Guidance

Austria: providing services and travelling for business

Guidance for UK businesses on rules for selling services to Austria.

Read this page in combination with the general guidance for EEA countries and Switzerland.

The authoritative source for Austrian market regulations is the Austrian government. This guidance links to official Austrian sources wherever possible.

Trade and services regulations in Austria

If you’re a UK business providing services in Austria, you need to follow Austrian regulations about:

  • getting authorisations or licences to provide a service
  • complying with specific local business regulations
  • EEA nationality requirements which could prevent you from providing services in some sectors

The Business Services Portal can help you to:

  • find out what you need to know about providing services in Austria
  • understand local regulations
  • complete the relevant administrative procedures online

Consider appointing an English-speaking lawyer in Austria to help you comply with specific regulations.

Austria may have regulated sectors where European Economic Area (EEA) nationality requirements could prevent you from providing services. The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

To find out if these apply to you, contact the appropriate competent authority.

If you want to provide professional services in Austria you must have one of the following:

  • an Austrian photo ID card
  • Austrian nationality
  • a valid residency permit

For regulated trades you must also get a trade licence.

Find out more about trade licences on the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs website.

Trade reservations

To sell or provide services to customers in Austria, you must follow local laws. If in doubt, you should get professional advice.

Reservations are part of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. They reserve the right of each party to keep or make new laws restricting investment, or the sale of services, in ways that would otherwise breach the rules in the agreement.

Check which reservations apply to the sale of services from the UK to Austria. This includes an interactive tool to find reservations that are already in place.

VAT on sales of digital services

To use the UK’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) to declare sales of digital services to EU consumers, businesses need to register for MOSS in an EU member state.

Find out more about paying VAT on sales of digital services.

Ownership of companies registered in Austria

If you have a UK business, you might face restrictions on your ability to own, manage or direct a registered company in Austria or any other EEA country.

For information about setting up and running a business in Austria, visit Invest in Austria.

Read more about this in our guidance relating to the EEA and Switzerland.

If you’re a UK legal professional who has investments in law firms in Austria, contact the Austrian Federal Bar Association website for information on the implications for your investment.

Business travel and entry requirements

UK business travellers and service providers may need a visa, work permit or other documentation.

Check our travel to Austria for work guide for detailed information on:

  • types of visa and work permit routes available
  • exemptions that may apply to you or the activity you are planning to undertake

The Austrian Embassy in London and the Austrian government migration website have more information about:

  • visas including intra-corporate transfers
  • work and residence permits
  • supporting documentation
  • other conditions

To find out more about the actions you need to take, check the general guidance for travellers visiting Europe.

Social security payments for employees

Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Austria.

Recognition of professional qualifications

To check what you need to do in Austria read our guidance on professional qualifications in the EEA and Switzerland.

If you are offering professional services in Austria, look at:

The UK Centre for Professional Qualifications (UK CPQ) provides practical assistance and advice to:

  • professionals who qualified overseas and are interested in working in the UK
  • UK professionals seeking to practise overseas

UK statutory auditors working in Austria

For UK statutory auditors, the Austrian Auditing Oversight Authority should be able to provide further information.

UK lawyers working in Austria

If you’re a UK-qualified lawyer working in Austria, using either an Austrian or UK professional title, you should contact the local Bar association in the region where you are working or the Austrian Federal Bar Association for specific advice.

Data transfer and GDPR

On 28 June 2021, the EU formally adopted ‘adequacy decisions’ for the UK, delivered through:

‘Adequacy decisions’ allow for the ongoing free flow of personal data from the EU/EEA to the UK.

Read guidance on using data in your personal business or other organisation.

Published 28 February 2019
Last updated 11 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Trade reservations' guidance. Updated 'Recognition of professional qualifications' with new UK contact point.

  2. Updated the Travel and entry requirements to include a link to guidance on travelling to Austria for work.

  3. Updated the following sections to reflect the changes created by the UK and EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement: overview, trade regulations, VAT on sales of digital services, business travel and entry requirements, social security payments for employees, recognition of professional qualifications, and data transfer and GDPR.

  4. Guidance for ‘Business travel and entry requirements’, ‘Social security payments for employees’ and ‘Recognition of professional qualifications’ updated.

  5. Change to title to include travelling for business

  6. Update to 'Business travel and entry requirements' section

  7. First published.