How to start a business in Austria - company formation, legal advice, taxes, VAT & accountancy

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A prosperous and sophisticated business centre and a traditional trading bridge to Eastern Europe and the Balkans, Austria actively welcomes foreign investors. Setting up a company here is physically very easy. There is plenty of office and industrial space available, both for short and long term let and we can provide serviced office facilities. Furthermore, Austria's banking system is one of the most reliable in Europe.

Requirements for company formation in Austria:

  • A company with limited liability (GmbH) is the usual form of company in Austria.
  • Minimum share capital is €10,000; €5,000 has to be paid up.
  • At least one shareholder will be required.
  • At least one managing director, who does not have to be an Austrian citizen or resident in Austria, will be required.
  • Audit and disclosure requirements may be necessary.

What other types of company are there?

  • Stock Corporation (AG) - minimum share capital €70,000, at least two shareholders required
  • General Partnership (OHG) - unlimited liability for all partners
  • Limited Partnership (KG) - unlimited liability for at least one partner
  • Registered Civil Law Partnership (EEG) - similar to OHG or KG but suitable for small companies and partnerships
  • Cooperative (Genossenschaft) - legal entity with flexible membership, no fixed capital, not primarily for profit
  • Foreign Branch - GmbH and AG companies based abroad may establish a branch in Austria

The main formalities regarding Austrian company incorporation include:

  • Drafting of articles of association
  • Legalization of articles of association by notary
  • Entry in the commercial register

How easy is it to recruit staff?

Austria has a well-developed recruitment sector both for professional and support staff. In some industries, such as telecommunications, engineering and building, it is preferable that the head of the company should be an Austrian national. We can help you with all your recruitment issues.

What is the regulatory environment like?

Austria is a participant in the Euro and there is free movement of both capital and earnings. It has dual taxation agreements with a number of other countries, in particular all members of the European Union, the USA and Canada, and no industries are closed to foreign investment.

Financial incentives & banking facilities

Full banking services are available which offer a complete range of commercial banking facilities, including those related to acquisitions and the raising of capital. We can help you open a bank account in Austria.

Government incentives include the following:

  • investment allowance - 9% of all purchases for depreciable business properties are tax deductible, as are 6% of all software purchases
  • investment incentive- project costs ranging from 15% to 70% are covered
  • pre-market development - incentive of 25% to 50%
  • research allowance – from 12% to 18% of research budgets are deductible where this research will lead to an increase in export revenues
  • industrial research – incentives range from 50% to 60% of incentive-eligible costs dependent on area and size of business

For further information on company incorporation in Austria, or for details on legal advice, taxes, VAT and accountancy in Austria, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0033 (0)1 53 57 49 10 or email us directly from our contact page.