Complete Guide to Business Etiquette In Austria

September 15, 2020
11 mins read

Attitudes and values are the foundation of every country’s culture, and are the building blocks for developing a business culture. Cultural influences, attitudes and behaviours vary within and across nations and within and across ethnicities, and they are strongly embedded in communities.

The primary goal of business etiquette in Austria is to minimize misunderstandings arising from cultural differences and ambiguous communication. Your cultural differences are likely to be more obvious in Austria compared to other business environments. This is because Austrian society is highly structured and business etiquette is important in Austria.

Austria may be one of the most sophisticated and well-trained nations in Europe, but there are a few cultural norms that stand out as distinct and different from other business etiquette cultures. The suggestion is that, if you don’t learn how to interact with Austrians in a manner they expect, what many interpret as rudeness can be misinterpreted as ignorance.

Austria’s Culture

Austria may be a small European country, but it is a wealthy and influential one. Austrians share a common commitment to work hard, play fair and demand achievement. Austrians are nosy about what others do, how they think and how they perform. Worker satisfaction remains a top priority for most Austrians.

A majority of Austrians live in urban areas in the east part of the country, while a significant minority live in rural areas in the west. Unlike other countries in Europe, a high number of Austrians travel between urban and rural areas of the country for work and leisure.

The people of Austria are known for their friendliness and courtesy and their sense of humor. Austrians who live in large cities often work well with others. They are less self-centered than their fellow Europeans. Austrians would rather discuss problems than conceal them, and they expect the same of others.

Austrians are usually polite to other people. They enjoy helping others and living up to other’s expectations. Most Austrians understand the value of free public health care and education. They also believe the government should provide adequate social services, such as housing, to poor and unemployed citizens.

Austria’s social situation is universally accepted by most Europeans. The vast majority of Austrians have considered emigration to other countries, but few have actually done so. According to a recent survey, 1 to 2 percent of Austrians live in other European countries (including Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and Turkey), and their frame of mind is the same.

Austrians are generally tolerant towards outsiders, and fear of outsiders is not a common attitude. They rarely place any blame on outsiders for the country’s problems. Austrians are probably the most accepting European people of people who were born in other European countries. It is the Australian, American and Canadian culture that is likely to be rejected.

Time management is an important part of business etiquette in Austria, and scheduling appointments in time with the other party is strongly recommended. Austrians focus on the future, not the past or present. The future is important to them and they do not want to be negatively impacted by the past.

Important Information to Know about Business Etiquette in Austria


Austrian’s usually greet each other with a firm handshake and a warm smile. Typically, they link their arm’s with the right arm of the other person. The Austrians use honorific titles such as Frau (Mrs) and Herr (Mr) as well as the address Frau Doktor or Herr Doktor. To address people with whom they are not acquainted, Austrians use the formal introduction “Sie”.

Austrians generally do not use first names until after a certain amount of time has passed and they have gotten used to working together. The use of first names is often out of place with the business environment, but there may be some specifically white-collar workers who have first names.

Guests are welcomed warmly to Austria, and they may be surprised at the many pleasantries their host show’s them. In Austria, rather than greeting with a handshake first, you should greet a woman by kissing on the cheek. They don’t often use a professional title such as Herr or Frau. It would be more like Herr or Frau so-and-so.

Austrians would typically address the friendly person by their last name or use Sie, even though they are an acquaintance. Also, Austrian’s generally use formal language with their colleagues in the office, so please don’t expect to refer them by their first name unless you’ve been working together for a long time.

Business Card Etiquette

The presentation of the image of your company is important, and business people should always prepare business cards that reflect positively on the company. However, the manufacturing of professional quality business cards is not as common in Austria as it is in North America, and businessmen are beginning to use far less expensive and lower standards of business cards.

It is an Austrian tradition that the person with the highest status is in the middle and is either higher in rank or senior in age. The person on the right side often has a slightly lower status than the person on the left, but less than the person on the right.

Laws and Red Tape About Business Etiquette in Austria

Austrian Laws

Austria has a highly centralized government that is based in the capital city, Vienna. The national politics in Austria are competitive, and the national policies are based on several factors such as the state of the economy, the degree of unemployment in the country, the general health of the public, the state of education in the country, and the long range goals.

Leadership in business and government is often divided along political party lines, but there is also an increasing degree of coalition governance. Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom are considered the dominant nations in the European Union. Austria is close in terms of influence and power in the region.

Austrian business is run largely by a small number of influential corporations. The majority of Austrian businesses are small- and medium-sized; they are usually family-controlled and owned. The management of individual Austrian businesses is also highly centralized. Both the management and the workers tend to be older compared to North America.

Austrian Tax Laws

Tax policy is sometimes a top priority in national politics. Taxes are progressive in Austria, and they are usually very high compared to other European countries. The principle of social infrastructure is generally accepted by the majority of politicians and workers, but in some areas there is a significant conflict between the liberals and the socialists.

Austria’s labor force includes highly qualified professionals who satisfy the needs of the business and social community. In Austria, it is considered important to have a very strong educational system and the interests of workers are heavily protected by the government.

Austrian courts have made their own decisions about corporations, the environment, employment laws and business contracts. Austrians demand a fair amount of equity in company law, and they stress the importance of the Constitution.

Austrian Laws and Regulations

To start your business in Austria, you’ll need to register your business with the city where you’ll be operating. Registration can be taken care of through the tax office, and a permit is issued to you. The department of industry and trade will decide if you are able to operate free of bureaucratic restrictions. A permit is given if you have a business plan, and you can find a description of your products and services with a sample copy of it.

You’ll also need to decide if you’ll have an office for your business, and if you plan to hire employees or not. The office can be a room in another company or a run- down building. It is cheaper than you might think. You can rent the space at a local business center, or find a property management company to take care of your business space. The supply of business space in Austria is good, and you can also find office space in the city center.

Austrian Laws and Regulations for Labor

Austria has what’s called a “Fairness” system, which means that the employee has the right to express their opinion on health, safety and the working environment. This is often an informal type of approach, rather than the legal standard of the country.

If an employer plans to reduce work or fire employees, it is the law that he must tell the workers about this in advance. An employer cannot change the working conditions of a worker, without the consent of the worker. The employment contract is much broader that the minimum wage, and an employer is required to pay severance for a worker in two months if they have been employed for at least five years. The employee must also be offered a place to continue working elsewhere, if the employer can offer no other solutions.

One in four workers in Austria uses alcohol and drugs socially, and this is not considered criminal. Austrian businesses do not hire people that use these substances, but there is no law to control this problem. A workplace needs to be a drug-free workplace, but the Austrian government does not have a policy for the war on drugs.

Austrian Laws and Regulations for Business Contracts

The Austrian government has a special system for permitting businesses to carry out certain jobs. It is very common to have business operations in a country that does not have a complete set of industrial standards or even labor laws. The laws are often vague, and it may be hard to establish how certain companies should operate. The Austrian government is pushing for a stronger set of policies and regulation in these areas.

The Law for Corporate Structures in Austria

Austria has been well-known for having a national administration that enforces regulations and controls the business activities of companies. It will be a difficult task for anyone who is considering building an international business in Austria. Corporations are treated with more leniency in comparison to other countries in Europe.

Companies who register their business in Austria don’t have many regulations to follow in the course of business. Businesses are given a year to register with tax authorities, but there are no restrictions on who can own a company. The distinction between a limited company, fully-public limited company and an unlimited corporation is a matter of ownership distribution and identity.

Austrian laws target the tax system. This is made up of both taxes and deductions, and you will receive a tax return about three months after the end of the tax year. Business owners must pay a small percentage of their company profits and personal income taxes. In Austria, banks are heavily monitored by the government, and because there is no banking system in Austria, banks do not have many competitors.

Money laundering is a criminal activity that is frowned upon in Austria. The Austrian government has been working to increase their awareness of these criminal activities, and work with other companies to trace the sources of these funds. This has been a very difficult area of the law to tackle because there have been many cases of fraudulent activity in the corporate and investment sectors. Austria must also continue to improve the legal framework for tackling these fraudulent companies.

Austrian Laws and Regulations for Business Contracts

Austria has a reputation for having very strict laws with regards to the formation of contracts. The Austrian courts and regulatory institutions have often found problems with the formation of contracts, and they have a tendency to find that business contracts are illegal or invalid.

There are not many laws or regulations set by the Austrian government, and you must be familiar with the laws of fraud and misrepresentation for your business. The Austrian legal system tends to lean toward litigation, which can often tie up court cases for years.

Austrian Laws and Regulations for corporate Structures

If you are the CEO of a company, you should find out the laws of company formation. There are many different corporate types to consider. The two main forms of legal structure in Austria are:

A limited company

A limited company is set up by a group of people who create a company. When the company is created, the founders of the company must all be present at the time of formation. A limited company will offer shareholders limited liability, meaning the shareholders in the company are not held responsible for the debts and obligations of the company.

A limited company will be formed with a basic capital requirement of 30,000 Euros. A limited company has a board of management which is made up of at least two members. A resolution of the members is required in order to dissolve or liquidate the company.

A public limited company

A public limited company is owned by shareholders, but the shares are transferable publicly. Each shareholder will have a maximum liability of 250 Euros, and the company will have a minimum required capital of 30,000 Euros. A public limited company will have more than two members on the board of management.

An unlimited corporation

An unlimited corporation is a group of people who decide to start up a company. When a company is started, a collective shareholder agreement is in place. The laws of the corporation are in the constitutive contract, which can also be changed at any time and at any place.

Corporations are formed with a basic capital requirement of 30,000 Euros. A corporate board is established, and the company will have more than two members on the board. An unlimited corporation has no minimum valuation of shares, and no company may have more than two shareholders.

Austrian Laws and Regulations for personal income Taxes

Taxes are important to every citizen, and members of the public are not taxed equally in Austria. Taxation in the country is supported by a large body of taxation professionals, such as tax experts and accountants. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance has a staff of professionals, who are in charge of managing the income tax system.

All members of the public are required to pay personal income tax. People who earn taxable income from their employment usually have to pay income tax. Others who are taxed include tax-exempt employers, directors and board members, diplomats, and members of the armed forces. Non-resident employees must also pay income tax.

An additional tax can be applied to income that is earned from certain activities such as income from employment, income from investments, interest on bonds, and non-free housing. There are also other taxes with regard to what kind of real estate you own. The personal income tax rate does not differ depending on the income level. If you are in this category, then you must complete a simple form of Dutch.

If someone has received a yearly income of 60,000 Euros or more, they will need to pay income tax, which must be paid by the terms set by the Austrian government. Taxpayers who receive income from inheritance or gifts from a spouse, or if they receive a bequest tax, and they must complete a tax return.

Austrian Laws and Regulations for accounting

Accounting is an important component of most businesses. Businesses set up accounting so that they can record, summarize, and report their financial affairs to the government. The Austrian government has taxation authorities that are responsible for checking businesses to make sure they are meeting the relevant taxation laws. There are also laws to prevent businesses from providing false statements for the purposes of avoiding taxation.

It is important for businesses to exhibit transparency in the management of their company budgets. Businesses must be able to account for all income and assets that they have earned using tax records. In order for businesses to be in compliance with taxation laws, accounting must be done according to the GAAP standards.

After the accounts are in order, businesses must be able to prove that they have complied with the rules of taxation. They must also be able to maintain all of the records that are needed to support the accounting records. Since cases of tax fraud are common, it is essential for businesses to keep a trustworthy set of accounting records.

Austrian Laws and Regulations for corporate Governance and Industrial Relations

Business owners understand that their companies must have a well-organized working place; so they set up a system of management. Most employees have the right to work full time, and if you work for a German company, you must earn a certain minimum wage. Standard working hours in Austria include 8 hours in a day and 40 hours in a week.

In Austria, employers must provide social security benefits for their employees, and they must also prepare and pay social taxes. German companies are supposed to cover their employees’ health insurance, pensions, unemployment, and accident insurance.

Employers must cover their employees for health insurance from the time they are hired. They must also have an accident insurance program in place, and they must provide benefits for long-term unemployment insurance. The tax rate in Austria is high, so companies must be prepared to pay their employees to an adequate level.

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About Levi Keswick

LeviKeswick serves as a vibrant hub for diverse individuals to share their stories, absorb and contribute to emerging fashion trends, lifestyle concepts, and innovative ideas. We offer valuable insights and advice, amalgamating information painstakingly curated by experts in the field, alongside fashion connoisseurs and influential social media personalities.