Since 1995 when it joined the European Union, Austria has rapidly ascended as one of the most powerful economies in Europe
and one of the most industrially developed countries in the world. Foreign companies with branch offices and subsidiaries in Austria
have contributed to the expansion of the country’s economy indicating that foreign investors are very attracted by the business environment here. The high living standards
, the infrastructure
and the well-developed industry
were the main incentives for foreign investors who came to Austria
If you want to open a company in Austria
and need assistance with the company formation process
, you can rely on our consultants.
Foreign direct investments in Austria
Fitch, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, the three largest credit rating agencies in the world, have offered high ratings to Austria
during the last few years which was a very strong reason for foreign investors to choose Austria
as their business destination. Austria attracted foreign direct investments
worth an average 5 billion euros in the last few years.
At the moment, Austria is one of the largest exporters in Europe
and is one of the easiest countries to do business in, according to the World Bank, which are two other reasons that make this country very attractive to foreign investors
who are mainly interested in industries like pharma and research and development. It is also known that the Government offers many tax breaks to Austrian companies
in the research and development field.
Why do foreign investors come to Austria?
Austria is one of the most stable economies in the world and boasts one of the most skilled labor forces in Europe which are some of the most powerful arguments foreign investors rely on when choosing to open companies here. Also, Austria offers one of the most favorable set of foreign investment legislations in the world which is what makes and will make the country one of most attractive places to do business in. Among the industries bound to grow in the following years, analysts say that banking, transportation and agriculture are highly to render the best returns on investment.
What are the main laws governing foreign investments Austria?
First of all, Austria
does not discriminate between local and foreign investors
, which is why the Commercial Code
provides the same requirements for both types of enterprisers seeking to open companies here. The most important Austrian laws governing foreign investments
- the Civil Law;
- the Limited Liability Company Law;
- the Stock Exchange Law;
- the Joint Stock Company Law;
- the Employment Contract Adaptation Law;
- the Reorganization Tax Law.
Austria also included most of the EU directives in its national laws. Among these, The Law on Societas Europea, the EU Merger Law and the EC Merger Regulation which provide for EU investors interested to expand their foreign companies in Austria
without further requirements from the local authorities. Additionally, Austria
has enabled several laws related to specific industries foreign investors
are most interested in. Among these, the financial and the trading industries.
What are the most important incentives for foreign investors in Austria?
Apart from the legislation related to foreign investments in Austria
, the government also offers a wide range of incentives
which are adapted every year to the investors’ needs. Among these are:
- industry-targeted cash incentives;
- tax rebates;
- guarantees related to exports;
- loans with preferential interests.
Apart from these, Austria ensures a strong protection of intellectual property rights which is very important for the research and development industry.
The Austrian Company Law encourages investments
The Company Act
is the main law providing for the opening of companies in Austria
. Foreign investors have the following advantages
if they decide to set up businesses
- the Austrian Company Act provides for a wide variety of entities which can be registered in Austria;
- foreign investors can open all the types of companies prescribed by the Company Law;
- foreign entrepreneurs will follow the same regulations as local ones when it comes to the requirements for creating businesses;
- the company registration procedure can be completed remotely.
The most prolific investment industries in Austria
Foreign investors wondering why they should open companies in Austria
must know that in terms of investment industries
this country is quite advanced. Among the most prolific industries they can establish companies in are:
- information technology which encompasses subsectors like security and financial technology;
- the financial sector which now includes cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology;
- trading which is one of the largest contributors to the Austrian economy;
- real estate, in which investors can set up construction companies and real estate agencies;
- manufacturing which is the top economic sector in Austria.
Austria's policy for foreign investments
Austria has a pro-foreign investment policy and direct investments do not require special approvals from the Government. This may be needed in some cases where real estate purchases are necessary and it applies especially to non-EEA investors. If this is the case, one of our attorneys in Austria can help answer your questions.
Three of Austria's advantages for foreign investors include its central position in Europe, its political stability and its focus on R&D activities. The country also has a highly qualified workforce and a very well developed infrastructure. A large number of international companies have chosen Austria as their headquarter location. The quality of life and personal security are high in Austria.
Foreign companies in Austria
are subject to the same rules and regulations as locally incorporate companies, including in obtaining special permits and licenses
. A lawyer in Austria can help you with the special permits.