Austria is one of the richest European countries which is why it attracts foreign investors from all over the world. With a stable political system and economy, Austria also offers a skilled workforce which plays an important role in its development so far. Among the most sought investment industries are banking, trading and information technology which play an important role in the development of the country’s economy. The legislation also favours the opening of new companies and foreign investors can benefit from a transparent and flexible company registration process.

Company Formation Process in Austria

Austria is a member of several international organizations, among which the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development which means that investors can do business here with the guarantee of the best international standards.

For those interested in doing business in Austria, our local company formation agents have prepared all the information necessary for them to get started.

Types of companies in Austria

The Company Act is the main law which provides for the establishment of a business in Austria. The first step for company formation in Austria is to choose a legal entity from the ones mentioned below:
– the sole proprietorship or sole trader which is the simplest form of starting a business in Austria;
– the limited liability company which can be private or public and is the most employed type of company;
– the partnership which is suitable for those who want to create small and medium-sized businesses;
– the subsidiary, branch and representative offices which are business forms available for foreign companies interested in entering the Austrian market.

Our company formation agents in Austria can offer information on the legislation applicable when starting a business in this country.

The sole trader in Austria

The sole trader is the simplest form of doing business in Austria and it can be established by natural persons only. There are no share capital requirements for those who want to set up this business form, however, they will need to register their trade name with the Companies Register in Austria and obtain certain licenses with the authorities.

The limited liability company in Austria

As mentioned above, the limited liability company can take two forms:
– the private company, shortly known as the GmbH, which must be formed by at least one shareholder who cannot trade the company’s shares on the stock exchange and which requires a minimum share capital of 35,000 euros;
– the public company, shortly known as the AG, which also requires at least one shareholder and a minimum share capital of 70,000 euros; compared to the GmbH, the AG can trade its shares on the stock exchange. The company registration process for both types of companies follow the same steps.

Partnerships in Austria

There are four types of partnerships which can be registered by foreign investors interested in company formation in Austria. These are:
– the general partnership;
– the limited partnership;
– the dormant partnership;
– the civil law partnership.

No matter the type of partnership investors want to set up, at least two founding members are necessary. Also, there are no share capital requirements for this business form.

Setting up a branch office in Austria

The branch office is one of the options foreign companies can use to create a presence on the Austrian market. The Austrian company will totally depend on the parent company, which means that all the decisions related to the management of the branch will be taken by the head office. The Austrian branch will complete the activities of the parent company for which it must obtain the necessary licenses and permits.

Among the advantages of the branch office in Austria, we remind the following:
– it takes very little to be established with the Austrian Trade Register;
– the parent company will be liable for the local branch office’ obligations;
– the requirements for setting up such an establishment are minimum;
– the foreign company is allowed to open a corporate bank account in Austria;
– the branch office in Austria can be completely owned by the foreign company.

Our company registration representatives in Austria can help with the registration of a branch office.

Opening a subsidiary in Austria

Another business form available for foreign companies is the subsidiary. Compared to the branch office, the subsidiary is an independent entity, usually registered under the form of a limited liability company. As such, it can take its own decisions and will be treated as a local company in the Austrian market.

The Austrian subsidiary offers similar advantages as the branch office.

Documents for starting a company in Austria. Foreign and local investors must provide the following set of documents for company formation in Austria:
– passports or IDs which must be notarized, depending on the shareholders’ nationality;
– the company’s statutory documents which are represented by the Memorandum and Articles of Association;
– a lease contract which proves the local address the company will have in Austria;
– information about the company’s managers or directors, such as the passport or ID copies;
– information about the share contribution of each shareholder.

The business owners must also open a bank account where the initial capital will be deposited.

The documents mentioned above must be filed with the Trade Register in order to obtain the company’s Certificate of Incorporation. Then, the company must register for tax and VAT purposes.

Company formation timeline in Austria

Foreign investors seeking to open companies in Austria are usually interested in knowing how much the process takes. Our Austrian company formation consultants have prepared a timeline which estimates the time to consider for each procedure.

How we can help you

If you are considering forming a business or you need expert help with company registration in Austria, LegalGenius™ is ready to assist you with its skilled team of lawyers, consultants and tax experts. We are committed to making the process as stress-free and streamlined as possible for you, and we will take care of all your document preparation and administrative tasks regarding the registration forms, payment of government fees, local address registration, banking support, etc., whilst always keeping your exact objectives and unique vision in mind throughout the process.

Please use our Company Formation Wizard if you would like to set up your registered company in Austria or if you would like to know the costs involved prior to proceeding with our exceptional services. For other queries and special requests for complex or customised company formation services, please contact us at