Accounting Denmark

In Denmark, the scope of accounting covers a variety of business forms - from companies to sole proprietorships. Differences between businesses in the accounting area include difficulty, documentation, taxes, deadlines and legal aspects. If one is planning to start a business in Denmark, it is worth thinking about how accounting can be handled for a local business. One can handle the bookkeeping of a business in Denmark on one's own, or enlist the professional help of certified accountants. Accounting professionals effectively manage the company's affairs, guiding you through issues of accounting regulation in Denmark, chart of accounts and accounting, as well as reporting. In addition, they will point out the employer's rights and obligations related to this area.



What is the subject of accounting in Denmark?


The subject of Danish accounting is the sphere of activity of every entrepreneur who runs his own business in Denmark. These issues include a variety of issues, the necessary knowledge and proper fulfillment of which is important to avoid severe financial penalties. The following is a list of key accounting issues in Denmark:


Classification of reporting obligations


In terms of company accounting in Denmark, an important aspect is the creation of financial statements, the basis for which is covered by the Financial Reporting Act. This regulation classifies all given business activity in Denmark into four classes (A, B, C and D), based on the following criteria:

If the company's situation includes financial reporting provisions, this report should consist of the following:


Category A - includes all private companies in Denmark, regardless of size, with a maximum of 10 employees (full-time). The total assets of these companies do not exceed DKK 7 million and the annual net turnover does not exceed DKK 14 million. The obligation to prepare financial statements for companies in this class is not imposed by Danish law (exceptions are established clauses in the company's contract), except for those used for tax purposes.

As for Class B - it includes both public and private limited partnerships, commercial foundations and other companies. Conditions include:


Financial statements required for Class B companies should include:

Danish Class B companies can use the over-plan directives issued by DASC in 2013, or IFRS. Some recommendations, especially those regarding valuation and presentation of information, are optional for companies in this class, while they are necessary for Class C companies.

Class C - this class includes large and medium-sized companies, both public and private limited liability companies, limited partnerships and commercial foundations. Requirements are:

For Class C companies, their report should include:



Class D - this includes all state-owned joint stock companies that are required to prepare consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS guidelines (the statute of limitations is May 1 after 4 or 6 years). In addition, listed companies are required to prepare individual financial statements.

Reports of such companies should include:



Configuration of accounting accounts in Denmark


In Denmark, the accounting chart of accounts refers to a special structure of accounts that is adopted in a specific business entity in order to transparently keep records of the company's activities.

The following are the main categories of accounts in the accounting chart of accounts in Denmark, which refer to the profit and loss account layout:

  1. ​Accounts related to sales proceeds:
    Account number: 1100, Account name: sales of goods.

  2. Accounts related to production costs:
    Account number: 2100, Account name: production costs.

  3. Accounts covering various external costs:
    Account number: 3100, Account name: advertising cost.
    Account number: 3200, Account name: local costs.
    Account number: 3300, Account name: cash deficit.
    Account number: 3400, Account name: vehicle export costs.
    Account number: 3900, Account name: other costs.

  4. Accounts that include employer costs:
    Account number: 4100, Account name: salaries.
    Account number: 4200, Account name: pension allowances.

  5. Accounts including depreciation:
    Account number: 5100, Account name: vehicle depreciation.
    Account number: 5200, Account name: depreciation of equipment.

  6. Accounts relating to interest:
    Account number: 6100, Account name: interest (income).
    Account number: 7100, Account name: interest (expenses).

  7. Accounts covering extraordinary events:
    Account number: 8100, Account name: extraordinary gains.
    Account number: 8200, Account name: extraordinary losses.

  8. Accounts related to taxes:
    Account number: 9000, Account name: corporate income tax.

Balance sheet accounts layout:

  1. Fixed Asset Accounts:
    Account number: 112, Account name: physical assets.
    Account number: 11120, Account name: automobiles.
    Account number: 11121, Account name: depreciation allowances for automobiles.
    Account number: 11130, Account name: furniture.
    Account number: 11131, Account name: depreciation write-offs for furniture.

  2. Current asset accounts:
    Account number: 121, Account name: inventories.
    Account number: 12110, Account name: storage.
    Account number: 122, Account name: accounts receivable.
    Account number: 12210, Account name: receivables from customers.
    Account number: 12220, Account name: accruals.
    Account number: 123, Account name: cash.
    Account number: 12310, Account name: cash.
    Account number: 12320, Account name: bank account.
    Account number: 1230, Account name: savings account.

  3. Capital Accounts:
    Account number: 121, Account name: Share capital.
    Account number: 134, Account name: reserve capital.
    Account number: 135, Account name: financial result.

  4. Accounts payable:
    Account number: 141, Account name: long-term liabilities.
    Account number: 14110, Account name: mortgage loans.
    Account number: 142, Account name: current liabilities.
    Account number: 14210, Account name: working capital loans.
    Account number: 14220, Account name: receivables.
    Account number: 14230, Account name: pension allowances.
    Account number: 14240, Account name: labor market contributions.
    Account number: 14250, Account name: taxes.
    Account number: 14250, Account name: tax settlements.
    Account number: 14290, Account name: other liabilities.
    Account number 21000, Account name: profit and loss account.
    Account number 22000, Account name: balance sheet.


The legal framework for Danish accounting


Denmark, a country that is one of the most caring in the Scandinavian region, is distinguished by its intensive social policies, flexible labor market, good social benefits and significant tax burden.

Entrepreneurs who decide to start their own business in Denmark should familiarize themselves in advance with the normative Danish accounting regulations for keeping financial and accounting records.

Below are the legal acts on accounting in Denmark:

  1. ​Accounting Act of 1998 - which contains regulations on accounting principles, bookkeeping and business records. In Danish accounting, the chart of accounts is important, regarding the structure of the income statement (the first group of accounts includes sales revenue and 6 groups of expenses) and the structure of the balance sheet account (assets, liabilities, capitals).

  2. The Financial Reporting Act of 2001 (DFSA as amended in 2015) - which contains provisions on the preparation of financial statements. This law distinguishes two types of income statements - comparative and calculation, and the income statement templates in Denmark do not include a template for reducing net profits. The financial statements refer to the classes into which Danish companies are divided:
    • Class A, comprising companies owned by individuals; such companies do not have to prepare financial statements, relying mainly on tax returns.

    • Class B, comprising Danish public companies, limited liability companies and limited partnerships (with up to 50 employees and assets of up to DKK 36 million).

    • Class C, covering Danish public companies, limited liability companies and limited partnerships (with more than 50 employees and assets of DKK 36 million and above).

    • Class D, comprising Danish joint stock companies. Accounting for such companies is more complex, involving the creation of balance sheets, management reports, profit and loss statements, financial flows and all information regarding changes in capital and other aspects.


Additional important company accounting regulations in Denmark include:


Financial reporting requirements for Danish companies are regulated by European Union acts and directives, and then transposed into the country's law. An example is the EU Accounting Directive of 2015, which is implemented into the country's law in the form of the Financial Reporting Act.

Oversight of areas related to financial accounting, auditing and accounting standards in Denmark is the responsibility of two government institutions:

  1. ​DFSA, or Danish Financial Supervisory Authority.
  2. Over the years, the function of the DBA, or Danish Business Authority (formerly the Danish Trade and Companies Agency until 2012), fulfilling a role within the Ministry of Economy and Development, has taken over the monitoring of financial reporting for businesses that are not financial institutions. In fact, however, since 2007, the right to set accounting standards in Denmark has been transferred to the Danish Accounting Standards Committee (DASC), which is part of the Danish Auditors' Committee (FSR). Although the DASC has no formal legal mandate, its guidelines and technical manuals play a key role in shaping high accounting standards in Denmark. The committee sets guidelines for companies of all sizes, including small, medium and large Danish companies in categories B and C.


Tasks of an employer in Denmark


Entrepreneurs operating in Denmark who decide to hire employees should study the Employment Contract Act (Ansættelsesbevisloven) beforehand. This legislation deals with the obligation to provide employees with a document containing key information about the terms and conditions of employment. Individuals working in Danish companies often enjoy the protection of collective bargaining agreements, which are agreements that define working conditions that are the result of an agreement between employers and employees through professional organizations or employee representations.

The given regulations of employers in Denmark require compliance with the country's labor laws and occupational health and safety regulations, available on the Danish Labor Inspection Authority's (UIP) website.

Business owners in Denmark with employees should:

  1. ​Provide workers with appropriate protective clothing.
  2. Secure workers with insurance against accidents and occupational diseases.
  3. Do not use discriminatory practices against employees.
  4. Guarantee employees adequate compensation.
  5. Ensure that employees follow safety rules when performing their duties.
  6. Create favorable working conditions.
  7. Counteract the risk of injury in the workplace.
  8. Provide health and safety education to employees.
  9. Provide health and safety training at least once a year.
  10. Maintain ongoing cooperation with institutions responsible for occupational health and safety in Denmark.

Employers from European Union countries planning to send their employees to work in Denmark are required to comply with the posting regulations contained in the following documents:

  1. ​EU Directive 96/71 of December 16, 1996 on the Posting of Workers Abroad (related provisions on working environment, equal pay, prohibition of discrimination in the labor market, labor relations, gender equality in employment and parental leave).
  2. Danish Posting of Workers Act No. 993 (Act Concerning Posting of Workers) of December 15, 1999.

In addition, Polish employees posted to work in Denmark should receive an A-1 form before departure. This form confirms the payment of labor social insurance contributions and specifies the Polish regulations governing this insurance in the country. This document is prepared by the Social Insurance Institution.

Every company in Denmark should be registered with the Danish Commerce and Companies Agency (Danish Commerce and Companies Agency, www.erhvervsstyrelsen.dk), which assigns a Central Company Register number (CVR, www.datacvr.virk.dk). In addition, companies that post foreign workers are required to report any changes regarding their business to the Register of Foreign Service Providers - RUT.


Document compilations for Danish business operations


The website of the Danish Business Activity Authority, or Erhvervsstyrelsen (www.erhvervsstyrelsen.dk), provides a variety of information regarding registration, accounting and operation of businesses in Denmark.

Relevant data relating to companies operating in Denmark is available at https://www.virk.dk. This site provides the following information:

Among the documents relevant to operations in Denmark are:


  1. Oplysningsskema (formerly selvangivelse), which is a tax return form issued by the Danish Tax Authority (SKAT). This form is sent to the address provided during registration (both Danish and Polish) and to the taxpayer's electronic mailbox. This is a particularly important document for self-employed individuals and must be completed by September 1 of the following tax year. Based on this form, the office prepares the årsopgørelse.

  2. Årsopgørelsen, which is a document issued by SKAT on March 15, containing the preliminary tax decision (the amount of refund or dues). In case of erroneous information or eligible allowances, the document can be electronically amended through the TastSelv platform and sent back to the office as a corrected return by May 1. For entrepreneurs, the document is prepared later, based on the completed oplysningsskema. The tax amount calculated in the final årsopgørelsen must be paid to the office by July 1. If the tax exceeds DKK 21,798, the amount is divided into 3 installments, payable in August, September and October.

  3. Oplysningsseddel is a document summarizing an employee's earnings. Every Danish employer is required to provide this document to employees upon termination.


Danish business owners are required to keep employee records (after termination of cooperation) for 5 years.


Accounting reporting enkeltmandsvirksomhed (one-man company)


Accounting issues for Danish sole proprietorships are relatively uncomplicated. These companies, under the provisions of the Danish Financial Reporting Act, are assigned to Class A.

Enkeltmandsvirksomhed, or sole proprietorships, rely mainly on tax settlements made with the Danish Tax Authority (SKAT, www.skat.dk), while as for annual reports, which include profit and loss statements, balance sheets, additional information, accounting policies and management summary, their submission is not mandatory.

For accounting related to such activities in Denmark, it is also necessary to prepare a Forretningsplan, which is a detailed description of the company's planned activities. This plan should include the vision and business concept, scope of activities, responsibilities and financial capabilities of the entrepreneur.

Registration of a sole proprietorship with Denmark's Erhvervsstyrelsen (via www.virk.dk) is necessary, and those opting for this type of venture should use an individual CPR registration number. Accounting management of such a company is relatively simple; no share capital is required, and registration costs are about DKK 10,000 (PLN 5,000). Taxation of this type of business is based on a single tax return, and income is taxed only once. The owner also has the right to grant power of attorney to others to act on behalf of the company, and it is not necessarily necessary to register the company as a VAT payer, as long as the annual income does not exceed DKK 50 thousand.

In the case of Enkeltmandsvirksomhed, the owner is personally liable for the company's debts and has three options for taxation:

  1. ​The possibility of taxation according to the Share Capital Act (Kapitalafkastordning), which allows a portion of the company's profit to be transferred to personal income and a portion to capital income.
  2. The option to tax profit as personal income, analogous to salaried employees.
  3. The option to be taxed according to the Enterprise Act (Virksomhedsordning), which allows interest expenses on loans to be deducted, and to keep company profits in a savings account, which can also be beneficial.

If you are a sole proprietor and pay taxes and insurance premiums, you are entitled to pension and health benefits, just like employees employed in Denmark. Every quarter or six months, using the SKAT (Danish Tax Authority) website via the LetLøn system, a tax return (income taxation and VAT) must be filed. Advance income tax payments are due on March 20 and November 20.


Financial aspects of companies' operations


Today, the issue of accounting is more advanced for Danish B, C and D class companies, such as:

  1. ​General partnerships (Interessentskab - I/S).
  2. Limited liability companies (Anpartsselskab - ApS).
  3. Limited partnerships (Kommanditselskab - K/S).
  4. Joint stock companies (Aktieselskab - A/S).
  5. According to the regulations of the Danish Financial Reporting Act, these organizations are required to create reports that include a management report, an analysis of financial flows, a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, information on changes in capital and other additional details.

All Danish companies whose shares are listed on a regulated market must apply IFRS standards when preparing their financial statements.

Below you will find more key aspects of accounting for Danish companies:


Financial verification of Danish companies


The value in the Danish Financial Reporting Act also includes issues related to the verification of financial statements prepared by Danish companies. In Denmark, the audit process is carried out by registered (or authorized) public auditors, who should remain independent and external.

We can identify the following types of reviews:

Two alternatives are available for various companies in Class B Denmark:


  1. Ability to conduct a full audit of financial statements.
  2. Choice of audit-light, a new form of audit introduced for financial statements since the beginning of 2013.

The conduct of an audit for Danish Class A and B companies is not mandatory and depends on the annual turnover achieved by the company. These companies are free to choose the type of audit and work with auditors to determine which certification service (e.g., accounting assistance, auditing of financial statements or auditing) is most appropriate for them.

Internal control must be included in the planning and modification of Danish companies' accounting systems.

Good auditing practice is defined in the Auditor's Act. It ensures that the internal audit unit should not be subordinate to the head of the entity in planning, organization and execution, and internal auditors must be given access to the necessary information.

The Danish Ministry of Finance has the authority to designate areas within the company to be examined in detail. The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (RSB) follows the International Standards on Auditing (ISA).

In 2011, FSR, a professional accounting organization, was founded, uniting 3 Danish institutions: FSR (Danish Certified Public Accountants), FRR (Danish Institute of Certified Public Accountants) and REVIFORA (association for young accountants and trainees). FSR focuses on auditing, auditing of financial statements, and accounting and tax issues in Danish companies.

Danish auditors, state authorized public accountants (SPAs, or State Authorized Public Accountants) appointed as auditors, and audit firms are regularly inspected every six years by the DSAA, or the Audit Supervisory Authority (established by the DBA).


Company expenses in Denmark


Expenses and accounts in Danish company accounting are an important aspect, as are balance sheets and assets.

A modern Danish balance sheet shows assets arranged according to the criterion of liquidity - from the least liquid (Tangible Assets) to the most liquid (cash). Liabilities, on the other hand, are divided into debt and equity. The balance sheet formula is as follows:

In fixed assets:


In current assets:

In liabilities:


Audits of Danish companies are carried out by authorized auditors, who must be independent and external. A distinction is made between different types of audits, such as financial, compliance or management audits. Danish companies can choose the appropriate attestation service according to their needs.


 
Analysis of imports and exports in Denmark


For Denmark, the key trade partners are European Union countries, especially Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with Poland ranking 13th. Denmark mainly exports foodstuffs, live animals, chemicals and chemical products, while it mainly imports machinery, equipment, processed products and chemicals.

The Danish Trade Council, known as Eksportrådet, has the function of strengthening international relations between Denmark and other countries. In 1995, Polish and Danish investors established the Danish-Polish Chamber of Commerce, which facilitates bilateral cooperation.

The 1991 Europe Agreement regulates trade between Poland and the European Union, creating a free trade zone for industrial goods since 1999. Preferential tariffs, usually 0%, apply to most products, but it is necessary to present customs officials with a EUR1 certificate of origin.

Paying a 25% value-added tax (VAT), known as MOMS, applies to most industrial, agricultural and service products. The variety of excise duties covers the following categories of goods: ice cream, coffee, videotape, tobacco products, alcohol, chocolate products, light bulbs, beer, wine, tea, automobiles, fuel and disposable packaging.

Fødevarestyrelsen, or the Danish Veterinary and Food Inspectorate, issues permits and licenses for food imports into Denmark. Food products must be labeled in Danish and meet standards for ingredients and preservatives.

The Ministry of the Environment oversees the entry of cosmetics, cleaning products and detergents into the Danish market, and entrepreneurs wishing to import chemicals must meet the Ministry's requirements. Chemicals outside the EINECS list must be notified to the Department of Chemical Products.

As required by the New Approach Directives, many industrial products, such as toys, machinery and gas appliances, must bear the CE mark.

Denmark has signed a number of important agreements, including the Economic, Energy and Environmental Cooperation Agreement, and the UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods.


Frequently asked questions


  1. What are the accounting regulations in Denmark?
    Accounting in Denmark is based on EU Regulation 1606/2002 on International Accounting Standards (IAS), which mandates the use of IFRS standards adopted by the EU. This applies to the financial statements of European companies listed on a regulated securities market. The regulation allows EU countries to require the use of IFRS standards in separate financial statements of companies whose securities are not listed on a regulated market. In Denmark (according to the IAS), it is optional to use IFRS standards in the consolidated and separate reports of Danish companies that do not operate on a regulated market. It is worth mentioning that EU law does not apply in Denmark's two autonomous territories, the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

  2. What is a-kasse?
    A-kasse is an unemployment insurance fund. While unemployment insurance is not mandatory, you must be a member of a-kasse in order to receive benefits after losing your job.

  3. Is it possible to settle electronically with the Tax Office in Denmark?
    In Denmark, there is an option to settle electronically using the 8-digit TastSelv code (can be ordered online at www.skat.dk). The code can be found on the Årsopgørelsen or Forskudsopgørelsen (tax card).

  4. What is Skat til udbetaling?
    The term Skat til udbetaling appears on the tax decision and indicates the amount of tax refund.

  5. What is Restskat til betaling?
    The expression Restskat til betaling in a tax decision is an indication that additional tax must be paid.

  6. What is a NemKonto?
    NemKonto is an employee's bank account into which tax refunds and salary are transferred.

  7. What is Feriepenge and who is entitled to it?
    Feriepenge is a vacation payout to which everyone working legally in Denmark is entitled. Each month worked entitles you to 2.08 days of vacation, which is 25 days (5 weeks). It is possible to apply for Feriepenge up to 6 months after leaving work in Denmark, but you must deregister with the Folkeregister (municipal office) before leaving the country. Feriepenge is paid into your NemKonto account for the first 3 months for the previous fiscal year, which runs from September 1 to August 31 of the following year, and can be used from May 1 to April 30 of the following year.

  8. What is Feriekonto?
    Feriekonto is a special fund into which Danish employers pay employees' vacation contributions (12% of gross salary reduced by 8% for social purposes).

  9. How long does it take to get a tax refund in Denmark?
    It usually takes about 6 months to get a tax refund from the Danish tax office.

  10. What is Årsopgørelsen?
    Årsopgørelsen is a tax decision available on the Danish Tax Authority's website.

  11. What is Personfradrag?
    Personfradrag is a personal tax credit that is available to residents of Denmark who have worked there for 12 months.

  12. What tax reliefs are available in Denmark?
    Available reliefs include, for example, commuting relief, housing relief, and food relief.

  13. What is a pension?
    A pension is a private pension in Denmark, accumulated in private pension funds (PFA Pension, Danica Pension, Industriens Pension, Pensiondanmark).

  14. What is folkepension?
    Folkepension is a state pension in Denmark, available to citizens upon reaching age 65.

  15. What is ATP?
    ATP is the employee programs in Denmark, part of the second pension pillar, covering all citizens from the age of 16.

  16. What is the Sundhedskortet health card?
    Sundhedskortet is a yellow health card, necessary for those planning to stay in Denmark for more than 3 months. It provides free medical care (except dental) and is issued with a CPR number.