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Doing Business in Austria: Guide

Staff Reporter | 11:25 PM |

Formal registration of companies has many immediate benefits for the companies and for business owners and employees. Legal entities can outlive their founders. Resources are pooled as several shareholders join forces to start a company. Formally registered companies have access to services and institutions from courts to banks as well as to new markets. And their employees can benefit from protections provided by the law. An additional benefit comes with limited liability companies. These limit the financial liability of company owners to their investments, so personal assets of the owners are not put at risk. Where governments make registration easy, more entrepreneurs start businesses in the formal sector, creating more good jobs and generating more revenue for the government.

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Austria. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.This information was collected from World Bank: Doing Business 

No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
1Obtain the confirmation from the Economic Chamber that the start-up company is really a new enterprise1 dayno charge
2Notarize the statutes/articles of association or the declaration of establishment4 daysEUR 1,500
3Deposit the minimum requirement of cash capital in the bank1 dayno charge
4Registration at the local court (Handelsgericht) and publish an announcement of formation in the Wiener Zeitung7 daysEUR 30 registration fee for private limited companies + publication fee of EUR 40 for first 5 lines and EUR 6 for each additional line (assuming 35 total lines)
5Tax Office registration (obtain a VAT number)12 daysno charge
* 6Register trade (Gewerbeanmeldung) with the trade authority (Bezirksverwaltungsbehörde)1 day (simultaneous with procedure 5)no charge if exemption is granted under Procedure 1; otherwise stamp duties vary depending on the type of trade intended and whether the trade and/or profession only requires registration or it requires permission by authorities (i.e. particular professional qualification must be proven).
* 7Register employees for social security1 day (simultaneous with procedure 5)no charge
* 8Register with the municipality1 day (simultaneous with procedure 5)no charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.