What is Start-up Denmark?
Start-up Denmark is a scheme for foreign entrepreneurs giving you the opportunity to be granted a Danish residence permit in order to establish and run an innovative growth company.
Your business idea must be approved by a panel of experts appointed by the Danish Business Authority before SIRI can process your application for a residence and work permit based on the scheme.
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.
What are the conditions?
You must meet certain conditions in order to be granted a residence permit and run your own business in Denmark based on the Start-up Denmark Scheme.
Your business idea must be approved by the Danish Business Authority’s panel of experts
Your business must contribute innovative ideas and potential for development to the Danish business community.
Your business idea must be approved by a panel of experts appointed by the Danish Business Authority.
You can only apply for a residence and work permit based on the Start-up Denmark scheme when your business idea has been approved.
There must be specific Danish business interests speaking in favour of the establishment of your business in Denmark. Normally, it is not possible to be granted a permit for businesses without an innovative potential, e.g. restaurants, retail stores, smaller trade, import and export businesses etc.
What are my rights if I am granted a permit?
What are you allowed to do with a Danish residence and work permit via the Start-up Denmark Scheme? – and what are you not allowed to do?
You are only allowed to work in the business that you have been granted a permit to work in.
Furthermore you are allowed to carry out unpaid voluntary work.
If you start a new business or are offered a salaried job, you must apply for a new permit.
If you wish to take a sideline job, you have to obtain a separate permit.
A Danish residence and work permit does not allow you to work in other Schengen countries.
A residence and work permit allows you to stay in Denmark for the period of time your permit is valid.
In addition, a permit allows you to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days within the latest 180 days period. The permit, however, does not allow you to work in other Schengen countries.
You must not give up your Danish address or stay abroad for longer than 6 successive months. A violation will result in the lapse of your permit. This means that you will lose your right to stay in Denmark.
If you need to stay abroad for a longer period of time, you can apply for dispensation to prevent your permit from lapsing.
You must be able to support yourself during your stay. You are not allowed to receive benefits under the terms of the Active Social Policy Act.
If you receive such benefits during your stay, your permit can be revoked – and you will lose the right to stay in Denmark.
If an authority, e.g. a municipality, disburses benefits to foreign nationals, SIRI will be notified.
With a residence permit in Denmark, you are entitled to free Danish lessons. However, you must have turned 18 years and have your Danish address registered in the Danish National Register.
If you have a residence permit in Denmark based on work, study, etc. you have to pay a deposit before you can start receiving lessons. Be aware that you can lose your deposit if you do not pass the different modules within a specific timeframe.
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 (typically) be taught together with other foreign nationals who have arrived in Denmark recently.
How long can I stay in Denmark?
A residence permit based on the Start-up Denmark Scheme is valid from the date when your permit is granted.
Duration of the permit
You can be granted a residence and work permit for a period of up to 2 years. It is possible to extend your permit for up to 3 years at a time.
Please note: It is very important that you apply for an extension before your permit expires.
If you submit your application for an extension in time, you are allowed to stay in Denmark and continue to run your business – even if your permit is expiring.
Shorter validity because your passport expires
A residence permit can only be valid until 3 months before the expiry date of your passport.
If your passport has a shorter validity than the otherwise possible period of stay, your residence permit will be shortened. This means that the validity of your residence permit will be shorter than it could be. When you have renewed your passport, you can apply for an extension of your residence permit – however, this can only be done 3 months before your permit expires at the earliest.
Can my family be granted a residence permit?
A residence and work permit based on the Start-up Denmark Scheme allows your family to come with you to Denmark
A permit can be granted to your spouse, registered or cohabiting partner as well as children under the age of 18 living at home.