The main national laws for taking over businesses in Austria are:
Before a business can be taken over, it is very important to consider the issues of liability involved. The key issues of liability are those set out in Article 1409 of the Austrian Civil Code and Article 38 of the Commercial Code.
Types of business transfer
Ownership of a business can be transferred by way of a gift, inheritance, sale, leasing or merging it with another company.
Taking over an existing company is a worthwhile alternative to setting up a new business.
Transferring ownership of a business: a step-by-step guide
Persons transferring ownership of businesses must carry out the following:
- Identify and select a suitable successor;
- Seek assistance from business advisers/tax advisers;
- Carry out a valuation of the company;
- Choose an optimum point in time to transfer ownership (pension due date, balance sheet date, etc.);
- Finalise a contract with a successor;
- Inform customers and suppliers about the imminent transfer;
- Report the divestiture to the tax authorities;
- Report any transfer of ownership without payment (gift) to the tax authorities.
The Business Service Portal USP provides information about acquiring businesses:
The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber also provides information about this subject:
Austria Wirtschaftsservice (AWS) is a governmental body for financing and promoting businesses and innovation in industry. It offers a range of subsidies for establishing and acquiring companies including funding for small and medium-sized enterprises.