Recognition Individual Professional Competence

General information

If you want to carry on a regulated trade or a sub-trade, you have to furnish evidence of professional competence. Evidence of professional competence proves that the person registering the business has the professional and commercial knowledge as well as the abilities and experience necessary to carry on the respective trade independently.

If no evidence of professional competence may be furnished, the authority may recognise professional competence individually. To this end, the applicant has to prove in a different way that she/he has the necessary knowledge, abilities and experience.

It is also possible to obtain individual authorisation to pursue a sub-activity if evidence of professional competence can be furnished only for a sub-activity of the respective trade. The activities of a carpenter may, for example, be limited to mounting.

Recognition of individual professional competence for a full scope of activities is not possible with regard to some specific trades (e.g. master builder or master wood builder).


In general, these regulations also apply to business owners from EU-countries in Austria.

Enterprises affected

Any entrepreneur wishing to engage in a regulated trade. In the case of sole ownership, the owner must provide a certificate of competence or appoint a managing director under commercial law. Companies (open (general) partnership, limited partnership; private limited liability company and stock corporation) must appoint a managing director under commercial law, who must provide the certificate of competence on behalf of the company.


Knowledge, abilities and experience required for the regulated trade or sub-trade the applicant intends to carry on.


No specific deadlines have to be met.

Competent authority

The trade authority having territorial competence for the trade premises:

Please note

If the application for recognition of individual professional competence is not filed simultaneously with trade registration, the trade authority is responsible within whose territorial competence the applicant has his/her residence.


You may file the application simultaneously with or before trade registration.

Registration may be made – without meeting specific formal requirements or by using a form – personally, in writing or also electronically.

Informal applications have to include the following information:

  • Precise title of the trade /sub-activity of the trade
  • Details on the training, type and scope of relevant professional and commercial activities
  • If the trade is registered at the same time: address of the location where the trade is carried on

If required, the authority may request an expert opinion of the competent Regional Chamber of Trade and Industry ( WKO)German text.

The trade authority recognises individual professional competence with a full or limited scope of activities through a final administrative decision (Feststellungsbescheid) or a note for the file.

The trade may not be carried on before the final administrative decision is issued with legally binding effect and before trade registration.

Please note

If the requirements for carrying on a trade have not been met, you will receive an administrative decision rejecting your application.

Required documents

Persons who are registered in the GISA do not have to submit identification documents. If the authority can retrieve the necessary data from registers, the following documents do not have to be submitted: birth certificate and certificate of citizenship or passport, residence registration, registration certificates of Commercial Register or Central Register of Associations.

  • Birth certificate and certificate of citizenship ( oesterreich.gv.at) or passport ( oesterreich.gv.at)
  • Residence registration
  • If applicable, documentary proof of academic degrees
  • Documents proving individual professional competence:
    • School certificates (higher academic schools, vocational schools)
    • Apprenticeship certifications
    • Diploma certificate
    • Certificates of courses and seminars
  • If you have been active as an employee in the respective trade: additionally
    • Contribution periods with the Österreichischen Gesundheitskasse
    • Employers’ reference
    • Evidence concerning the type and scope of the professional and commercial activities pursued in the enterprise
  • If you have already been self-employed: additionally
    • Registration certificate of the GISA
    • If applicable, registration certificate of Commercial Register (not older than six months)
  • In the event of change of name: additionally

Please note

Additional documents may be required in the event of simultaneous trade registration.

Costs and fees

There are no fees and charges payable.

Legal bases

Section 19 of the Gewerbeordnung 1994 (GewO 1994)

Expert information

Not applicable

Link to form

Online procedure:

Authentication and signature

Electronically: without authentication (via GISA) or with registration using a mobile phone signature or a card-based Citizen Card.

Means of redress or appeal

Not applicable

Assistance and problem-solving services

There are no auxiliary or problemsolving services available.

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 6 February 2023

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy

Rate this page and help us to improve.