Startup Hotspot Austria – In recent years Austria has gone from sleeping beauty to innovation and progress. The country welcomes startups and its founders with open arms.
Austria has emerged as a startup hub, especially in the fields of information technology, media and life sciences as well as creative industries. The American business magazine Forbes selected Austria as one of seven startup hotspots in Europe, not least due to projects such as the Pioneers Festival, where 1,600 startups from more than 90 countries meet with 400 investors from all over the world in Vienna’s Hofburg Palace.
This City's Cases
Settling as a founder
As a third-country national you can apply for a Red-White-Red Card for start-up founders if you:
- establish a company in order to develop and launch on the market innovative products, services, processing methods or technologies
- to that end submit a consistent business plan for establishing and running that company
- personally exert a controlling influence on the management of the newly set-up company
- prove capital for the company to be founded amounting to € 50.000 minimum with an equity share of at least 50 %
- can score 50 points minimum according to the following criteria
Our Services for Startups in Austria
We offer information, personal consulting and tailor-made services to international investors establishing business operations in Austria in the following areas:
- Personal support for founders
We boast longstanding, experienced investment consultants in all areas related to founding companies and are more than happy to help you out with any questions you might have.
- Comprehensive pool of information
We provide all the up-to-date data on Austria as a business location: info about sectors, technologies and market developments as well as political and economic conditions.
- Competent consulting
We give the advice to ensure the optimal selection of an initial site: We answer questions on labor and tax regulations, inform you about ideal funding and co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators and help you to solve various problems when founding your startup.
- Dedicated support
Need help handling formalities? Since we are operated by the Republic of Austria we can help you to complete applications for funding or supports, in cooperation with the regional investment promotion agencies.
- Sustainable service
Short term advice may be useful but certainly can’t beat long-term consulting and support. We also act as a service center to serve you even after project implementation.
Access to capital
Financing is one of the most important issues involved in founding a startup. For this reason, Austria offers a comprehensive system of public funding.
Austria has a relatively high rate of taxes and levies in international comparison. One use of these proceeds is a comprehensive funding system and support measures for startups and innovation projects. The offering of such funding is very diverse and well received by the business community.
The most important funding sources in Austria are the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (aws). They offer non-repayable grants, guarantees or subsidized loans.
However, domestic risk capital firms such as Speedinvest and numerous business angels repeatedly assist startups by providing financing, and invest millions of euros in capital. Detailed information on the extensive funding possibilities for startups in Austria can be found on the startup-sections on the websites of FFG and aws.
Access to talent
Austria is rich in talents; people are the foundation of tomorrow’s knowledge-based society. Therefore, the BMVIT strongly supports people in research and developement: The discovery, support and development of young talents focuses on students. But established researchers are supported as well to make the most of their talents. In addition, projects which ensure equality for men and women in research are funded.
Setting up your Company
Founding a GmbH (Ltd.) in Austria
When setting up a GmbH (Ltd.) in Austria you have to adhere to the following rules and regulations:
- Drawing up and signing of the shareholders’ agreement, in case of a one-man company a “declaration of establishment” (notarial deed)
- Appointment of managing director(s) (shareholders’ resolution with notarised signature(s))
- Cash contribution/non-cash capital contribution (minimum nominal capital € 35,000, at least € 17,500, to be paid in cash upon formation)
- Opening of the company’s bank account and payment of the cash contribution
- Payment of capital transfer tax: since 1.1.2016 no longer applicable
- Application according to the Business Startup Promotion Act (“Neugründungs-Förderungsgesetz”), if applicable
- Entry in the Companies’ Register
Application to the Company Register Court
- Application for entry in the Companies Register, signed by all managing directors with signatures attested, including:
- Shareholders’ agreement, notarized copy
- Shareholders’ resolution on the appointment of the managing director(s), in attested form (unless the appointment was made in the shareholders’ agreement
- Specimen signature statement(s) by the managing director(s), in attested form
- Evidence of payment of the cash contribution (declaration by the managing directors pursuant to Section 10 GmbHG and bank certificate)
- Evidence on the payment of the capital transfer tax
- Registration of the Trade Announcement of the Appointment of the Managing Director under the Trade Law
Notice to the District Administration
- Extract from the Companies’ Register
- Declaration(s) on the non-existence of reasons for exclusion from the trade or forbearance of the exclusion from the trade:
- Section 13 GewO (Industrial Code) Declaration for legal entities (also for a parent company holding an interest of more than 50%)
- Section 13 GewO (Industrial Code) Declaration for natural persons (managing directors under commercial law and persons with significant influence).
- Section 39 GewO Declaration for managing directors under trade law (adequate occupation in the enterprise, authority)
- Identity document of each managing director under commercial law and trade law, for inspection (residence registration certificate when the usual residence is outside Austria; police certificate from the home country)
- Accurate designation of the trade
- Exact location where the trade is exercised (place, street name, house number)
- Evidence of citizenship of the trade-law managing director
- Residence permit of the trade-law managing director (unless EEA or Swiss citizen), and evidence of the residence in Austria or in an EEA contracting state
- If required: evidence of employee status of the trade-law managing director (registration with the regional health insurance fund)
- If required: certificate of professional competence of the trade-law managing director
Notice of Business Operations to the Revenue Authorities and Registration of Employees
- A private limited company is subject to corporate income tax and value added tax. After registration in the Companies Register, the company has to apply for a tax identification number.
- Corporate tax payable by a private limited company: 25% on taxable profits, regardless of whether the profit is distributed to the shareholders
- In the absence of profits, a minimum corporate income tax of € 437.50 per quarter has to be paid
- Taxation at shareholders’ level: total taxation of profits distributed to shareholders up to 25%
- Social security: Registration of the employees with the competent social insurance institution is required prior to the commencement of their work.
- Start of Business Operations