A significant number of young entrepreneurs are not business starters but company successors. According to estimates by the Austrian Economic Chamber, some 50,000 Austrian companies will require a successor in the next few years. Company successions are important for two reasons: not only do they keep already existing companies going, their new owners also introduce new plans and ideas, which often allow these companies to re-position themselves, injecting them with the drive required in an economy marked by increasing competition.
Companies can be handed over to a successor by way of gift or inheritance, through takeover against a fixed purchase price or through transfer of the company against annuity payments or by lease. To obtain information about the tax treatment, liability provisions and relevant modalities for company successions, please consult (websites mostly available in German only):
A possible alternative worthy of consideration might also be the establishment of a producer cooperative: its staff members (or most of them at least) are members of the cooperative and contribute to the company’s success both as shareholders and employees. More information can be obtained from the Austrian Association of Cooperatives (only available in German).