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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure AT-2020-12/474 Updated – measures in Austria

Company subsidy for fixed costs


Country Austria , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 16 March 2020 – 30 September 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial) or damage compensation
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Measure added 10 April 2020 (updated 19 June 2023)

Background information

The subsidy for fixed costs was implemented in order to help businesses deal with the increase in costs. Non-repayable subsidies are granted to companies that suffer substantial sales losses of at least 40% due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible are those companies that fully meet the following conditions:

  • Companies that have their management or a permanent establishment in Austria;
  • Companies that have to bear fixed costs from their operating activities in Austria;
  • Companies that were healthy before the COVID-19 crisis;
  • Companies which, in the course of the COVID-19 crisis, have suffered a loss of turnover of at least 40%;
  • Enterprises which take all reasonable measures to achieve sales which help to reduce fixed costs and maintain jobs in Austria.

Content of measure

The following fixed costs of the company are eligible:

  • Rent of business premises
  • Insurance premiums
  • Interest expenses
  • Licence costs
  • Payments for electricity, gas and telecommunications
  • Other contractual payment obligations
  • Entrepreneur's salary within a range of €666.67 and €2,666.67 per month (calculated on the basis of the last assessed previous year (taxable profit/months of entrepreneurial activity).
  • Loss of value of perishable/seasonal goods, provided that these lose at least 50% of their value during the COVID-19 response measures

The fixed cost subsidy is staggered and depends on the company's loss of sales:

  • loss of 40 to 60%: 25% compensation of fixed costs
  • loss of 60 to 80%: 50% compensation of fixed costs
  • loss of 80 to 100%: 75% compensation of fixed costs

The fixed-cost subsidy does not have to be reimbursed - provided that all the provisions of the guidelines are complied with. The subsidy is limited to a maximum of €90 million per company.

Three instalments are foreseen, the first could be applied for from 20 May 2020 onwards, the second from 19 August 2020 onwards and the third from 19 November onwards. The observation period lies at a maximum of three months between 16 March and 15 September 2020. Applications can be made until 31 August 2021.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

30 September 2022

The deadline for applications was further prolonged and ended on 30 September 2022.

20 April 2022

The application deadline was once more prolonged to 30 June 2022.

25 November 2021

The application deadline for the fixed costs subsidy 800,000 has been extended until 31 March 2022.

16 February 2021

The upper limit of the subsidy has been extended from €800,000 to €1.8 million. For companies in the agricultural sector, the maximum amount has been increased from €100,000 to €225,000, for companies in the fishing/aquaculture sector it has been increased from €120,000 to €270,000.

23 November 2020

On 23 November 2020, the European Commission approved the extension of the fixed costs subsidy (phase II) after weeks of uncertainty. Companies may now receive a subsidy of up to €3 million to cover their fixed costs (see case AT-2020-38/1642). For the time being, applications for up to €800,000 can be made.

The threshold for loss of sales/turnover is lowered from 40% (phase I) to 30% (minimum). Furthermore, other framework conditions were improved for concerned businesses: the fundable fixed costs were expanded, so that the depreciation, the fictitious depreciation for movable assets as well as frustrated expenses and personnel expenses that are necessary to maintain the minimum operation can be claimed. Leasing installments are also taken over to 100%.

The fixed costs must have been incurred between 16 September 2020 and 30 June 2021, for up to ten observation periods that are chronologically related or two consecutive blocks. The fixed cost subsidy is based on the percentage of sales losses (e.g. a sales loss of 50% means that 50% of the fixed costs are covered by the subsidy). There is the option for a flat-rate fixed cost subsidy of 30% of the loss of sales for companies with sales of less than €120,000 in the last year that is assessed. The payment is made in two tranches (the first one being up to 80% of the total subsidy), which must be requested separately. Applications for the subsidy may be brought in from 23 November 2020 until 31 December 2020. Applications for the first payment are to be brought in from 23 November 2020 until 30 June 2021, applications for the second tranche from 1 July until 31 December 2021. The upper limit of the subsidy generally lies at €800,000. For companies in the agricultural sector, the maximum amount is €100,000 euros, for companies in the fishing/aquaculture sector it lies at €120,000.

30 September 2020

A second phase of the fixed cost subsidy is planned, and the decree has been published, but final approval by the European Commission still has to be awaited.

The observation period of phase II can be chosen for up to three months between 16 June 2020 and 15 March 2021. Eligibility has been slightly changed: a minimum drop in sales of 30% is needed in order to qualify (in phase I, it was at 40%). The compensation rate lies at 100% of the incurred loss, with a maximum of €5 million. The application has to be made by 31 August 2021.

13 May 2020

On May 13, the new Corona Aid Fund guidelines for fixed-cost grants were published in the form of a regulation by the Austrian Ministry of Finance. Further improvements were announced on May 21, 2020. The novelties include:

  • Payment of an advance (first tranche) of up to 50%
  • Fixed-cost subsidy is granted from an amount of €500 upwards
  • Payments from the Hardship Fund are no longer counted.
  • Assertion of reasonable tax consultant, auditor and accountant costs up to €500 for applications with a grant amount below €12,000
  • Companies that were 'companies in difficulty' under EU state aid law on December 31, 2019 can apply for a grant of up to €200,000 under the de minimis state aid scheme, provided that no insolvency proceedings have been opened or the conditions for this have been met

The observation period stated in the 1st application cannot be changed afterwards (2nd and 3rd installment).

Use of measure

For phase one of the fixed cost subsidy, €8 billion are earmarked. As of 21 September 2020, €200 million had been paid. However, many companies are still waiting for the final balance sheet figures for the entire period so that they can decide in which months they can apply for the highest subsidies.

At the beginning of December, over 45,000 applications for phase one were submitted for the total amount of €625 million. Of those, over 39,000 have been approved and €380 million have thus far been paid (with an average of €9,742).

In the first week of applications for the second phase of the fixed costs subsidy, 812 applications were submitted with a volume of €9.8 million.

According to the annual funding reports by the Finance Ministry, in 2020 €457.1 million were paid in the framework of the company subsidies for fixed costs, while in 2021 €1.07 billion were paid.

As of May 2023, €4.4 billion have been paid in fixed costs subsidies for companies overall.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
One person or microenterprises
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement Consulted
Form Not applicable Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Only employers' organisations
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


Employer organisation was consulted and is involved in the implementation.

Views and reactions

The Austrian Chamber of Economics section 'Young economy' highlighted that the reduction of the minimum threshold of the grant from €2,000 to €500, together with the fact that it can be obtained in addition to any payments from the hardship fund, are an important improvement in supporting solo-self-employed, micro and small enterprises.



Eurofound (2020), Company subsidy for fixed costs, measure AT-2020-12/474 (measures in Austria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.