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Austria as a top location for international headquarters

12. January 2024

Austria continues to be an attractive business location for international company headquarters – both for well-known firms such as Boehringer Ingelheim, Henkel, Takeda and the BMW Group as well as for young and aspiring companies operating globally. The country maintains its position as a business interface and ideal starting point for subsidiaries in Eastern and Western European countries, the USA and Asia.

At the present time, a total of 412 international companies have established their regional or divisional headquarters in Austria. This was the result of a recent study carried out within the context of the “Headquarters in Austria” research project under the auspices of the Institute for International Business at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Compared to the previous year, the number of HQs has climbed by close to 6%. Almost half of the international headquarters can be found in the capital city of Vienna. A large number of these headquarters, namely 133, have a German parent company. Austria is also considered to be an ideal business location by countries outside of the EU. The USA is second behind Germany with 41 headquarters, followed by Switzerland (40) and Luxembourg (24). France (16) and Japan (14) are also strongly represented.


Austria is a top choice for international HQs. Frequently companies leverage the country’s perfect strategic location in Europe in order to drive their CEE business activities or develop their operations in Western European markets. However, it is not only the location in the heart of Europe which makes Austria so popular. The growing economy, stable conditions, business-friendly laws, a sound infrastructure and the highest quality of life all make Austria a top business location.

The majority of international HQs in Austria operate in the fields of manufacturing industry as well as the wholesale and retail sectors. Moreover, a considerable number of international headquarters i.e., mainly those located in Vienna, are active in the financial and services sector. Numerous international corporate headquarters also carry out research and development activities in Austria.

Headquarters are of major importance to the Austrian economy and the Austrian business location. They generate a high level of value creation as well as follow-up investments, strengthen research and development and are important employers.

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