Setting up a company in Austria

Registration, documents and fees

Setting up a company in Austria

Every citizen of an EU state, EEA state or Switzerland can set up business in Austria. Citizens from other countries must hold a residence permit. A person can set up business if they are 18 years old and have no criminal record.

The first thing to do if you want to set up a business is to apply for a trade licence at the district authority (Bezirkshauptmannschaft) or municipal authority (Magistrat). To do that, you have to send an informal application including the following information:

  • Exact designation of the business
  • Location of the business (your address)
  • Personal data

You will have to include the following personal information: first name, last name, date and place of birth, nationality, and your (Austrian) social security number.

The next thing to do is register with the Austrian Commercial Register (Firmenbuch), which you can do at the provincial courts (Landesgerichte). There, you will need to present the following documents:

  • Passport, alternatively birth certificate and certificate of citizenship
  • Exact designation of the business
  • Business address
  • Society contract (for limited liability societies, GmbHs), notarially certified

Apart from the starting capital for GmbHs, you will need more money, as you will be asked to pay several fees when you apply for the trade licence or register your business.

When applying for the trade licence, you will be charged € 47.30.

When registering your business, you will be charged a registration fee of € 32 and entry fees for the following registration details:

  • business location € 8.40
  • starting date of business € 8.40
  • amount of starting capital € 152
  • society contract € 102
  • (each) appointed manager € 28
  • each partner € 20

After you have completed these two stages and paid all the fees, you can at last start earning money. (Fees current as of September 2014)


All enterprises in Austria have to pay value-added tax (Umsatzsteuer/Mehrwertsteuer) (20 % of income). Partnerships and sole proprietors who earn less than € 30,000 per year are exempted from this tax.

Corporate enterprises have to pay corporation tax which amounts to 25 % of income quarterly. The minimum amount of corporation tax is € 1,750 per year for GmbHs and € 3,500 per year for AGs. All corporations have to pay profit tax, which amounts to 25 % of their profits. If a corporate enterprise makes profits, total taxation on income amounts to 43.75 %.

Partnerships and sole proprietors have to pay income tax. Income tax is progressive, that is, taxation depends on the amount of money you make. If your income amounts to less than € 11,000, you do not have to pay taxes. If you earn more than that, taxation ranges from a minimum of 23 % to a maximum of 50 % of your income.

Further reading

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