You might often have the thought of leaving your own country and setting up a fresh business in an attractive European country. To be honest, most of us have had such thoughts, but we often find it difficult to make the big decision and choose a country to migrate to. Among the many business friendly European nations, the land of Mozart is particularly attractive and over the years it has been a preferred destination for many foreign entrepreneurs. Austria, one of the most economically free countries in the world, is an attractive place to do business. Apart from economic freedom, what makes it an attractive destination for doing business are the country’s world class infrastructure, excellent connectivity through railways, roadways and airways and state of the art telecom, research and development facilities. Doing business in Austria will be a breeze for you if you decide to move.
1. Ease of Doing Business
Austria is among Europe’s smallest countries but it does pack a punch in the economic scales. It is one of the richest and most stable in the EU. Austria has been ranked 21 among the 189 countries studied by the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Survey in 2015. Austria scored particularly well in such parameters as enforcing contracts, getting electricity and protecting minor investors.
As a member of the European Union and European Economic Area, the country encourages free movement of goods and capital to and from other members of the European Union. An accommodating and efficient support system has been put in place by the Austrian government for facilitating foreign investment, at both local and national levels. The government itself runs a business development company which goes by the name “Austrian Business Agency” (ABA), which offers remarkable support and incentives for a foreign investor; so that’s pretty encouraging. The organization concentrates mainly on sectors such as telecommunications, consulting, electronics, hardware, software and metals. The highly effective Austrian Business Agency has a proven track record of helping up to 600 companies at any given point of time and you can expect to get a lot of assistance from their representatives if you are faced with any difficulty.
2. Business Culture and Language
It is always desirable to be straightforward and keep everything overboard while doing business anywhere but when you are in Austria; you need to take special care to ensure that those with whom you do business do not get any reason to doubt your integrity. The smallest of lapses, albeit unintentional, can be damaging for the reputation of your business.
Punctuality, proper business attire and a professional attitude will go a long way in establishing strong and long standing business relations with the Austrian people.
It helps to have a working knowledge of the German language, which is spoken fluently in the country and is the country’s official language. Approximately 98 percent of the population speaks German or a dialect of the language.
3. Procedures Involved in Starting a Business
Being a sole proprietor and getting a trade license on those lines is the best way to start off since such a structure will give you complete freedom regarding the day to day operations of the business. Additionally, a notification has to be sent to the Austrian tax office concerning your nascent business so that the correct tax forms can be drawn up. A registration with the Austrian Commercial Register (Firmenbuch) is a must if your business turnover during two successive fiscal years exceeds 700.000 Euros. Otherwise the registration is voluntary. The other options are partnership and Limited Liability Company (GmbH).
In a nutshell you have to follow the following steps to set up your own business.
- First and foremost, draw up a business plan on the business of your choosing.
- Choose the right city in Austria.
- Draw up a meticulous financial plan regarding the costs of setting up the business and the day to day running costs.
- You will also need to pick a sound legal structure for your business. It should clearly show the names of the stakeholders of the business, the numbers of stakeholders as well as the extent of their liability.
- Get the confirmation letter from the Economic Chamber that recognizes the establishment of your business.
- Notarize the statutes as well as the articles of association.
- You will then need to deposit the ‘paid up capital’ in the bank.
- Register the company at the local court (Handelsgericht)
- Tax Office registration (obtain a VAT number)
- Register your trade (Gewerbeanmeldung) with the relevant trade authority (Bezirksverwaltungsbehörde)
- Don’t forget to register the social security of your employees.
- Register with the local municipal bodies so that the local taxes can be taken care of.
4. Some Affordable Business Opportunities
Before looking for a business opportunities remember that the chances of success are higher if you stick to what you know best. After all there is no point in going to a new country and trying your hand at something that you are unfamiliar with. Exploit your own experience and expertise and offer something that you know you can do best. But before you make a decision it pays to gather some much needed information about the tastes and preferences of the neighborhood in which you want to venture out. So spending some money on market research is advisable. Choose a business that suits you and most importantly, the needs of your target customers. And last but not the least, start on a small scale and expand gradually once you have established a firm footing.
A few easy to start and maintain business opportunities include home improvement, specialty restaurants and gift basket business.
Home Improvement – Demand for home improvement is on the rise. Due to changing lifestyles and professional commitments, people are running low on time. They are not able to dedicate much time or energy behind home improvement. Hence they prefer to get it done professionally. You can start your own home improvement firm or get franchise of firms such as Lawnscience. Easy to operate, home improvement business has low overhead spending requirement and is economically resilient. The market for home improvement is huge and is growing.
Specialty Eating Joint – A food venture can hardly ever go wrong anywhere in the world but Austrians are picky eaters, which is why you would need to offer something extra in order to make a dent in the market. Specialty food business has recorded a very high rate of growth in Austria. Decide on a concept and select a location that gives you the best exposure to foodies. Ideally start with a small set up and close to business districts, favorite hangout places or tourist attractions where people are always looking for something new to eat. That makes it easier to draw customers. Keep it clean, keep it simple but keep it elegant. Offer few specialty dishes and keep the prices affordable. There is nothing like good food at affordable prices at a cozy place. Do not forget to offer a few varieties of beverages.
Making & Delivering Gift Basket – This is an attractive and growing line of business, which would see a further spurt in growth in the years to come. You should make sure to offer innovative new gift basket designs and assortment of gifts so that it appeals to Austrians. Market intelligence will come in handy in this regard. Make your gift baskets thoughtful and unique with combination of flowers, perfumes, soft toys, handmade gift items and chocolates among other things. Make them unique so that it appeals to an Austrian’s sense of aesthetics; note that Austrians have high standards in this regard. This business venture is easy to start and doesn’t need an elaborate set up or huge initial capital employment. But in order to be successful you must be creative.
5. Buy a Business
Wouldn’t it be great if you just walk in to Austria and pluck a thriving business so that you do not have to put in a lot of groundwork to set up operations? Well, it would certainly be nice, but you might need to pay a hefty premium in order to buy a business which is doing well. Click on the following link to get a glimpse of the businesses that are being offered for sale in Austria. You can also check here for available businesses that you can buy.
Austria has refined business into an art form. The country has a fully developed market economy and the people enjoy a high standard of living. Austria also enjoys a healthy relationship with its fellow European Union countries. Overseas investors in general find the legislative framework for setting up a business in Austria rather cooperative. It is well and truly a great place to be an entrepreneur if you have the right business in mind and plenty of expatriated have established successful business over the years. The country provides an attractive market with a stable socio economic and political climate.