General information on contract law in Austria

Austrian contract law is primarily governed by the General Civil Code (ABGB). For contracts between traders, the rules in the Austrian Commercial Code (UGB) in particular must also be taken into account. Specific provisions for transactions between traders and consumers can be found in the Consumer Protection Act (KSchG).

If one of the contracting parties breaches or fails to fulfil the obligations agreed in the contract, this constitutes a breach of contract. Depending on the particular circumstances, the other party can insist on the contract being fulfilled, or, under certain conditions, withdraw from the contract and/or claim compensation.

Statutory right of withdrawal

Generally, if the other party defaults on the performance of the contract, a reasonable deadline must be set before withdrawal – during which time the contractual obligation can still be fulfilled. If the other party fails to fulfil its obligation even within this period, withdrawal from the contract is then possible. Payments already made etc. can be reclaimed.

Statutory rules on compensation

In the event of a breach of contractual obligations, in principle compensation may also be claimed (as an alternative to the right of withdrawal) if the damage would not have occurred without the culpable conduct of the other party.

Legal basis

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 25 January 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Justice

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