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In the following you can find information about when you are a worker or a self-employed person under EU law and about the Agency’s ongoing monitoring

 

 

There is a difference between whether you are an EU worker (employee) or a self-employed person:

EU worker

We always make a specific assessment of all the information in your case about your employment when we assess whether you may be considered a worker under EU law. According to jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the decisive point of whether a person may be considered a worker under EU law is that, for a certain period of time, the person performs services for and under the direction of another person in return for which s/he receives remuneration (salary). At the same time, it is crucial that the employment is genuine and effective and not what EU law refers to as marginal and ancillary. 

As a general rule, we expect that you as a minimum work 10 – 12 hours a week. Since the decisive point according to case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union is that the employment has lasted for a certain period of time, we also expect that you, as a starting point, have employment to this extent every week for a continuous period of 10 weeks.. 

In our assessment we also include criteria such as whether you are entitled to paid holiday, remuneration during illness, the duration of the employment relationship and whether a collective agreement applies to the employment. Furthermore, in our assessment we also put emphasis on whether you have a gross income of a certain size every month. 

When we assess whether you may be considered a worker, we look at the documents you submit along with the information form for foreign citizens. The documentation of your employment is among other things an employment contract and payslips from your employer in Denmark. After having applied for SU online through minSU, you must submit the information form and the documents to the SU office at your educational institution.

When you receive SU because you may be considered a worker, as described in the above, you are, as a starting point, required continuously to work a minimum of 10 – 12 hours each week while you study and receive SU.

Self-employed person

We always conduct a specific assessment of your business when we assess whether you can be considered a self-employed person in Denmark according to EU law. In our assessment, it is a necessary condition that your business is fully established and operational in Denmark. This means that you must be able to document that the business is financially active entailing that it participates in the economic life in Denmark in a stable and continuous way.

In the assessment of whether you can be considered a self-employed person according to EU law, we expect that:

  • you run a business for your own account and risk
  • you run a business of financial nature and with the purpose of earning a profit
  • you run the business in a professional manner
  • you have established and run your business in Denmark
  • you, as the owner or co-owner, are the person who runs the business on a daily basis
  • the business’ financial activities are performed on a fairly regular basis and for a not entirely short period
  • the financial activities in the business are not of an insignificant extent

In the assessment, we therefore put emphasis on the fact that:

  • you have registered the business with the Danish authorities (in the Central Business Register, CVR)
  • you have prepared annual financial statements for your business (preferably from an auditor) or that you have prepared a budget for your business’ first year of operation, if your business is newly started
  • you have documented that your business will be profitable or that you have made it plausible that your business will be profitable over time by, for example, being able to present a business plan, a market survey or the like
  • you can present documentation showing that you have received payment for the services/goods you sell
  • you have the professional qualifications to run the business and that there is a connection between the business’ activities
  • you run the business from a permanent establishment

In order to document that you have established yourself as a self-employed person as defined in EU law, you can submit copies of your business’ financial statements or a budget of first operating year, a business plan, invoices made out to customers, documentation of your business expenses, VAT payments, rental agreement of office, expenditure on wages and salaries to employees, as well as contracts you have made with business partners. After having applied for SU through minSU, you must attach the documentary evidence to the information form "Foreign citizen" (udenlandsk statsborger) which you submit to your educational institution.

Please be aware that it may have tax consequences for you if you as a foreign student choose to set up your own business in Denmark. For questions regarding these consequences, please contact the Danish Customs and Tax Administration.

Your SU will be discontinued if you do not meet the conditions

If you do not meet the conditions for being a worker or a self-employed person specified above, we will discontinue your SU and if you have received too much SU, you must pay back this amount.

Ongoing monitoring

We monitor on an ongoing basis if you continue to meet the conditions for having the status of a worker or a self-employed person. The monitoring is among other things conducted on the basis of the information your employer reports to the Danish Tax Agency (Skattestyrelsen) about your income and working hours.

If you are not able to provide documentary evidence that you still meet the conditions, we will discontinue your SU and if you have received too much SU, you must pay back this amount.

EU worker

If you are a worker, we can ask you to submit documentary evidence showing that you have had effective and genuine work to a minimum of 10-12 hours a week. This documentation can among other things be pay slips, a new employment contract, time sheets and/or duty rosters, documentation for holiday and so on.

Self-employed person

If you are a self-employed person, we can ask you to submit documentary evidence showing that there are still economic activities in your business. The documentation can be copies of financial statements, tax assessment notice from the Danish Tax Agency (Skattestyrelsen), invoices made out to customers, documentation of your business expenses, business account statements, VAT payments, rental agreement of office lease, expenditure on wages and salaries to employees, information about inventory as well client agreements.

How to apply

Read more about how to apply for the first time though minSU.

Inform us if there are changes to your circumstances

It is important that you inform us if there are changes to your circumstances that relate to your equal status with Danish citizens. Please see what to do depending on the change

Examples

Please read examples of cases where foreign students have applied for SU on the basis of their status as employees under EU law.