Establishing a company in Austrian Company law, sole proprietorship in Austria

As an individual, it is possible to start up in business cost-effectively as a sole proprietorship. The sole proprietor has unlimited liability with his or her private assets for the debts of his or her company. Because the proprietor bears the full risk, he or she also has sole entitlement to the profit. A sole proprietorship basically emerges by registering a business or such a business registration being officially approved. Should the sole proprietor not be registered in the commercial register, he or she needs to use his or her surname in conjunction with at least one Christian name fully written-out to designate the place of business and in business documentation.

Austrian company law otherwise provides for the most diverse corporate forms, which are tailored to the respective requirements of the company under fiscal and liability law. Essentially, a distinction is made between limited liability companies and business partnerships.

Limited liability companies:

  • Austrian Private Company limited by shares (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH))
  • Public Limited Company (AG)
  • Societas Europea (SE)

Business partnerships:

  • General Partnership (Offene Gesellschaft (OG))
  • Limited partnership (KG)
  • Silent partnership (stG)
  • Civil law partnership (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts/GesbR)

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