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Registering a regulated business (sole proprietorship)

General Information

Please note

The Business Service Portal has provided an electronic start-up facility since 31 July 2017.

A business governed by the Gewerbeordnung (GewO) can be performed independently, regularly and to obtain an income or economic advantage if it has been registered with the competent business authority in the place where it is located.

Sole proprietors, legal entities (corporations, associations etc.) and registered partnerships require a license to trade to carry on a business. Evidence of qualifications must be provided to run a regulated business.

Information about registering legal entities and registered partnerships can be found in the section "Start-up roadmap - companies"

Sole proprietors who cannot provide evidence of qualifications for a regulated busines, must appoint a professional representative who is able to do so.

A professional representative must also be appointed if the sole proprietor is not resident in Austria. EEA nationals or Swiss nationals who are resident in a state of the EEA or in Switzerland are not required to appoint a professional representative.

USP.gv.at also provides detailed information about registering a business in English.

Enterprises Affected

Any sole proprietorship intending to carry on a regulated business

Requirements

For the sole proprietor:

For the professional representative:

Caution

In some cases a business requires a plant operating licence (particularly if the plant could be a source of hazards or nuisance or other harmful effects).

Deadline

There are no specific deadlines.

Competent Authority

The competent business authority in the place where the business is located:

Procedure

The business must be registered with the business authority. This can be done in person or in writing – on a printed form – or electronically.

The following details must be provided:

  • precise name of the business;
  • precise location where the business will be carried on;
  • precise details of the person registering the business:
    • forename and surname, address, date and place of birth, nationality, social insurance number;
  • when appointing a professional representative at the same time:
    • forename and surname, address, date and place of birth and nationality of the professional representative;
    • social insurance number;
  • employer account number.

Tip

Your competent Austrian Economic Chamber (→ WKO)German text will help you register your business free of charge.

The business registration takes effect immediately if all the conditions have been met and all the required documents are attached to the application. The business can trade from the date of registration.

However, section 95 businesses and chimney sweeping businesses cannot start trading until the decision granting the licence takes effect. The competent authority must issue the decision within three months.

Please note

The appointment of a professional representative for an section 95 business or chimney sweeping business also takes effect at the same time as the decision.

Entry in the Austrian Business Licence Information System (GISA)

Once the conditions have been met, the registrant is entered in GISA within three months of the date on which registration takes effect (i.e. when the authority has received all of the documents and individual competence has been legally established).

If all of the conditions have not yet been met or all of the documents received when the business is registered, and if an application for a

is submitted on or before the date of registration, the authority must take account of a decision issued within the three-month period.

Example

A dispensation legally granted to the registrant after registration can be taken into account by the business authority if it was requested on or before the date of registration.

The date of legal registration of the business is the date on which the business authority has received all of the required documentation, and any confirmation of individual competence, dispensation, recognition or acceptance of equivalence has been legally provided.

The authority will send you a copy of the entry in GISA; for section 95 businesses it will include a copy of the decision.

This will be sent to you by post. If you have registered an section 95 business, you will receive the decision required to run the business by official registered letter.

If the conditions for running a business have not been met, the business authority will refuse your request.

Documents Required

Please note

Identity documents do not have to be submitted for anyone already registered in GISA. If the authority can search registers for the data required, the following documents need not be submitted birth certificate and certificate of nationality (→ oesterreich.gv.at) or passport (→ oesterreich.gv.at), confirmation of the registration.

For the sole proprietor:

  • if you have changed your name: also
  • if you live abroad or have lived in Austria for less than five years: also
    • criminal record certificate from the country of origin (no more than three months old);
  • if available: evidence of qualifications (e.g. vocational training certificates, master craftsman’s certificate); or
    if available: a decision establishing individual competence or

If appointing a professional representative: also

Expenses

There are no stamp duties or administrative fees to be paid (see section 333a of the GewO).

Additional Information

If you start a business governed by the Gewerbeordnung (GewO) you must join the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (→ WKO)German text and take out insurance under the Trade Social Insurance Act. You can register your business with the Social Insurance Institution for the Self-Employed (→ SVS)German text during e-start-up on the Business Service Portal.

Tip

Legal Basis

Expert Information

No expert information is available.

To Form

Online process:

Translated by the European Commission
last update: 18 January 2021

responsible for content: Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs

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