Denmark Culture of Business

By | July 24, 2022

Subchapters:

  • Introduction
  • Addressing
  • Business Meeting
  • Communication
  • Recommendations
  • Public Holidays

Introduction

Danes are solid business partners, they care about their good reputation. They are straightforward and assertive in business negotiations. Negotiations with potential Danish partners do not differ significantly from Czech customs, but they nevertheless have a few small specifics, which we would like to draw your attention to in the following chapters.

Addressing

The primary means of communication is e-mail. Danes value their time highly and are very little willing to sacrifice it to listen to an offer. They usually immediately refer to the company’s website and e-mail on the phone, and only pay attention to the offer when they have time for it. However, it is advisable, especially in the case when the addressee does not respond to e-mail correspondence, to politely verify by telephone that the message has been delivered and whether the company has recorded it at all. The written approach should contain an introduction to the company and a clearly and concisely formulated offer.

Business meeting

When looking for a date, you need to familiarize yourself with Danish holidays and vacations, as most companies, regardless of size, take vacations during the school holidays. The summer months, especially July, are almost useless for business meetings in this regard. It is advisable to check the date and time of the meeting one or two days before the event. In relation to the time of the meeting, Danes prefer meetings in the morning or early afternoon, or in the form of a working light lunch. The first contact is rather formal, but it is not uncommon to call them by their first names during the negotiations. Gifts are definitely not expected during business meetings. Handing business cards is common.

It is necessary to expect an initial distance and a certain amount of restraint on the Danish side. The Czech Republic is still perceived as part of the “East”, especially by those Danes who still lack a positive personal experience. Prague and the regions of the Czech Republic are very popular among Danish tourists, so the percentage of Danes with zero experience is decreasing. At the same time, the ability of Danes to distinguish the Czechia from other countries of the “East” in a positive sense is increasing.

The Danes are very practical and pragmatic, so they rarely pay attention to an offer that, from their point of view, does not bring the expected added value. On the one hand, you can be attracted by innovative solutions, bio/organic/ecological products or digital technologies, or on the other hand by high quality at lower prices.

Negotiations with Danish traders are not fundamentally “different”. Despite many differences, we have a lot in common with the Danes. This fact usually comes to light already during the first contact, which makes negotiations in the final rather easier.

Danes value their time very much, so meetings start and usually end within the agreed time frame. In the case of an exclusive offer, however, in the spirit of their pragmatism, they devote as much time to the partner as is necessary for the success of the negotiations.

Minor differences in the conduct of negotiations can be observed between the industrial region of the capital, or the entire island of Sjæland on the one hand, and the predominantly agricultural Jutland peninsula on the other. But these are rather differences in the nature of the population (its “activity”) than in the approach to potential business partners.

It is not usual for alcohol to be served during a business meeting for a purpose other than as a drink to go with a meal – i.e. a glass of wine or beer.

When it comes to dressing, the Danes prefer a relaxed formal style, i.e. a suit without a tie, or a “smart casual” style. However, for the practical Danes, the style of dressing does not play a major role.

What should a negotiation team look like? It depends on the size of the company, however, it cannot be assumed that more than two representatives of the Danish company will attend any large business delegation, unless the situation and the details of the negotiations directly require it. The age or gender composition of the delegation does not play a role.

In Denmark, it is not usual to invite a business partner to your home, the Danes strictly separate business from their private life.

Communication

The ability to communicate in Danish is definitely not a condition for the success of negotiations, English is the usual language of negotiations. In South Jutland, i.e. the region bordering Germany, German is relatively common and active. For more complex negotiations, where interpretation creates “time to think”, it is of course possible to invite an interpreter. Visit Aparentingblog for more information about Denmark culture and traditions.

There are no communication taboos in relation to the Danes. On the contrary, it is appropriate to mention what we have in common – good beer and a piece of history – Markéta Přemyslovna, daughter of King Přemysl Otakar I, was married to the Danish King Valdemar II and as Queen Dagmar was very popular and is still perceived very positively by Danes.

Recommendation

What to recommend to entrepreneurs who are going to Denmark?

  • Consult with the embassy (or with the regional foreign office of the PaulTrade agency in Stockholm) about the potential of interest in the given product or service.
  • Structure the offer briefly, clearly, factually.
  • Don’t be discouraged by possible lukewarmness of the first contact, initial mistrust or austerity in dealings. Show patience and helpfulness.
  • Consider proceeding through a local sales representative or the possibility of using Czech expatriates living in Denmark for a long time.

Companies can use a number of tools provided by state authorities in support of economic diplomacy. International trade fairs are suitable ways of establishing first contacts with local partners and obtaining information about the market. In order to approach new customers or establish strategic partnerships, presentations of Czech companies are also organized at the embassy for a defined circle of potential customers or business partners. However, it must be pointed out that the patronage of the embassy does not guarantee a more positive perception of the company in egalitarian Denmark. In addition to the regional foreign office of the PaulTrade agency in Stockholm and the trade and economic section of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Copenhagen, entrepreneurs can contact the honorary consul of the Czech Republic in Aarhus.

Public Holidays

  • January 1 – New Year
  • 7 weeks before Easter – Shrove Sunday
  • Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday
  • 4th Friday after Easter – Great Day of Prayer
  • 40 days after Easter – Ascension of the Lord
  • 7 weeks after Easter – Whit Sunday and Monday
  • April 9 – anniversary of the occupation of Denmark in 1940
  • May 5 – anniversary of the liberation of Denmark in 1945
  • June 5 – Constitution Day
  • June 15 – Valdemar Day
  • June 24 – St. John’s Day
  • November 11 – Bishop Martin (M. Luther’s baptism day)
  • December 24 – Christmas Day
  • December 25 – Christmas Day
  • December 26 – 2nd Christmas holiday
  • December 31 – New Year’s Eve

Royal Family Birthdays:

  • February 5 – Crown Princess Mary
  • April 16 – Queen Margaret II.
  • May 26 – Crown Prince Frederik
  • June 7 – Prince Joachim
  • June 11 – Prince Henrik

Denmark Culture of Business