Austria is a gorgeous country nestled in the dense cloud of meadows and the Alps. The majority of the population speaks German with a limited presence of Croatian, Hungarian, and Slovene. It is the fourth most prosperous country in the entire European Union. The government has a representative parliamentary democracy that allows free market and foreign direct investment. Therefore, the country enjoys political stability and a reliable legal system with excellent infrastructure and efficient public administration. Moreover, it has a low corporate tax rate, no wealth or trade tax, and attractive research promotion incentives.
Advantages of Austria Residency
• Easy route to attain permanent residency in Austria and attain visa-free access to EU countries
• Enjoy loads of social security benefits and high quality of life
• It has an extensive business communication network, low cost of living, work-life balance, and social services.
• Austria is the perfect example where high-quality real estate meets much lower prices than its competitors.
• Children enjoy an equal right to free education coupled with free transport and textbooks provided by the government
• Austrian Healthcare is universal and accessible to all, with coverage extended to the vast majority of health concerns and medications
• The capital Vienna is ranked among the top Most Liveable Cities in the world. It also ranks highly in press freedom, women’s rights, and human rights.
Setting up Austrian Minimum Liability Company
General requirements on setting up an Austrian company with limited liability
• The signed share capital of EUR 35,000
• Paid-up minimal share capital: EUR 17,500 (can be reduced to EUR 5,000 for the first ten years)
• Shareholders: minimum 1
• Managing directors: Minimum 1
• Trade: The most appropriate business needs to be registered so that the company can become active. The company can also register other businesses in the future if requested.
Scope of Services:
• Drafting articles of association in German and English language
• Drafting shareholders’ resolutions
• Drafting powers of attorney
• Drafting Shareholder Resolutions
• Drafting specimen signature forms
• Registration of the company with the commercial register
• Application for one free trade license
Residence Permit card for Self-Employed
General requirements for the self-employed application:
• Apostilled/legalized personal documents (incl. police clearance certificate)
• Proof of sufficient funds to cover candidate costs of living in Austria (e.g., savings)
• Documents on the foundation of candidate limited liability company in Austria
• Detailed Business Plan with benefits to Austrian Economy with following details:
i. Transfer of investment capital of at least EUR 100,000 or
ii. Creation of new jobs or securing of existing employment in Austria (the more, the better) or
iii. Creation of macroeconomic benefit for Austria or a region of Austria.
Ideally, this should be a combination of all three requirements
Scope of services
• Guidance and assistance through the entire application process, including drafting of documents and preparation of application forms and review of the business plan,
• Correspondence with the labour market authority and the immigration authority,
• Procurement of legalized German translations of documents,
• Instructions + application set of documents for filing the residence permit application,
• Personal accompaniments to the immigration authority in Vienna
• Instructions + application set of documents for filing the collection visa application,
Austria Visa Options
1) What is the period for which the Self-employment Visa is given initially? What are the terms of renewal?
It can be issued for two years, subject to the validity of the passport and supporting evidence related to insurance and available housing. After two years, the visa can be renewed for three years if the applicant can provide German-language A2 level evidence and has continuously settled in Austria. Latter requires the visa holder to prove that he has stayed in Austria for at least six months for each of two years. A Proof of A2 level after two years is mandatory. However, there are waivers for persons with a University degree though. For extension, a person who has done the 15 years education may not be required to appear in the A2 test in the German Language, i.e., (a) Bachelor Degree or above (Master of Engineering) in India and hold the Degree not the final year mark sheet, and (b) with the university which is recognized in Austria. This rule may change in the future or remain as it is; hence it is advisable to have A2 within two years for the following permit extension.
2) What is the definition of the “most appropriate trade" that will be permitted?
The “most appropriate trade” is carried out by the Limited Liability and depends entirely on a company’s business purpose. For example, an import-export business needs to apply for a trade license for “trade.” On the other hand, an IT software company needs to apply for a trade license for “services in IT automatic data processing.”
3) Who can be an applicant under the self-employed category?
It depends on case to case basis. For the subcategory of self-employed permits for “start-up founders,” it is necessary to launch an innovative product or service on the Austrian market. That is not necessary with the “normal” Investor category. In addition, the “normal” investor category will need to show that an economic impact for the Austrian economy is created, such as creating jobs on the Austrian job market.
4) Is it required that an applicant under the self-employed category first incorporate a limited liability company?
The incorporation procedure needs at least to be initiated to apply for the permit. Ideally, we recommend that the process of company incorporation be completed while the processing of the application under the self-employed category is being processed.
5) What is the VAT in Austria?
It is 20 %.
6) Under what circumstances can this status be extended indefinitely?
• It can be extended indefinitely provided the requirements related to Austria, insurance, housing, sufficient financial stability are met.
• Otherwise, it is also possible to switch to a Permanent Residence after five years of continuous settlement and evidence related to the B1 German Language, housing, insurance, and sufficient financial stability.
• One is also required to pass an integration examination on Austrian culture.
• Waivers are only possible for children under six years old, people with permanent physical or mental disabilities. For pupils (as of 6 years old), the German language B1 level can be proved by providing proof of school end of the year certificate on the passed German language module.
• To get the PR, the applicant further needs to prove that he/she was not absent from Austria for more than six consecutive months during the last five years or more than ten months in total in the previous five years.
• If absent due to professional reasons – mainly to provide services somewhere else – this period is not counted but must be closely reported to provide proof.
7) Does the card issued under the self-employment category permit visa-free travel through the EU?
It permits visa-free travel for 90 days Within 180 days within the Schengen area. Please note, however, that all EU member states are not Schengen member countries.
8) When can one apply for citizenship?
If all requirements mentioned in (6) are met, one can apply for citizenship after ten years. In case of proof of the German Language of B2 level, one can apply for citizenship after six years.
9) What is the Minimum Salary in Euro should the Self-employment cardholder draw to be eligible to get the application approval?
A self-employed person has no minimum salary, as he/she is working independently. However, financial stability must be proven to the authority nevertheless.