GmbH Reform in Austria

On 1 July 2013, the Austrian limited liability company (GmbH) was reformed by reducing the minimum capital requirement from to €10,000 (from €35,000). These changes aim at reducing the financial burden for founders and entrepreneurs, by lowering start-up costs and the minimum annual corporate tax. In relaxing this market entry barrier, the reform aims at strengthening the GmbH’s atractiveness for local and foreign investors.

To prepare Austria’s entrepreneurs, incubators, and business angels with GmbH portfolios, RPCK offers seminars on the changes and impacts of the GmbH reform. On 26 June 2013, Keyvan Rastegar gave an introduction to Austrian limited liability law and its recent amendments at accent Gründerservice GmbH, Lower Austria’s incubator for academic and innovative businesses.

The reform includes the following significant changes:

  • Reduced Minimum Capital. The minimum capitalization requirement is relaxed and reduced from €35,000 to €10,000. Existing GmbHs may also choose to step down to €10,000.
  • Lower Formation Costs. The notarial deed and certification costs are reduced to €600 (plus VAT). Further reductions may apply with short formation documentation. Special reductions apply under the Act on the Promotion of New Company Formations (Neugründungs-Förderungsgesetz).
  • Reduced Publication Costs. Certain publications in forming the GmbH may be published free of charge online in the database “Ediktsdatei” rather than printed in the gazette “Amtsblatt zur Wiener Zeitung.
  • Reduced Minimum Corporate Taxation and Stamp Duty. The minimum capital stamp duty (1%) is reduced, since its calculating basis is the reduced minimum capital requirement. For the same reason, the minimum corporate tax is also reduced to € 500 per year (compared to previously € 1,750).

Keyvan Rastegar summarized: “Minimum capital requirements try to solve issues – such as protecting trade creditors –  that are better addressed without entry to market barriers. This reform was a positive step in improving the Austrian GmbH. The path toward effective creditor protection begins with a simple filing system for assets (Mobiliarpfandregister)”.

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