Business entities in Austria

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.

 LLCPLCBranch OfficeRep office
Also known as:GmbHAGNiederlassungRepresentanz
How long to set the company up?5 weeks7 weeks7 weeks4 weeks
How long to open company bank account?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Legal liability?LimitedLimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Wholly foreign owned?YesYesYesYes
Minimum paid - up share capital?€5,000 (€10,000 issued)€17,500 (€70,000 issued)€0€0
File annual tax return?YesYesYesNo
Tax registration certificate required?YesYesYesNo
Recommended corporate bank Account?LGT BankLGT BankLGT BankLGT Bank
Does our Client need to travel?NoNoNoNo
Resident director required?NoNoYesYes
Austrian national shareholder required?NoNoNoNo
Minimum directors allowed1111
Minimum shareholders1111
Tax Identification Code Needed?YesYesYesNo
Austria resident company secretary requiredNoNoNoNo
Corporate shareholders allowedYesYesYesYes
Corporate director(s) allowedNoYesYesYes
Austria corporate tax rate25%25%25%0%
Annual financial statements requiredYesYesYesYes
Statutory audit requiredYesYesNoNo
Regulated byAustrian Commercial RegisterAustrian Commercial RegisterAustrian Commercial RegisterAustrian Commercial Register
Allowed to issue sales invoicesYesYesYesNo
Allowed to sign contractsYesYesYesNo
Allowed to import and export goodsYesYesYesNo
Can rent an office space in AustriaYesYesYesYes
Can buy Austria property?YesYesYesNo
Can own equity in other Austria companies?YesYesYesNo
Total Austria Business setup costs in Yr. 1€12,920€14,920€14,920€10,970
Subsequent Annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fee)€6,949€7,000€6,949€4,649
Sample engagement invoiceAustria LLC setup costAustria LLC setup costAustria LLC setup costAustria 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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