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Austria

Selling on

Updated 01/2013

Legal requirements

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.

Administrative procedures

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.

Resources

The Business Service Portal USP provides information about acquiring businesses:

The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber also provides information about this subject:

Programmes

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.    

Help & advice

Help & advice

The Succession Exchange of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber is a service provided by Young Enterprise Austria (Junge Wirtschaft) and the Business Start-Up Service. It advises entrepreneurs who want to transfer their business and those who are interested in taking over a business.

The Business Start-Up Service of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber provides support for founders, successors and franchisees.

The WIFI enterprise service is the coordination centre of the national enterprise network (UNS) of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

Young Enterprise Austria (Junge Wirtschaft) represents the interests of young entrepreneurs in Austria, and its services include assistance for successors.

The Austrian Chamber of Certified Accountants and Tax Consultants (KWT) is the umbrella organisation for tax consultants and business experts in Austria and also advises young entrepreneurs.

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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