Businesses with headquarters in the European Economic Area or Switzerland can request assistance under a business partnership. Also eligible to apply are associations, foundations and chambers, provided they are engaged in development cooperation as specified in the Federal Development Cooperation Act.

To receive funding, a project must meet the following substantive criteria:

- Developmental impacts: A business partnership must have a distinct developmental impact and comply with environmental and social standards. The project must be consistent with the development goals of the respective country and meet its quality criteria. It must be implemented in a recipient country of official development assistance as defined by OECD ( Precedence is given to projects in the priority countries of Austrian Development Cooperation. Projects are ineligible if they entail sensitive business transactions (such as armaments or hazardous goods). .

- Own contributions: The company must make a substantial, financeable contribution amounting to at least 50 per cent of total project costs.

- Commercial viability: The project must be commercially viable and the applicant must advance a plausible argument for this. The project can bring a direct, operational or long-term, strategic benefit. Non-profit projects cannot be funded under business partnerships.

Sustainability: To ensure a lasting business benefit and sustainable developmental impacts, a business partnership requirement is the long-term engagement of the company in the developing country or emerging nation that continues beyond the end of the project. Exports of goods and services are not eligible for assistance.

- Additionality: The project must add value that would not be generated without assistance. Projects that have already begun implementation cannot receive retroactive funding under a business partnership, unless their developmental relevance can be significantly enhanced through additional assistance. Activities for the sole purpose of meeting legal obligations are not eligible for funding.