Relationship with the authorities
Contact with the authorities
Purpose For many reasons, many ethnic business owners have a problematic relationship with the authorities. Part of the advisers’ tasks, therefore, is to act as a bridge between the business owners and the authorities, as well as to the accountants, banks, etc. For some of the owners, a fine imposed by the authorities provides the stimulus for them to seek advice.
The concrete cooperation around the fine will often become the basis for a prolonged process where the owner is made aware of the development potential which can lie in receiving qualified business advice.
Various (Danish) homepages provide information and relevant guidelines, application forms and information sheets in connection with: Virk.dk: Digital registration, Workplace Assessment guide, law, personnel, sales and marketing, etc.
kk.dk/erhverv: Commercial licenses, permits to sell alcohol, taxi-licensing, use of roads and public squares, etc.
Naeringsbasen.dk: Guide, e-learning, test, and application for food-selling permits for food shops and restaurants.
Foedevarestyrelsen.dk: Guidance in own-check lists and screenings for various branches, product labelling, health inspection system (the “Smiley” food inspection seal of approval system), etc.
Various courses (bookkeeping, income tax, VAT, daybook for cash transactions, etc.)
Information and digital reporting
On the home pages of the authorities, the advisers and businesses can find answers to many questions. There can also be a need to show how the use of digital signature can gradually help the business to carry out their reporting obligations electronically.
Efforts are made to build up a permanent contact network among relevant authorities such as the Danish Working Environment Authorities, the Veterinary and Food Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, Tax authorities, Social Welfare Administration, the Police, etc. The networks also include persons whom one can call in case of questions and who know the purpose of the advisory work and who are therefore extra patient when they are telephoned by clients with language problems.
The authorities have been invited to a meeting to exchange experiences, and it was decided to continue the series of meetings with the advisers on topics such as communication with ethnic minority business owners.
Demonstration of daily cash accounting, VAT accounting etc.
Review of how to enter the daily cash receipts, including a possible check of whether the client’s cash accounting fulfil the official reporting requirements. Possible referral to a training course or to an accountant.
Translation and demonstration
Translation of the text of the own-check lists and reviews of how to fill out the form. Translation of the Workplace Assessment Form (dealing with the workplace environment) and review of relevant problems relation to the firm’s conditions.
Referral to meetings and courses
The authorities involve themselves more and more in organising information meetings and specialised courses focusing on various topics such as environmental protection and income tax, and on occasion also directed to this target group. At entrepreneurship fairs and the like, representatives of the various public authorities will often be present.
The advisers also invite representatives of public authorities to events being held for the target group, and they have established contact between ethnic minority entrepreneur projects. A business association is also being developed.
Referral to specialists
Review of contracts and the like. Help in clarifying when the owners need an attorney. The advisers are obliged to refer the business owner to an attorney if there is a juridical responsibility connected to the demanded advice.
Registering with the Business Database
In Denmark shops selling food products and restaurants must be entered into a special public data base before the firm opens. The advisers help their client register their shop/restaurant and prepare the client for the test and for the application process to the municipality or police in order to obtain licenses to sell food or alcoholic beverages.