For some, it is the orientation, planning and founding stage, others speak of pre-seed, seed and start-up. Regardless of the term used to refer to this first phase of a company, it is without a doubt a particularly exciting stage in your career as a founder. After all, you will encounter numerous challenges, from registering your business to choosing the legal form and resulting tax consequences to protecting your brand. And as if that were not enough, your start-up also faces numerous further legal questions, for instance as regards the articles of association, supply agreements, GTCs, data protection or financing.
Tax-optimised from day one
Entrepreneurs in Austria have to abide by a wealth of tax rules. So it is important that your first steps already head into a tax-optimised direction. Poor decisions made in this early phase of a company can have grave consequences later on. This is why we advise founders to seek in-depth tax consulting already before embarking on their business venture.
Different legal forms
A fundamental question when it comes to tax is the choice of the company’s legal form. There are numerous options: one-person businesses, registered partnerships, such as general or limited partnerships, or companies limited by shares, i.e. limited liability or joint stock companies. The legal form chosen will determine the tax and accounting requirements to heed. Topics particularly affected by the legal form are:
- Profit assessment: balance sheet accounting, cash-based accounting, lump-sum-based accounting
- Obligation to prepare annual financial statements
- Tax on corporate profits: 25% corporate tax (flat tax) or income tax with a maximum tax rate of 50% (or 55% for income exceeding EUR 1 million)
- Taxation of founders
Further tax obligations
It will also pay off for founders to look at VAT and the deduction of input VAT at an early stage. Because if the company realises sales abroad or online, suddenly additional and specialised regulations will have to be met.
Start-ups are also well advised to address topics such as tax duties as an employer (particularly non-wage labour costs) or tax exemptions available to them, such as research premiums, tax-exempt allowances on annual profits or tax advantages for employee shares.
It is virtually impossible for start-ups to keep track of all of these aspects, especially in the sometimes frantic early days following foundation. Trust us to tell you what to keep an eye on and which tax and legal options are available to you.
As every start-up is unique, we are convinced that a one-size-fits-all approach will lead nowhere but that only individual solutions can work.
Following foundation and the early phase of your company, we will be happy to also support you in the following fields:
- General tax and legal advice
- Advice on financing
- Advice on participation models
- Advice on tax-optimised structures
- Advice on internationalisation
- Advice on exits and other M&A topics