The Startup Denmark Guide

Are you a talented entrepreneur looking to grow a high-impact startup in an entrepreneur-friendly country? This is your chance to get a startup visa. We’ll guide you through the process here.


Why Denmark

No.1 in Europe for ease of doing business

Startup Denmark opens the door to Danish public funding schemes, free of charge guidance by public business experts and a strong eco-system of both public and private actors who can help you grow your business. Startup Denmark provides access to one of the world’s best countries for entrepreneurs, but we count on you to seize the opportunities startups in Denmark have.

  • We help you launch your business
  • Join a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Tap into public and private funding
  • A gateway to the European market
  • Leading tech innovation
  • Most digital in the EU
Read more about the vast opportunities for entrepreneurs in Denmark

The program

A startup visa scheme for talented entrepreneurs

Startup Denmark is a scheme for foreign entrepreneurs (non-EU, non-EEA and non-Swiss citizens) giving you the opportunity to be granted a Danish residence permit in order to establish and run an innovative growth company.

The scheme can be used by both individuals and teams of up to 3 people who want to start a business together in Denmark through a joined business plan.

You apply on the basis of a business plan which is evaluated by an expert panel. If the panel approves your business plan, you are eligible to apply for a residence and work permit as a self-employed entrepreneur. The permit is granted for a period of up to two years with the possibility of extension for three years at a time.

Read more about the Startup Denmark programme

Your business plan

Describe your business

Send in an application outlining your business model, product and team. Our panel of independent business experts will evaluate your business plan and assess whether it can be approved for Startup Denmark.

Evaluation of your application

The expert panel will evaluate your application based on an overall perception of the quality of the business plan and the applicant(s) behind it in relation to the 4 evaluation criteria listed below.

  1. How innovative is the business model? 
  2. How attractive is the market? 
  3. How scalable is the business model? 
  4. What competencies and resources does the team possess? 
Read more about getting your business plan approved

Work and residence permit

Apply for work and residence permit

If your business plan is approved by the Startup Denmark expert panel, you can apply for a residence and work permit at the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration. There is a processing fee of 1,900 DKK , and the agency usually considers applications within one month of submission.

You must also meet certain criteria to be granted a residence and work permit:

  • You play an active part in running the business and your presence is necessary for the establishment of the business.
  • You can provide documentary proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your first year in Denmark.
Read more about applying for a work and residence permit

Launch your startup

Setting up a business in Denmark

In most cases, launching your startup in Denmark is easy. Several public initiatives exist to help grow your startup in Denmark.

To begin with, you are advised to contact your local Danish Business Hub. These hubs offer free individual counselling on your business plan, capital issues and product development. The consultants can also direct you to accelerators, incubators, programmes and subsidy schemes for which you may be eligible to apply.

Read more about launching your business in Denmark