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Register a Company in Austria

What is the most common type of company in Austria?

A company with limited liability (GmbH) is by far the most usual form of company. A GmbH is a legal entity. 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 GmbH?

Minimum share capital is €35,000, of which at least half, €17,500, has to be paid up in cash.

What other requirements are there for a GmbH?

bulletat least one shareholder
bulletat least one managing director, who does not have to be an Austrian citizen or resident in Austria
bulletaudit and disclosure requirements may be necessary
bulleta local serviced office is advisable, but not a legal necessity, click here for details

What other types of company are there?

bulletstock corporation (AG), minimum share capital €70,000, at least two shareholders required
bulletgeneral partnership (OHG), unlimited liability for all partners
bulletlimited partnership (KG), unlimited liability for at least one partner
bulletregistered civil law partnership (EEG), similar to OHG or KG but suitable for small companies and partnerships
bulletcooperative (Genossenschaft), legal entity with flexible membership, no fixed capital, not primarily for profit
bulletforeign branch, GmbH and AG companies based abroad may establish a branch in Austria

What are the formalities regarding incorporation?

The main formalities include:

bulletdrafting of articles of association
bulletlegalisation of articles of association by notary
bulletentry in the commercial register

How easy is it to recruit staff?

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.

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, Canada and Russia. No industries are closed to foreign investment, although in strategic areas an Austrian solution is sometimes preferred. Corporate taxation is relatively low at 25%. Click here if you would like to contact one of our Austrian corporate tax specialists.

Are there financial incentives available – and what about 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:

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