Setting up a company in Austria

Setting up a company in Austria costs €4850 + VAT.

Why start a business in Austria?

Austria is at the heart of Europe, so a wide range of business activities can be successfully and efficiently carried out here. Foreigners can set up a company, take over management functions and acquire businesses in Austria.

Companies operating in Austria are only subject to a 25% corporate tax. There are no taxes such as sales or property taxes that are normally applicable in other countries.

Currently, different types of business forms can be set up in Austria:

– Limited liability company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, GmbH)

The most popular business structure for companies operating in Austria because it offers protection for investors and managers. The GmbH is a legal entity in its own right with its own legal personality. The owners/shareholders are not personally liable for the legal obligations of the company. In order to set up a GmbH, a company must have at least one director, one shareholder, a registered office in Austria and a share capital of at least 35000€ (10000€ for start-up companies). At least half of the shareholders’ capital must have been deposited before incorporation. The company must also be registered in the commercial register of the city where it is established.

– Joint stock company (Aktiengesellschaft, AG)

Another corporate structure that provides liability protection for shareholders and managers. The main difference between an AG and a GmbH is that an AG is designed for companies wishing to raise large amounts of capital. In order to be registered as a limited company, a company must have at least one director, one shareholder, a legal registered address in Austria and a share capital of at least €70,000, of which at least 25% must be paid up before incorporation. The AG must also have an auditor and must submit detailed financial statements to the tax authorities.

Societas Europea (SE)

Is a public limited company registered under European Union (EU) company law. It is a useful option for EU companies operating in May. An SE must have its registered office and head office in the same country and be represented in other EU countries. It should also have a subscribed capital of at least 1200000€. It can be set up as a merger, restructuring, subsidiary or holding company.

– Private limited company (Offene Gesellschaft, OG)

It is a simple business structure that is easy to identify. All companies must have at least two owners. The owners must enter into a written partnership agreement, which is filed with the Companies Registry. The partners are legally and financially responsible for the activities of the company.

How is a company set up in Austria?

Registering a company in Austria is more convenient than ever – once selected, we offer our services to clients remotely, with professionals sending all the documents. The registration itself usually takes 3-4 weeks.

The prospective entrepreneur will receive a questionnaire and a list of documents to fill in. We will liaise with the notary and, if necessary, ask you for further details.

A company can be set up with one member or with several partners. The minimum initial capital is 10000€ and at least 50% must be deposited in an Austrian bank account before registration. The standard share capital is 35000€ but this is reduced to 10000€ over 10 years.

If a company wishes to contribute share capital, it must open an Austrian bank account and invest the capital. When registering the company, confirmation of the contribution must be obtained and submitted.

Setting up a company in Austria involves several types of taxes:


Companies operating in Austria are only subject to a flat corporate tax rate of 25%.


Dividend tax in Austria is 27,5%


Austra’s standard VAT rate has been 20% since 1984. A reduced rate of 12% applies to the supply of wine and 10% to food, books, hire and other goods and services.


Austria is a European country with a high level of legal certainty, excellent infrastructure and well-trained staff. These are ideal conditions for setting up a business. Austria is also a good place to set up a business because it is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and the Schengen Agreement.

Location and membership of international organisations are not the only reasons to set up a business in Austria. The favourable economic climate and the legal framework make setting up a business in the country a smooth process.


If you are starting a new business and want to set up a company in Austria, you may be exempted from certain formation taxes. To do this, you need to obtain confirmation from the Chamber of Commerce that your company is new. You can do this by submitting a form NeuFö2 (available on the website of the Austrian Ministry of Finance) to the Chamber of Commerce.

Once the company is entered in the commercial register, the register notifies the tax authorities of the establishment of the new company. The tax office will then ask for the company to be registered for tax purposes. To do this, the company has to fill in a number of forms and then return them to the tax office. Other documents that need to be submitted may include the opening balance sheet, an extract from the commercial register, the articles of association, the identity card of the managing director and a specimen signature sheet for the company’s representatives. The tax authority will then issue the company with a VAT registration number and a tax identification number. All new companies must obtain a VAT number within 1 month of incorporation.

LCPC aims to provide you and your business with high quality assistance. Setting up a company is one of the first steps in building your business, and we will help you along the way!

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