Accounting solutions for start-ups and entrepreneurs



“I would do everything again the way I did it. With one exception: I would look for better advisors sooner.” reflected probably the most famous Greek shipowner, Aristotle Onassis. It is not for nothing that they say “only the early bird catches the worm” – early birds have that certain head start! And this should not only refer to the uniqueness of your idea, but also to indispensable topics such as legal form, taxes, maturities and duties.

This way ...

… will not be an easy one. But it doesn’t have to be rocky and difficult right at the beginning! The first steps will lead you to important authorities and other institutions:

Let's start at the Office of Finance Austrai

All roads lead to the tax office

The commencement of business activity must be reported to the competent tax office within one month. A short and informal written notification is sufficient, indicating the opening of the business and requesting the allocation of a tax number. The tax office then sends a questionnaire. After the completed questionnaire has been returned and the identity has been verified, the tax office will assign a tax and VAT number.

Our tip

This must be preceded by clarity as to the legal form in which the business will initially be run. Think one or two steps ahead about what you or the company may have to face. Let a tax advisor advise you accordingly in advance!

Next stop: Trade Licensing Authority

Registration of the (freelance) business

A business that is subject to the trade regulations must be registered with the trade authority that is locally responsible for the trade location. Activities for which no certificate of competence is required are called free trades.

In the case of free trades, the activity may already be commenced upon registration of the trade. In the case of regulated trades, proof of qualification must be provided when registering the trade and the trade may not be commenced until a legally binding notice of grant has been issued. Registration in the trade register is carried out by the trade authority and is certified by an extract from the trade register.

Our tip

Activities that are not subject to trade law, and thus without a “trade licence”, do not qualify you as a member of the Chamber of Commerce. This also has different legal consequences in terms of social insurance (apart from the fact that you save on WK contributions).

Continuing with social insurance

Social Insurance Institution for Trade and Industry

The Social Insurance Institution for Trade and Industry (Sozialversicherungsanstalt der gewerblichen Wirtschaft, SVA) is the social insurance institution for entrepreneurs, i.e. for tradespeople, freelancers and the newly self-employed. The social insurance obligation begins on the day of registration of the trade or on the day of commencement of the activity. Within one month of the start of the activity, a declaration must be submitted to the Social Insurance Institution for Trade and Industry.

Our tip

Social insurance must be regulated from “day 1” and there is a lot to know and optimise in detail. Therefore, give it the highest priority and seek advice!

Stopover at the Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce and start-up support

The Chamber of Commerce (Wirtschaftskammer/ WKO) collects an annual contribution (the basic levy), which ranges from 35 to several hundred euros, depending on the sector and legal form or size of your company.

Freelancers (such as doctors, notaries, lawyers, civil engineers, artists, etc.) do not belong to the Economic Chamber, but usually have their own interest groups (e.g. Medical Chamber).

Certain levies, contributions and fees in connection with a start-up are not charged for a period of up to 3 years. The prerequisite for this is a declaration of new establishment, which is usually confirmed by the Chamber of Commerce by means of the form NeuFö 2.

Learn more about the WKO
Next stop: Company Register

The company bay is ...

… a central, public register of all corporations (GmbH, AG), partnerships (OG, KG) and registered sole proprietorships that have their registered office in Austria. Corporations and partnerships only come into existence through registration in the commercial register. Sole proprietorships must be registered if their annual turnover exceeds € 700,000, but they can voluntarily register in the commercial register and have it deleted again.

Off to the disclosure

This is what disclosure is all about

For corporations, the annual financial statements must be submitted electronically to the Commercial Register Court within 9 months after the balance sheet date. For micro and small limited liability companies, there are simplifications in that only a balance sheet with a form or limited notes with disclosure of the list of assets must be disclosed. The filing fee of € 20 is waived if the annual turnover does not exceed € 700,000 and the annual financial statements are filed electronically within 6 months after the balance sheet date.

Other stations: Labour law, regional health insurance fund and municipality

Final ways

First of all, the focus is on the employment contract with all labour law issues. Furthermore, employees must be registered with the competent Austrian Health Insurance Fund (ÖGK) before starting work. The ÖGK is the competent insurance institution for the handling of contribution and benefit law for employees and, in addition to the tax office, is the auditing authority. The employment of employees must also be reported to the city or municipality.

Our tip

Being an employer entails a large number of obligations. Get comprehensive information, especially at the beginning of your career as an employer!

When it comes to the legal form


It’s not just the contents that matter. Whether it’s a smartphone or a box of raw eggs, packaging must not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also offer protection for the product. Protection in the form of suitable packaging is also required by your business model.

And just as packaging differs according to the company and the product to be packaged, possible legal forms also differ:

  • Einzelunternehmen (Sole proprietorship)
  • Offene Gesellschaft (OG) (General partnership)
  • Kommanditgesellschaft (KG) (Limited partnership)
  • Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH) (Limited liability company )
  • Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts (GsbR) (Civil law partnership)
  • Stille Gesellschaft (typische/atypische) (Silent partnership (typical/atypical))
  • GesmbH & Co KG

It is good to have a tax adviser at your side who can help you choose the right legal form and who is familiar with accompanying issues such as liability, powers of representation, capital investment, formation costs and taxes.

With us, you gain a tax advisor who will work with you to find the right “packaging” for your business model and who will take into account the needs of young entrepreneurs, new entrepreneurs and start-ups.

The best overview

Even Benjamin Franklin knew that only two things in this world are certain to us: Death and tax. Income tax, VAT, capital gains tax, corporate income tax, wage tax, DB, DZ, compulsory SVA insurance, GKK contributions … are just a small excerpt. As a new entrepreneur, you are confronted with just as many taxes and deadlines.
As a sparring partner and coach, we support you in the successful and timely fulfilment of your tax and duty to-dos and offer optimal and coordinated business management, tax, social security and labour law solutions.



Income, Profit & Co have some companions that you will get to know right at the beginning. Below is our FAQ:

Income tax

Income tax is levied on the income you have received within a calendar year. The term “income” is understood to mean the total amount from the seven types of income, taking into account any losses, minus special expenses and extraordinary burdens. The child allowance can be claimed up to and including the employee tax assessment for the calendar year 2018. Since 2019, the Family Bonus Plus replaces the tax deductibility of childcare costs and the child allowance.

Tax rate

In Austria, different tax scales are applied for the calculation of income tax depending on the amount of the respective annual income. The exact tax rates can be found here.

A higher tax rate of 55 per cent will be applied for a limited period of time for the years 2016 to 2025 for portions of income above 1 million euros per year.

Marginal tax rate

The marginal tax rate indicates the tax burden associated with any further increase in income. The average tax rate is the amount of the average income tax in relation to the total income.

Do I have to pay VAT?


Value added tax (VAT) is payable on all

  •  supplies and services which
  •  an entrepreneur
  • within the country
  • for consideration and
  • within the scope of his business

carried out.

These conditions must all be met together (cumulatively), otherwise the transaction is not subject to turnover tax. Only the final consumer is charged VAT, but the entrepreneur is liable for the tax. The entrepreneur has the right to deduct input tax. The input tax is the turnover tax that is charged to the entrepreneur by another entrepreneur. The VAT itself is a so-called transitory item. The difference between the VAT due (from own supplies and services) and the deductible input tax (from supplies and services received) is the so-called VAT payable. As a rule, this amount must be calculated for the calendar month and paid to the tax office. Any resulting input tax surplus must be reported and is credited to the tax account.

Invoices must be issued if a trader makes sales to other traders in Germany for their businesses or to legal entities that are not traders or makes a taxable supply of work or services in connection with a property to a non-trader.

How does the VAT calculation work?

Advance return for turnover tax

The calculation of the VAT payment burden must be carried out monthly. The VAT is compared with the input tax amounts, the difference results in an advance payment or a credit.

The submission of the calculation or announcement (notification) of the VAT payment burden to the tax office is called the advance VAT return (UVA). The period for which the advance payment is calculated is called the advance VAT return period. This is generally the calendar month. Entrepreneurs whose turnover in the previous calendar year did not exceed € 100,00 have the option of choosing the calendar quarter as the advance return period (quarterly calculation of turnover tax).

The 15th is tax day

The VAT return must be submitted electronically via FinanzOnline by the 15th of the second following month (= 1 month and 15 days after the end of the advance return period). You need access to FinanzOnline for this. If no Internet connection is available, the official form (Form U30) is used. Entrepreneurs whose turnover in the previous year did not exceed € 30,000 do not have to submit an advance return. The punctual payment of a VAT debt is sufficient.

If a payment burden arises for an advance return period, the payment must also be made by the 15th of the second following month at the latest. In the event of late payment, a late payment surcharge may be imposed.

When do you have to submit tax returns?

Income tax return

An income tax return must always be submitted for a past calendar year if the income, which does not include income subject to wage tax, amounted to more than € 11,000 or if you are requested to do so by the tax office (e.g. by sending tax returns to us).

In the case of income-expenditure accountants, you must enclose a “copy of the statement of business income and business expenses” with the tax return – the so-called EAR. The operating expenses must be broken down into groups in this statement.

If you are a balance sheet accountant, you must enclose the balance sheet and profit and loss account.


The income tax return together with the enclosures must generally be submitted by the end of April or June of the following year. However, if you are represented by a tax advisor, you have up to one year longer to submit the returns.

How should I keep my records?

Income and expenditure account

If you are a balance sheet accountant, this topic is so central that you employ an accountant anyway or have directly commissioned us – the question is thus answered.

However, if you are an income and expenditure accountant, it is important to find the best system taking into account the particular circumstances of your business. Optimal income-expenditure accounting is when you, as an entrepreneur, do not need any accounting knowledge to prepare the basic records and do not need much time to prepare clear records.

For the preparation of the basic records you need

  • a revenue book,
  • an expenditure book and
  • the bank statements, furthermore
  • a goods receipt book (if you resell goods)

Cash register obligation

The cash register obligation is the obligation to individually record all cash receipts for the purpose of determining the lot with an electronic cash register, cash register system or other electronic recording system. It applies to entrepreneurs who generate business income from an annual turnover of € 15,000 per business, provided that the cash turnover exceeds € 7,500 per business per year.


It also works without – and without any paper at all! We don’t need your paper receipts. Simply deliver them digitally! Benefit from our client portal My.HoferLeitinger: We link the booking line and the receipt – automatically, electronically, traceable at any time. We post weekly, so you always have an up-to-date overview of your outstanding accounts. Would you also like us to take care of your dunning and payment transactions? We would be happy to do so.

Use our online time recording and travel expense accounting or AVISO messages – no matter where you are.

Our services

Your benefit

  • Preparation of the business plan
  • Advice on the choice of legal form
  • Budgeting
  • Investment and financial advice
  • Funding coaching
  • Ongoing accounting and performance review
  • Profit calculation and tax returns
  • Payroll accounting
  • Optimisation of social security relations
  • Ongoing tax optimisation

You are specialised –

so we are!

And specifically to the needs of the different forms of foundation:

Absolute Beginner

  • start-ups
  • founders
Get in touch with us!


  • business successors
  • re-founders
  • young entrepreneurs

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