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Trade and Industrial Law: In Austria the Gewerbeordnung (Trade Regulation Act) is the principal law governing self-employed people working in the private sector. Separate regulations govern certain areas of the private sector (banks and insurance companies, for example). Trade and industrial law also covers opening hours and job-training.

Certificates of qualification, like the master craftsman´s certificate, apprentice qualification exam or traineeships are obligatory for certain trades and crafts but not for others Free Trades and Crafts. Generally speaking, though, a commercial business can be carried out after registration with the Austrian authorities. Special rules and regulations apply to some commercial businesses, for which official authorisation has to be obtained (such as the production and sale of weapons). The Trade Regulation Act also deals with matters such as consumer protection, the protection of employees, young persons and the environment. Plant and machinery is usually subject to specific authorisation.


W. Kinscher and R. Sedlak, Die Gewerbeordnung, 61996.