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Set Up a Foundation in Austria

Set Up a Foundation in Austria

The Austrian government supports foreign investments, but is also provides for an advantageous legal framework for high net worth individuals who are not interested in opening the regular types of companies in Austria, but to establish foundations. For this purpose, Austria enabled two laws:

  • –          the Federal Foundations and Funds Act which was enabled in 1974 and which provided mainly for the establishment of public foundations and investment funds;
  • –          the Private Foundations Act which was enabled in 1993 and which provides for the creation of private foundations, one of the most popular vehicles among high net worth individuals.

Our company formation agents in Austria can offer more information on the two laws above.

What is an Austrian foundation?

No matter if established for private to public purposes, the foundation is an entity which has no owners or shareholders, but it has founders. According to the Austrian law, a foundation is a legal person with an estate which is set up in the moment the founders attribute an estate or various assets to it for the benefit of third parties, referred to as beneficiaries.  Even if it has no minimum share capital like companies in Austria, the assets of an estate must be worth at least 70,000 euros and can be made up of cash or kind.

In order to set up a foundation in Austria, the founders must draw up an agreement, also called a foundation deed which will be notarized and filed with the Commercial Register in Austria.

A foundation is not subject to the same requirements as a corporation engaged in commercial activities within the territory of Austria. Nonetheless, for investors who wish to receive personalized financial services, our accountants in Austria are able to answer complex questions about tax optimization, tax reporting and compliance, as well as international tax issues. 

The foundation deed in Austria

The foundation deed is the equivalent of the incorporation documents of a company in Austria and it must contain:

  • –          the reason the foundation was created, or its purpose;
  • –          information on the beneficiaries;
  • –          the name of the address of the foundation;
  • –          the name and information about the founders;
  • –          information on the duration of the foundation.

Foundations in Austria must have a board of directors, made up of at least 3 members and an auditor. Optionally, the founders may appoint an advisory board. The main reason for setting up a foundation in this country is the tax advantages it offers.

For information on the advantages and assistance in creating a foundation, please contact our company registration representatives in Austria.