SME Guarantee requirements and conditions

Who is eligible for an SME Guarantee?

All small and medium-sized Danish export companies are eligible for an SME Guarantee.

In other words, this means companies:

  • with fewer than 250 employees
  • with less than EUR 50 million in turnover and/or
  • with less than EUR 43 million in balance sheet total
  • for which a maximum of 25 per cent of their shares are owned by a company that does not fulfil the SME criteria.

Financing for foreign customers is primarily used in connection with the sale of capital goods and with credit periods of six months or more. An SME Guarantee cannot be used to finance the sale of consumer goods, including durables.
At least 20 per cent of the cost price of your product must derive from materials from Denmark or work carried out in Denmark.

EKF will also assess the creditworthiness of your foreign buyer before issuing a guarantee.

How much does an SME Guarantee cover?

EKF can guarantee contract amounts of up to DKK 25 million. 

What does an SME Guarantee cost?

Your customer pays a premium of between 0.5 and 4 per cent
It does not cost you anything to help your customers get credit. EKF's guarantees are not free, but your customer
pays the costs as part of the credit. 

Typically, your customer will pay us an annual premium of between 0.5 and 4 per cent, depending on the country, the customer's credit rating and the term of the loan.

You can easily calculate the premium using our premium calculator.

In addition to the premium to EKF, the customer also pays interest and costs to the bank. Your bank can give you the total price.

How long is the credit period?

EKF issues SME Guarantees with a term of up to five years.
Furthermore, the credit period for the foreign buyer must be at least six months.

If the buyer comes from an EU country, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland or the USA, and if the order is worth more than EUR 5 million, the credit period must be at least two years.

Conditions

The foreign customer must normally pay at least 15 per cent of the order amount in advance for credit periods exceeding one year. The credit must also be granted as a serial loan with principal repayments of equal size plus accrued interest.

What does EKF cover?

EKF pays compensation if your bank makes a loss on export transactions due to commercial or political risk. 

Commercial risk occurs when the buyer is unable to pay due to liquidation or insolvency, or is unwilling to pay. 

Political risk occurs if your company does not receive payment for products due to impediments in the country to which you are exporting. Such impediments include war or civil war, currency shortage, restrictions on use of currency, import or export bans, and interventions by local authorities that make it impossible to receive payment for the products. 

EKF guarantees up to 100 per cent of the bank's loss, but the exporter typically has a deductible of 10 per cent.

Applications for specific SME Guarantees are submitted via a bank, which handles the paperwork. The bank must be registered for the SME Guarantee scheme. If the bank has not yet been registered for the scheme, this can easily be arranged by contacting EKF. 

See all registered banks and financial institutions.​

See the countries for which you can use the SME Guarantee.

Credit is normally documented via bills of exchange.

See which countries are approved for bills of exchange. 

Environmental and social sustainability requirements

You sign a declaration indicating that you comply with our environmental and social sustainability requirements (CSR).