Licensing

Project licensing

What licensing requirements and procedures apply to construction projects in your jurisdiction (eg, planning consents)?

A building permit for the construction, modification, maintenance or demolition of buildings is required under all regional construction laws. Additional approvals may be required, in particular for monument protection, environmental protection (including environmental impact assessments) and the protection of natural resources and water. The acquisition of real estate by non-EU citizens and the acquisition of land for agriculture or forestry may be subject to approval by regional authorities. Owners cannot formally apply for a different zoning of their properties (there are no rezoning rights).

Professional licensing and qualification

What licensing requirements and procedures apply to construction professionals, including any required qualifications?

According to the Trade Act, professionals such as general contractors must obtain a trade licence for carrying out commercial activities in Austria. European companies offering cross-border services for only a limited period of time are generally exempt from licensing. Architects and civil engineers do not fall within the scope of the Trade Act, but are regulated by their own self-governing body: the Chamber for Civil Engineers, Architects and Engineers. Before carrying out a commercial activity, professionals must prove a certain minimum standard of professional training and experience, irrespective of which laws apply to them.

Do any special rules and restrictions apply to foreign construction professionals?

Freedom of services and freedom of establishment allow professionals from other EU member states access to the Austrian market. Foreign professionals must prove equivalent professional training and experience before carrying out business activities in Austria. Cross-border services may be exempt from these limitations. Construction professionals (individuals) from outside the European Union need a combined work and residence permit.