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Charge exemption

General Information

In the interest of founding new businesses, certain tax and fee exemptions are envisaged processes connected directly with the foundation.

In addition, certain earnings-dependent levies and contributions are waived for a period of no more than 12 months.

Processes only indirectly related to the founding process are non-exempt.

Caution

In general, these rules also apply to domestic entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs from EU Member States in Austria.

The following are examples of process directly connected with founding a business:

  • Application to engage in trades requiring permits and application for concessions or the grating of concessions, registration of a registered trade, application for approval of an operational plant,
  • Approvals and permits for professional activity and application for determination of individual competence (section 19 Gewerbeordnung (Austrian Trade Regulation Act),
  • Permits for branch offices, granting of concessions in connection with business startup, decisions making determinations on the applicability of trade regulation requirements and on the classification of trade activities,
  • Acknowledgement and approval of managing director appointments,
  • Approval of a commercial operating plant,
  • Enclosures, certificates and criminal record certificates required for entries, authorisations, and official transactions related to the founding of the business.

Furthermore, there are charge exemptions for the transfer of businesses.

To take advantage of the benefits, when a new business is founded either a declaration of new business foundation must be made during the electronic founding process or, for either a new business foundation or business transfer, the legally designated professional advocacy must confirm on form "NeuFoe 2" that advice has been given regarding the founding of the new business or business transfer.

If the new business foundation or business transfer involves a free trade, the legally designated professional advocacy must also confirm that the business holder has basic business skills. This can be waved if exemption is only being claimed for stamp duty and federal administrative fees.

Information about professional activities can be found on the website of the relevant chamber or the relevant professional body.

When claiming exemption for stamp duty, federal administrative charges, property transfer tax, company register and land register entry fees, the declaration must be submitted to the appropriate authorities (e.g. tax inspector’s office, court, district authority, municipal authority, regional authority, approval body). Submitting the declaration to the applicable authorities allows the conditions to be checked and, if they are met, the levies, fees, etc.. are not charged. For exemption for employer contributions and supplements to the employer contribution the declaration merely needs to be kept on record. For exemption for residential building subsidy contributions and contributions to statutory accident insurance, the declaration must be submitted in advance (when first registering an employee) to the regional health insurance fund.

The following charges are exempted:

When founding a new business

  • Stamp duty and Federal administrative charges
  • Property transfer tax for entering property based on a memorandum of association
  • Court fees for entries in the company register
  • Court fees for entries in the land register related to the acquisition of ownership for inclusion of properties based on a memorandum of association
  • Certain wages-based charges (employer contributions to the Family Compensation Fund, supplements to the employer contribution, residential building subsidy contributions, contributions to the statutory accident insurance) payable for employed personnel (employees) for a period of no more than 12 months (within a period from the month in which the new business is founded and  the following 35 months; from the 12th month following the calendar month in which the new business is founded, the benefit only applies for the first three employees)

When transferring a business

  • Stamp duty and Federal administrative charges
  • Court fees for entries in the company register
  • Property transfer tax is not collected provided that the taxable value is not in excess of 75,000 Euro

When new businesses are founded or businesses are transferred, there may under certain circumstances be post-dated taxes (e.g. if title to the business is transferred or surrendered within five years after the business was transferred). 

Caution

In these cases, the obligations regarding notification must also be followed. The business holder is obligated to notify all authorities affected by the circumstances no longer applying. 

Enterprises Affected

The benefits from the Neugründungsförderungsgesetz (New Business Support Act) are available when founding a new business or transferring a business.

A business is defined as the sum of personnel and material resources within an organisational unit, the purpose of which is to attain business revenues (revenues from farming and forestry, revenues from freelance work, or revenues from trading activities). It generally does not matter what the legal form of the business is.

Caution

However, there are exceptions in relation to individual exemption circumstances.

Requirements

When founding a new business

  • Creation of a previously non-existent business structure.
  • The person in control of company management has not previously acted in a comparable controlling role within two years after a new business is founded (business holder) .
  • This is not a change in legal form only for an existing business,
  • This is not a change in business holder only for an existing business based on paid or unpaid transfer of the business and
  • The business structure has not been changed by expansion to include other existing businesses or partial businesses within the calendar month in which the new business was founded and in the subsequent eleven calendar months.

For transfers

  • A company transfer only requires a change of the person (business holder) in control of management of the business for a business (part of a business) already in existence, with the business (partial business) either being transferred for remuneration or free of charge and
  • The person in control of company management has not previously acted in a comparable controlling role within two years after the transfer (business holder).

Deadline

See "Process"

Competent Authority

Procedure

The benefits arising from the Neugründungsförderungsgesetz only apply if certain formal requirements are met. The declaration made in the electronic foundation process via the business services portal or on the official form and the "supporting advice" are prerequisites and must be done before any claim. If the technical prerequisites have been met, the business can be founded in an entirely electronic procedure in the one-stop shop of the business service portal.

When claiming exemption for stamp duty, federal administrative charges, property transfer tax, company register and land register entry fees, the declaration must be submitted to the appropriate authorities (e.g. tax inspector’s office, court, district authority, municipal authority, regional authority, approval body). Submitting the declaration to the applicable authorities allows the conditions to be checked and, if they are met, the levies, fees, etc. are not charged. For exemption for employer contributions and supplements to the employer contribution the declaration merely needs to be kept on record. For exemption for residential building subsidy contributions and contributions to statutory accident insurance, the declaration must be submitted in advance (when first registering an employee) to the Austrian Health Insurance Fund.

Documents Required

No specific documents are required.

Expenses

There are no fees and charges payable. 

Additional Information

Further links

Legal Basis

Expert Information

To Form

Translated by the European Commission
last update: 1 January 2021

responsible for content: Federal Ministry of Finance

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