Starting a Company
tarting a company in Linz is generally straightforward, and the city offers many resources for entrepreneurs. First, you need to choose the legal form of your business and register it with the Austrian Commercial Register. You must also obtain a business license from the local Trade Authority (Gewerbebehörde). The process can be done online or in person. You must also register for taxes with the local tax office (Finanzamt) and the social security office (Sozialversicherung der Selbständigen) if you plan to hire employees. It’s essential to understand the tax requirements and obligations for your business, and it’s recommended to consult with a tax advisor or accountant. Linz offers several entrepreneurial resources, including the Business Service Center (aws.at), which provides information and support to startup companies, including help with funding, networking and business development. However, the first point of contact should be the Chamber of Commerce in Upper Austria (wko.at), which provides information and advice on legal, financial and administrative issues related to starting a business. If you’re looking for support in English, there are several resources available, including the English-speaking Business Support Center mentioned above and the Upper Austrian Business Agency (biz-up.at), which provides advice and support in multiple languages as well as Welcome2Upper Austria (welcome2upperaustria.com) that provides services for expats.
Opening a Bank Account
When opening a bank account in Linz, provide a valid passport, proof of residency and proof of income or employment. You may also need to provide additional documentation, such as a work permit or proof of enrollment in a school. Some banks may require you to speak German fluently or bring a German-speaking interpreter to the meeting. If you’re not fluent in German, ask for English-speaking advisors when making an appointment or search for banks that cater to English-speaking customers, such as Raiffeisen Bank, Erste Bank and Bank Austria. Cash and card payments are widely accepted, and having a local bank account makes transactions easier and more convenient. Most banks charge a monthly fee for account maintenance and additional fees for specific transactions. ATMs are readily available throughout the city, but some banks may charge a fee for using ATMs that belong to other banks. To avoid these fees, it’s best to use an ATM belonging to your own bank.
As an entrepreneur in Linz, you are required to pay taxes on your income and business profits each year. It can be a complex process, so it’s recommended to find a trustworthy accountant who can guide you through the process. The Austrian tax system is known for being strict, so it’s important to make sure you’re complying with all regulations to avoid any penalties. You can look for support at the Austrian Chamber of Tax Advisors and Public Accountants (ksw.or.at) and the Linz Chamber of Commerce (wko.at), including a list of qualified English-speaking Professionals. It’s important to keep accurate records of all your income and expenses throughout the year to make tax time easier. Hiring an accountant can also help ensure you take advantage of all available tax deductions and credits.
Phone and Internet
As a major city, Linz has access to high-speed internet and excellent mobile network coverage, with 271 WLAn hotspots in public spaces. You can purchase a SIM card at most phone shops or electronics stores. If you plan to use your phone frequently, consider signing up for a contract with a local provider. Be aware that many phone contracts in Austria have a minimum duration of twenty-four months, so read the terms and conditions before signing up. A popular provider in Austria is A1 (a1.net), which offers a range of contract options, including unlimited data plans. The cost of phone contracts varies depending on the provider and the plan you choose, but expect to pay around €20–€30 ($21–$32) per month for a basic plan. The cost of internet service varies depending on the speed and data allowance. You can expect to pay around €30–€50 monthly for a basic internet plan. Remember that some providers may require a contract of at least twelve months.
Main Photo by: Stadt Linz Dworschak