Company Registration in Austria

Company Registration in Austria

The Republic of Austria is a landlocked country in western Europe, it is bordered by Germany, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein; Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, and Italy. Austria is one of the wealthiest nations in Europe and the world, with a highly developed economy, skilled workforce, and high income rate. Austria is one of the richest European countries which is why it attracts foreign investors from all over the world. With a stable political system and economy, Austria also offers a skilled workforce which plays an important role in its development so far.

Among the most sought investment industries are banking, trading, and information technology which play an important role in the development of the country's economy. The legislation also favors the opening of new companies and foreign investors can benefit from a transparent and flexible company registration process.

 Austria is a member of the United Nations, European Union, OECD, and a party to the SCHENGEN agreement. The Austrian Commercial Registry Office (HRA) is the authority responsible for the regulation of company formation, registration, and other incorporation-related services in this jurisdiction.


  • Low corporate tax rate;
  • Politically and economically stable;
  • A reliable legal system;
  • State of the art and efficient public administration;
  • High work/labor productivity with lower costs of labor;
  • Productive cooperation between the business and scientific field in this jurisdiction;
  • Double taxation treaties with over 70 countries.


  • Limited Liability Company (GmbH);
  • Stock Corporation (AG);
  • General Partnership (OG);
  • Limited Partnership (KG);
  • Dormant Partnership (stG);
  • Registered Civil Law Partnership (EEG);
  • Societas Europea (SE);
  • Sole Proprietorship;
  • Foreign company branch or representative office.

What are the requirements to register a company in Austria?

Opening a business in Austria is easier for passport holders from Switzerland, any European country, or the European Economic Area. Permits and special visas will not be required. A residence permit is required for citizens who do not come from these areas. In addition, the individual must have no criminal record from his/her home country and must be 18 years or older. With these prerequisites fulfilled, foreigners can set up a business, acquire a company, or function as a company director or CEO in Austria.


  • Certificate of Incorporation;
  • Articles & Memorandum of Association;
  • Minimum of one shareholder;
  • Minimum of one managing director (No residence requirements);
  • A shareholders’ agreement/establishment declaration (must be notarized);
  • Managing director appointment;
  • Signatures of the specimen;
  • Minimum share capital requirement of €35,000 (at least 50% should be paid upon the company formation);
  • Company Extract and Financial statements
  • Company’s bank account (capital payment contribution);
  • Payment evidence of capital contribution;
  • Tax identification is obtained from the tax authority.

Foreign and local investors needed documents for company formation in Austria:

- passports or IDs which must be notarized, depending on the shareholders’ nationality;

- the company’s statutory documents which are represented by the Memorandum and Articles of Association;

- a lease contract which proves the local address the company will have in Austria;

- information about the company’s managers or directors, such as the passport or ID copies;

- information about the share contribution of each shareholder.

The business owners must also open a bank account where the initial capital will be deposited.

 The documents mentioned above must be filed with the Trade Register in order to obtain the company’s Certificate of Incorporation. Then, the company must register for tax and VAT purposes. You can rely on us for guidance in preparing the necessary paperwork if you want to start a business in Austria.


Steps for establishing a business in Austria:

Step 1. Law and Trust works with the client to get the company’s name and activity approval from the Commercial Registry;

Step 2. Law and Trust with the client to secure the Memorandum of Association (MOA);

Step 3. Law and Trust collects, prepares, and files the necessary incorporation documents on behalf of the client to the relevant authorities for approval;

Step 4. Law and Trust works with the client to open a corporate bank account in Austria;

Step 5. Law and Trust delivers the certificate of incorporation personally to the client or via courier service.


Legal structures

The Company Act is the legal structure that provides for the inception of businesses in Austria. It provides for the following business entities:

Sole Trader (Sole Proprietorship)

This is the easiest form of establishing a business in Austria. However, only citizens are eligible. No minimum share capital is required. Nevertheless, you will need to obtain a trade license and register your trade name with the company's register in Austria.

The Austrian Limited Liability Company (LLC)

This form of entity is the most preferred for entrepreneurs seeking to commence their operations in Austria. At least one director and a shareholder must be appointed; they can be residents or foreigners. Austria's legal registered address is mandatory for purposes of registration with Commercial Register.

The Austria Public Limited Public Liability Company (AG)

The Austrian PLC locally referred to as an AG is a legal entity endorsed for entrepreneurs intending to raise capital for listing on the Vienna Stock Exchange Market. A minimum share capital of €70,000 is required for incorporation with at least 25% of the amount payable at the onset of the incorporation process.  One shareholder and director must be appointed; it doesn't matter if they are foreigners or residents. 

Austria Branch Office (Niederlassung)

A branch office setup is a good option for companies looking for penetration in the Austrian market. 100% foreign ownership for businesses outside the European Economic Area (EEA) is allowed. However, a resident representative is compulsory for companies located outside of the EEA. Also, businesses are allowed to open and operate a corporate bank account.

Requesting information with the Trade Register in Austria

Every individual and company is allowed to ask for information with the Companies Register by submitting a request. The information will be issued free of charge unless the search is specific and targets the financial documents of the company.

Most of the time, this information is requested when performing company due to diligence procedures, however, it is best to ask for specialized services in order to reduce the waiting period before the information is released. Our Austrian company formation advisors can perform Commercial Register checks on behalf of clients interested in obtaining information about a local company. 

We strongly recommend foreign investors who want to start a business or carry out company searches in Austria to ask for specialized services. We can help with the registration of new companies, and we can also help in amending any changes brought to existing companies.



1.How much does it cost to register a company in Austria?

The total cost includes the preparation of legal documents, company registration, payment of all taxes and fees at the time of registration, and legal address for the company (a year).

2.How long does it take to register a company in Austria?

It takes four weeks to complete the company registration process in Austria.

3.What is the most common type of company formation in Austria?

The most common type of company formation in Austria is the Limited Liability Company (GmbH). A legal entity that shareholders aren’t personally liable for the company except for the mandatory minimum share capital contribution. The Joint-stock Company/Cooperation is another common business entity formed

4.Do I need a local address to register a company in Austria?

Yes, it is required to have a registered local address in Austria to complete the necessary company registration and formation process.

5.How can I register a company name in Austria?

The registration of a company name begins with the filing of the appropriate documents, we will help you with the preparation and compilation of the necessary documents ensuring it meets the requirements set out by the Commercial Registry with regards to the approval of a company name.


In less than 30 days you have your company up and running, as long as you have the necessary documents and prerequisites. How sweet!