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Important commercial and corporate law updates | Denmark

The following content relates to advice on updates in relation to commercial, corporate, data protection, tax and employment law via our firm network connection, Bird & Bird for Denmark.

20 April 2020

Commercial

The latest political negotiations enabled some sectors to open up subsequent to specific safety measures (i.e. hairdressers, dentists, physiotherapists, etc.). Restaurants and cafes remain closed, for the time being until 10 May 2020.

16 April 2020

Commercial

Political negotiations regarding the scope and extent of the partial re-opening are currently still ongoing. The Danish health surveillance institution (Statens Serum Institut) has advised against re-opening restaurants and cafés.

14 April 2020

Commercial

On the 6. April 2020, the Danish Prime minister ("PM") announced the beginning of a gradual re-opening of the Danish society. At the same time, some of the previous measures were extended until 10 May 2020.  On 14. April 2020, the PM announced that re-opening measures could be taken faster than anticipated due to the positive development in terms of the number of Corona infected people. The PM did not specify what this acceleration entailed, as the scope and extent will be agreed upon during the upcoming political negotiations. The PM did however state that the focus of these upcoming negotiations will be the Danish economy.

2 April 2020

Commercial

Restaurants  and cafes are not allowed to sell food or drinks for consuming on the  premises. Takeaway and delivery from restaurants and cafes is allowed. The  measures  are in force at least until  13 April 2020.

When picking up takeaway, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration refers to  the general guidelines for good personal hygiene and to ensuring distance to  other customers. In terms of delivery of takeaway, the Administration assumes  that the overall safety is sound and that the companies follow the regular hygiene rules.

Restaurants, cafes, etc., which do not usually offer takeaway, may temporarily sell their food for take out either directly or through digital platforms. They can do so without registering the takeaway activity with the Veterinary and Food Administration. The new approach is in place for a limited period of time. If companies wish to continue offering takeaway delivery services after this period, they must register these activities with the Administration.

Danish borders were closed from Saturday 14 March 2020. This means that only Danish citizens, individuals with Danish work or residence permits, and those the Danish government determines have a 'worthy purpose' of travel may enter the country. The measures  are in force at least until 13 April 2020.

Corporate

The Danish government and the parliament have agreed to cover some of the fixed costs, which companies no longer have the resources to cover (as a result of the COVID-19 crisis). Under the suggested compensation programme, companies will receive compensation for their documented fixed costs, such as rent, interest and contract-bound expenses (such as leasing), during a period where the company is exposed to a large drop in revenue. No formal bill has been proposed or passed yet, but it is expected to be passed without further implications.

The proposed compensation is based upon the following principles:

  1. Companies across all industries are entitled to receive the compensation.
  2. The compensation is targeted at companies with a large drop in their revenues (more than 40%).
  3. The compensation is targeted at fixed costs and will constitute between 25% and 80% of such costs.
  4. The compensation will cover up to a three month period, and will be payable as soon as possible.
  5. If the company’s revenue has dropped significantly less than expected, the compensation will have to be repaid.

The level of proposed compensation will be as follows:

25% if the drop in revenues has been between 40 and 60%;
50% if the drop in revenues has been between 60 and 80%;
80% if the drop in revenues has been between 80 and 100%;
100% if the company has been prohibited from opening during the period.

The Danish Parliament has on 2 April 2020 passed a bill which will give the Danish Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs authorisation to temporarily deviate several of the companies' duties in relation to corporate and accounting duties for example extending the time-limits to  submit the company's annual report or conducting the company's annual general meeting.

Corporate / Finance

Extended limit for the state-guaranteed loan scheme for both large, small and mid-cap companies in connection with the Danish Fund for Industrial Growth (In Danish: "Vækstfonden").

For large companies (with more than 250 employees or a revenue of more than EUR 50 million) the guarantee-limit will be raised to a total of DKK 25 billion, and for small and mid-cap companies the guarantee-limit will be set to DKK 17.5 billion and a loss-limit of approx. DKK 5 billion, which will facilitate a total loan of up to DKK 25 billion.

It is a condition to receive the state-guaranteed loan that the company is expected to suffer a loss in revenue of minimum 30 %.

For the large companies the state-guaranteed loan scheme will cover 70 % of the banks' financing of operations, who suffers significant revenue-losses of minimum 30 % as a result of COVID-19.

Data Protection

On the 05.03.2020 the Danish Data Protection Authority ("DPA") published a newsletter regarding the processing of Corona related personal data in the employment field. The DPA stated, inter alia, that processing of health data may take place under the employers’ obligation to ensure the health and safety of their employees but must be objective and necessary. https://www.datatilsynet.dk/presse-og-nyheder/nyhedsarkiv/2020/mar/hvordan-er-det-med-gdpr-og-coronavirus/ (in Danish only).

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