Foreign companies can establish three types of business forms in Austria. These are the subsidiary, the branch office and the representative or liaison office. While the most two types of structures are allowed to carry out commercial activities in the name of the parent companies, the representative office, as its name says, may only represent the parent company in relation with business partners or customers. No matter the type of company one wants to register in Austria, the Commercial Code is the main law providing for each of them. Our company formation agents in Austria can offer full information on the provisions of the Company Act.
|Characteristics of a liaison office in Austria||The liaison office is a simple business form available in Austria, with the purpose of representing the foreign parent company and facilitating promotional activities in the country.|
– promoting the parent company,
– market research,
– participating in trade fairs,
– direct sales,
– signing contracts,
– import and export,
– engage in profit-making activities
|Minimum share capital||None|
|Can hire employees (YES/NO)||
|Costs related to opening a liaison office in Austria||
– office rental,
– employees salaries,
– utilities, etc.
The parent company is liable for the representative office’s actions and obligations.
|Physical presence required for opening a liaison office (YES/NO)||
NO, our specialists in company formation in Austria can handle the incorporation process on your behalf, through a power of attorney.
|Secretary required (YES/NO)||NO|
|Incorporation time (approx.)||
|Other available business forms for a foreign company||
– branch office
|Converting into a different business form||
Our specialists can help you set up a company in Austria and convert a representative office into a different business form.
|Why open a representative office in Austria||
– entering the Austrian market,
– brand visibility,
– easy incorporation process,
– no taxes, etc.
|Assistance||Contact our specialists if you are interested in opening a liaison office or starting a business in Austria.|
If you are planning on expanding your liaison office, working with a local team of accountants is recommended as soon as you incorporate a legal entity in Austria. Our team of accountants in Austria can help you with accounting, advisory and tax planning services that include but are not limited to bookkeeping, payroll processing, tax filing and payment, annual financial statement preparation, and others.
Table of Contents
What is an Austrian liaison office?
The liaison office is the simplest business form a foreign company can have in Austria. Like the branch office, the representative office will be fully dependent on the parent company. However, it is not allowed to engage in any type of commercial activity. The only activities a liaison office is allowed to undertake in Austria are:
- – promoting the company through an office in Austria;
- – promoting the company in trade fairs;
- – acting as contact point between the foreign company’s partners and clients;
- – offering information about the parent company’s services or products;
- – carrying out market or feasibility studies;
- – acting as a marketing agent.
Unlike in other European countries, an Austrian liaison office cannot conclude contracts on behalf of the parent company. An Austrian representative office can be re-registered as any other type of company if the parent firm decides to engage in commercial undertakings in this country.
How to set up a representative office in Austria
The liaison office must be registered with the Trade Register like any other company in Austria, however it will not be required to register for taxation. There are no minimum share capital requirements to open a liaison office in Austria. Foreign companies outside the European Economic Area are also required to appoint a local director for the representative office. It takes about 4 weeks to register a liaison office in Austria.
For assistance in setting up a representative office or any other type of company, do not hesitate to contact our company registration consultants in Austria.