Organising financing for founding a start-up or for young entrepreneurs is one of the most important hurdles on the path to self-employment. Fortunately, Austria has a comprehensive system of public funding.
Funding ranges from non-repayable grants, direct investments, guarantees, to subsidised loans. The most important funding agencies in Austria are the FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency) and the aws, Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH. There are also numerous state-specific subsidies. For international companies there are also specific subsidies at union level. Likewise, tax law includes a special law for new start-ups; the New Founding Promotion Act (NeuFöG), which provides tax benefits to new start-ups and transfers of businesses. In order to profit from the tax benefits under the NeuFöG, certain conditions must be met.
Our WTS experts know the funding situation in Austria. Depending on the funding guidelines, the requirements, beneficiaries and procedures are all different. We explore the possibilities for claiming funding, assist with drafting the text and application and meeting the documentation requirements. When it comes to EU funding, we work closely with our cooperation partners in Brussels. Through our WTS Global network, we can also review funding opportunities abroad.
The Austrian research premium acts as a tax "sweetener". For new developments, advancements or improvements of products or processes, for pilot projects or prototypes, 14% of the costs can be credited or refunded (tax-free) by the financial administration as a research premium. By doing so, Austria strives to promote the research and development activities of innovative companies. The premium is independent from taxable income and profit, but is granted only under certain conditions. Applicants must obtain an expert opinion from the Research Promotion Agency (with the exception of contractual research) that gives a technical assessment of the requested research activity.
To be granted a research premium, a distinction must be made between in-house research and contractual research. In-house research is carried out as part of domestic operations using in-house personnel (researchers). The completion of research and development contracts by a third party constitutes contractual research. In such cases, the client may request 14% of the contract volume as a research premium. The assessment base is however capped at EUR 1,000,000. It is worth noting that contractual research can be awarded to any company based in the EU/EEA area.
WTS Austria has many years of experience and has already successfully completed a large number of projects and applications. We accompany and support our clients throughout the research funding process and ensure its completion. What matters is the selection of eligible projects and the joint preparation of the necessary documentation. Likewise, the technical description and, consequently, submitting the application to the FFG is an essential prerequisite when applying for the research premium. We act as spokesperson vis-à-vis the financial administration throughout the entire process and provide defence in case of an audit.