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Austrian Holding Company

Austrian Holding Company

Do you want to open a holding company in Austria? You can opt for the legal services offered by one of our lawyers in Austria. We have experience in business matters and offer specialized assistance for those who want to enter the Austrian market with the desired entity. In the following lines, you can discover information about what a holding company in Austria entails and how it can be registered.

Legal forms of holding companies in Austria

The limited liability company can be formed with one shareholder and one director with a minimum share capital of EUR 35,000 in cash or kind. The joint stock company can be incorporated by at least one shareholder with a minimum capital of at least EUR 70,000. This capital is divided into shares and each share has to value of least EUR 1.

As far as the management of the company is concerned, the AG must have a Board of Directors with at least three members on the Supervisory Board and they must convene at least four times each year. There are certain conditions for the Supervisory Board members. The GmbH has lighter management requirements, with a Supervisory Board being mandatory only in special cases when the company has a capital of more than 70,000 EUR or it has more than 50 shareholders.

Registration of a holding company in Austria

The incorporation of a holding company in Austria must follow the same steps as for the registration of a local company. It is allowed here that the shareholder is either an already established entity or a natural person. Here is what you need to know when setting up a holding company, noting that our Austrian lawyers can offer you specialized legal support:

  • It is necessary to have a legal address for your holding company in Austria.
  • The articles of association or the declaration of establishment must be notarized before registration in the local court.
  • This entity must also have a bank account opened in Austria.
  • It is required to appoint a director for the holding company in Austria. There are no restrictions regarding his nationality.
  • The company must be registered to pay taxes in Austria.
  • The last step of incorporation is the registration with the municipality. The registration for social security and with the municipality is made at the same time as the registration at the Tax Office.

We specify that the holding company in Austria can be incorporated in a maximum of 7 weeks. We recommend the legal help of our attorneys in Austria so that all the procedures are completed and the documents are drawn up correctly.

Ownership, as the main purpose of a holding company in Austria

Ownership of assets in different businesses is the main purpose for registering a holding company in Austria. These businesses are called subsidiaries, where the management is independent. In this case, the obligations and responsibilities imposed by the holding company in Austria are respected. It is good to know that the number of shares owned in another firm determines the powers the holding company has in its daily management. On the other hand, companies can be established in Austria or abroad. A holding company in Austria can own real estate properties, shares, trademarks, patents, licenses, etc. We invite you to discuss with us to find out as much as possible about what ownership of holding companies in Austria entails.

Benefits of holding companies in Austria

Below you can discover some of the advantages of holding companies in Austria:

  • tax exemptions: exemptions are granted for the corporate tax of 25% ;
  • a vast network of double tax treaties: these can apply to these types of companies and grant exemptions from withholding taxes on dividends, interests, and royalties and exemptions from paying corporate and income taxes;
  • other treaties: the EC Interest and Royalties Directive, EC Parent/Subsidiary Directive and the EC Merger Directive;
  • the distribution of dividends: the outgoing dividends, those distributed by a company in Austria, for example, a GmbH, are subject to a withholding tax deduction – this is an important consideration for investors looking to open a holding company;
  • other tax-free actions: the mergers, demergers, and contributions of qualifying assets can be performed in a tax-free manner and Austria has no formal thin-capitalization rules.

Why invest in Austria

Austria is the fundamental hub between the East and West parts of Europe. The companies established here enjoy a great business climate and workforce, among many other aspects. The fact that Austria has a stable economy and is appreciated from a political point of view can only make room for international investors to conduct their business in more than optimal conditions. Here are some statistical data about the country’s economy, if you want to start a business in Austria:

  • A moderate recovery of the economy is expected, with an increase in real GDP of approximately 0.3% for 2024.
  • Inflation recorded in January 2024 was approximately 4.5%.
  • The unemployment rate in January 2024 stood at around 6.7%.

In addition to the services offered for the registration of a holding company, you can also call on our immigration lawyers in Austria. Our specialists can help you get residency in Austria. Those interested can learn more from us about immigration to Austria. Foreign citizens who qualify can opt for citizenship in Austria and obtain the desired status. If you want to open a holding company and you need more information, you may contact our law firm in Austria.