Experiences involving food in Denmark
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
When do food-related activities require a license?
Many food and drink related commercial activities in Denmark require a license. Before offering meals in your own home or someone else's unlicensed premises, you should check the applicable requirements.
You can read more about registration and authorization in the official guidelines by the Food Administration. Information regarding starting a food business is available on the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration website and in their short guide.
Generally, Danish food law differentiates between the following:
- Food enterprises
- Food businesses below a minimum threshold
- Food activities in the private sphere
The full range of food legislation only applies to food enterprises, while food businesses below a minimum threshold are only subject to some parts of the food legislation. Finally, food activities in the private sphere are exempt from food regulation. In contrast to food enterprises, in case you operate a food business below a minimum threshold or food activities in the private sphere you do not need an authorization or registration.
So what constitutes a food business below a minimum threshold?
The differentiation between food enterprises (like restaurants) and food businesses below a minimum threshold, is based on three criteria:
- Boundary of Triviality
- Degree of organization
Boundary of triviality means, the level of continuity and organisation of the Experience must be significantly lower than in a regular food enterprise. Whether this is the case is always subject to an overall assessment by the authorities and therefore a case-by-case decision. However, there are guidelines published by the Food Administration that help you determine whether your Food Experience can be considered trivial and therefore a food business below a minimum threshold. According to the current guidelines (published in 2015), decisive factors to assess whether an activity can be considered trivial or not include:
- Frequency: The activity should not exceed 10 events covering a maximum of 30 days in a year. Therefore, food activities taking place once a week cannot be considered to be trivial.
- Commercial nature: Whether a food activity is considered to be commercial is determined by an overall assessment of the activity. Carrying out advertising, for example newspaper or web ads, is taken as a signal that the activity is commercial - however please be aware that this is just one factor in the overall assessment. On the other hand, annual revenue of greater than DKK 50,000 will generally mean that the activity cannot be regarded as trivial.
If you’re in any doubt whether your Food Experience can be considered trivial, we recommend you get in touch with the competent authorities or your legal advisor.
What are food activities in the private sphere?
Food activities in the private sphere generally are all food activities in a private household that are not carried out for profit. However, according to the guidelines of the Danish Food Administration, food activities of an educational nature such as cooking classes are also part of the private sphere, even if they are undertaken for profit. As mentioned above, these activities are exempt from food legislation.
If your Experience does not fall within the applicable exceptions (which may change from time to time so it is always advisable to check before offering food related Experiences), then you must register a food enterprise with the Veterinary and Food Administration. This means that your activity would also need to comply with the full extent of the regulations, including kitchen layout and hygiene, which in practice may be difficult to comply with in a private home. The Administration could also carry out inspections (which require a fee to be paid and the inspection reports could be required to be made public).
Finally, if you act as a facilitator between consumers and food enterprises, you may also be subject to the registration requirement - so if you plan to offer an Experience that includes a visit to a restaurant or other food provider, you should check what regulations apply.
Is there anything else I should think about?
Even if your Experience meets the requirements to be considered trivial, certain parts of the applicable food regulations would still apply. In any event, your guests' health and safety should still always come first. You should inform yourself regarding all reasonable and prudent health and safety standards including in relation to food storage and safety, food hygiene, place of origin, ingredients, cleanliness, labelling, equipment, preparation and information that your guests might need regarding food allergies or sensitivities.
Please note that the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration keep control on all food enterprises in Denmark, also food businesses in private homes.
If you'd like to include alcohol as part of your Experience then please refer to the section on Experiences involving alcohol in Denmark. Please also make sure that you check the zoning rules that apply to your area.
Please also consult the information on Business Licensing in Denmark.
* Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).