Business Practices in Denmark
- The Fundamental Principles of Business Culture
- Danish business people may appear somewhat formal at first, but are likely to quickly show a more informal side of themselves.
Appointments are necessary. Do not try to schedule meetings from mid June through mid August as many Danes are on vacation in that period. Confirm appointments in writing. You should arrive at meetings on time. The Danes you are meeting will be punctual. Telephone immediately if you will be detained more than 5 minutes.
- First Contact
- Initial correspondence should be made to the company and not an individual. Third party introductions are not necessary.
- Danes use their professional title and their surname. If someone does not have a professional title, use Herr (Mister), Fru (Misses) or Frøken (Miss). Danes move to first names quickly. Nonetheless, wait to be invited before using someone's first name.
Shake hands with everyone upon arriving and leaving.
- How to Present Yourself
- Present yourself using your first and last name.
- Business Relations
- Business relations are usually kept separate from personal relations, and are maintained with the help of greetings cards, gifts and shared meals. Business gifts are not a normal custom in Denmark, but can occur.
Business entertaining is usually done at lunch, and rarely at dinner in a restaurant. Businesspersons should not routinely expect to meet with their Danish counterparts after 4 pm on weekdays or plan a meeting on Saturday or Sunday. The reason for this is simply that Danes treasure their leisure time, most of which is spent with their families.
- Danish etiquette does not encourage you to have a gift in hand at a first meeting. But, if it looks as though business is going well, then a small gift may be given to your contact after agreements have been signed.
If invited to a Danish home for dinner, bring flowers, good quality chocolates or good quality wine.
- Business Communication
- There will be a minimal amount of small talk. Danes prefer to get down to business quickly when at a meeting. The communication is direct. Presentations should be well organized and factual. Use facts, figures and charts to back up statements and conclusions. Send an agenda before the meeting and work from it without deviation.
- Dress Code
- You should dress neatly and formally. Men usually wear suits and ties. Women usually wear dresses, conservative skirts or pants combined with simple accessories. Despite a high standard of living, ostentation is frowned upon, so while doing business in Denmark try to dress in a polished yet unassuming way.
- Visiting Cards
- Your business card should have the physical address of your company and not a post office box.
- For Further Information
Danish culture and customs as seen by the Kwintessential website
Danish business culture as seen by the Kwintessential website
Danish business culture as seen by the Executiveplanet website
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