Information on data processing: Files of the Commercial Court Vienna

Terms of reference

The holding Handelsregister Wien (“commercial register Vienna”) of the Wiener Stadt- und Landesarchiv (WStLA) (“Municipal and Provincial Archives of Vienna”) contains files on registered companies administered by the Commercial Court Vienna. The registered companies were gathered from the Wiener Adreßbuch. Lehmanns Wohnungsanzeiger 1938 (“Vienna address directory. Lehmann 1938”) for the Findbuch. These contain the company name, the type of business, the location of the company, business aim, partners and board of the company, authorized signatories of the entity as well as the register number and folio numbers (also called company number – these were transferred as file numbers into the Findbuch). As both the former register numbers and the former file numbers indicated in the “Vienna address directory. Lehmann 1938” are no longer in use, difficulties may arise when ordering files at the Municipal and Provincial Archives of Vienna. Files of companies cancelled before 1939 can be ordered under these old numbers. The files were renumbered in 1939. The former company numbers serve merely as reference numbers. Following a subsequent renumbering of the so-called Firmenbuchnummer (FN-Nummern) [“commercial register numbers”], the files of the companies that continued to operate after 1939 are held at the respective Commercial Courts. The index volumes of the commercial register A and commercial register B must therefore be either consulted directly at the Commercial Court Vienna (Justizzentrum in the 3rd District of Vienna) or ordered from the competent caseworker at the Commercial Court Vienna. Assistance is offered by the skeleton service of the Municipal and Provincial Archives of Vienna.

The commercial registercan also be consulted online for a fee (since 1991) on the website of the Bundesministerium für Justiz (“Federal Ministry of Justice”): commercial register database.


The records of the file series “commercial register Vienna” originate from the database Handelsgericht (“Commercial Court”), which was taken on by the General Settlement Fund from the Municipal and Provincial Archives of Vienna in 2005. Lists regarding the commercial register A-files, damage reports, records from the “Vienna address directory. Lehmann 1938” and statistical evaluations are contained in this database. The section of the database pertaining to registered companies which were gathered from the “Vienna address directory. Lehmann 1938” was transferred into the Findbuch. Originally it contained 15,722 records and was adapted in several stages to meet the requirements of the Findbuch.

Processing the digitized data

The present table was processed in several steps between July 2011 and March 2013. The company names were matched with the names indicated in the “Vienna address directory. Lehmann 1938” and spelling errors corrected. At the same time, the exact name (wording) of the company was retained. Occasionally the use of capital letters and small initial letters were changed in the spelling of the company names in order to avoid confusion with other abbreviations – for example, the old abbreviation “Mr”, standing for Magister der Pharmazie (“master in pharmaceutics”), was changed into “MR”. Abbreviations of corporate forms, such as Aktiengesellschaft AG (“stock corporation”) and Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung GmbH (“limited liability company”) et cetera. were retained. All other abbreviations, such as type of business, location of the company etc. were written out in full, as long as they did not form part of the wording of the company. Different versions of abbreviations of the company names (in example Gebr., Co., i.L.) were transferred into the list of abbreviations. Abbreviations in other data entry fields were standardized and place names written out in full. Addresses were provided with the respective Vienna district, in order to facilitate identification of the geographical location. In addition, the formal processing standards were adopted by the Findbuch team. By supplementing missing entries and deleting double entries, the total amount of the file series “commercial register Vienna” was increased to 15,769 records (originally 15,722).