US Startup Stories

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US Startup Stories

Date: 13 Sep 2017, 8:30 - 12:00

Host: Deloitte, Weidekampsgade 6, 2300 Copenhagen

What’s it really like to expand into the US?  At this event we heard the “war stories” from some who have tried it!

Your business is up and running and you are in growth mode, considering or already with some foothold in the US.  Now you want to take the next step and get more serious about the US. Where should you locate? How should you select the best US team? Are you allowed to sell your product or service across the whole US? What about cross-border pricing and tax issues? What else should you think about?

We hosted 4 experts at this event, who talked about what to consider and how to avoid headaches and mistakes.

US Startup Stories Danish-American Business Forum

Thomas Thorup used several interesting legal cases to illustrate what has gone wrong for companies who’ve had problems with US visas, bad contracts, improper corporate structure, employment law, and intellectual property infringement.  The cases were surprising but true, and the mistakes expensive and time-consuming to correct, so the key message was to invest in getting appropriate help at the very beginning of your adventure.  (The speakers from both Siteimprove and Flying Tiger Copenhagen agreed!).

From Deloitte we heard a great detailed presentation about international tax and transfer pricing issues, including the arms-length principle and the importance of documentation, showing what is required in both the master file and the local files. There are a lot of new rules to take into consideration so you need to ensure your finance and legal staff are up-to-date on these requirements.  He also touched on further requirements when intangibles are involved (DEMPE – development, enhancement, maintenance, protection, and exploitation of intangibles), as well as the CFC and PE Permanent Establishment rules and the tax implications of those.  He went briefly through thin capitalization, interest limitation and hybrid mismatch concepts, and ended with other shareholder considerations, including double taxation and minimizing withholding taxes.

From Siteimprove‘s CEO and co-founder, we learned how the company was started, why it moved to and still likes Minnesota, and the challenges in recruiting the right staff, and from Flying Tiger Copenhagen we got both the business view as well as the personal view of a Dane living in New York while the business is expanding.

Some of the slides are available to members on request.

The event included plenty of networking time where members with similar challenges could ask more detailed questions and build their network for the future.  Thanks again to Deloitte for hosting us!



Einar Dyrhauge, Executive Director, Danish-American Business Forum                               

Initial considerations when expanding to US
Thomas Thorup, Attorney (California), Advokat (H) (Denmark), Thomas Martin Law
Check list of things you need to consider as you expand in the US (IP, incorporation, location, etc)

Cross border pricing and tax issues – how to avoid mistakes 
Asger Mosegaard Kelstrup, Partner, Deloitte
The presentation will cover the most common transfer pricing and international tax aspects for companies that operate cross border

Coffee and Networking Break

Global expansion began with success in the US
Morten Ebbesen, CEO and Founder, Siteimprove
How a quick entry on the US market paid for global expansion in 17 other markets. How a US location in the Midwest has worked for Siteimprove. Getting the right people – fast!

Managing expansion in the US
Soren Friis, Head of North America, Flying Tiger Copenhagen
How has Flying Tiger Copenhagen entered and grown in US? Key hurdles and learnings. How to be an American company but preserve the Danish roots?

Wrapup and Q&A

Light networking lunch

Note: this event is free for members of DABF, guests of Deloitte and speakers, and first-time guests who might consider eventual membership. To explore becoming a DABF member, read more at About DABF or contact us here.  All our events are in English!


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Danish-American Business Forum

Network for Success in the US