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Go Austria: How young international companies can profit from the Startup Package

The measures developed by Vice Chancellor Mitterlehner and State Secretary Mahrer boast trendsetting aspects. They will help Austrian and foreign entrepreneurs on their path towards innovative independence.  

We’ve summarized the most important parts of the Startup Package for you:

1. Reduction of auxiliary wage costs

Young innovative firms can already get a partial refund on auxiliary wage costs for the first three employees over the first three years as of January 1, 2017. The amount is cut by one-third each year. In this way, there are no unpleasant surprises. This means that the auxiliary wage costs are fully reimbursed in the first year, two-thirds are refunded in the second year and one-third in the third year. The measure is coordinated by the state financing bank Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws).

Tip: If you have already set up a company, you should quickly submit an application to take advantage of this support! The best thing to do is to carry out the aws Startup PreCheck to find out if you meet the necessary requirements.  

2. New risk capital premium

In order to promote equity stakes in innovative startups, a maximum of 20% of the accumulated investments of up to EUR 250,000 per year will be reimbursed by means of the aws risk capital premium.

Tip: It would be best to apply for the aws 'Startup Qualifikation' via the aws Fördermanager (aws funding manager). This makes it easier to get financing and ensure that the investor benefits from the aws risk capital premium.

3. New startup visa as part of the Red-White-Red Card

The existing regulations applying to self-employed key personnel have been extended to startups. This means that applicants will be eligible to get a residence and work permit for self-employed work (= Red-White-Red Card) for two years. An extension is linked to the creation of jobs, specified annual revenues or further financing. Moreover, the Red-White-Red Card will also apply to university graduates with a bachelor’s or doctoral degree. Up until now it only included master’s degrees and diploma studies. Graduates from third countries (i.e. who are neither EU or EEA citizens) should have twelve months instead of six months in the future to find suitable employment. The reform of the Red-White-Red Card will take effect on October 1, 2017.   

Tip: This measure is particularly important for company founders from third countries! We will monitor this issue very closely and keep you informed about further developments.  

4. Increased funding for the aws Business Angel Fund and aws Seed Financing

Since 2013, the aws Business Angel Fund doubles the investments of selected business angels in young, quickly-growing technology companies within the context of co-investment agreements. The aws Business Angel Fund has been increased to enable innovative startups to continue getting the financial support they need. aws Seed Financing supports knowledge-based and technology-oriented startups to successfully develop their businesses.  

5. Digital one-stop-shop for founders

All necessary data can be entered online via the Austrian Business Service Portal (Unternehmensserviceportal - USP).

Tip: Use the portal to avoid having to personally save precious time and avoid having to go to government offices several times!

The Startup Package shows that the government has realized how crucial it is for the economic future of the country to support young and creative people. This is because the startups of today are the employers of tomorrow. Young companies which want to establish a startup in Austria or find out more about Startup Location Austria are professionally consulted and supported by ABA in their business location projects.

You find further information about the Startup Hotspot Austria here.

Mag. Birgit Reiter-Braunwieser

Director Central & Eastern Europe,
+43-1-588 58-52

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