Waiver of Ineligibility to Carry on a Trade

Competent authority

The trade authority having territorial competence for the trade premises:

If the waiver of ineligibility is not filed in connection with simultaneous trade registration, the trade authority is responsible within whose territorial competence the applicant has his/her residence.


No specific deadlines have to be met.

Further information

First-instance rejections of waiver applications are subject to appeal to the Federal Administrative Court.

General information

Natural persons, legal entities (companies, associations, etc.) and registered partnerships are ineligible to carry on a trade if one of the grounds of ineligibility in accordance with section 13 of Gewerbeordnung 1994 (GewO 1994) applies to them.

Grounds of ineligibility to carry on a trade are for example:

  • If a court sentence (e.g. for organised illegal employment or fraud prejudicing the interests of creditors) has not been served
  • If a court sentence for other criminal offences of imprisonment of more than three months or a fine of more than 180 day fines has not been served
  • Financial offences (e.g. smuggling)
  • If bankruptcy proceedings have not been opened for lack of assets
  • If bankruptcy proceedings have been set aside for lack of assets
  • In addition applicable to restaurant and catering trade: court sentences for specific drug abuse offences that have not been served

If a sentence (e.g. for organised illegal employment or fraud prejudicing the interests of creditors) has been served or if the dismissal of bankruptcy proceedings for lack of assets is no longer recorded in the Insolvency Database, this is no longer deemed a ground of ineligibility to carry on a trade.

The grounds of ineligibility to carry on a trade are also applicable if similar criminal offences were committed abroad.

Under certain circumstances, the trade authority may grant a waiver of ineligibility upon request.

Last update

6 February 2023

Legal basis

Sections 13, 26, 27 of the Gewerbeordnung 1994 (GewO 1994)

Link to form


The application for waiver of ineligibility may be filed – without meeting specific formal requirements or by using a form – personally, in writing or partly also electronically.

Informal applications have to include the following information:

  • Precise title of the trade
  • Full details of the location where the trade is carried on
  • Precise name of the applicant
    • For natural persons: first name, surname, address, date and place of birth, citizenship, social insurance number, citizenship
    • For legal entities and registered partnerships: complete company name and Commercial Register number or name of the association and Central Association Register number, business address

If required, the authority may request an expert opinion of the competent Regional Chamber of Trade and Industry (→ WKO)German text.

The trade may not be carried on before the final administrative decision is issued with legally binding effect and before trade registration.

If the requirements for a waiver of ineligibility are not met, you will receive an administrative decision rejecting your application.

Required documents

Persons who are registered in the Austrian Business Licence Information System (GISA) do not have to submit identification documents. If the authority can retrieve the necessary data from registers, the following documents do not have to be submitted: birth certificate and certificate of citizenship (→ oesterreich.gv.at) or passport (→ oesterreich.gv.at), residence registration, extract from the criminal record.

  • birth certificate and certificate of citizenship or passport
  • Residence permit for third country nationals (except Swiss citizens)
  • residence registration
  • If applicable, documentary proof of academic degrees
  • In the event of change of name: additionally
  • In the event of residence abroad or residence in Austria for less than five years: additionally
    • Extract from criminal record of the home country (not older than three months)
  • If applicable, official notice of bankruptcy, decisions of the bankruptcy court
  • Certificates of non-objection of the tax office, the social insurance institution
  • Evidence of income
  • Evidence of assets
  • Evidence of liabilities (e.g. bank, tax office)
  • In the event of court sentences for criminal offence or financial offence: additionally
    • Court sentence or administrative decision imposing fine for financial offence (Finanzstrafbescheid)


  • If person was convicted of an offence and given a suspended sentence:
    The person is not expected to commit the same or a similar crime when carrying on the trade.
  • If bankruptcy proceedings were not opened or set aside due to lack of assets:
    The applicant is expected to meet his/her financial obligations arising in connection with carrying on the trade due to his/her present financial situation.

Responsible for the content

Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy
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