The Company Act in Austria is based on the Austrian Commercial Code, the Austrian Trade Law 1994, the New Companies Promotion Act, the Commercial Register Act and the Federal Law on Special Assistance for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. All these texts of legislation regulate the incorporation, registration and running of a company in Austria, therefore it might seem that the Austrian Company Act is a bit strict.
As a matter of fact, Company Act in Austria is quite flexible to a certain extent. Some requirements are also mentioned in the Austrian Corporate Governance Code. Nevertheless, it is the duty of any foreign investor to find out all aspects about the different types of companies that can be set up on Austria in order to decide which structure is the best for his own objectives.
Company Act in Austria mentions a wide range of companies that can be established in Austria, such as:
- the limited liability company (GmbH);
- public limited company or joint stock company (AG);
- five types of partnerships.
The partnerships are divided as follows:
- non-trading partnership (GesbR),
- general partnership (OG),
- limited partnership (KG),
- silent partnership (StG),
- limited partnership with a limited liability company as general partner (GesmbH&Co.KG).
The Labor Law is strongly linked to the Company Act in Austria. It is mentioned in the text of law that employers are the one responsible for registration of the employees with the social security system. Employment contracts are also regulated by the Labor Law in Austria. Foreign employees need a work permit that is usually obtained by the employer.
Company Act in Austria stipulates some conditions regarding the name of a company in Austria. It is mandatory that the name comes from the activity of the company or it must be related with the names of the shareholders. It is also compulsory that the name of the company is audited by the Chamber of Commerce in Austria. Sometimes, the authorities can decide to change it or bring modifications, such as including the words “Austria” or “Österreich”. The name of the company in Austria has to be unique, according to Company Act in Austria.