A prosperous and sophisticated business centre and a traditional trading bridge to Eastern Europe and the Balkans, Austria actively welcomes foreign investors considering company formation in the country. 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. However there are important procedural issues to contend with.
The company, which may be a Partnership or Corporation must be registered. For the incorporation of a Limited Liability Company [GmbH] or a Stock Corporation [AG], this involves paying a nominal share capital. Compliance with Austria’s “Gewerberecht”, or “Professional Requirements” for businesses is also mandatory.
A summary of Austrian Corporate Taxes is available here.
What is the most common type of company in Austria?
Limited Liability Companies (GmbH) are the most popular form of company to incorporate in Austria. A GmbH is a legal entity and shareholders are not personally responsible for the liabilities of the company, except for the obligation to pay up their capital contributions.
How much share capital is required to establish a Limited Liability Company (GmbH)?
The minimum amount of share capital required is €35,000, of which at least half, €17,500, has to be paid up
What other requirements are there for a GmbH?
– At least one shareholder
– At least one managing director, who does not have to be an Austrian citizen or resident in Austria
– Audit and disclosure requirements may be necessary
– A local serviced office is advisable, but not a legal necessity.
What other types of Austrian companies are available?
– Stock Corporation (AG): minimum amount of share capital is €70,000 and at least two shareholders are 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
What are the formalities regarding the incorporation of an Austrian company?
The main formalities concerned with setting up a company in Austria include:
– Drafting of articles of association
– Legalisation of articles of association by notary
– Entry in the commercial register
How easy is it to recruit staff in Austria?
Austria has a well-developed recruitment sector both for professional and support staff, but there are shortages of skilled staff in certain fields, particularly telecommunications. In some industries, such as telecommunications, engineering and building, it is preferable that the head of the company should be an Austrian national. Click here for assistance with recruitment in Austria.
Please contact us to discuss your recruitment requirements.
What is the regulatory environment like in Austria?
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, including all members of the European Union, the USA, Canada and Russia.
No industries are closed to foreign investment, although in strategic areas an Austrian solution is sometimes preferred. Corporate Taxation is also relatively low at 25%.
How easy is it to close an Austrian company?
Please contact us in order to discuss closing your company in Austria.
What about banking facilities in Austria and are there financial incentives available?
Full banking services are available, offering a complete range of commercial banking facilities, including those related to acquisitions and the raising of capital. If you are considering forming a company in Austria, we can help you open a local bank account.
Government incentives include the following:
– Investment allowances – 9% of all purchases for depreciable business properties are tax deductible, as are 6% of all software purchases.
– Investment incentives- project costs ranging from 15% to 70% are covered.
– Pre-market developments – incentives of 25% to 50%.
– Research allowances – 12% to 18% of research budgets are deductible if this research indicates a 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 assistance with opening a bank account in Austria, please contact us.