Company name of sole proprietorships
The Business Service Portal has provided an electronic start-upGerman text facility since 31 July 2017.
Sole proprietors who are obliged to prepare accounts must also register their business in the companies register (registered entrepreneur). The obligation to prepare accounts applies to businesses with an annual turnover of more than 700,000 Euro. Further information about the accounting obligation can be found in the chapter "Registering sole proprietorships in the companies register"German text.
Entrepreneurs who are not registered in the companies register must trade under their forename and surname. They cannot use a company nameGerman text which is protected under the Companies Register Act.
Entrepreneurs registered in the companies register can use invented names, factual names (e.g. timber merchant) or personal names (forename, surname) as company names.
These rules apply to all entrepreneurs from EU Member States in Austria.
Certain rules must be obeyed when looking for a suitable company name. A name and any additional elements (business or brand name, indication of the nature of the business) can only be registered as a company name if they are not misleading.
The company name must identify the business and distinguish it from other businesses.
Entrepreneurs or their legal representatives must therefore check both the likelihood of confusion and the similarity with other company and trade names or signs. A search in the companies registerGerman text the trade mark register, the telephone book or on the internet (domain name search) can be a useful way of doing this.
We recommend seeking the opinion of the competent Austrian Federal Economic Chamber regarding the company name. Presenting this opinion when applying for registration in the companies registerGerman text can speed up the registration processGerman text before the courts.
The forms for this must be requested from the competent Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, completed and returned to it.
You can visit the portal of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber ( WKO) or arrange a personal meeting with one of its start-up advisors to obtain advice about choosing a company name.
- Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (→ WKO)German text
- Choosing the right company name (→ WKO)German text
- USP Editorial Staff
- Federal Ministry of Justice