Trade Regulations of Austria. Important Notes

This article consists of quotes from the  Austrian trade regulation document, that I found most important. The text was translated and copypasted to this article without any additional edits, except for my thoughts that I marked with bold text. The article will be edited continuously.

Due to irrelevance to the theme of a blog and a huge length, I moved the article to the year 2000. There I put articles, that I want to be public, but dont want to be in the feed.

§ 1. (1) Unless §§ 2 to 4 stipulates otherwise, this Federal Act applies to all activities carried out commercially and not prohibited by law.

(2) An activity is carried out commercially if it is carried out independently, regularly and with the intention of generating an income or other economic advantage, regardless of the purposes for which it is intended; it makes no difference whether the income or other economic advantage intended by the activity should be achieved in connection with activity falling within the scope of this Federal Act or in connection with an activity not subject to this Federal Act.
(3) Self-employment within the meaning of this Federal Act exists if the activity is carried out at your own expense and risk.
(4) A one-off act is also considered a regular activity if, according to the circumstances of the case, the intention of repetition can be concluded or if it requires a longer period of time. Offering an activity forming the subject of a trade to a larger circle of people or in the case of tenders is kept equal to the exercise of the trade. Publication of an activity forming the subject of a trade in registers shall not be considered an exercise if the publication is based on legal obligations.

§ 5. (1) Unless otherwise provided for this Federal Act with regard to individual trades, trades may be exercised on the basis of the registration of the trade in question (§ 339) if the general and the special conditions prescribed for individual trades are met.

(2) Free trades are activities within the meaning of § 1 para. 1, which are not expressly listed as regulated trades (§ 94) or partial trades (§ 31). Without prejudice to any exercise regulations, no proof of formal qualifications must be provided for free trades.

General requirements for the practice of trades

§ 9. (1) Legal entities and registered partnerships (open companies and limited partnerships) can trade, but must have appointed a managing director (§ 39).

(2) If the managing director resigns, the trade may continue to be exercised until the appointment of a new managing director, but for a maximum of six months. The authority must shorten this period if the further exercise of the trade without a managing director poses a particular risk to the life or health of people or if the trade has been exercised for more than six months without a managing director for more than six months in the previous two years before the resignation of the manager.
(3) If registered partnerships want to pursue a business for which the provision of a certificate of competence is required, a general partner who is entitled to manage and represent the company under the articles of association or at least half of the weekly normal working hours employed in the company who are fully subject to insurance in accordance with the provisions of social security law must be appointed managing director (§ 39). This provision does not apply to the trades listed in § 7 para. 5, which are carried out in the form of an industrial enterprise; furthermore, this provision does not apply in the event of the death of the managing director (§ 39), if the company continues to pursue the trade after the death of this personally liable partner, until the end of the abandonment treatise according to this partner, in the case of the prior resignation from the company only until the time of departure.
(4) If a legal person is a general partner of a registered partnership, paragraph 3 shall also be complied with if a natural person is appointed as managing director (§ 39) of this partnership who belongs to the organ of the legal person concerned appointed to represent the legal representation, or who is an employee of this legal person who is fully insured in the company who is fully subject to insurance under the provisions of
(5) If a registered partnership is a general partner of another such partnership, paragraph 3 shall also be complied with if a natural person is appointed managing director (§ 39), who is a general partner of the member company concerned and who has the position prescribed for the managing director in paragraph 3 within this member company. This member company must have the position prescribed for the managing director in paragraph 3 within the registered partnership.
(6) If a legal person is a general partner of a registered partnership and this partnership is a general partner of another such partnership, paragraph 3 shall also be complied with if a person is appointed managing director (§ 39) of the latter partnership who belongs to the organ of the legal person appointed to legal representation, if the legal person within the member company also has the position prescribed in paragraph 3 and if, finally, this member company also has the position prescribed in paragraph 3 within its member company.

§94 Regulated trade

82 business types are regulated. It includes:

  • Monument, facade, and¬†building cleaning
  • Builder
  • Bookbinding; case and¬†cassette production; Production of¬†cardboard goods (connected crafts)
  • Tourist guide
  • Real estate trustees (real estate agents, property managers, property developers)
  • Travel agencies
  • Engineering offices (consulting engineers)
  • Management consulting including the¬†business organization
  • Commercial investment advice
  • Insurance brokerage (insurance agent, insurance broker and¬†advice on¬†insurance matters)
  • Securities intermediaries

§95 (2) In the case of the trades listed in paragraph 1, the appointment of a managing director or a branch manager for the exercise of the trade is subject to approval. The permit must be granted at the request of the trader if the in § 39 para. 2 or § 47 para. 2 are met.

§ 99. (1) The builder (§ 94 Z 5) is entitled to

  1. to plan and calculate building constructions, civil engineering and other related buildings,
  2. to manage building constructions, civil engineering and other related buildings and to carry out construction supervision,
  3. to also carry out building constructions, civil engineering and other related buildings in accordance with paragraph 2 and to demoliate building constructions, civil engineering and other related buildings,
  4. to set up scaffolding that require static knowledge,
  5. for project development, management and control, project management and the assumption of construction management,
  6. within the scope of his business license to represent his client before authorities and bodies under public law.
    (2) The builder is also entitled to take over, plan and calculate and manage the work of other industries as part of his construction management. He is also entitled to carry out this work himself as part of his construction management, insofar as it concerns activities of concrete goods producers, artificial stone producers, terrazzo makers, black-deckers, screed manufacturers, stone wood layers, gardeners, plasterers and drywallers, heat, cooling, sound and fire dampers and sealers against moisture and pressurized water. The builder may take over and carry out the production of screed and drywalling activities independently of a construction management. Insofar as it concerns works of trades not mentioned in this paragraph, he must use the authorized traders to carry out this work. Furthermore, without prejudice to the rights of the well masters, he is entitled to carry out deep drilling of all kinds.
    (3) The qualification for activities in accordance with para. 1 no. 1 and 2 can only be provided by means of a certificate of competence in accordance with § 18 para. 1.
    (4) The authorization of other traders to draw up the preliminary drafts required in connection with the planning of technical plants and facilities in the field of building and civil engineering remains unaffected.
    (5) If the¬†trade of¬†the¬†builders is registered to¬†an¬†extent that does not¬†have the¬†right to¬†comprehensive planning in¬†accordance with para. 1 no. 1, the¬†trade applicant must use the¬†term ‚Äúconstruction trader‚ÄĚ with the¬†corresponding restriction. Only traders whose business authorization has the¬†right to¬†comprehensive planning in¬†accordance with para. 1 Z 1, may use the¬†designation ‚Äúbuilder‚ÄĚ. Traders who are entitled to¬†carry out the¬†master craftsman‚Äôs trade to¬†a¬†limited extent to¬†the¬†execution of¬†buildings may not¬†use a¬†designation that could give the¬†impression that they are entitled to¬†plan buildings.
    (6) At¬†the¬†request of¬†the¬†trader, the¬†Federal Minister of¬†Economic Affairs and¬†Labour must determine within three months by¬†decision that the¬†trader whose trade license has the¬†right to¬†comprehensive planning in¬†accordance with ¬ß 99 para. 1 Z 1 contains, in¬†addition to¬†the¬†designation ‚Äúbuilder‚ÄĚ, may also use the¬†term ‚Äúcommercial architect‚ÄĚ if he
  7. a certificate of training in accordance with Article 49 of Directive 2005/36/EC
    a) either on the basis of the successful completion of the maturity test at a relevant domestic higher technical college (building construction) and worked as a construction trader for at least ten years or in a function equivalent to the same
    b) or on the basis of a domestic relevant university (university) degree program and
  8. in another Member State of the European Economic Area or of the European Union, on the basis of the rules and standards applicable therein or even from the assumption of public contracts in the field of his business license or from participation in public tenders or on the basis of the rules and standards applicable therein, has been excluded from the takeover of private contracts or from participation in private tenders only because
    (7) The traders entitled to exercise the master craftsman’s trade (§ 94 Z 5) or the partial trade originating from the master craftsman’s trade must take out liability insurance for personal injury, property damage and financial loss for their professional activity. Liability insurance must be provided by a company that is authorized to operate in Austria. The insured sum must be:
  9. For a trader entitled to practice the master craftsman’s trade (§ 94 Z 5) or the sub-trade originating from the master craftsman’s trade with a maximum annual turnover in accordance with § 221 para. 2 no. 2 in conjunction with § 221 para. 4 Corporate Code: at least EUR 1,000,000 per claim, whereby it is permissible to limit the insurance benefit per annual insurance period to EUR 3,000,000.
  10. For a trader entitled to exercise the master craftsman (§ 94 Z 5) or the partial trade originating from the master craftsman’s trade with more than one annual turnover in accordance with § 221 para. 2 no. 2 in conjunction with § 221 para. 4 Corporate Code: at least EUR 5,000,000 per claim, whereby it is permissible to limit the insurance benefit per annual insurance period to EUR 15,000,000.
    For these compulsory insurance sums, a deductible of a maximum of five % of these sums per claim may be agreed.
    (8) When registering the master builder’s trade (§ 94 Z 5) or a partial trade originating from the builder’s trade, proof of liability insurance for personal injury, property damage and financial loss in accordance with para. 7 must be provided in addition to the requirements in accordance with § 339 para. 3.
    (9) In the event of freedom of performance of the insurer from liability insurance for personal injury, property damage and financial loss to the insurer’s local authority responsible for the builder (§ 94 Z 5) or a partial trade originating from the builder’s trade and regarding the liability of the insurer in view of a third party, the provisions of § 92 GewO 1994 No. 2/1959, as amended. § 158c para. 2 VersVG applies with the proviso that the circumstance that results in the non-existence or termination of the insurance relationship only takes effect vis-à-vis the third party after the insurer has notified this circumstance to the authority.
    (10) In the event of the abolition of liability insurance for personal injury, property damage and financial loss within the meaning of paragraph 7, the authority must immediately initiate trade deprivation procedure and, if new liability insurance for personal injury, property damage and financial loss is not proven immediately, withdraw the trade license within a maximum of two months. § 361 para. 2 does not apply in this case. Complaints against withdrawal notices have no suspensive effect. The initiation of the trade deprivation procedure must be noted in GISA.

§ 117. (1) The trade of real estate trustees (§ 94 Z 35) includes the activities of real estate agents, property managers and property developers.

(2) The real estate agent’s area of activity includes

  1. the mediation of the purchase, sale and exchange of undeveloped and built-up land and rights to real estate including the mediation of rights of use to real estate (such as acquired through timeshare contracts) and the mediation of the purchase, sale and exchange of apartments, business premises, prefabricated houses and companies;
  2. the mediation of existing contracts for real estate, including the brokerage of existing contracts for apartments, business premises and companies;
  3. the trade in real estate including the hire purchase. This also includes the construction of buildings that the broker as a builder has carried out by authorized traders for the purpose of resale as a whole;
  4. the mediation of participations in real estate funds;
  5. the advice and support for the shops listed in Z 1 to 4. Traders who are entitled to carry out these activities are also entitled to broker mortgage loans as well as to broker private rooms to travelers for temporary residence and to keep a guest room certificate;
  6. the implementation of the public auction of real estate, superaddicates and building rights according to § 87c NO;
    § 158 applies.
    (3) The area of activity of the real estate manager includes all activities necessary and appropriate for the management of built-up and undeveloped properties, the preservation, repair, improvement and renovation of which. This also includes the collection of funds and the payment of payments related to administrative activities. Property managers are also entitled to
  7. to advise homeowners and apartment owners in tax matters under the administrative contract as well as to write documents and submissions;
  8. carry out administrative activities for individual co-owners of a property, provided that this does not create a conflict of interest with the community of owners whose property they manage;
  9. to carry out simple repair and repair work on the objects they manage.
    (4) The scope of activity of the developer includes the organizational and commercial processing of construction projects (new buildings, sweeping renovations) on his own or third-party account as well as the renovation of buildings equivalent to a new building with regard to the construction effort. The developer is also entitled to recycle these buildings.
    (5) Real estate trustees are also entitled to represent their clients before administrative authorities, funds, funding agencies and corporations under public law as well as in court within the scope of their business authorization and mission, provided that there is no legal obligation.
    (6) The establishment of contracts by real estate trustees is permitted if this consists in the completion of formally designed contracts.
    (7) The traders entitled to carry out the business of real estate agents (§ 94 Z 35) must take out financial loss liability insurance with an insurance sum of at least 100,000 euros per claim for their professional activities. For this compulsory insurance sum, a deductible of a maximum of five % of this sum may be agreed per claim. It is permissible to limit the insurance benefit per annual insurance period to EUR 300,000. Financial loss liability insurance must be provided by a company that is authorized to operate in Austria. If the activity of brokering mortgage loans in accordance with para. 2 Z 5 is not excluded from the trade wording, the professional liability insurance or equivalent guarantee in accordance with Article 1 of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1125/2014 supplementing Directive 2014/17/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to regulatory technical standards for the minimum coverage amount of professional liability insurance or equivalent guarantee for credit intermediaries, OJ No. L 305, 10/24/2014 p. 1.
    The traders entitled to carry out the business of real estate managers (§ 94 Z 35) must take out financial loss liability insurance for their professional activities with an insurance sum of at least 400,000 euros per claim. For this compulsory insurance sum, a deductible of a maximum of five % of this sum may be agreed per claim. It is permissible to limit the insurance benefit per annual insurance period to EUR 1,200,000. Financial loss liability insurance must be provided by a company that is authorized to operate in Austria.
    The traders entitled to carry out the business of the developers (§ 94 Z 35) must take out financial loss liability insurance with an insurance sum of at least 1,000 000 euros per claim for their professional activity. For this compulsory insurance sum, a deductible of a maximum of five % of this sum may be agreed per claim. It is permissible to limit the insurance benefit per annual insurance period to EUR 1 500 000 for companies with an annual turnover of less than EUR 2,000,000 and to EUR 3,000,000 for other companies. Financial loss liability insurance must be provided by a company that is authorized to operate in Austria.
    (8) When registering the trade of the real estate trustees, proof of financial loss liability insurance in accordance with para. 7 must be provided in addition to the requirements of § 339 para. 3.
    (9) In the event of freedom from performance of the insurer from financial loss liability insurance, the provisions of § 92 GewO 1994 and the provisions of §§ 158b to 158i of the VersVG, BGBl apply to the notification of the insurer to the local authority for the real estate trustee and regarding the liability of the insurer in view of a third party. No. 2/1959, as amended. § 158c para. 2 VersVG applies with the proviso that the circumstance that results in the non-existence or termination of the insurance relationship only takes effect vis-à-vis the third party after the insurer has notified this circumstance to the authority.
    (10) In the event of the abolition of financial loss liability insurance within the meaning of paragraph 7, the authority must immediately initiate trade deprivation proceedings and, if a new financial loss liability insurance is not proven immediately, withdraw the trade license within a maximum of two months. § 361 para. 2 does not apply in this case. Complaints against withdrawal notices have no suspensive effect. The initiation of the trade deprivation procedure must be noted in GISA.

§136a. (1) The commercial investment advisor (§ 94 Z 75) is entitled to

  1. Advice on the development, safeguarding and maintenance of assets and financing with the exception of investment advice on financial instruments (§ 3 para. 2 Z 1 WAG 2018),
  2. Mediation of
    a) Investments and investments, excluding financial instruments (§ 3 para. 2 Z 3 WAG 2018),
    b) Personnel loans and mortgage loans and financing (instences, offerings and other preparatory work on credit agreements and concluding them for the lender) and
    c) Life and accident insurance.
    (Note: para. 1a repealed by BGBl. I No. 155/2015)
    (2) With regard to the mediation of life and accident insurance, the commercial investment advisor is subject to the provisions of §§ 137 to 138 and the other provisions regarding insurance brokerage.
    (3) Commercial investment advisors are entitled to the activities of § 1 Z 45 WAG 2018 as securities intermediaries (§ 94 Z 77). Activities as a tied intermediary according to § 1 Z 44 WAG 2018 may not be carried out in this case.
    (4) When registering the trade of commercial investment advice (§ 94 Z 75), if the activity of the securities intermediary is carried out, proof of the existence of a representative relationship must be attached in addition to the evidence in accordance with § 339 para. 3. The applicant may only start exercising the activity of securities brokerage from the date of entry in GISA.
    (5) The trader must immediately inform the trade authority of the termination of the last representation relationship. After becoming aware of the abolition of the last representation relationship, the authority must immediately initiate a withdrawal procedure regarding the activity as a securities intermediary and, if a representation relationship is not proven immediately, withdraw the authorization as a securities intermediary within two months at the latest. § 361 para. 2 first sentence does not apply in this case. Complaints against withdrawal notices have no suspensive effect. The initiation of the withdrawal procedure must be noted in GISA.
    (6) Commercial investment advisors must meet the requirements of continuous vocational training and further education in order to maintain an adequate level of performance that corresponds to the tasks they perform and the corresponding market. For this purpose, these persons must complete at least 20 hours of vocational training or further education per year from the calendar year next to registration in GISA. This obligation replaces the obligation under § 137b para. 3. Proof of participation in the training must be kept available at the location of the trade for at least five years for inspection by the authority at any time. Commercial investment advisors may only use personnel that meet the requirements of this paragraph.
    (6a) Relevant courses are considered training within the meaning of para. 6. The responsible specialist organization of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce must develop a curriculum for the training content. The curriculum must provide for the trader that at least half of the continuing education obligation may only be carried out with certain independent educational institutions. The curriculum can extend over several years. The curriculum requires confirmation from the Federal Minister for Digitalization and Business Location. The Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FMA) must be given the opportunity to comment within a reasonable period of time by the Federal Minister for Digitalization and Business Location before issuing the confirmation. The curriculum may provide for a smaller minimum number of hours for traders or their staff, provided that areas of activity are excluded from the scope of business.
    (7) Commercial investment advisors acting as securities intermediaries may perform the activities referred to in § 1 Z 45 WAG 2018 for no more than three companies. The commercial investment advisor acting as a securities intermediary must clearly disclose the respective business owner to the contractual partner (securities customers) at each time they take up business and point out the entry in the register with the FMA. If the securities intermediary does not clearly disclose the contractual client, all persons are liable in accordance with § 37 para. 7 WAG 2018 registered business owners in solidarity.
    (8) Commercial investment advisors are entitled to the activities of § 1 Z 44 WAG 2018 as a tied agent. Activities as a securities intermediary according to § 1 Z 45 WAG 2018 may not be carried out in this case.
    (9) When registering the trade of commercial investment advice (§ 94 Z 75), if the activity of the tied intermediary is carried out, proof of the existence of the representation relationship must be attached in addition to the evidence in accordance with § 339 para. 3. The applicant may only start exercising the activity of the tied agent from the date of entry in GISA.
    (10) The trader must immediately inform the trade authority of the termination of the last representation relationship. After becoming aware of the abolition of the representative relationship, the authority must immediately initiate a withdrawal procedure regarding the activity as a tied intermediary and, if a representative relationship is not proven immediately, withdraw the entitlement as a tied intermediary within no more than two months. § 361 para. 2 first sentence does not apply in this case. Complaints against withdrawal notices have no suspensive effect. The initiation of the withdrawal procedure must be noted in GISA.
    (11) Commercial investment advisors must when accepting and transmitting orders in connection with investments in accordance with § 1 para. 1 Z 3 Capital Markets Act, KMG, BGBl. No. 625/1991, § 56 WAG 2018, BGBl. I No. 107/2017 as amended.
    (12) Traders entitled to pursue the trade of investment advisors must take out financial loss liability insurance for their professional activities with an insurance sum of at least 1,111,675 euros for each individual claim and 1,6677,513 euros for all claims of a year. This does not apply to activities for which there is liability protection within the meaning of para. 4 or para. 9 or § 137c. The aforementioned minimum insurance sums increase or decrease as a percentage of the European Consumer Price Index published by Eurostat from 15.1.2013 and thereafter regularly every five years, rounding them up to the next higher full euro amount. The provisions of § 117 para. 8 to 10 must be applied mutatis mutandis. For activities of brokering mortgage loans in accordance with para. 1 no. 2 lit. b, professional liability insurance or equivalent guarantee in accordance with Article 1 of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1125/2014 must be available from the aforementioned amounts of coverage.
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