Contract law and negotiations in Denmark

What you should know about Danish culture

Denmark has a population of 6 million people consisting of Scandinavians, Inuits, Germans, Turkish, Faroese, Iranians and Somalians. 98% of them speak in Danish while in the Nord-Schleswig area, German is the official language. The Danish society promotes gender neutrality which is reflected in their language that has words that are common to both genders. They are a humble community and not very vocal or demonstrative about their achievements.

Denmark is an export-oriented nation and this has exposed the Danes to many international business communities, making them proficient communicators. They are direct, humorous and candid with their business dealings and expect the same from others.

What are some business culture tips to use in Denmark?

  • It is necessary to set your appointments with a Danish party in advance, that too via written correspondence.
  • Avoid making your business trips or setting meeting appointments between mid-June and mid-August as this is a vacation period
  • Punctuality is expected so always arrive on time for meetings. Inform with a phone call, even if you’re going to be a few minutes late
  • Shake hands with everyone upon arrival, greet the women first.
  • Exchange business cards and refer to the Danes with their titles or Froken for Miss, Fru for Misses and Herr for Mister.

What are the right negotiation tactics in Denmark?

  • Set a pre-decided agenda for every meeting and stick to it during the interaction
  • Allow everyone to have their say and take permission from the meeting convener before you wish to speak
  • Avoid emotional displays and do not lean towards confrontational situations.
  • Work towards building consensus rather than creating conflicts
  • Present well researched and well-organised data to prove your point
  • Act professional and maintain eye contact throughout the meetings
  • Remember that decisions will be taken by them only after consulting everyone so you may not get instant responses

What is a contract worth in Denmark?

Similar to other European countries a formal contract agreeable to both parties holds stronger than a verbal agreement no matter how severe the wordings.

Though both parties involved in a business arrangement have complete freedom to frame a contract as per their mutual interests, when it comes to sales and pricing, there are certain restrictions in the Danish system that favour the consumer’s interest over the businessman’s.

Also, in Denmark when either the buyer or seller is a foreign company, the matter falls under the UN Convention Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.

Arbitration and legislation in Denmark

Legislation in Denmark is similar to legislative practices in the entire EU. Dispute resolution in Denmark, however, is relatively less expensive and one is likely to find resolution within a period of a year or lesser.

Otherwise, the Danish Institute of Arbitration in Copenhagen is well known and available to alternate means of conflict resolution. Of course, it has its own set of procedures and rules.

Hence, the Danish business environment is an inviting one due to its favourable global reputation and responsible business ideas such as the green revolution of which it is highly  supportive. But to gain a complete understanding of Danish business laws and distribution processes, it would be helpful to engage the services of a professional alliance agency.

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