the duration of the residence permit you apply for.

Read more about passport requirements in connection with applying

How to apply

Read more about how to apply for a residence and work permit as a self-employed person

Family members

If you have been granted a residence and work permit as a self-employed person, you can bring certain family members.

Read more about residence permit for accompanying family members

Please note that you must document that you can support your family members during the first year of their stay.

Extension

When applying for an extension of your residence and work permit, you must include a new evaluation from the panel of experts.

Read more about the evaluation from the panel of experts (new window)

The application must however be submitted before the original residence permit expires, even if the statement from the panel of experts is not yet available.

Please note that different rules apply to self-employed persons granted a residence permit before 1 January 2015. Applications for an extension of such a residence permit will be processed according to the rules which applied before 1 January 2015.



Last update: 8/10/2017
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Published by: The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration