Legal forms of philanthropic organizations included in the law: Association, Cooperative, Corporation, Foundation, Limited Liability Company
Main social issues addressed by these organizations: Arts and Culture, Basic Needs, International Causes, Youth and Family, Social Services
Average time established by law to register a philanthropic organization: 31-60 days
Average cost for registering a philanthropic organization: USD 50
In Austria, philanthropic organizations form a very heterogeneous group in terms of their legal status because there is no specific legal form for philanthropic organizations (POs). Instead, various types of legal entities can claim public benefit status (non-profit status) and are thus eligible for specific tax alleviations. In order to qualify for this status under Austrian tax law, organizations are required to primarily pursue “public-benefit, charitable or religious purposes,” which is verified by the fiscal authorities. In fact, more than 99 percent of the approximately 125,000 POs are organized as registered associations. This legal form does not require much administrative effort regarding establishment, annual reporting or accounting. Despite their high prevalence, associations are not an important economic force in Austria, as most are very small and do not even have paid employees, and many are active in sports, culture and recreation. The remaining 1 percent of POs is composed of about 500 organizations incorporated as private-limited or public-limited companies, or as co-operatives. In addition, there are 700 charitable foundations (Meyer, Neumayr, Pennerstorfer, & Vandor, 2017, p. 284).
Government levels primarily regulating the incorporation of philanthropic organizations: Central/Federal Government