Foreign companies can establish three types of business forms in Austria. These are the subsidiary, the branch office and the representative or liaison office. While the most two types of structures are allowed to carry out commercial activities in the name of the parent companies, the representative office, as its name says, may only represent the parent company in relation with business partners or customers. No matter the type of company one wants to register in Austria, the Commercial Code is the main law providing for each of them.
Our company formation agents in Austria can offer full information on the provisions of the Company Act.
The liaison office is the simplest business form a foreign company can have in Austria. Like the branch office, the representative office will be fully dependent on the parent company. However, it is not allowed to engage in any type of commercial activity. The only activities a liaison office is allowed to undertake in Austria are:
Unlike in other European countries, an Austrian liaison office cannot conclude contracts on behalf of the parent company. An Austrian representative office can be re-registered as any other type of company if the parent firm decides to engage in commercial undertakings in this country.
The liaison office must be registered with the Trade Register like any other company in Austria, however it will not be required to register for taxation. There are no minimum share capital requirements to open a liaison office in Austria. Foreign companies outside the European Economic Area are also required to appoint a local director for the representative office. It takes about 4 weeks to register a liaison office in Austria.
For assistance in setting up a representative office or any other type of company, do not hesitate to contact our company registration consultants in Austria.