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Business Etiquettes in Denmark


Denmark is an egalitarian society. Interestingly this is reflected in their language, which employs gender-neutral words. Most Danes are modest about their own accomplishments and are more concerned about the group than their own individual needs. Maternity and paternity leave provisions are particularly generous in Denmark.

Women are highly respected in business and generally receive equal pay and have access to senior positions. Working mothers can easily arrange flexible hours so that they can maintain both a career and a family. Danish women expect to be treated with respect in the office.

Meeting Etiquette

  • Appointments are necessary.
  • Confirm appointments in writing.
  • Initial correspondence should be made to the company and not an individual.
  • Do not try to schedule meetings from mid June through mid August as many Danes are on vacation.
  • 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.
  • Shake hands with everyone upon arriving and leaving. Handshakes should be very firm and rather short. Maintain eye contact while being introduced. Always shake hands with women first.
  • Business cards are exchanged. Your business card should have the physical address of your company and not a post office box.
  • Danes use their professional title and their surname. If someone does not have a professional title, use Herr (Mister), Fru (Misses) or Froken (Miss). Danes move to first names quickly. Nonetheless, wait to be invited before using someone's first name.

Business Negotiation

  • Send an agenda before the meeting and work from it without deviation.
  • Decisions are made after consulting with everyone involved.
  • Presentations should be well-organised and factual. Use facts, figures and charts to back up statements and conclusions.
  • Maintain eye contact while speaking.
  • There will be a minimal amount of small talk. Danes prefer to get down to business quickly.
  • Communication is direct.