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Where Great Emphasis is Put on Research.

Austria: Business Location for Savvy Corporate Minds

When setting up headquarters in Austria, firms and holding companies profit from an attractive level of taxation as well as research promotion, a talent market, a strong domestic economy, Eastern European know-how and much more.

Tax incentives and unbureaucratic processing

Locating business operations in Austria pays off, especially financing. Regional and international holdings take advantage of the exemplary Austrian tax system. More than 90 double taxation agreements exist. Profits and losses of holdings and subsidiaries can be bundled or offset against each other and subject to uniform taxation. At the same time, companies in Austria only pay a corporate tax of 25 percent. Wealth tax? Trade tax? Both fake news! And then there are also the very practical benefits of taxation “Made in Austria”. Thanks to “Finanz-Online”, Austria offers electronic legal communication on tax issues, and value added tax credits are traditionally paid quickly in Austria.

All this creates greater competitiveness in the company, reducing the risk in building up new markets. Naturally, the generally high level of political stability and legal certainty in Austria also contribute to this. For example, Henkel, the giant consumer goods manufacturer, learned to take advantage of this very early on. It has been represented in Vienna for more than 90 years. Earlier it was called Persil-Gesellschaft. Starting in 1987, Henkel already began to successively enter the Eastern European market. Today Henkel CEE in Vienna coordinates business operations in 32 countries. Moreover, the region has been supplied by a central warehouse in Vienna since 2005.

Minimize research risks and build up networks

Similar to all Austrian companies, regional and international headquarters like Henkel can naturally take advantage of Austria’s 14 percent research tax credit. This is paid in cash and can be used for a company’s own in-house research as well as for contract research. Research and development conducted at an international level can frequently pose a financial challenge. In contrast, Austria accommodates companies and thus reduces their investment risk. Success shows that the approach is the right one. In the meantime, the research/GDP ratio is at 3.14 percent. As a result, Austria ranks second in a European comparison.   

Corporate headquarters not only get support from the government but also from numerous independent organizations. For example, Headquarters Austria supports and links corporate headquarters based in Austria. In cooperation with the scientific and business communities as well as interest groups, this initiative promotes the exchange of views among the 380 regional headquarters in Austria, amongst others, and also stands up for their interests.

Attractive domestic market and top quality of life

As the third most prosperous country in the EU, Austria is also a lucrative market in itself, which also scores points thanks to its high quality of life. Recently, Vienna was named the most livable city in the world for the ninth straight year. It is also the fastest growing city in the European Union. In addition to a large number of international schools and organizations such as the United Nations Organization, globally operating banks are also located in the city, supporting companies in their role of active financial partners.

In Europe there is hardly a better business location for the regional and international headquarters of firms and holding companies, regardless of whether one considers political and tax conditions, the supply of skilled employees or even the unique geographical location and soft factors such as the quality of life. The business location with savvy brings together all key competencies for the best minds. More than 1,000 international companies such as BMW, Samsung, BASF and Fujitsu already exploit the bottom-line advantages of the Austrian business location in order to open up new markets and coordinate their activities in South East and Eastern Europe. And when will you come?  

Mag. Marlis Müllner

Director Strategic Investment
+43-1-588 58-238

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