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© Daniel Ingold / Westend61
Why Austria

Innovative work location

Numerous local and international companies and organizations, a strong export industry, more than 400 market leaders and an innovative research landscape offer international talents in Austria the best career opportunities.

English skills (TOEFL)

Austria ranks 1st in the English Proficiency Index in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2023.

Top Employee Training

Austrian companies attach great importance to the training and continuing education of their employees. According to the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2023, Austria ranks first in this area in an international comparison.

Top 1 employee training

Best working conditions
in Austria

According to the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2022, Austria is ranked among the best in the world with respect to employee commitment to the company and employee motivation.

The interests of employees in Austria are represented by the Austrian Chamber of Labour (Arbeiterkammer/AK) and the Austrian Federation of Trade Unions (Österreichische Gewerkschaftsbund/(ÖGB). Together with the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich/WKÖ) and the Austrian Chamber of Agriculture (Landwirtschaftskammer/LKÖ), they are part and parcel of Austria’s social partnership with responsibility for negotiating collective salary agreements on an annual basis, amongst other tasks. These agreements regulate the minimum wage standards and working conditions for employees in various sectors.

In addition, many companies have a works council. This may be established in a company with at least five employees on the basis of a works council election and represents the interests of the employees at company level. The works council is authorised, among other things, to conclude works agreements, to participate in dismissals, redundancies and transfers and to take part in supervisory board meetings.

Did you know...

…that, as a rule, employees in Austria are paid a 13th and 14th monthly salary each year?

Why there are so many innovative companies in Austria

There are good reasons why the Austrian business location has a disproportionately high share of innovative companies in relation to its total land area and population. These include:

  1. 01

    At the beginning of 2018, the research premium, which had already been well established for many years as a funding tool for research-intensive, innovative companies, was once again raised to 14%. According to a survey, about three-quarters of all companies conducting research in Austria take advantage of the research premium. The same study concludes that this incentive leads to investments in the necessary infrastructure, promotes firms taking greater technological risks and accelerates project implementation. Above all, internationally operating and research-intensive firms consider the research premium to be a relevant factor in their business location decisions. The research premium gives Business Location Austria a major competitive advantage.

  2. 02

    Austria offers companies a broad-based funding programme, encompassing funding for small and medium-sized enterprises, research and development and start-ups as well as investment and technology funding. The services range from cash grants and interest subsidies to assuming guarantees. This extraordinarily extensive offering enables companies to benefit from funding programmes tailored to their specific requirements.

  3. 03

    Due to its central geographical location, companies in Austria are optimally networked and particularly well connected. This makes the country a lively business interface between East and West. 412 international companies have set up their European head office or production headquarters in Austria.

  4. 04

    Austria is not only located in the heart of the new Europe from a geographical perspective. It also holds a central position thanks to its infrastructure. Austria serves as a distribution centre and logistics interface between West and East. In addition to providing optimal transport and traffic connections via roads, railways, the Danube and with regard to air traffic, Austria has also significantly expanded its access to the data highway in recent years. In an EU comparison, the business location of Austria invests large amounts in expanding its telecommunications infrastructure, offering companies high-performance, state-of-the-art networks.

  5. 05

    Austria ranks among the richest countries in the European Union. Its economic policies not only serve as the basis for a market boasting high purchasing power but the corresponding consumer infrastructure. For international companies in Austria, the country is a lucrative market in spite of its relatively small size and population.
    According to Eurostat, the European Statistical Office, Austria’s economic output is 27% higher than the EU average. Austria’s GDP per capita is the fourth highest in the EU, behind Luxembourg, Ireland and the Netherlands.

  6. 06

    Austria provides an outstanding environment for both foreign and domestic companies. Social services such as a minimum income as well as the social insurance and state pension systems contribute to a very high level of social security.

  7. 07

    About 20% of the Austrian population has a migration background. For this reason, a large percentage of employees boasts foreign language skills, especially Eastern European languages. This is a key reason why Austria is the number one business location when it comes to building up business ties to South East and Eastern Europe.

  8. 08

    The historically related cultural and linguistic diversity of the country comprises a major strength in the international exchange of material goods, know-how and experience.

  9. 09

    Austria’s dual education system combining theoretical instruction and practical training is applied both in terms of apprenticeship occupations as well as higher vocational schools. Curricula in schools and educational priorities are adapted to the needs of the business community. Apprentices are given specialised training in firms or take part in internships.

  10. 10

    The high quality of life in Austria is reflected in the low crime rate, the high level of social security and an attractive business location. For many years Vienna has been considered the most liveable city in the world (Economist Ranking 2022). The excellent traffic infrastructure, the diverse range of leisure and cultural activities, numerous green spaces as well as cleanliness and safety are among the many factors contributing to this. The cost of living in Austria’s capital is significantly lower than in other European cities such as Paris, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. (Source: Numbeo).

  11. 11

    Austria is a particularly interesting location for startup founders and startup employees. Since January 2024, the "Flexible Company" (Flexco) has been available as a new legal form. This company form is particularly geared towards promoting young companies. A particularly low minimum share capital makes it much easier to set up. Employee participation is straightforward with Flexco. This is particularly important for companies in the start-up phase; highly qualified employees can participate in the start-up at a reduced price or free of charge, e.g. if they cannot be remunerated accordingly.

Mann betrachtet Maschinen
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Copyright: © Daniel Ingold / Westend61 (top) / © Christian Vorhofer / Westend61 (bottom)
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