Enterprise births

A total of 41 087 new enterprises with 60 833 employed persons were created in 2018, equalling to a birth rate of 7.4%. The birth rate slightly decreased compared to reporting year 2017 (7.6%).

In 2018, newly born enterprises created an average of 1.5 jobs (for self-employed persons and employees). The highest number of employed persons per enterprise birth was found in the economic branches “Accommodation and food service activities” (2.9), “Transportation and storage” (2.2), “Construction” (2.1) and “Administrative and support service activities” (1.9).

Regarding the birth rate by different economic branches, the 2018 rate was – as expected – higher (7.7%) in the services sector (sections G-S, NACE Rev.2, excluding 64.2 "Management activities of holding companies" and 64.3 “Trusts and funds”) whereas it was below average (5.7%) in industry and construction (sections B-F). At NACE Rev.2 section level, high birth rates were recorded in the economic branches of “Human health and social work activities” (10.7%), "Administrative and support service activities “ (10.4%), “Transportation and storage“ (10.2%) and “Other service activities” (10.2%). The lowest birth rates in the services sector were recorded in the sectors of “Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities” (2.0%), “Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply “(3.3%) and "Mining and quarrying " (3.5%).

An analysis of enterprise births by legal forms (grouped) showed that around three quarters (73.0%) of enterprises born in 2018 were sole proprietorships (29 995). 6 563 (16.0%) births were limited liability companies, while new enterprises in the form of partnerships and other legal forms (4 529 or 11.0%) were less frequently established. With 8.3% and 7.7% the birth rates were highest among partnerships and other legal forms and sole proprietorships (vs. limited liability companies: 6.1%). With regard to the jobs created per newly born enterprise, the highest number was created per enterprise on average by limited liability companies (2.1). Partnerships and other legal forms recorded an average of 2.0 jobs and sole proprietorships an average of 1.3 jobs per newly created enterprise.

The results by employee size classes reflect the predominantly small business structure of the Austrian economy: The majority (83.4%) of all enterprises born in 2018 had no employees. A further 12.6% (of new enterprises) had from 1 to 4 employees at the time of birth; only 2.8% and 1.2% were created with between 5 and 9 or with more than 10 employees, respectively. Active enterprises had mainly no employees (56.7%), followed by those with between 1 and 4 employees (27.0%).

Vienna was 2018 in relation to the other provinces the province with the largest number of enterprise births (25.2%). The second largest enterprise birth activities were in Lower Austria (18.6%), followed by Styria (14.4%). Highest birth rates were recorded for Burgenland (8.6%), Vienna (8.1%), Styria (8.0%), Lower Austria (7.6%) and Carinthia (7.5%). The lowest birth rates can be found in Tyrol (6.1%), Vorarlberg (6.3%) and Salzburg (6.5%).

The results by gender of the owner (regarding sole proprietorships only) show: More than half (52.2%) of the new sole proprietorships in 2018 are owned by women. The birth rate was significantly higher of enterprises owned by women than that of those owned by men (10.0% vs. 6.2%).

Development of enterprise births over time (2007 to 2018) 

Observing the trends of the reporting period (2007 to 2018) it is shown that the number of newly born enterprises increased by 4.9%. A higher increase of the number of enterprise births was recorded in the year 2008 which is mainly due to a new legal basis for personal caretakers in NACE section Q “Human health and social work activities” (business registrations jumped up in this section).


Since the production of the statistics for reference year 2013, methodological steps to achieve an approximation with the SBS data are taken.

The numbers of enterprise deaths for the last two reporting years (here: 2017 and 2018) and those for enterprise births, active enterprises and surviving enterprises for the most recent reporting year (here: 2018) are provisional.