Austria - Country Commercial Guide
Market Entry Strategy

Generalizes on the best strategy to enter the market, e.g., visiting the country; importance of relationships to finding a good partner; use of agents.

Last published date: 2022-09-12

While market entry strategies for U.S. exporters are highly dependent on the industry sector and individual business objectives, here are some general considerations:  

  • Austria is a sophisticated, globally oriented market. U.S. exporters will often compete with high-quality state-of-the-art products and services, often from Germany, a country with which Austria shares a border, a language, and a currency. Investing the time to develop a solid, unique selling proposition and measures to reduce frictions such as currency risks, time zone disparities, and language barriers is highly recommended.
  • Though there are many similarities, and it does make sense to consider the two in tandem, Austria and Germany are economically, culturally, and historically distinct. When entering the Austrian market, it is a mistake to treat it as an extension of Germany.
  • Companies interested in selling to the Austrian government will benefit from partnering with a local company. In addition to the U.S. Commercial Service office in Austria, which offers partner-search services, a good source of information on potential partners for government procurement is the EU TED database, which lists the results of previous tenders by sector.
  • Those looking for an agent or distributor in Austria should think beyond national borders. In some cases, qualified distributors for this market may be found in neighboring Germany or Switzerland. Alternatively, some Austrian distributors have offices throughout Central-Eastern Europe and can support a regional footprint.
  • Austria is a highly regulated economy, not just in terms of EU and national regulations, certifications, standards, and registration requirements, but also in ways that shape the market for individual products and services. Speaking with associations, thought leaders, and other sources can help a market newcomer understand the legal frameworks contributing to determining market viability, entry paths, and strategies.