Information about legal sex work in Austria

As most of you probably already know, sex work is legalized in Austria, but there are many laws that need to be followed, and these laws differ depending on which federal state we are talking about. In this article, we will be looking at some of these laws and what women need to do to work legally as sex workers. If you’re interested, be sure to continue reading this post till the end!

Sex work is legal, but regulated

In Austria, adult women are allowed to work as sex workers, but they are required to follow a set of rules and laws. For example, the women who wish to work as prostitutes need to undergo health and STD checks on a regular basis. All women are required to be checked by doctors if they wish to work legally in any type of brothel in Austria. Additionally, the women who work as sex workers need to be registered and they need to pay health insurance and taxes according to how much they make.

However, there are additional laws that need to be followed, but these laws differ depending on the state that the women are working in. For example, Vorarlberg has the strictest prostitution laws in the country and women are only allowed to work in legally operated brothels. However, at the time of writing this post, there are currently no brothels in the state where the women could legally work.

Sex workers need to follow the regulations carefully

Different states have different laws about prostitution. For example, escort services are allowed in Vienna, with hardly any specific rules. However, in Burgenland and Lower Austria escorts can only visit customers if there are no children living in the apartment or house. Upper Austria and Styria also has similar rules with only allowing escorts to visit clients in case there are no minors present. Additionally, some states do not allow escort work and the women can only work in brothels.

Women who wish to start working in this field are required to carefully see what, where and when they are allowed to do if they do not want to get into trouble with the local authorities. Since each of the federal states have different laws and regulations, this can also hugely impact where the women pursue this career.

Prostitution and human trafficking isn’t the same

Unfortunately there are still many cases of human trafficking today, but there are also many women who choose to pursue this career out of their own will. Prostitution can be very lucrative for the women and they can make a lot of money depending on where and how they work. Additionally, sex workers who work legally are usually protected by the authorities and their employers, such as brothel owners. This makes their field of work safer to some extent. Unfortunately there are still many sex workers who try to work from illegal apartments, especially now with the current Coronavirus laws in place.

Some people think that a ban on prostitution altogether could help reduce human trafficking, but it would actually have the opposite effect. Making prostitution illegal would mean taking away the support the women currently get, as well as the protection. This would make the job of human traffickers much easier and they could exploit more women without the authorities knowing about it. Having a regulated system makes it easier to identify victims of trafficking and help them.


As you can see, although prostitution is generally allowed in Austria, the laws and regulations differ depending on the federal state that we are talking about. Women who wish to start working in this field of work have to pay close attention to what they are allowed to do and what is prohibited in that particular state.

However, even with the many regulations, legal prostitution is still a very lucrative job that many women pursue out of their own free will. On the other hand, there are also many women who are forced into prostitution without their consent. Because of this, new laws and regulations are constantly being introduced in order to make the whole system safer and overall better for the ladies.

For more interesting and educational articles, take a look at any of the following related posts from the Sex in Vienna blog!

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