Support for setting up new enterprises


Germany

You will need more than just a good idea when starting a business.

As a business founder, you have the vision, but we can provide indispensable tax advice for new businesses. In addition, our lawyers will offer legal advice for new businesses, taking into account the specific business idea, the economic setup, and of course the issue of liability.

  1. Getting the company structure right
  2. Characteristics of start-ups
  3. Liability issuese
  4. Shareholders, CEOs and corporate bodies
  5. Hiring employees
  6. Tax aspects
  7. Incorporation formalities and company registration
  8. Regulated industry and professionally regulated professions

1. Getting the company structure right

The key to a functioning company is choosing the most suitable company structure. Tailored to your specific project, our legal advice for new businesses will help you to decide which partnership or corporate entity provides the right structure for the company being established.

2. Characteristics of start-ups

Start-ups are different from a classic company registration due to the particular degree of innovation involved in the business idea. The vision often requires high levels of investment that cannot be provided by the founders themselves. In addition to the right corporate structure, a start-up therefore needs investors to provide the right financing. Our lawyers and tax advisors are familiar with the specific needs of start-ups.

3. Liability issues

Liability is an essential aspect when starting a business. Depending on the choice of company structure, liability is not limited to the assets of the company: in partnerships it extends to the personal liability of the shareholder, even including their private assets. Our legal advice for new businesses will analyse the risks of the business project and steer it along a legal route in which the risk of the company's founder remains predictable.

4. Shareholders, CEOs and corporate bodies

GmbH is the most popular corporate structure when starting a business. It is a commercial company within the meaning of the German Commercial Code and is therefore a company with share capital. GmbH is an example of a type of company where several different persons may come together as shareholders. However, as soon as there is a question of co-shareholders, internal and external relationships between the shareholders must be defined. Our expertise in offering legal advice for new businesses means that our lawyers can draw up a shareholder contract for you, which will also endure throughout the critical stages of the company.

5. Hiring employees

Where there are several persons involved, an alternative to installing them as co-shareholders could be to hire them as employees. It is also conceivable that you would want to take on employees in admin or sales and marketing from the outset. In our law firm, we have lawyers who specialise in the relevant areas of legal advice for new businesses. In addition to advising on the correct form of company, our lawyers can also draw up a legally compliant employment contract.

6. Tax aspects

The legal form of the company is crucial when it comes to fiscal matters and thereby the apportionment of any losses, particularly during the start-up phase. The tax advantages of a partnership, particularly when launching business operations or if you have a low corporate risk, need to be weighed up against the disadvantages of the personal liability of shareholders. Our tax advice for new businesses can illustrate the impact of this and we will work with the company founders to come to the right decision.

7. Incorporation formalities and company registration

Usually, the launch of a company begins with company registration at the relevant registration body, as well as with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or the Chamber of Craft Trades. Should the company also employ people, it should be registered as an employer with the Employer's Liability Insurance Association. We will take care of all the necessary formalities for you so you can concentrate on your business.

8. Regulated industry and professionally regulated professions

In Germany, the right to freely choose a profession, place of work and education or training establishment is normalised in the Basic Law. So-called freedom of trade prevails, so there is no need for permission to be granted to exercise the majority of trades. However, in particular cases, the exercise of a profession can be restricted on the basis of article 12 of the Basic Law. The German Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act enumerates certain activities that are subject to approval. These include certain trades or single professions, such as insurance agents, for which the founders need to have special personal and/or professional qualifications. In addition, professional codes provide for special requirements for liberal professions. This applies to lawyers, doctors or notaries public. We will advise you when starting a business, to ensure that any relevant laws and special provisions are taken into account from the outset.

Contact

As experts in starting a business, we are ready to work with you. Get in touch!


Austria

Starting a business is a complex task with many different facets.

When it comes to establishing a company in Austria, there is both an economic and social dimension: it creates jobs, serves a demand side, and contributes to both the performance of the company, as well as securing its future. It is precisely these diverse action mechanisms that require special care and responsibility to be taken, and therefore a need for solid corporate and tax planning.

  1. Getting the company structure right
  2. Characteristics of start-ups
  3. Liability issues
  4. Shareholders, CEOs and corporate bodies
  5. Hiring employees
  6. Tax aspects
  7. Incorporation formalities and entry in the companies register
  8. Regulated industry & professionally regulated professions

1. Getting the company structure right

The choice of the type of company is the basis of economic success. This choice is based on the business plan and is optimally adapted to the specific business requirements. Our lawyers and tax advisors will provide you with competent and comprehensive advice on a number of issues, including which partnership or corporate identity provides the right structure for the company being established and how it can be independent.

2. Characteristics of start-ups

When it comes to establishing companies, start-ups occupy a special position. Many start-ups push forward into established markets with highly innovative business ideas; this creates a high demand for investment, and a relatively high risk. They therefore need investors who share their vision and can provide suitable financing, as well as lawyers and tax advisors who are familiar with the specific needs of start-ups.

3. Liability issues

Depending on the form of the company, the liability is either limited to the company's assets or extended to the personal assets of the shareholders. This difference plays a central role when choosing the legal form of a company. Our lawyers and tax advisors will therefore analyse the risks of the business project and create a structure where the risk is both predictable and, in the case of liability, acceptable.

4. Shareholders, CEOs and corporate bodies

The most popular form of company when starting a business in Austria is the GmbH (limited liability company): among other reasons, this is because several people can be active as partners. When you add co-shareholders into the mix, the internal and external relationships between the shareholders play a central role. Our lawyers will draw up watertight shareholder agreements, providing maximum legal certainty for those critical phases.

5. Hiring employees

If it is necessary to have employers for the business of the company, employment law will also form part of the setting-up process. Whether in administration, sales or management, our highly specialised lawyers will advise you on all relevant issues surrounding recruitment, employment and dismissal, including the design of shift plans or collective bargaining. Please click here for more information about employment.

6. Tax aspects

Legal support for new business plays a decisive role in the tax treatment of a company – and thus in the offsetting of any possible losses during the start-up phase. The tax advantages of a partnership need to be weighed up against the disadvantages of the personal liability of shareholders. We will weigh up all the aspects and look at all the options in order to help you make the right decision.

7. Incorporation formalities and entry in the companies register

The first step in starting a business is the registration of a trade with the relevant industry authority. Under certain conditions, a newly established company may be exempted from administrative fees; some businesses require a notice about reliability for legal effect. We will accompany you through all the formalities, helping you with a smooth establishment process.

8. Regulated industry and professionally regulated professions

Generally speaking, there is freedom of choice of profession and workplace in Austria. As a rule, the necessary business licence is gained by means of informal registration with a competent trade authority. However, regulated trades listed in the trade regulations require a special qualification because of their qualified nature (usually due to craftsmanship). In addition, professional codes provide for special requirements for liberal professions. This applies in particular to lawyers, doctors or notaries public. We will advise you when starting a business to ensure that any relevant laws and special provisions are taken into account from the outset, ensuring the highest possible certainty in law.

Contact

Legal support for new business is one of our core competencies. Take advantage of our years of experience and get in touch with us!


Liechtenstein

The Principality of Liechtenstein has transformed from an agricultural state into a modern economy.

The growth strategy of the Principality corresponds to that of a well-run company: to be among the best. Are you driven by this desire as well? Would you like to fully develop your entrepreneurial vision? Our lawyers and tax advisors will provide you with all the support you need when starting a business. Our consultants can help you with any questions that might arise during the implementation of your business idea, regardless of whether this is securing financial resources for your company, reducing your personal liability, or dealing with tax issues.

  1. Getting the company structure right
  2. Liability issues
  3. CEOs, corporate bodies & shareholders
  4. Tax aspects
  5. Incorporation formalities & company registration
  6. Start-ups
  7. Hiring employees
  8. Regulated industry & professionally regulated professions

1. Getting the company structure right

When starting a business, you have a choice to make regarding the correct company form. Your business idea, your partner and your willingness to take risks are the fixed points, and our lawyers and tax advisors can use these to determine the appropriate corporate structure and advise you on it.

2. Liability issues

Potential liability issues are closely linked to the choice of a company structure. Already at the time of choosing the right company structure, the question of whether liability should be limited to the company's assets is of central importance. However, a reduction in liability might result potential investors and lendersto exercise caution. For this reason, our lawyers will work with our tax advisors to analyse the risks specific to your start-up project. Based on this analysis, yo will be able to fully calculate the risk to the business, as well as meet the requirements of investors.

3. CEOs, corporate bodies & shareholders

Your choice of company structure also determines whether you need to set up corporate bodies within your company, and if so, which ones. If you are thinking of starting a business with family members, friends or other third parties, their position as shareholders must be defined. Once this has been determined, the choice of company structure can be made and, from there, the issue of corporate bodies can be clarified. As part of this process, you can and must clarify which rights and obligations are the responsibility of your shareholders. Our experts will draw up a customised company agreement that will stand the test during the critical phases of your company.

4. Tax aspects

It is not just issues of legal liability that have to be considered, but also the tax consequences of choosing a company structure. The various different legal forms mean that the tax authorities treat them in different ways. This may mean that tax advantages are associated with liability disadvantages, and vice versa. Overall, the benefits of one particular company structure should be weighed up against the potential tax disadvantages. We will use our knowledge of legal support for new business to set out the consequences under tax law of a particular company structure, so that you as the founder can make the right decision.

5. Incorporation formalities & company registration

In Liechtenstein, your company is usually established when it is entered into the commercial register (public register). If your company is a trading company, it will also need a trade license issued by the Office for Economy (Amt für Volkswirtschaft) in order to lawfully exercise its commercial activities. When it comes to drafting the commercial application and other obligatory formalities, our lawyers in the Principality of Liechtenstein will support you every step of the way.

6. Start-ups

A start-up is a company that is right at the beginning of its life-cycle. For these reasons, it basically has the same needs as a traditional company, i.e. the same requirements as those detailed above. Special characteristics of a start-up, however, become apparent in three areas:

  1. The degree of innovation of the business idea considerably exceeds that of traditional companies;
  2. The growth potential is higher than average; and
  3. The capital requirement for the realisation of your visionary business idea is generally higher than for a traditional company.

In order to make your vision come to life, you will need start-up investors to be as thoroughly convinced by the success of your company as you are yourself. When starting a business like this, the short-term and long-term interests of investors should be taken into account alongside your own objectives. Our experts will take all of these factors into consideration and provide you with comprehensive advice on the specific issues encountered in establishing a start-up.

7. Hiring employees

Regardless of whether you are starting a traditional company or a start-up, your activities as an entrepreneur will be linked to various tasks and challenges. By taking on employees you can help relieve the pressure and increase the prosperity of your company. In order that you are completely supported by your employees, it is essential that you have effective and unambiguous employment contracts in place. In our law firm, we have lawyers whose focus of their activities is on labour law. As a result, we can draw up legally sound and watertight employment contracts. Our consultants can also help you with any further and necessary formalities, such as registering your employees with a pension fund.

8. Regulated industry & professionally regulated professions

Professional and commercial freedom is provided for in Article 36 of the Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein. In essence, this means that people have free choice in terms of training location, choice of profession, and workplace. However, Article 36 of the State Constitution states that this freedom may be limited or restricted by applicable law. In addition, it is obligatory to observe certain professional regulations, such as the Construction Professions Act (BWBG) or the Lawyers Act (RAG)

Our lawyers will examine any possible legal restrictions for your company and will take note of any relevant professional regulations in order that the start of your business is not held up unnecessarily.

Contact

We will support you in starting a business in Liechtenstein. Get in touch with our law firm in Triesen!


Switzerland

You will need more than just a good idea when starting a business.

As a business founder, you have the vision, but our lawyers, tax advisors and trustees can provide indispensable tax advice for new enterprises. In addition, our lawyers take into account the specific business idea, the economic set-up, and of course the issue of liability as well as aspects under tax law.

  1. The appropriate legal form for your company
  2. Characteristics of start-ups
  3. Liability issues
  4. Shareholders, CEOs and corporate bodies
  5. Hiring employees
  6. Tax aspects
  7. Incorporation formalities and company registration
  8. Regulated industry and professionally regulated professions
  9. Cantonal economic development

1. The appropriate legal form for your company

The key to a functioning company is choosing the most suitable company structure. Tailored to your specific project, our lawyers and trustees will help you to decide which partnership or corporate entity provides the right structure for the company being established.

2. Characteristics of start-ups

Start-ups are different from a traditional company registration due to the particular degree of innovation involved in the business idea. The vision often requires high levels of investment that cannot be provided by the founders themselves. In addition to the right corporate structure, a start-up therefore needs investors to provide the right financing. Our lawyers and trustees are familiar with the specific needs of start-ups and with the venture capital landscape in Switzerland.

3. Liability issues

Liability is an essential aspect when starting a business. Depending on the choice of company structure, liability is not limited to the assets of the company: in partnerships it extends to the personal liability of the shareholder, even including their private assets. Our lawers and tax advisors will analyse the risks of the business project and steer it along a legal route in which the risk of the company's founder remains predictable.

4. Shareholders, CEOs and corporate bodies

When starting a business in Switzerland you basically have the choice between an AG (corporation limited by share ownership) or a GmbH (limited liability company). These are both corporations within the meaning of the Swiss Code of Obligations. The GmbH is an example of a type of company where several persons may stand side-by-side as shareholders. In Switzerland, an AG company is suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises. However, as soon as there is a question of co-shareholders, the internal and external relationships between the shareholders must be defined. Our lawyers can draw up a shareholder contract for you that will endure throughout the critical stages of the company.

5. Hiring employees

Where several people are involved, an alternative to installing them as co-shareholders could be to hire them as employees. It is also possible from the outset to take on employees in administration or in distribution. If you employ workers from abroad, there are a number of necessary steps that must be taken at the local immigration office. In our law firm, we have lawyers who specialise in the relevant areas of legal support. In addition to advising on the correct legal form for your company, our lawyers can also draw up a legally compliant employment contract.

6. Tax aspects

The legal form of the company is crucial when it comes to tax matters, and thereby the offsetting of any losses, particularly during the start-up phase. The simpler format of a partnership, particularly when launching business operations, or if you have low corporate risk, needs to be weighed up against the disadvantages of the personal liability of shareholders. We can illustrate the impact of this, and work with the company founders to come to the right decision. More about tax law can be found here.

7. Incorporation formalities and company registration

Usually, starting a business begins via the registration of the company with the relevant Commercial Registry. Should the company also employ people, it should be registered as an employer with AHV (OASI – old-age insurance system), for occupational pensions (BVG) and with a compulsory accident insurance fund in accordance with the UVG (Federal Accident Insurance Act). We will take care of all the necessary formalities for you so that you can concentrate on running your business.

8. Regulated industry and professionally regulated professions

In Switzerland, the free selection of a place of business is anchored in the constitution. Economic freedom means that there is no need for permission to be granted to exercise the majority of trades. However, various laws restrict the exercise of certain professions in particular cases. The practice of regulated professions requires federal, cantonal or municipal approval. The restricted activities include such things as insurance intermediation, for which the founders need to have special personal and/or professional qualifications. In addition, professional codes provide for special requirements for liberal professions, and this applies to lawyers, doctors or notaries public. We will advise you when starting a business to ensure that any relevant laws and special provisions are taken into account from the outset.

9. Cantonal economic development

The cantonal economic development office is an important contact for starting a business in Switzerland. It can provide assistance with finding the right premises, as well as providing information on cooperating with local businesses. Depending on the size and type of your company, you might be able to enjoy tax concessions in different regions of Switzerland, as well as various options for monitoring the implementation of your business plan. Our lawyers and tax advisers will work with the competent local economic development office to review these opportunities, thus creating the best conditions for setting up your company in Switzerland.

Contact

As experts in starting a business, we are ready to work with you in Switzerland. Get in touch!


Italy

Our information in the English language concerning support for setting up new enterprises in Italy is currently still being developed. We kindly ask for your understanding. Therefore, please do not hesitate to contact us directly with your queries and concerns. For over ten years now, we have been guiding clients in five different countries on setting up new enterprises. With us you are always competently advised and well represented. We look forward to receiving your message or call!

Your contact persons

Uwe Bruckner, Dipl.-Kfm., Steuerberater, Fachberater für Internationales Steuerrecht

» Uwe Bruckner

Dipl.-Kfm., Tax Consultant, Specialist Advisor for International Tax Law

email: u.bruckner@viehbacher.com

Silvia Hess, Rechtsanwältin

» Silvia Hess

Lawyer

email: s.hess@viehbacher.com

Yuanjing Ma, LL.M., China Consultant

» Yuanjing Ma

LL.M., China Consultant

email: y.ma@viehbacher.com

Siegrid Rosenauer, Dipl.-Kffr., Steuerberaterin Österreich, Steuerberaterin Deutschland, Fachberaterin für Internationales Steuerrecht, Wirtschaftstreuhänderin

» Siegrid Rosenauer

Dipl.-Kffr., German and Austrian Tax Consultant, Specialist Advisor for International Tax Law, Commercial Trustee

email: s.rosenauer@viehbacher.com

Johannes N. Viehbacher, Rechtsanwalt, Fachanwalt für Internationales Wirtschaftsrecht

» Johannes N. Viehbacher

Lawyer, Specialist Solicitor for International Commercial Law

email: j.viehbacher@viehbacher.com

Your contact persons

Mag. Florian Proxauf, Rechtsanwalt

» Mag. Florian Proxauf

Lawyer

email: f.proxauf@viehbacher.com

 

Siegrid Rosenauer, Dipl.-Kffr., Steuerberaterin Österreich, Steuerberaterin Deutschland, Fachberaterin für Internationales Steuerrecht, Wirtschaftstreuhänderin

» Siegrid Rosenauer

Dipl.-Kffr., German and Austrian Tax Consultant, Specialist Advisor for International Tax Law, Commercial Trustee

email: s.rosenauer@viehbacher.com

Dr. Lothar Stix, Rechtsanwalt, LL.M., LL.M.

» Dr. Lothar Stix

LL.M., LL.M., Lawyer

email: wien@viehbacher.com

Your contact persons

Michaela Berger, Steuerexpertin, Treuhänderin mit eidg. Fachausweis

» Michaela Berger

Tax Consultant and Trustee with Federal Professional Certification

email: m.berger@viehbacher.com

Max Gross, LL.M., zugelassener Treuhänder und Steuerberater

» Max Gross

LL.M., Certified Trustee and Tax Consultant

email: m.gross@viehbacher.com

Dr. Christian Presoly, Rechtsanwalt

» Dr. Christian Presoly

Lawyer

email: c.presoly@viehbacher.com

Lic. iur. Daniel R. Tschikof, LL.M., Rechtsanwalt

» Lic. iur. Daniel R. Tschikof

LL.M., Lawyer

email: d.tschikof@viehbacher.com

Your contact persons

Peter Fröhlich, Rechtsanwalt und Dipl. Steuerexperte

» Peter Fröhlich

Lawyer and Certified Tax Expert

email: p.froehlich@viehbacher.com

Susanne Hirschberg, LL.M., Rechtsanwältin

» Susanne Hirschberg

LL.M., Lawyer

email: s.hirschberg@viehbacher.com

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