Companies from other member states of the EU or EEA signatory states may pursue a trade in Austria either
- as a cross-border service (working across the border) or
- on account of a branch in Austria.
The cross-border service (working across the border)
means the temporary and occasional performance of commercial activities (work) that have been ordered by (foreign) entrepreneurs without a registered office or a branch in Austria.
Order acquisition and order processing must be performed at the registered office of the foreign company in the country of settlement. The establishment of a permanent “order or customer support office” in Austria constitutes a branch and requires a corresponding business licence.
Service notification and service provider registry
With regard to activities in the area of trades regulated in Austria, the authorities must be notified about the rendering of cross-border services; i.e. it must be brought to the attention of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs. This notification must be renewed annually if the company intends to perform services in Austria during the respective year. You’ll find notification forms with instructions on the required documents and a list of the regulated trades on the home page of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs.
All companies with valid service notifications will be published in the service provider registry on the home page of the ministry.
Under the Austrian Trade Regulation Act, penalties of up to €3,600 will be imposed for non-compliance with these obligations.
Setting up a branch in Austria
The company must register its intended business with the district administrative authority (municipal authority of the city or office of the district commissioner) in whose judicial district the branch is located.
When registering regulated trades, the submission of a documented proof of competence is prescribed – this can also be done by means of diploma recognition.
The respective Chamber of Commerce at the desired location offers an extensive service in this respect.
Further information and forms can be found on the home page of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs.