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Denmark

Access to finance

Updated 12/2013

Access to EU finance

This site will help you to apply for finance supported by the European Union. To access EU finance, click on your country to locate banks or venture capital funds that provide finance supported by the EU:

Access to EU finance

National sources of finance

Public finance

Public finance is provided through national schemes in the form of:

  • grants;
  • loans;
  • guarantees;
  • sureties;
  • share capital.

The "Finance Guide" portal provides an overview of the various schemes and projects on offer. These include national grant options, Nordic schemes, EU schemes, private loan offers and offers of venture capital.

Start-up companies can take advantage of the public consultancy services on offer: Regional incubation units, the "Startvaekst" Internet portal and the growth fund.

Indirect support

Equity is risk capital, i.e. investors are willing to risk a loss. However, they also expect a return on their investment.

Mezzanine financing is a loan that is subordinate to traditional loan financing, but superordinate to equity. As a general rule of thumb, mezzanine financing is suitable for development projects with a moderate risk profile. At the same time, the project must be precisely mapped out, so that the loan criteria in the agreement are clear.

Direct support

Vækstfonden (the Growth Fund) is a state investment fund that offers you a range of options, from equity capital to loans and guarantees.

The Growth Fund can usually finance up to approx. 50% of a given activity. It has a broad range of financial products suited to different purposes. Of these, the 'Get Started' loan is the most widely used.

Innovation Environments offer development capital to scientific start-up companies. They can help by obtaining capital, e.g. via the Growth Fund, venture companies or private investors.

Innovation consortia are collaborative projects between businesses, research bodies and technological service centres. The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation provides grants to finance these.

The Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation develops and invests venture capital in high-tech projects. The financing ratio is 1:2:3, where one-sixth comes from the public-sector party, one-third comes from the private party and half comes from the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation. For small and medium-sized enterprises, however, up to 60% of their costs can be supported.

The Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (EUDP) works in the area of developing energy technology, supporting things such as the use of energy in utility security and cost efficiency while developing business potential in industry. Grants for developing energy technologies are available. You can apply for grants for projects aimed at developing and demonstrating energy technology.

Tax reductions

When you set up a business, there are often a number of start-up costs. Many of these costs can trigger reductions in both tax and VAT accounts. Such costs include lawyers, auditors, market research, wages and advertising.

Access to EU funding

In the period up to 2013, the EU Structural Funds are designed to help strengthen regional competitiveness and employment throughout Denmark. Grants will be awarded to projects, including private companies, to strengthen regional competitiveness and employment in Denmark.

Private finance

Private funding is offered by:

  • banks;
  • mortgage institutions;
  • leasing companies;
  • factoring companies;
  • a number of private investors such as venture companies and Business Angels.

Private advisory options:

  • Industry association for investors in Denmark (Danish Venture Capital and Private Equity Association)
  • CONNECT Denmark is an independent, private not-for-profit organisation. It is an association that provides free advice and mentoring for start-up entrepreneurs and small businesses with great potential for growth, through its network of Denmark's best companies, most diligent businesspeople and outstanding research and innovation environments.

Bank loans and mortgages

Unlike business credit, bank loans and  mortgages are set aside financing where the entire loan is paid out as a lump sum. You repay the loan over an agreed time. No specific requirements as regards sector, size of business, etc. are required for obtaining one.

Mortgages may supplement a bank loan or other types of funding.

Mortgage institutions evaluate each application individually. It is possible to borrow up to 60% of the mortgage institution's valuation of a property. The size of the loan depends on the credit rating of the business, i.e. its ability and willingness to repay the loan.

Mortgage institutions traditionally base the credit rating of a business on its business activities, accounts, budgets and a general knowledge of sectors and market conditions in the relevant industry. The mortgage institution will also value the property.

Factoring companies

Factoring is an agreement between a business and a factoring company under which the business transfers its future customer receivables to the factoring company.

In principle, factoring companies offer three different types of service:

  • Debtor Administration;
  • Debtor financing;
  • Covering of debtors' risks.

Investors and Business Angels

Investors are private individuals who wish to invest time and money in a business. You need to have a unique business idea and information about your project if you wish to be attractive to investors.

Business Angels are private investors who use capital investments to support a business in its early development. A Business Angel may be a valuable sparring partner who brings in industry-related knowledge and expertise to the new business.

Venture companies

Venture companies provide venture capital in the form of share capital for the start-up phase of a business. In return, the business must give up part of its right to future earnings and some of its control to the venture companies, who will usually add competent investors to the management structure of a business.

A debenture is a bond. It is issued by the State or by a credit union that deposits a security and promises to repay both the interest and the debt according to a set pattern.

Business support organisations can advise businesses on how to find financing.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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