The sooner you have everything sorted, the easier life gets. Your starting point is International House, which acts as a portal for most of the authorities you’ll need to talk to. They can help with: EU registration for EU citizens, tax cards, CPR (civil registration number), healthcare services, driving licenses and residence permits for non-EU citizens.

Want a quick hack? If you are moving to Copenhagen soon and coming with salaried work for more than three months then LifeX can help you get settled fast. Email to to hear more.

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EU Registration Certificate (for EU citizens)

If you plan to stay in Denmark for more than three months you require this. International house now has a booking system for two weeks in advance where you can see availabilities for your EU registration appointment (however they only do EU registration on Wednesdays, Thursdays).

The link to book is here. It is recommended to book this appointment in the morning as you can't get appointments for CPR activation at International House  and you need your EU registration to activate the CPR. So best to go in the morning for EU reg, then pull a number for CPR activation after.

Otherwise, visit the state administration main office directly to get your EU paperwork direct from the office of the State Administration (which handles this) as it will be faster. The State Administration’s main office is at Ellebjergvej 52,
2450, Copenhagen SV.

Download the application form here.



It’s a requirement for everybody who stays in Denmark for more than three months to get a social security and personal registration number at the International Citizens Service. This is your key to ‘the system’, unlocking access to things including healthcare, a bank account, a phone contract and a housing contract. 

Before you start, you need:

  • A residence permit (non-EU citizens) or an EU registration certificate (EU citizens)
  • A housing contract or rental confirmation. NOTE: To get your CPR approved your housing contract needs to be active.

You can apply for your CPR online, but will need to go to International House to activate it. You can apply before you arrive [it usually takes about two weeks to get your invite] to hit the ground running BUT not more than a month before you move into your Danish residence.

When you go to International House, you will need to bring a scanned copy/or photo of the following

  • Passport / national ID
  • Residence permit (non-EU), EU registration (EU)
  • Rental contract / housing confirmation

In some cases also:

  • A birth certificate (for only accompanying children)
  • A marriage certificate (must include Apostille stamp for the marriage to be recognised as official in DK - Google where you can get this done in your home country)

CPR numbers are handled by your local municipality or borgerservice.


Tax card

Denmark is a welfare state and, while taxes are (famously) high, that enables the state to provide things like education, healthcare and childcare affordable for everyone.

  • Once you start working you will need to pay taxes and to do this you will need a tax (SKAT) card.

  • If you don’t get a SKAT card you will automatically be landed in the highest tax band. You will ultimately be re-imbursed, of course, but best to avoid altogether!

  • You can get your tax card at the International Citizens Service as soon as you have your CPR, or you can to get your tax card set up

  • You can also apply online before you arrive in Denmark, if you have a signed employment contract and residence contract. But you'll need a full scan of your passport.

    SKAT has a great breakdown of all the different tax criteria, rates and specifications

You may also need to change your tax card (for example if you change job or get a substantially higher or lower salary) - read more about how to do that here to avoid getting billed at the end of the year!

Here's a good overview of the whole process.


How to read your payslip

Check out this awesome annotated payslip to get you started (full time and part time)!


Bank account

After getting your CPR Number, you can set up a bank account. Your bank account will sometimes act as your ‘Nemkonto’ - the bank account to which you assign all payments from public bodies in Denmark. For example, Danske Bank does this automatically, Nordea does not - so ask when you are there.

• Take the following to the bank of your choice: Identity papers with photo (driver’s licence, passport or similar), (health insurance if relevant), employment contract & documentation you are here legally (work/resident permit), CPR/temporary CPR or yellow health card.

NOTE: Increasingly asking for last tax return from country you are moving from.

• You can just show up on the day and get the paperwork done at the counter.

• Once the paperwork comes back in the post a week or so later you can go back and actually open the bank account.

• Your payment card and pin will then arrive separately in the post after that
• Note: Danish post is slow and can take up to 10 days



Once you have a bank account you can get a NemID, which is a log-in to access all your government admin information online, plus Danish online banking. 

You get this automatically once you open a bank account and get access to online banking

You can also get your NemID at International House when you go for CPR registration.

PRO TIP - if getting NemID through International House, tell them straightaway because there is a lot of paper work to read through.

There is now a NEMID app to authenticate stuff so you don't need to carry the little code book around with you. Download the app and read about it here!


Mobile Pay

• Once you have your payment card, you can sign up for Mobile Pay 

• This is the mobile payments app widely used by Danes in restaurants, cafes, shops and clubs

• Simply download the app and follow the instructions


Tips just for you


Get to the State Administration half an hour before it opens so you’re at the front of the queue.

Changing official stuff

Want to change your doctor, address, name etc? You can do all that here: But it will cost you!

Changing your doctor costs 195 kr. (2017) and you can do it here.

You can change your address here. It's free as long as you do it no later than five days after you move - otherwise you may get fined.

You may also need to change your Tax card (for example if you change job or get a substantially higher or lower salary) - read more about how to do that here to avoid getting billed at the end of the year!

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About us

Founders is a startup studio based in lovely Copenhagen, Denmark. We partner with amazing entrepreneurs to build companies from zero to traction (or, idea-stage to product-market-fit).

We made this playbook based on what we've learned welcoming new desk mates, ping pong break pals and co-founders from 20+ nationalities to the Founders Family. Most of this info is already available, but it's scattered between a bunch of different sites and it can be hard to know where to start. We've pulled it all together in one place and thrown in our own recommendations so you can focus on your new job, life, adventure!

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Like any good guide, our playbook is a living document that we will constantly be updating. Something you want to see in here? Help us keep the content fresh and relevant by dropping us an email! :)

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