Business entities in Austria

different legal requirements for foreigners to setup company in AustriaSince 2003, Healy Consultants has successfully assisted our Clients with establishing the best Austrian corporate structure to suit our Clients’ business interest. The most common legal corporate structure preferred by many entrepreneurs is the setup of a limited liability company (LLC) in Austria. A public limited company (PLC) is also a very interesting alternative option for investors who are able to afford the €70,000 required for share capital. Foreign companies are also permitted to incorporate branches or representative offices.

The Austria limited liability company (GmbH)

  1. The Austrian LLC (locally known as GmbH) is the type of business entity most commonly chosen by entrepreneurs looking to set up a business in Austria. One director and shareholder must be appointed, both allowed to be of any nationality and residency. Still, the company must have a legal registered address located in Austria for registration purposes with the Commercial Registrar of their city of incorporation;
  2. The minimum share capital required to complete the incorporation process has been reduced to €10,000 in July 2014 for startups, of which half of the amount must be paid-up in cash prior to the commencement of incorporation. However, standard share capital requirements of €35,000 still apply from the 11th year after Austria company setup;
  3. Austrian companies are subject to value added tax registration if their annual turnover is expected to be above €30,000.

The Austria public limited company (AG)

  1. The Austrian PLC, commonly known as corporation (AG) is a legal entity recommended when entrepreneurs intend to raise important amounts of capital and/or list the company on the Vienna Stock Exchange market. The AG requires a minimum share capital of €70,000 for incorporation and at least 25% of the capital must be paid-up before Austria business setup;
  2. At least one shareholder and one director must be appointed, whom can be of any nationality and need not to be resident of Austria. The AG must also appoint a statutory auditor. Like an Austrian LLC, the Austrian Public Limited Company must submit financial statements with the Austrian Tax Administration.

The Austria branch office (Niederlassung)

Foreign companies are allowed to establish branches in Austria. The branch can be 100% foreign owned. Foreign companies established in countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) must appoint an individual representative, who must be resident in Austria. This entity is also permitted to open and maintain a corporate bank account in Austria.

The Austria representative office (Representanz)

The Austrian representative office of a foreign entity is allowed to engage in market research and promotion of the parent company business’ products and services. Just like the branch office, this entity is required to appoint a resident representative in Austria if the parent company is located outside the EEA.

  LLC PLC Branch Office Rep office
Also known as: GmbH AG Niederlassung Representanz
How long to set the company up? 5 weeks 7 weeks 7 weeks 4 weeks
How long to open company bank account? 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks
Legal liability? Limited Limited Unlimited Unlimited
Wholly foreign owned? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Minimum paid - up share capital? €5,000 (€10,000 issued) €17,500 (€70,000 issued) €0 €0
File annual tax return? Yes Yes Yes No
Tax registration certificate required? Yes Yes Yes No
Recommended corporate bank Account? LGT Bank LGT Bank LGT Bank LGT Bank
Does our Client need to travel? No No No No
Resident director required? No No Yes Yes
Austrian national shareholder required? No No No No
Minimum directors allowed 1 1 1 1
Minimum shareholders 1 1 1 1
Tax Identification Code Needed? Yes Yes Yes No
Austria resident company secretary required No No No No
Corporate shareholders allowed Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate director(s) allowed No Yes Yes Yes
Austria corporate tax rate 25% 25% 25% 0%
Annual financial statements required Yes Yes Yes Yes
Statutory audit required Yes Yes No No
Regulated by Austrian Commercial Register Austrian Commercial Register Austrian Commercial Register Austrian Commercial Register
Allowed to issue sales invoices Yes Yes Yes No
Allowed to sign contracts Yes Yes Yes No
Allowed to import and export goods Yes Yes Yes No
Can rent an office space in Austria Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can buy Austria property? Yes Yes Yes No
Can own equity in other Austria companies? Yes Yes Yes No
Total Austria Business setup costs in Yr. 1 €14,920 €15,920 €15,920 €11,970
Subsequent Annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fee) €6,949 €7,000 €6,949 €4,649
Sample engagement invoice Austria LLC setup cost Austria LLC setup cost Austria LLC setup cost Austria LLC setup cost

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Contact us

For additional information on our business setup services in Austria, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Petar Chakarov, directly:
client relationship officer - Petar
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