Companies register – registering sole proprietorships
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In general, these rules also apply to EU Citizens and entrepreneurs from EU Member States in Austria.
Natural persons engaged in commercial activity (sole proprietors) who are obliged to prepare accounts, must be registered in the companies register.
The obligation to prepare accounts applies to businesses with a turnover of more than 700 000 Euro in two consecutive years and begins from the second year after that.
If the turnover in a single financial year is more than 1 million Euro, the sole proprietor is obliged to submit accounts from the following year.
The obligation to prepare accounts ceases if the turnover is below the 700 000 Euro threshold in two consecutive years.
The following are exempt from preparing accounts:
- members of the liberal professions;
- farmers and foresters;
- entrepreneurs with surplus income (surplus of income over expenditure, e.g. income from letting and leasing or savings and investments).
Sole proprietors who are not obliged to prepare accounts can voluntarily register their business in the companies register and remove it. By entering in the companies register, a company name can be used as a name for business transactions instead of the forename and surname.
Attainment of the obligation to prepare accounts threshold
After the obligation to prepare accounts threshold has been reached, the entry in the companies register must be made immediately.
- the competent regional court (→ BMJ)German text, of the place where the sole proprietorship is has its registered office (place of establishment);
The application for entry in the companies register (registration) must be submitted to the competent court keeping the register.
It must be submitted in writing or via the Electronic Legal Transactions (ERV)German text system. The entrepreneur must have the application certified (by a court or notary).
Further information on the "Electronic Legal Transactions"German text system can be found at oesterreich.gv.at. A list of transmission agents (→ BMJ)German text, who submit documents to the courts electronically can be found on the Federal Ministry of Justice website.
The application must contain at least the following details:
- Company nameGerman text
- Legal form
- Registered office (political district)
- Business address
- Business sector
- Forename, surname and date of birth of the proprietor.
The following documents must be attached to the application:
- specimen signature, certified by a court or notary
- where applicable, confirmation of compliance with the conditions of the Neugründungsförderungsgesetz
A form for the specimen signature can be downloaded from the Austrian Federal Economic Chambers start-up service (→ WKO)German text website.
- Filing fee: 18 Euro or 36 Euro if the application is not submitted in the Electronic Legal Transactions System (ERV)
- For the registration of the company name: 8,80 Euro
- For the registration of the registered office: 8,80 Euro
- For the registration of the business address: 8,80 Euro
- For the registration of the proprietor: 29 Euro
The cost of certifying the signature must be added to this.
The Neugründungsförderungsgesetz exempts a legally defined group of new businesses from start-up fees.
Registration of sole proprietorships in the companies register is regarded as notice and does not have to be published in the official gazette of the Wiener Zeitung.
There is no expert information available.
Online forms for the companies register can be found here (→ BMJ)German text.
Authentication and Signature
Companies register inputs can be entered electronically. Thus, among other things, this can be used to submit electronically simplified applications in the companies register procedure under article 11 of the Firmenbuchgesetz, which do not have to be certified and can therefore be submitted by the companies themselves. Although these are called ‘applications’ they are applications to make changes.
This includes changes to the business address, the business sector and the personal data of natural persons or Austrian or foreign legal entities. It also includes the registration or removal of partners in a private limited company, the capital contribution or the registration or removal of a member of the supervisory board.
Authentication with the mobile phone signature or Citizen Card is required to use the form companies register – general submission (→ BMJ)German text.
General information on civil legal remedies can be found here (→ BMJ) German text.
Auxiliary and Problemsolving Services
Austrian Justice (→ BMJ)German text
responsible for content: Federal Ministry of Justice