Open a Subsidiary in Austria


Subsidiary in Austria

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to open a subsidiary in Austria for UK businesses looking to expand. If your company is considering international expansion, establishing a subsidiary in Austria can offer exciting opportunities for growth. In this article, we will provide you with valuable insights and a step-by-step process to successfully navigate through this expansion journey.

Expanding your business to Austria can open doors to the European market and provide access to a skilled workforce. With its favorable tax incentives and political stability, Austria presents a compelling destination for UK businesses.

Throughout this guide, we will explore the benefits of setting up a subsidiary in Austria, discuss the legal requirements, offer insights into the process of establishing your Austrian branch, and highlight important considerations such as tax regulations, labor laws, and funding options.

Whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, opening a subsidiary in Austria can be a strategic move to broaden your horizons and take your business to new heights. Join us on this journey as we delve into the intricacies of expanding your UK business with a subsidiary in Austria.

Why Establish a Subsidiary in Austria?

Opening a subsidiary in Austria can bring numerous benefits for UK businesses looking to expand their operations. Austria offers a strategic location, access to the European market, favorable tax incentives, political stability, and a highly skilled workforce. Let’s delve deeper into these advantages:

Access to the European Market

Austria’s geographic location at the heart of Europe provides businesses with excellent access to the European market. With its membership in the European Union and the Eurozone, Austria presents an ideal gateway to expand and conduct cross-border business within the EU.

Favorable Tax Incentives

Austria offers attractive tax incentives to businesses, especially those involved in research and development, innovation, and export activities. With its low corporate tax rates and various tax deductions and allowances, establishing a subsidiary in Austria can provide a competitive advantage and enhance profitability.

Political Stability

Austria enjoys a reputation for political stability and strong governance. This stability fosters a business-friendly environment, ensuring that investors can operate with confidence and make long-term strategic decisions.

Skilled Workforce

Austria boasts a highly skilled and educated workforce, known for its technical proficiency, innovation, and productivity. The country’s well-established education system and emphasis on vocational training contribute to a talent pool that meets the demands of modern businesses.

By establishing a subsidiary in Austria, UK businesses can tap into these benefits and position themselves for success in the European market. The image below illustrates the growth potential offered by an Austrian subsidiary:

Now that we have explored the advantages, let’s move on to the legal framework and requirements for establishing a subsidiary in Austria.

Understanding the Legal Framework

When considering expanding your UK business to Austria, it is crucial to understand the legal framework and requirements involved in establishing a subsidiary. Familiarizing yourself with the legal considerations can help ensure a smooth and compliant transition into the Austrian market.

First and foremost, company registration is a fundamental step in setting up a subsidiary in Austria. You will need to comply with the necessary registration procedures, including providing the required documentation and fulfilling any specific legal requirements.

Corporate governance is another vital aspect to consider. Understanding the corporate laws and regulations in Austria is essential in ensuring that your subsidiary operates in accordance with the local legal framework. This includes adhering to reporting obligations, maintaining accurate financial records, and complying with corporate governance practices.

Additionally, employment law should not be overlooked. Familiarize yourself with Austrian employment regulations, which cover aspects such as working hours, minimum wage, employee benefits, and termination procedures. Being aware of these legal requirements will help you establish a fair and compliant employment system within your subsidiary.

It is important to note that the legal framework for establishing a subsidiary in Austria may vary depending on the nature of your business and other specific factors. Seeking professional advice from legal experts experienced in international business law can provide you with the guidance you need to navigate through legal complexities and ensure compliance with all legal requirements.

Considering the legal requirements for setting up a subsidiary in Austria is a critical step toward a successful expansion. By adhering to the legal framework and gaining a comprehensive understanding of the legal considerations, you can establish a strong foundation for your subsidiary in Austria.

Setting Up Your Austrian Branch

Setting up your Austrian subsidiary is a structured process that requires careful planning and attention to detail. In this section, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through the process smoothly and efficiently. By following these steps, you can establish your presence in Austria and start reaping the benefits of expanding your business in this thriving market.

Choosing the Right Business Structure

The first step in setting up your Austrian subsidiary is to determine the most suitable business structure for your operations. Consider factors such as liability, taxation, and administrative requirements. The common business structures in Austria include limited liability companies (GmbH) and joint-stock companies (AG). Seek professional advice to understand the implications and benefits of each structure.

Registering with the Austrian Authorities

After selecting the appropriate business structure, you will need to register your subsidiary with the Austrian authorities. This includes registering your company at the Commercial Court, obtaining a tax identification number, and registering for social security. Make sure to complete all the necessary paperwork accurately and provide the required documentation.

Obtaining Necessary Permits and Licenses

Depending on your industry and the nature of your business, you may need to obtain specific permits and licenses to operate legally in Austria. Research and identify the permits and licenses required for your subsidiary and initiate the application process. This may involve obtaining approvals from different authorities, such as trade licenses, health permits, or environmental permits.

Opening a Bank Account

Once your subsidiary is registered and all the necessary permits and licenses are obtained, the next step is to open a bank account in Austria. This account will serve as your subsidiary’s financial hub for transactions and revenue management. Choose a reputable bank that offers suitable services for your business needs, such as multi-currency accounts or online banking facilities.

By following these steps, you will be well on your way to establishing a successful subsidiary in Austria. The process may seem complex, but with the right guidance and professional assistance, you can navigate through it effectively. In the next section, we will explore the tax considerations that you need to keep in mind when operating your Austrian subsidiary.

Tax Considerations

When establishing a subsidiary in Austria, it is crucial to understand the tax regulations that govern your financial operations. By familiarizing yourself with the tax landscape, you can make informed decisions and optimize your subsidiary’s profitability.

One key aspect to consider is the corporate tax rate in Austria. The current standard rate is 25%, with a reduced rate of 12.5% applicable to certain income types. It is important to factor in these tax rates when projecting your subsidiary’s financial performance.

Additionally, Austria offers various tax incentives to promote economic growth and investment. These incentives can help lower your tax liability and provide financial advantages. Examples of tax incentives include tax credits for research and development activities, investment allowances, and deductions for certain expenses.

Double taxation agreements are another crucial consideration. Austria has established agreements with many countries to prevent the double taxation of income. These agreements ensure that your subsidiary’s income is only taxed in one jurisdiction, avoiding unnecessary tax burdens and facilitating cross-border trade.


The image above illustrates the complexities of tax regulations for subsidiaries in Austria.

Understanding and complying with tax regulations is vital to the success of your subsidiary in Austria. It is recommended to consult with tax experts or seek professional advice to ensure compliance and optimize your subsidiary’s tax structure.

  • Be aware of Austria’s corporate tax rate of 25% and the reduced rate of 12.5% for specific income types.
  • Explore tax incentives offered by Austria, such as research and development tax credits, investment allowances, and deductions.
  • Take advantage of double taxation agreements to avoid excessive tax burdens on your subsidiary’s income.

By carefully considering and planning for tax considerations, you can navigate the Austrian tax landscape successfully and maximize the financial benefits of your subsidiary.

Employment and Labor Laws

When expanding your business to Austria, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the labor regulations and employment laws in the country. Understanding these laws will help ensure compliance and create a fair and productive work environment for your employees.

Working Hours

Austrian labor law sets limits on working hours to protect employees’ health and well-being. The standard working week is 40 hours, with hours distributed over five or six days. Overtime is subject to specific rules and must be compensated fairly.

Minimum Wage

Austria has a minimum wage in place to safeguard the rights of workers. As of January 2021, the gross monthly minimum wage is €1,500. Collective bargaining agreements often set higher wage levels for specific industries.

Employee Benefits

Austrian employment laws provide various benefits for employees, including paid vacation leave, sick leave, and maternity/paternity leave. Employers are also required to contribute to social security and health insurance on behalf of their employees.

Termination Procedures

Terminating an employment contract in Austria must be done according to specific procedures outlined in labor law. Employers must provide reasonable notice periods or offer severance payments based on the employee’s length of service.

Compliance with Austrian Labor Regulations

Complying with Austrian labor regulations is essential for UK businesses operating in Austria. It is advisable to work with legal advisors who specialize in labor law to ensure compliance with employment rights, safety standards, and other legal requirements.

In summary, gaining a thorough understanding of employment and labor laws in Austria is crucial for UK businesses looking to expand their operations. By abiding by these regulations, you can create a positive work environment, maintain legal compliance, and build strong relationships with your employees.

Funding and Financial Support

When establishing a subsidiary in Austria, securing funding and financial support is a crucial aspect of ensuring its growth and success. Fortunately, there are various funding options available to UK businesses looking to expand their operations in Austria.

One of the primary sources of financial support comes in the form of government grants. The Austrian government provides grants to foreign businesses to encourage investment and stimulate economic growth. These grants can be used for various purposes, such as setting up infrastructure, conducting research and development, or hiring local talent.

In addition to government grants, UK businesses can also explore loan options to fund their Austrian subsidiary. Banks and financial institutions in Austria offer competitive loan packages tailored to the needs of foreign businesses. These loans can help cover initial setup costs, working capital requirements, or expansion plans.

For businesses seeking more substantial financial support, venture capital can be a viable option. Austria has a thriving venture capital ecosystem, with numerous firms actively investing in promising startups and scaling businesses. By partnering with venture capital firms, UK businesses can access not only funding but also valuable industry expertise and networks.

Aside from these traditional funding options, there are also alternative resources to consider. Crowdfunding platforms provide opportunities for businesses to raise funds through public contributions, while business angel networks connect entrepreneurs with experienced investors willing to provide capital and mentorship.

It’s important for UK businesses to explore all available funding options and assess their suitability based on their subsidiary’s specific needs and goals. By leveraging government grants, loans, venture capital, and alternative resources, businesses can secure the necessary financial support to fuel the growth and development of their Austrian subsidiary.


In conclusion, establishing a subsidiary in Austria can be a strategic move for UK businesses seeking expansion opportunities. The potential benefits of this venture are numerous, ranging from access to the European market to favorable tax incentives. By expanding to Austria, UK businesses can position themselves for growth and tap into new customer bases.

Throughout this article, we have explored the process of setting up a subsidiary in Austria, from understanding the legal framework to navigating tax considerations and employment laws. It is crucial to ensure compliance with the local regulations and seek professional advice to maximize the success of your Austrian subsidiary.

By expanding your business to Austria, you can benefit from political stability, a skilled workforce, and a business-friendly environment. Additionally, the country’s central location offers opportunities for trade and collaboration within the European market. Considering the potential for growth and a favorable business climate, establishing a subsidiary in Austria can be a strategic move for UK businesses looking to expand.

In summary, opening a subsidiary in Austria presents an exciting opportunity for UK businesses in their pursuit of expansion. With careful planning, adherence to legal requirements, and a solid understanding of tax and labor regulations, businesses can position themselves for success in the Austrian market. As you consider your growth strategy, remember to explore the potential benefits of establishing a subsidiary in Austria to unlock new possibilities for your business.

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