Steps for Setting Up a Company in Austria

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Austria has long made its name as an important center of trade and commerce. Traditionally, it has served as a trading link between Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The country is a good place to establish a business, with several favorable factors such as its strategic location in the heart of the EU and Eurozone. Furthermore, the country opens up readily to foreign investors and investment. It is very easy to establish a business in Austria, with the processes very straightforward. The bureaucratic procedures, however, must be followed when registering a company, which can either be a corporation or a partnership among a host of other business types in the country. It is, however, a simple process. Registration is done at the commercial register. There is a minimum share capital required to be paid, which varies depending on the type of the company. In addition, there is a strict regulation of professional requirements necessary for the establishment of businesses in Austria. The formalities necessary for the establishment of businesses in Austria are discussed in this article.

Prospective investors in Austria, irrespective of whether they are foreigners or citizens, are required to produce the following set of documents in order to get their companies registered in the country:

  • Notarized passports or IDs are required from foreign and local investors respectively
  • Articles of Association are also required to be presented.
  • The Articles of Association should be in the form of a notarized deed executed by a public notary. This is known in Austria as
  • The company must have an entry in the commercial register by a court resolution.
  • A document stating the shareholder resolutions after the first managing director(s) have been appointed.
  • The sample signatures of the managing directors, as well as those of other board members,  must be tendered.
  • A bank account must be opened for the company, and a document which confirms the payment of the minimum contribution required for establishing that particular type of company must be submitted.
  • A tax ID, which is obtainable at the tax authority offices, is also required.
  • A lease contract, which provides evidence that the company is located in Austria.
  • Details of the managers and directors of the corporation, such as passports and IDs.
  • Information about the share contributed by each of the shareholders.

All these documents must be submitted at the Trade Register, the body responsible for issuing the Certificate of Incorporation to companies in Austria. After this, the company will still have to register for tax and VAT purposes.

Company Formation Timeline in Austria

People who want to invest in Austria want to know how long it takes to go through the entire process of registering a company. Here is a timeline which estimates how long it takes to complete each step of the registration.

  • Business name reservation, which can be done online, only takes a few hours.
  • Drafting and notarization of the company’s statutory documents can take about two days.
  • The Trade Register can take up to six days to process the statutory documents.
  • Opening of a bank account for the company can be completed within a day.
  • It will take a day to obtain clearance from the economic chamber.
  • The tax authorities can spend up to two weeks to complete their own part of the registration.
  • It takes less than one day to process the application for a business license.

From this, it can be said that it takes a relatively short time to complete the registration of a business in Austria. Opening a bank account, which is one of the lengthiest procedures elsewhere, takes just a few hours to complete in Austria. Furthermore, Austria is one of the best countries in Europe to start a company from scratch.