Career & Legal Advice

Start your own business

When you become self-employed, there are many things to consider when starting your business. Read this guide for a rundown of what to be aware of before becoming an entrepreneur or freelancer.

1: Before you start your own business

Test your idea and make a business plan

First things first: test whether your good idea is also a good business idea. You can do so by defining your customer segments, what value you want to create for your customers and how you will create this value. One you have defined your business idea, you should also look into your market potential by making market analyses to narrow down your market, your customers' needs and competitors. 

A business plan is a good idea because it forces you, as a business owner, to be absolutely clear about what you want out of your business, when your goals are to be met, and how you want your business to develop in the short and the longer terms. Perhaps you already drew up business plan when you started your business, but important it’s important to return to your business plan regularly and adjust it so that reflects the current situation. A business plan should include detailed descriptions of:

  • Yourself
  • Your product
  • Your target group
  • Your market potential
  • Your competitors
  • Your budget
  • Financing
  • Activities
  • Your development plan

Find a name for your company

When you set up a company, you must register a name for it. The name of your company must differ from other companies that are CVR registered. At you can see if the company name you are thinking of is available.

Here you can read more about copyright and patent rights for the self-employed

Draw up an ownership agreement (if you are multiple owners)

If you plan to be several owners of your business, it is a good idea to draw up an ownership agreement. With an ownership agreement, you have a clear framework for your cooperation and ownership, so that you can avoid unnecessary conflict. IDA has developed a guide to the most important points you must pay attention to when drawing up an ownership agreement.

How to draw up an ownership agreement

Choose the right business form

There are several different business forms you can choose for your business. You must choose the business form that best suits your situation.

Here you can read IDA's guide to choosing business forms

2: Establishment of the company

Register your company

When you are ready to start your business, you must register your business at , where you will be assigned a CVR number. Before you register your company, you must have decided which form of business you want to operate your business in.

Manage your accounts and VAT

Your accounts are a statement of your business’s income and expenditure for a specific period. You can draw up your accounts quarterly, half-yearly or annually. A set of accounts usually contains an income statement and balance sheet for your business. The income statement shows whether your business has made a profit or loss in the relevant period, while the balance sheet shows what your business owns and owes on a specific date.

Choose the right insurances

As a self-employed person or entrepreneur, you must be aware of which insurance policies you must take out. IDA has produced a guide where you can read about both statutory and voluntary insurance for the self-employed.

Read IDA's guide to self-employed insurance

3: Running your company

Send an invoice

Once you have started your business, you will hopefully soon need to issue invoices. If you have a business registration number (CVR number), you’re entitled to send invoices to your customers. An invoice should include:

  • Invoice number
  • Date the invoice was issued
  • Name, address and business registration number (CVR number) of your business
  • Name and address of customer
  • Type of product or service, amount (scope) and price
  • VAT amount

It is also a good idea to include your telephone no., email, bank and/or giro account, but this is not a requirement. There are many invoice templates on the internet, but you can also design your own. However, the easiest may be to set up a user account in an online bookkeeping system such as Billy. It’s easy to send invoices from such systems.

Learn more about the Billy accounting software

Sales and marketing

Customers rarely come by themselves.. Therefore, it’s important to constantly look at sales and marketing for your services or products.

Sales and marketing can be many things. There are the classical sales methods such as buying advertisements on various platforms. But there are also other sales methods which entail networking and making people aware of you. This could be via a professional business network where you actually meet, or it could be on a platform such as LinkedIn.

No matter where you decide to market your services or products, it is important that you are clear about what you can offer, and not least who your target group is. This should also be clearly stated in your business plan. Clarifying your target group and having a detailed description of what you can offer the relevant target group will also make it easier for you to set up a sales and marketing strategy.

Pay salary to yourself

As a self-employed person, you are your own employer, and therefore you are also responsible for paying tax. If you have a sole proprietorship, it is typically the profit in the business that is your 'salary'.

You typically receive fees and payments from your customers as B income, and you must therefore ensure that you pay tax and VAT on the amount yourself. When everything in your business is paid for, you can pay out 'salary' or the profit to yourself.

You can always contact SKAT if you have any questions regarding tax.

If you choose to save in your business and only pay out a bit of the profit to yourself, be aware that the money in your business account is not covered by your private insurance. It may therefore be an idea to consider taking out Netbanking insurance.

Get IDA's Netbanksforsikring

IDA's discount agreements and membership benefits for the self-employed

IDA has a number of discount agreements and member benefits that can help you get off to a good start as a self-employed person. They include, among other things, discounts on payroll systems, accounting programs, legal advice and tax advice.

See the full list of IDA business benefits for the self-employed

Legal counselling at IDA

IDA provides legal advice for the self-employed and freelancers, and for those who are employees and self-employed at the same time. Get legal counselling.