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Types of companies

  • Company with limited liability (GmbH)
  • Limited and unlimited partnerships can be established
  • Austrian Private Foundation.

Requirements for company formation

For limited liability company (GmbH):

A statutory share capital of € 35.000 is needed, of which at least € 17.500 – has to be paid in. After the registration of the company the share capital can be used as working capital.

For Austrian Private Foundation:

A minimum capital to be paid in amounting to € 70.000 is needed, after the registration of the private foundation these funds can be used for making investments too.

For Partnerships:

There are no any capital requirements.

Structure of an Austrian company

  • Each Austrian limited liability company (GmbH) must have at least one director and one shareholder.
  • The Austrian Private Foundation is managed by a board of three members; and does not have any shareholders.

Annual meeting, auditing and reporting

Austrian companies are obliged to have books of accounts and have to file annual accounts and tax returns as well as report to the competent court of registration.

In the case of a limited liability company (GmbH) compulsory audit is not necessary, only if certain thresholds regarding the number of employees, the assets value and the turnover are exceeded. The Austrian private foundation is obliged to have an audit of its books annually.

Fees associated with the company incorporation

The fees usually are in a range between €4.000 and €6.000, whereby this includes the cost for drafting the articles of association, the notarial deed, the bank compliance and obtaining a taxpayer’s identification number and a VAT identification number.

Furthermore 1% capital transfer duty has to be paid for the effectively paid in share capital as well as court duties in a range between €400 and €600.

General taxation rate for incorporated companies

Austrian corporations have to pay a flat 25% corporate income tax on their worldwide income whereby material tax exemptions are granted for foreign source dividends and foreign source capital gains, even if there is no tax treaty existing with the other country.

Austrian companies can also obtain tax-free dividends and tax-free capital gains from off-shore companies under certain circumstances.

The regulatory authorities can request information about the background and identify of the company officers, or company accounting information, provided that this information is requested and required to assist investigations or prosecutions in case of serious crimes such as money laundering, terrorism or fraud. Such information can be shared with other jurisdictions provided that there was a criminal prosecution initialized by a regular court in the other country.

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