Millions of tourists every year find themselves enjoying the mountainous country of Austria. The world-class skiing and the German-influenced heritage and unique culture make for great place to spend a vacation or even move abroad to. With Austrian residency or citizenship, you will be able to enjoy even more of the European Union easily. Whatever reason you have to travel or live in Austria, the economy is quite strong, offering ample opportunities for overseas investment.
Ranked as the 12th richest country in the world, foreign investors are finding Austria to be a solid landing spot. Also, with a fast track to citizenship by investment, foreigners will be able to enjoy the high quality of life offered by the beautiful country. Austria is quite liberal regarding foreign investment. There are also several grants in terms of tax exemptions.
Why Invest Overseas in Austria
Everything from schools and healthcare to infrastructure is held to a quite high standard in Austria. Overall, the social market economy is thriving. Tourism accounts for 9% of the country’s GDP, while hydropower, wind energy, and solar energy are the other main economic sectors.
Conveniently located in the center of Europe, Austria’s geographic situation is ideal for anyone looking to start a business in Europe. The quality of infrastructure is high, making access in and out of the country easy. The country also has strong economic and political ties that would benefit businesses looking to access Eastern and Southeastern Europe.
The workforce is highly educated and skilled with a very low rate of unemployment, another attractive aspect of Austria for overseas investors.
The tax system is also attractive for investors. The corporate tax rate sits at 25% with no trade or net worth tax in existence. There are tax incentives offered by the government in terms of research and training of employees. There is a 10% tax premium for research and 20% tax allowance for training.
Where to Invest
There are many sectors in Austria to invest in. Investors are happy with their return on capitals, but there are some sectors in which foreign investors can achieve maximum gain.
There is great potential in the banking and transport sectors. They have made significant contributions to the development of Austria. Agriculture is also a booming area of business. The country is known for its dairy products and world class cattle, and the rest of the industry has a lot of potential for overseas investment.
- Environmental Technologies
- Information Technology
- Life Sciences
- Mechanical Engineering
- Wood pulp and paper
Citizenship by Investment
Citizenship in Austria can be quite attractive to foreigners. One reason it’s attractive is you aren’t required to renounce your former nationality, meaning you can keep your original passport. Also, when you hold an Austrian passport, you can freely live, work, and travel to any of the 27 member states of the European Union.
In order to encourage foreign investment, Austria has come up with a very attractive citizenship by investment program. One of the benefits is investment can quicken the process. To become a citizen, you usually have to live in Austria for ten years. Investment, however, allows you to apply for citizenship much sooner.
Applicants are required to invest actively in the Austrian economy through a joint venture or joint investment in a business that creates jobs or new export sales. Passive investments in government bonds, real estate, etc. will not grant you citizenship.
There isn’t a minimum investment requirement, but generally to be approved, an amount of at least €2,000,000 is needed. One important aspect of the investment is that the government will see your contribution as more of a donation rather than an investment. You will not be able to withdraw the investment at any point in the future.
The application process is very easy compared to similar programs in other EU countries. The foreign investment in Austria application doesn’t require you to learn German or pass an exam testing knowledge of Austrian government and history. Instead, the application asks for biographic information about the investor and their family – and an explanation of where the investment is directed and how they will use make a contribution to the country. Other documents such as proof of a clean criminal record, a CV, references, and details of the investor’s business background are also required.
The process takes around 12-18 months to complete. It can even take longer, depending on the investor’s specific circumstances.