Welcome to our comprehensive guide highlighting the top 30 business ideas in Austria for 2024, specially curated for aspiring entrepreneurs from abroad. Austria, known for its rich cultural heritage and thriving economy, offers a plethora of opportunities for individuals seeking to establish their ventures in this dynamic European country. In this article, we’ve meticulously compiled a diverse range of business concepts suited for foreigners looking to make their mark in Austria’s entrepreneurial landscape.
From the scenic landscapes of Vienna to the bustling markets of Salzburg, Austria presents an enticing environment for innovation and business growth. Whether you’re passionate about technology startups, hospitality ventures, or niche service industries, this compilation encompasses a variety of business prospects. Each idea is carefully crafted to align with the unique market dynamics and cultural nuances of Austria, providing you with a roadmap to navigate regulatory landscapes and cultural considerations as a foreign entrepreneur. Dive into this guide to explore lucrative opportunities and discover the ideal business venture that resonates with your vision and aspirations in Austria.
Best Ideas For a Business to Start in Austria
1. MICROGREENS PRODUCTION
Austrians love healthy and organic food. For this reason, new ideas for organic food and a healthy lifestyle are good ideas for business in Austria. It is possible to start growing microgreens even in a small room the size of a basement, just like in this video.
When running microgreens production business it is very important to have contact with many people and businesses who will want to buy raised microgreens. It is worth contacting local restaurants, shops, and offering to private clients and neighbors.
2. SELLING LUXURY APARTMENTS AND HOUSES
Austria is a well-liked destination for many wealthy foreigners. They come for winter skiing, or to relax in the summer. There is a certain group of people interested in buying luxury apartments, ideal for relaxation when they come to Austria. These include rich Russians, Germans, and increasingly rich people from Asia. In this film, you can see more what’s going on with this business idea.
3. HOUSE AND OFFICE CLEANING BUSINESS
Many wealthy people in Austria use house cleaning services, but it is often a problem to find a trustworthy and secure company that people will not be afraid of letting into their own home. Many companies, offices and organizations also need the services of good cleaning companies. The key to the success of such a company in Austria is high-quality services, professionalism, and that customers recommend each other such a company. Austrians like to use proven and recommended solutions.
4. MOBILE SPA BUSINESS
It’s an idea that is becoming more and more popular today. It’s about coming to clients to homes, to their offices or to other places where they are, e.g. to their hotel rooms. This business is a particularly good idea for Vienna, other large cities and tourist resorts with many tourists.
The best ideas for services offered as part of the mobile spa are: different types of massage (foot, whole body massage, etc., hot stone massage, massage with essential oils), cosmetic services, such as skin cleansing, masks, microdermabrasion, manicures, as well as other services good for appearance, well-being and health.
5. ORGANIZATION OF STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAMS & GERMAN SPEAKING COURSES
Austria, due to the fact that it is a very safe and peaceful country, creates friendly conditions for young people. Many young students around the world study German and their parents will be happy to pay for a high-quality German course in Austria. An additional asset of Austria is its history, and the rich remains of the Habsburg family visible especially in Vienna.
6. COFFEE DELIVERY BUSINESS
The coffee delivery business can have great potential in Austria, especially if it is properly publicized in marketing (advertisements, promotions, cooperation with local hotels, shops and companies). It is important that such coffee is delivered really quickly before it cools down and that it is of really high quality.
7. 3D PRINTING BUSINESS
There are many ideas and ways to create a cost-effective and well-functioning 3D printing business. 3D printing is needed near all major technical, architectural, engineering and even medical and biological universities. Students and academics are eager to use such printers to create models of their designs, or analyzed things, fragments of the human body, substances, or prototypes and models of created objects and inventions.
A good and very innovative business idea is also Remote 3D printing with shipping to the customer. It consists in the fact that the client sends us data, or a visualization, or a verbal description of what he would like to print. Then it is printed and sent by priority mail, or by private courier to the recipient.
8. COFFEE SHOP AND BAR
Due to the increasing number of tourists coming to Austria every year, there is a growing demand for cafes and bars. If there is no cafe or bar in some place, but tourists come and there is traffic, then it is worth considering creating such a business in this place.
9. ORGANIC MEAL DELIVERY SERVICE
Another great business perfect for Vienna other large cities and tourist resorts. In recent years, the Austrians have really liked organic healthy food. Such food, if it can be ordered with delivery in as many places as possible, should be successful. Tourists can also enjoy such service.
10. GIFT SHOP
A good gift shop, with attractive products and a signboard and appearance that attracts customers from afar is an idea that can be very profitable in Austria in many places. Austrians in large cities as well as tourists often buy products from gift shops. If there is already some competition in some area, it is worth supporting your business with unique design and ambitious and sophisticated marketing.
11. BREWERY OR WINERY
Austria has around 4,000 years of wine growing history in its territories. The surface of Austria is very well suited for this, which is why Austrian wines are valued all over the world. Creating your own vineyard, or trading in wine, or creating a business related to winemaking can be a very profitable business. Austria is also famous for many good beers. Products of this kind created in Austria can be a good material for export abroad.
12. HOTEL BUSINESS
If we realize that more than 26 million tourists come to Austria every year, it is easy to see that there are almost 3 times more tourists than residents in Austria. The number of tourists increases every year, which is why a good quality hotel, located in an interesting place, offering a unique holiday to its guests will certainly earn very good money.
13. VAPE SHOP
Vape shop can be one of the best small business ideas in Austria, if only in the area where we intend to open a vape shop there is no such store yet and there is no competition in vaping niche. Demand for vape shops in Austria is generally increasing, and especially in large cities such as Vienna demand for vaping products is high.
14. SECURITY CAMERA INSTALLATION BUSINESS
Many rich Austrians as well as owners of hotels, offices and other valuable facilities may be interested in strengthening the security of their belongings. For this reason, a service to mount and configure security cameras may be a good idea. They can be synchronized with mobile applications so that owners can remotely observe what is happening in their buildings.
15. BUYING AND SELLING USED ITEMS
Over the years, the Austrians have accumulated many wealth and valuable items. It is worth considering that items that seem to be worthless lumber for one person, can be priceless treasures for others. For this reason, a business related to trading, selling, buying, importing or exporting items such as antiques, furniture, electronics, cars, works of art, and many other items can be very good business.
16. ECOMMERCE BUSINESS WITH NEW PRODUCTS
The 21st century is the time when most services and a huge part of human life move to the internet. This also applies to Austria, which is a fairly modern country, located in the center of Europe next to the most important economic centers in the region. It is worth analyzing the market, needs and valuable resources of Austria and consider whether such businesses as niche product markets, smart home products, online grocery and food, austrian traditional best products to offer them online in foreign countries, and many others would not be a good idea.
17. ESERVICES FOR TOURISM AND AUSTRIANS
E-jobs, e-sports, e-ducation and many other e-services are this kinds of business ideas in Austria for which the demand will grow significantly in the future. The Austrian society likes good and effective technological solutions, that’s why any good and innovative ideas for e-services in the field of tourism, e-education and many others will certainly find many supporters and clients in Austria, and even have a chance for EU funding.
18. IMPORT OR EXPORT ORIENTED BUSINESS
On the one hand, there are many specific well-known Austrian products that people are eager to buy abroad but are hard to find outside of Austria. Examples of such products may be austrian organic products, deli shop products, austrian wines, austrian chocolates, customized jewellery, glassware and many more high quality products.
The production of these goods, followed by their export and sale abroad is an attractive business idea because residents of other (especially European) countries, seeing e.g. chocolates or wines from Austria will automatically think that these products will certainly have high Austrian quality and will buy them more willingly than the same products made in other countries.
On the other hand, there are many products from outside of Austria that are difficult to buy in the country, and whose import could be very profitable. China and India offer variety of products that can be great to sell them in Austria or in the EU with a high markup.
19. HOME RENOVATIONS
There are many old houses, flats and tenements in Austria. Many of them require maintenance, renovation, restoration and technical care. This is a large field for business operations and large profits.
20. GERMANY ORIENTED SERVICES
According to some analysts, the Austrian economy is largely a subcontractor of the German economy. There is no doubt that many products and services produced in Austria are then bought by Germans. This creates a field of activity for intermediaries in the sale of goods from Austria to Germany, as well as creates demand for the services of companies facilitating and assisting in Austrian-German trade.
21. TOURISTIC ATTRACTIONS
Tourists like to spend money to make their time in Austria the most unique and wonderful. There are many attractions for tourists, the most important of them are above all ski and snowboard rentals, bicycle rentals shops with souvenirs, shop with crafts,
22. TOUR GUIDE & PUB CRAWLING BUSINESS
It’s a good business if you know some cities, towns, or known places yourself, or if you know people or guides who would like to work for us. It’s a good business idea only in places with a lot of tourists.
23. CREATING SOFTWARE AND WEBSITES FOR AUSTRIAN ENTREPRENEURS
There are many Austrian companies whose operation could be improved and accelerated by creating specially for them web applications, mobile apps, websites or software to facilitate their functioning.
24. FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY RELATED BUSINESS
Both Austria is an important place for many banks and Austria’s neighbor, Switzerland is an important country in terms of finance and banking, and other surrounding countries such as Germany play large financial and economic roles. These facts create a large space and profitability for the development of financial technologies in Austria.
25. RELAXATION RELATED BUSINESS
Many Austrians, as well as many Europeans, especially from Germany, Italy, France or Switzerland are looking for opportunities to relax, rest, renew and calm down so as to break away from the tiring and stressful lifestyle. Beautiful and peaceful views in Austria, mountains, many forests and greenery creates a wonderful space for relaxation. For this reason, businesses focused on relaxation and rest such as spa, digital detox etc. are ideas worth investing in Austria
26. ORGANIZATION OF INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES OR EVENTS
Austria is not only a quiet place, but also a very beautiful country located in the Alps. An important advantage of Austria is that it is located in the middle of Europe. This makes it an ideal place for creating and organizing international events, conferences, parties and meetings.
27. MEDICAL & REHABILITATION TOUR SERVICES
Austria is known for very high quality health care. Many hospitals offer the highest quality services, and besides, the Austrian climate and peaceful landscape are conducive to recovering in peace. Rehabilitation is also a good idea for a business in Austria. The Alps, mountains are a place conducive to rest and peace. In addition, in the minds of many people around the world, Austria, like Switzerland, is a country of very high standards and high quality services.
28. CAFE WITH ANIMALS
In many countries around the world in recent years, cafes, or also bars and restaurants with animals have been created. For example, you can drink good latte coffee and pat the cat, or eat panini and look at flying parrots. Such business is the best idea for cities such as Vienna and other large cities and popular tourist destinations.
29. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY RELATED BUSINESS
The fashion for a healthy lifestyle is becoming more and more common. People are living longer and not only trying to eat more and more healthy, but also want to lead a more healthy lifestyle. As you know, the basis of a healthy life is playing sports, exercise, and physical activity. It is difficult to find it especially in large cities, where people work from 9 am to 5 pm. For this reason, there is a growing demand and interest of people in such things as gyms, fitness clubs, and other places that allow for healthy physical activity. People also like to try new physical activities that they have not experienced before.
30. YOUTH HOSTEL BUSINESS
Nowadays, travel has become easy and fun and affordable. Austria, which is a popular tourist destination, attracts many tourists, including young people, students, young couples and youth groups who want to spend time without paying too much for a hotel stay. Youth hostel is one of those business ideas in Austria that has great potential to earn good money and be developed from a small enterprise to a large business.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE STARTING BUSINESS IN AUSTRIA?
Capital of Austria – Vienna has flourished into consulting and financial hub in the past few decades. Banks and law firms are the backbone of Vienna’s economy. Vienna was chosen to be the most liveable city in the world 14 times in a row (2009-2023). That’s one of the reasons why so many rich people choose Vienna and Austria for their destination or place to live. The economy of Austria is strongly connected with the economies of the member states of the European Union and especially with the German economy. Austria is a popular tourist destination. It attracts over 26 million tourists a year and is known for its security and low crime rate. The most important elements of austrian economy are tourism, food and luxury commodities, mechanical engineering and steel construction, chemicals, and vehicle manufacturing.
Before starting business in Austria it’s good to ask yourself what values you can offer to people in Austria? For example if you have a lot of experience in an industry for which there is demand, or there may be demand in Austria, then it is worth considering creating such a business. Watching the austrian market, you may also notice if something is missing or is not widespread enough. Such things can be seen better when you are a foreigner and you visit Austria after a long stay in another country.
If you are not Austrian or you are not the super communicative networking type of person it can be extremely difficult to start your business ideas in Austria because it’s citizens usually want to know the person they are buying from. While this is getting better in larger cities like Vienna, it can be very difficult in more rural areas.
ADDITIONAL USEFUL INFORMATION FOR INVESTING IN AUSTRIA
- Networking really pays off in Austria – Austrians love to buy from business run by their friend, or by friend’s friend or other people whom they know
- Austrians have a lot of trust in existing business relationships – if they got a new customer there is pretty high chance they will keep him for a long time
- Almost every Austrian has fast internet connection and smartphone with internet access. In addition even the most remote areas of Austria are covered by the cellular network. So it’s the perfect market if you want to field test any mobile related stuff.
- In general if the product is of good quality Austrians are less price sensitive than Germans
- Austrians love products made or sold by Austrian companies
- It’s quite common to get asked if you could do or sell stuff without an invoice (as many tourists are still paying cash some of that money still somehow bypasses the tax authorities)
- It’s easier to sell stuff after a good winter season if your business (or your customers) make money from tourism (either direct or indirect)
CHALLANGES OF DOING BUSINESS IN AUSTRIA
- Many types of entrepreneurial activity are regulated by law and require special permits, education or experience requirements
- A lot of bureaucracy and complicated taxation system
- Limited by law and unflexible working time – employees cannot work longer than the number of hours a day specified by law, exceeding these hours is associated with very high additional costs, or is illegal
- Because of many regulations it’s harder to implement many business ideas in Austria than in other countries, but the market is relatively small – instead of tailoring your product for the Austrian market it’s often better to look at the German market first
- Generally high taxes and broad socialism
- Austrians are generally reluctant to new things, many do not want to use new unverified and untested solutions, businesses and services
- Austrian market is rather small and many industries are very specific because of some laws which do only exist in Austria and which may seem strange to foreigners
- Some industries or trade chapters are free for access, others need specific requirements fulfilled in order to achieve approval
- To start and implement your business ideas in Austria it is necessary to get the confirmation letter from the Economic Chamber that recognizes the establishment of your business
For more information:
- Official website of Austrian Embassy in Washington – https://www.austria.org/
- Some useful information about business culture of Austria – https://businessculture.org/western-europe/business-culture-in-austria/
- Official website of Austrian Business Agency (ABA) – https://investinaustria.at/en
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