Start-up roadmap – companies
Up-to-date information about starting, registering and naming a company, the companies register, notifying the tax office and the social insurance institution, registering employees etc.
Information for newcomers
If two or more people wish to run a business together, they must set up a company. This is a community based on the rule of law established by articles of associationGerman text (a legal transaction).
Before starting a business, it is advisable to contact the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber's start-up advisory service.
On 1 January 2018, the Business Service Portal USP provided a service for starting a one-person business.
The principle of free movement permits citizens of the EU/ EEA and Switzerland to reside in any EU country and establish a business there.
If you are starting a company you should bear the following in mind:
- you must establish the legal form of your company and write the articles of associationGerman text;
- you must find a suitable company name for your business. You are free to choose the name; registered companies are obliged to use a legal form indicator, which provides information about the legal form of the business.
Companies (except for civil law partnershipGerman text) are created when they are registered in the companies register.
The legal form of the company depends on the influence on the management, equity funding, the extent of liability etc.
If you decide to start a partnership, you have a choice between a general partnership (OG), a limited partnershipGerman text (KG), a private limited company and limited partnershipGerman text (GmbH & Co KG) or a civil law partnershipGerman text (GesBR). You should bear in mind that:
- a general partnershipGerman text, a limited partnershipGerman text and a private limited company and limited partnership German text are created on the date of registration in the companies register; a civil law partnershipGerman text cannot be registered in the companies register;
- you obtain your licence to trade when you register your business with the competent business authority.
The legal forms 'professional general partnership' ( OEG) and 'professional limited partnership' ( KEG) were abolished on 1 January 2007 under the new Austrian Commercial Code ( Unternehmensgesetzbuch).
If you decide to start a corporation, you have a choice between a private limited companyGerman text (GmbH) or a public limited companyGerman text (AG). You should bear in mind that:
- both a private limited companyGerman text and a public limited companyGerman text are created on the date of registration in the companies register;
- you obtain your licence to trade when you register your business with the competent business authority
- businesses can usually begin to trade from the date on which they are registered with the business authority;
Other steps you must take to start a business are:
- notifying the tax office;
- notifying the Social Insurance Institution for the Self-Employed;
- registering employeesGerman text
Information about professional activitiesGerman text can be found on the website of the relevant chamber or the relevant professional body.
- Austrian Federal Economic Chamber start-up advisory service (start-up service) (→ WKO)German text
- → Your Europe Business (EU) (information about the corresponding rules in other EU Member States)
- Start-ups (→ Your Europe)
- Federal Ministry of Justice
- Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy