Businesses and self-employed individuals must obtain special permits and licenses
in order to conduct their activities in various business fields. Permits are needed for working or the provision of services in selected business areas, for example, the mining sector, but also for employment.
Foreign companies in Austria are also required to register for a trade license, just like locally incorporated companies. All business entities are registered with the Austrian company registry
Our lawyers in Austria
can give you information about the needed special permits and licenses according to the business field in which you open your company.
Trade licenses in Austria
The trade license is mandatory for all business establishments in Austria, whether they are a sole proprietor, a partnership or a corporation. According to law, any activity performed independently, with the purpose of deriving income is a trade.
Pre-conditions for trade licenses apply in the case of sole proprietors in Austria. These conditions are in place according to the citizenship of the applicant, for example, if he has Swiss citizenship or is a citizen of an EEA state. Our attorneys in Austria can give you further information on opening this type of business entity.
The Austrian law distinguishes between free traders (those who perform their business without formal qualifications and regulated traders (those who operate under special certificates). The first category includes retail traders, the IT sector or the media/advertising sector. Catering or hospitality services are a separate category for which proficiency certificates are needed. Our attorneys can give you further details on the regulations issued by the trade authority in Austria
Business licensing in Austria
Apart from the general trade license, further business licensing is needed in Austria, according to the activity or activities the companies or sole proprietors undertake. The business facility permit is a separate one needed for those establishments used for commercial operations. These can be restaurants, warehouses or production sites. Agricultural activities are covered by different sets of laws.
Other examples of special permits include those for water protection, such as those needed to operate power plants, to use ground water or to discharge wastewater. The handling and treatment of waste are specially regulated and businesses that engage in these activities are subject to further control.