Denmark allows English-only annual reports

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09 Jan 2014

On 3 December 2013, the Danish Parliament adopted the act modifying the Danish Financial Statements Act and other acts allowing Danish companies subject to the Danish Financial Statements Act to present their annual reports in English only. The provisions are effective as of 1 January 2014 for annual reports adopted at a general meeting held after 1 January 2014. This includes annual reports for the calendar year 2013 — but it is also applies to annual reports for financial years ending on 31 August 2013 or later — provided that the general meeting is held after 1 January 2014 and the decision to prepare the annual report in English is made at the general meeting before considering whether or not to adopt the report.

The requirement of preparing Danish-language annual reports has increasingly been seen as an administrative burden because of the considerable level of foreign trade and because international companies often use English as their corporate language. Companies may now decide to present an annual report in English only. Limited liability companies subject to the Danish Companies Act may pass a resolution at its general meeting — be it an annual or an extraordinary general meeting — by a majority vote to present an English-language annual report. The decision to do so must be stated in the company’s articles of association beginning in it's second year of such practice. For the first year, the company only has to decide at its general meeting to present the annual report in English before considering whether or not to adopt it.

Newly established companies may state directly in their articles of association that their annual reports are to be presented in English only.

The decision to present the annual report in English only will also apply to interim reports.

For more detailed information, see the amending act on the Danish Parliament’s website (in Danish).

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