What do companies need to consider?
The recognition in Austria of companies that are registered in the UK (United Kingdom) in the legal form of a private limited company under British law is based on the freedom of establishment, which will no longer apply to the UK after Brexit. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK (limited liability) companies with administrative headquarters in Austria would therefore have to be regarded as partnerships with personal liability of the partners.
UK companies that have their administrative headquarters in Austria could transfer their business to a newly established or existing limited liability company (GmbH) if they want to continue as a corporation and avoid personal liability of the partners. A cross-border merger into an Austrian limited liability company (GmbH) or public limited company (AG) would also be an option.
In order to alleviate the time pressure on the companies involved, a transitional period until the end of 2020 is planned. Within this period, UK limited companies located in Austria that therefore mainly operate here will be able to transfer their business into an Austrian legal form or carry out a cross-border merger with an Austrian corporation.