Stefanie Niemann

Härtefall Fonds for companies and individual companies in Austria

Austria introduced a new aid € 2 billion package – hardship funds for companies and individual companies that lost a large part of their income due to the corona crisis.

Regulations regarding the allocation of emergency funds have been changed. Now companies, freelancers or the new self-employed founded in 2019 can also make use of the hardship fund. This changes can help a larger group.


  1. Who can make use of that hardship fund?

– All sole proprietorships – EPUs

– small companies (up to 10 employees, maximum € 2 million turnover per year)

– new self-employed (are those who have no business, are not members of the WKO, but pay sickness and pension insurance contributions to the SVS. These are, for example, journalists, trainers, teachers, artists, etc.)

– Freelance employees (provided that there is a compulsory health insurance in accordance with Section 4 (4) ASVG)

– “freie Berufe”, e.g. Doctors, pharmacists, notaries or lawyers.

– Managing directors who are compulsorily insured under the GSVG / FSVG


  1. General requirements:

– registration of the company (registration of the business license) or the start of business activity should have taken place before 12/31/2019

– head office in Austria

– difficulty of paying for own costs or being affected by an economically significant threat from COVID-19, due to the corona crisis and the provisions of the Covid 19 law (closure of businesses and restaurants)

– 50% decrease in sales compared to the same month of the previous year

– Upper limit: a maximum annual income of € 33,812

– Lower limit: € 5,527.92 (this is the Geringfügigkeitsgrenze) The entrepreneur must also pay the health and pension insurance to the SVS)

In other words, those who have a so-called small business (which do not pay health and pension insurance contributions to the SVS) are excluded from this support.

– Paying the health and pension insurance contributions to the SVS

– The person who submits the application is not allowed to be insured several times simultaneous (e.g. be employed as geringfügig = limit of € 460.66 and run a business)

– Additional income from renting and leasing only up to the limit of € 460.66 for the year 2020

– No further cash payments or subsidies regarding the Covid-19 law

– an application for the hardship case fund does not exclude the possibility of applying for the Kurzarbeit

– no bankruptcy proceedings and no need for reorganization


  1. How much is the aid?

First phase:

– for an annual income lower than € 6,000, expectant subsidy of € 500

– for annual income higher than € 6,000, expectant subsidy of € 1,000

– those who have applied, but have not received a tax assessment yet will receive a grant of € 500


Second phase (application after Easter):

– You will be able to apply for a supplement of € 2,000/month for three months

– the amount of the grant will depend on the amount of loss of the company (decrease in turnover)

– In order to calculate the income, the tax assessment from 2017 or younger will be considered


  1. When can I apply?

– The application can be made online from March 27, 2020 to December 31, 2020,

More information in German at



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