Austria company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN AUSTRIA IN 2018

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with business registration in Austria. Our services include i) company registration ii) government license registration iii) business bank account opening iv) employee recruitment v) visa strategies and vi) office rental solutions.

Summary table of Austria company registration

SummaryTax resident LLCFast business setup solutionHolding companyPrivate foundationBranch office
Also known asGesellschaft mit beschränkter HaftungGesellschaft mit beschränkter HaftungGesellschaft mit beschränkter HaftungStiftungZweigniederlassung
Best use of company?All products and servicesClose a customer deal nowInvestmentAsset managementSpecific projects
How soon can you invoice Clients\sign sales contracts?4 weeks3 weeks4 weeks4 weeks5 weeks
How soon can you hire staff?4 weeks3 weeks4 weeks4 weeks5 weeks
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?ImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediately
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?6 weeks4 weeks6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks
How long to supply company registration \ tax numbers?4 weeks3 weeks4 weeks4 weeks5 weeks
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?25%25%25%25%25%
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesNoNo
Government grants available?YesYesYesNoYes
Government approval required for foreign owners?NoNoNoNoNo
Resident director/partner/manager/ legal representative required?YesYesYesYesYes
Minimum paid up share capital?€35,000€35,000€1€70,000€1
Can bid for Government contracts?YesYesYesNoYes
Corporate bank account location?Erste GroupRaiffeisen BankBank AustriaBNP ParibasDeutsche Bank
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesNoYes
VAT payable on sales to local customers?20%20%20%None20%
Average total business set up engagement costs?€14,920Request a proposalRequest a proposalRequest a proposal€16,920
Average total engagement period?3 months2 months3 months3 months3 months

Austria business setup summary

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  • Advantages and disadvantages

    Advantages of Austria company registration

    Austria business registration advantage

    1. It is considerably fast and easy to register an Austrian company because:
      • Our Client will only require one shareholder, who can be a corporate or an individual entity;
      • One director, who can be of any nationality and is not required to reside in Austria;
      • A minimum capital of €10,000, 50% of which must be paid up at incorporation, and;
      • Travel is not required to complete company incorporation or corporate bank account opening.
    2. Trading companies are likely to benefit from an Austrian incorporation because:
      • Due to the country’s EU membership, a company formed in Austria enjoys advantages including:
        • Lack of trade restrictions;
        • Free movement of capital and labor;
        • Reduction or exemption from withholding taxes on foreign payments;
        • Access to an integrated European market of over 500 million people.
      • While Austria is a small market within the EU, its customers are affluent, with a GDP per capita recorded at US$44,000, the 5th highest within the EU according to the International Monetary Fund;
      • Austria is a good distribution hub to ship products across Central and Eastern European countries. The country’s roads are indeed ranked as the 3rd best in the world, according to the World Economic Forum;
      • It is easy to open corporate bank accounts with internationally recognized banks in Austria to receive payment from EU Clients;
      • Austrian banks have high credit ratings and are fully integrated in i) the international capital markets ii) international funds transfer and iii) possess correspondent banks worldwide.
    3. Establishment of a holding company in Austria can be beneficial because:
      • As the country is a member of the European Union (EU), Austrian companies benefit from the EU’s Parent-Subsidiary directive;
      • An Austrian holding company which holds at least 10% of the shares of an EU subsidiary can receive dividends from the subsidiary free of withholding tax;
      • Austrian companies can also access a large network of double taxation treaties. Austria has signed such treaties with major trading nations around the world including i) Australia ii) Brazil iii) New Zealand iv) the United States v) China vi) Singapore and vii) Hong Kong;
      • Austrian companies usually are exempted from taxation on dividends received from non EU subsidiaries, thanks to an accommodating holding company regime.
    4. Clients establishing an Austrian company will enjoy government incentives including:
      • Claimable research premiums for expenditures of up to €1million per fiscal year for companies engaging in contract R&D;
      • Funding initiatives comprised of financial concessions for small and medium sized enterprises engaged in innovative and technology oriented investments;
      • Financial support for high-tech startups including non-repayable grants and low interest loans of up to 70% of the approved project costs.
    5. Employers in Austria benefit from a number of advantages including:
      • Austrian workers are the 7th most productive of the European Union, with an average output recorded at €40 per hour compared to an average of €32 across Europe;
      • Labor laws are flexible. For instance, there is no minimum national salary in the country. Costs associated to the termination of a contract are also usually very low: barely two weeks of salary on average;
      • Over 25% of the population has obtained a tertiary degree and Austria is ranked as the 19th best country in the world for the quality and extent of staff training;
      • 73% of the population can understand and speak English, which consequently eases communication between employees and foreigners starting a business in Austria. Virtually all Austrians are also perfectly fluent in German;
      • Austria has been ranked in the 22nd position (out of 190 countries) for its Ease of Doing Business by the World Bank. This is mainly thanks to its i) ease of carrying out international trade across borders, ii) efficient enforcement of contracts and iii) ease of procuring electricity and construction permits.

    Disadvantages of Austria company registration

    1. While there is no minimum wage in Austria, average salaries are still high compared to other European countries. They are estimated by Eurostat at €32 per hour, the 8th highest level in the EU;
    2. The corporate tax rate applicable to companies established in Austria is considerably high, at 25%, compared to its regional neighbors;
    3. In addition to corporate tax, employers are also subjected to a social security contribution averaging 22% of their employees’ gross remunerations;
    4. Given the federal state nature of Austria, regulatory requirements when investing into some sectors of the economy including construction and healthcare may differ between all the 9 provinces;
    5. With effect from 1st July 2013, in case of an insolvent company that does not have any legal representative, the majority shareholders must file for insolvency proceedings.
    6. German is the preferred business language in Austria, and as a result, a foreign investor generally needs to hire a local supplier to act on their behalf. This further makes it a difficult task for the entrepreneur to adapt to the Austrian business environment.
  • Best uses for a Austria company

    1. Austria is an excellent location in Europe to either i) set up an EU trading company or ii) establish a holding company in the Central European region;
    2. Austria is also a perfect jurisdiction for R&D projects in the field of production of technology. In 2015 alone, R&D expenditures exceeded €10 billion representing a research intensity of 3.01% of the country’s GDP.

Company registration

  • Time to incorporate: Five weeks
  • Cost to set up: €14,920
  • Minimum capital: €10,000
  • Physical office required: No

Required appointments

  • Shareholders: 1
  • Directors: 1
  • Company secretary: No
  • Resident director: No

Key facts

  • Corporate tax rate: 25%
  • Corporate tax base: Worldwide
  • Shelf companies: No
  • Main company type: GmbH

Select corporate structure
Business set up guide
Austria corporate bank account
Business set up strategy
Frequently asked questions
Compare similar North European countries
EU visa

Contact us

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