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Doing Business in Austria

Doing Business in Austria

In Central Europe’s heart, Austria is known for its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and thriving economy. Austria boasts a well-developed infrastructure, a high standard of living, and a sound economic policy, making it a lucrative location for business endeavors. The country has maintained stable economic growth in recent years, nurturing innovation and fostering a conducive environment for global business. Here, we look at the key things you need to know when doing business in Austria.

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Austria — Economic Overview

The Austrian economy is characterized by its strong industrial sector, skilled labor force, and high GDP per capita. As of 2023 OCED data, Austria maintains a low unemployment rate, exhibiting the strength and resilience of its labor market. Furthemore, the GDP growth rate has been steady, reflecting a country on the rise within Europe.

Austria GDP from 1998 to 2028

Why is Austria a good business location?

When you could be operating somewhere else in Europe, why choose Austria? Some of the benefits of operating there include: 

Strategic Location

Situated at the crossroads of European commerce, Austria offers a strategic location that facilitates easy access to markets in Eastern and Western Europe. This central location is a significant boon for businesses aiming to expand their footprint across the European market.

Skilled Workforce

Austria prides itself on a well-educated and skilled workforce. The country’s educational institutions and vocational training centers churn out professionals equipped with the skills required to meet the demands of modern industries.

Favorable Regulatory Environment

With a robust legal system and well-defined labor and tax frameworks, Austria offers a business-friendly environment. The government actively promotes entrepreneurship through various incentives and grants aimed at fostering innovation and business growth.

How to Hire in Austria

When looking to hire in Austria, businesses must familiarize themselves with the Austrian labor law, which governs employment contracts, working hours, and termination procedures. Some key things to be aware of when hiring employees in Austria include:

Employment Contracts

In Austria, employment contracts can be verbal or written. However, it is recommended that you have written contracts to clearly define the terms of employment and avoid future disputes.

Working Hours

The standard working hours in Austria are 40 hours per week. Any overtime work is subject to additional pay.

Recruitment Channels

Businesses can leverage various recruitment channels, including job portals, recruitment agencies, and social media platforms, to find the right talent.

How to Register a Company in Austria

Registering a company in Austria involves a series of well-defined steps:

Choose a Legal Form

Businesses can choose from various legal forms, such as a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company (GmbH), or a joint-stock company (AG).

Register with the Commercial Register

Once the legal form is chosen, businesses need to register with the Austrian Commercial Register by submitting the necessary documents and paying the registration fee.

Obtain Necessary Licenses

Depending on the nature of the business, various licenses and permits might be required. Ensure to obtain all the necessary licenses to operate legally in Austria.

Register for Tax

After registering the company, it is essential to register for tax and obtain a tax identification number from the Austrian tax office.

Employer of Record Solution as an Alternative

Setting up a business overseas involves multiple regulatory hurdles. An efficient alternative to this is leveraging an Employer of Record (EOR) solution. An EOR serves as a third-party service provider that takes on the employer responsibilities on behalf of your company, facilitating a quick and seamless entry into the Austrian market. 

This solution alleviates the need to set up a legal entity in Austria, saving time and money. all while ensuring compliance with the local laws and regulations.

Understanding Work Visas in Austria

Venturing into the Austrian business landscape often necessitates bringing in international talent, and to facilitate this, understanding Austria’s work visa requirements is pivotal.

Austria offers various visa options tailored to different professional scenarios — ranging from the Red-White-Red Card aimed at highly qualified workers, skilled workers in shortage occupations, and other key personnel, to the EU Blue Card catering to highly qualified non-EU citizens. Moreover, for short-term engagements, there are provisions for temporary work visas as well.

When planning to hire non-EU nationals, it is essential to navigate through the visa processes efficiently, keeping in mind the criteria set by the Austrian government which are often based on the qualifications of the prospective employee, the labor market situation, and other economic considerations.

Thus, familiarizing yourself with the diverse visa options and aligning them with your business strategies can enable a smoother and compliant business operation in Austria.

Doing Business in Austria — Your Base in Central Europe

Austria, with its robust economy and strategic geographical location, stands as fertile ground for business expansion and hiring top talent. While registering a company in Austria comes with advantages, leveraging an Austria Employer of Record solution can offer a hassle-free pathway to establish your business presence in Austria.  

cropped Travis Kliever 1
Article By

Travis Kliever

Travis is a global business development advisor. He has spent the last 14 years supporting business establishment and development in North America, Southeast Asia, and throughout the world. With multiple degrees from the University of Oregon, Travis currently splits his time between the US, and Bali, Indonesia. At RemotePad, Travis writes about remote work, hiring internationally and PEO/EOR business models.

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