Austria is a small but wealthy jurisdiction in the middle of Europe. As a member of the European Union, the Schengen Area and the Eurozone, it provides an attractive environment for wealthy people from Austria and abroad. According to a recent analysis by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, more than 50 per cent of Austrian businesses are organised as family businesses under the EU definition. They account for almost two-thirds of all Austrian employees and 57 per cent of sales in Austria. Many of these families developed their Austrian local businesses into international players and continue to look for suitable solutions, not only for further evolving their business, but also for passing their wealth or enterprises on to the next generation. High net worth individuals from abroad are mainly attracted by Austria’s natural beauty and cultural richness. In the Mercer Quality of Living Ranking, Austria’s capital city, Vienna, has been ranked number one for nine consecutive years and its political stability and security appeal to people from abroad. In addition, Austria has introduced a citizenship and residency by investment scheme, which further entices non-Austrians looking to relocate. The challenge of the rather high personal income tax rates requires structuring and planning on the part of advisers. Austrian structures often include an Austrian private foundation, which in particular caters to the individual’s wish for predictability and stability in relation to asset management and succession.
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