Working in Copenhagen?
Efficient and Productive: Business in the Capital
The Central Business District
Copenhagen’s central business district is considered one of the newest and most dynamic business areas in Northern Europe. It is also referred to as Ørestad City and located in Ørestad, one of Copenhagen’s newest districts, on the island of Amager. Its infrastructure and connection to Copenhagen’s public transportation system are excellent, and the Øresund bridge, the train station Ørestad, and the Copenhagen Airport can easily be reached.
Many international companies have opened offices here, and many more most likely will as the region is constantly being expanded and developed further. DELL, UCB Pharma Nordics, Nikon, Accenture, and Novo Nordisk Scandinavia are just some of the businesses located in Ørestad.
Aside from Ørestad City, the district also contains Universitetskvarteret (the University Quarter). The various educational institutions allow for excellent research opportunities. All in all, Ørestad aspires to become the main business hub in Northern Europe.
Secure and Protect: Denmark’s Flexicurity Model
Copenhagen’s workforce combined with the entire Øresund region represents the biggest and most coherent labor market in all of Scandinavia. Moreover, the region is extremely efficient and productive. Although the average Danish work week is five days (just 37 hours in total), the Danes put a lot of effort into their work, which expats consequently are also expected to do. This is also partly due to the Scandinavian “flexicurity” model.
Denmark’s flexicurity model is the result of the country’s social welfare system, combined with its active employment policies and the flexibility of the labor market. This model allows for above-average job mobility for Danes, although expats with no proficiency in the Danish language may not enjoy quite the same level of mobility.
In general, the welfare state offers a high level of security and protection. For instance, changing jobs has no effect whatsoever on your pension entitlements. This is particularly prevalent in Copenhagen, where the workforce is incredible diverse.
High Taxes for Excellent Public Services
Expats working in Copenhagen should be prepared to find a letter from the Danish tax authority (SKAT) in the mail twice a year. Your taxes are used to support the country’s welfare programs and are thus rather high — upwards of 50% in some cases. For most expats working in Copenhagen, the high tax rates come as a shock at first, but on the upside, you benefit from excellent health services and public education entirely free of costs.
Aside from your income tax, the welfare state is also funded by VAT (moms), which amounts to 25% of the net price of goods. On so-called luxury items, such as alcohol and petrol, VAT can be even higher. However, VAT is always included in the prices you see in for instance supermarkets, so you needn’t worry about doing any math when grocery shopping.
Tax revenues from goods and services are an important source of income for the government and make up about a third of all tax revenues. For more information on taxes and pensions, please also read our guide on working in Denmark. Additionally, you should familiarize yourself with SKAT’s tax guide for non-Danish speakers.
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