how to start a business in Taiwan as a foreigner

The most professional and comprehensive service on the market

Company Registration + Office Rental (including Virtual Office) + Accounting—All in one package

About us

The founder of Taipei Entrepreneur Center comprises members from Hong Kong and Malaysia, who came to Taiwan to study, work, and later start their businesses. With years of experience in operating a business as foreigners, we are in a perfect position to provide advisory and consulting services to foreign clients looking to establish an operation in Taiwan. We listen to our clients and offer solutions tailored to their needs.

Our company registration, office rental, and accounting services are fast and efficient. Whether you are looking to establish a company, a foreign branch, or a representative office in Taiwan, we’ve got the right program and solution for you. With Taipei Entrepreneur Center, you will have your Taiwanese company registered and running in no time!

Why choose us

For over a decade, we have engaged with clients from all over the world. Entrepreneurs from Malaysia, Singapore, Macau, Japan, Korea, Thailand, the US, the UK, Egypt, Vietnam, Indonesia, Israel, India, Australia, Iran, and more have successfully set up their companies, branches, or representative offices in Taiwan through us. We are confident that you won’t find anyone having such an impeccable record with foreign companies on the market.

Inquiries and services are available online. Foreign clients can reach us at any time that suits their schedule. Contracts can be prepared and signed electronically online so that we can get on with your case right away.

Our Four Guarantees

We value the trust of every client. That is why we provide four guarantees that cover every step of the company startup process to ensure the success of your application and keep you in the know.

A. Guarantee of pre-case assessments

Upon taking up a case, we will do a consultation with our clients and go through all possible obstacles that could arise. As different nationals are subject to different investment requirements in Taiwan, thorough communication in advance is key to a successful application.

B. Guarantee of no unexpected charges

Our service is reasonably priced and all-inclusive. Once the process is engaged, you wouldn’t be subjected to any additional charges, even if the process involves further document submissions. All costs related to company startups like administrative fees, capital audits, two company stamps, and an invoice stamp are included.

C. Guarantee of prompt updates

Starting a company under a foreigner’s name is subject to reviews of multiple authorities. From the company name pre-check, the foreign investment review by Investment Review Committee, capital verifications, company registration with the local government, to taxation registration with National Taxation Bureau, you will be posted on each step as soon as we receive the official confirmation.

D. Guarantee of successful application

We guarantee a successful application for clients meeting all the regulatory requirements. Failures as the result of our mishandling are guaranteed a full refund.

Two types of company ownership for foreigners in Taiwan

Foreign entities can own a Taiwanese company in two ways: Either a foreign company can establish an offshore subsidiary, branch, or representative office in Taiwan, or a foreign person can create a new standalone company in Taiwan through a sole proprietorship or partnership with others. On top of that, foreigners can also invest in or acquire existing Taiwanese companies.

To encourage foreign investment, the Taiwanese government has simplified the foreign investment review procedure. It now allows branch or subsidiary companies of foreign ownership to apply for work permits for their foreign managers, and those managers can stay in the country within the valid period of their permits. If a foreigner manages to reside in Taiwan for over 183 days in a calendar year for 5 consecutive years, that person will be eligible for permanent residency.

1.Foreign companies establishing subsidiaries/branches in Taiwan:

Foreign companies can establish a subsidiary company, branch company, or representative office, each subjecting to different regulations:

1) Subsidiary companies

A foreign company may choose to set up a subsidiary in Taiwan in the form of a limited company or company limited by shares. Subsidiary companies have the status of legal persons and can be listed on Taiwan Stock Exchange. Aside from establishing new companies, foreign companies can acquire existing companies operating in Taiwan and become their shareholders. Investing in the form of a subsidiary company is subject to review by Investment Review Committee. Branch companies must have and maintain a registered capital over NTD500,000 to be eligible to hire foreign managers. During the period, the company must also exceed NTD3,000,000 in its yearly revenues.

2) Branch companies

Foreign companies can establish a branch company in Taiwan. Since branch companies are part of their parent company, they have no legal-person status but have business licenses to operate in Taiwan. Branch companies are registered with the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Economic Affairs and are subject to the same requirements as subsidiary companies with regards to hiring foreign managers.

3) Representative offices

For foreign companies that have no intention to operate in Taiwan, the representative office is their choice. A representative office has no legal-person status or business license. The scope of operation is limited to contract signing, quotation, price negotiation, tender bidding, procurement, market survey, and research activities. Representative offices are regulated by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Economic Affairs. They can apply for work permits for foreign managers in the first year of their establishment without operation records, but the renewal of such permits for later years will take activities performed into account.

2.Foreigners establishing standalone companies in Taiwan

Foreign passport holders investing in Taiwan must have their source of funding reviewed by the Investment Review Committee, Ministry of Economic Affairs. Upon approval by the IRC, the fund can be transferred to Taiwan for the company registration procedure. The investor can use that fund to open a company, street shop, or invest in or even buy out existing companies in Taiwan.

Companies of foreign ownership must have a registered capital over NTD500,000 with one-third being owned by foreign entities to hire foreign managers. For a company with a capital of exactly NTD500,000, foreign capitals must account for at least NTD170,000. And to maintain this qualification, the company must exceed NTD3,000,000 in its yearly revenues.

The fund must be wired to the company account at a Taiwanese bank in foreign currencies and exchanged for New Taiwan Dollars locally. Only those having residency in Taiwan can directly deposit NTD, but the person must present certificates to prove the source of their funding such as tax receipts or gift certificates.

Work permit for foreign managers

A company, branch company, or representative office legally established under a foreign entity can apply for work permits for its foreign manager. Commonly, the first permit will have a validity between 12 and 24 months, and the permit holder can obtain the residency for the same valid period of the work permit. Foreigners residing in Taiwan for over 183 days in a calendar year for over 5 consecutive years are eligible for permanent residency.

A. Application requirements

  1. Standalone companies or branch companies must have a registered capital of over NTD 500,000
  2. Joint venture companies must have one-third of the capital of foreign ownership.
  3. No operation records are required for representative offices.

B. Renewal requirements

  1. Standalone companies or branch companies must yield “a yearly revenue of over NTD3,000,000 in the recent year or an average yearly revenue of that amount in the recent three years” to be eligible for renewal.
  2. Representative offices established for over one year must have operation records to be eligible for renewal.

C. Dependent residency

  1. Foreign managers holding a work permit enable his/her spouse and minor children to obtain dependent residency.
  2. The spouse needs additional approval to work in Taiwan.

Procedures to establish a company with foreign capital

Before investing in Taiwan, the foreigner must fill out and submit the “Application Form for Initial Investment (Including Company Establishment) of Foreigners” for review by the Investment Review Committee, Ministry of Economic Affairs. Upon approval by the IRC, the und can be transferred to Taiwan for the company registration procedure. It generally takes a month for foreigners to establish a standalone company. Since branch companies and representative offices are managed by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Economic Affairs, the process is more straightforward and can be completed faster.

A. Guarantee of success

The standalone company, branch company, or representative office, not sure which one is right for you? Our consulting team stands ready to guide you through all options and find one that suits your situation the best. With our detailed preparation, the chance of rejection or supplying additional documents is minimal. Throughout our practice, we can boldly claim that we have never failed a client’s application case.

C. Time required: 30 days

The entire set-up process consisting of company name pre-check, power of attorney, investment review, opening a bank account, capital verification, capital audit, company registration, taxation registration, and work permit application takes about one month to complete. Since branch companies and representative offices are managed by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Economic Affairs, the process is more straightforward and can be completed faster.

D. Requirements of visits to Taiwan

In compliance with Money Laundering Control Act, foreigners not residing in Taiwan must open their company bank account in person, which is the first occasion on which the owner must visit Taiwan. The second occasion comes after the company is registered, on which the owner must visit National Taxation Bureau in person to claim the “Invoice Purchase Certificate”.

Our services

We know that a lot of foreigners are interested in doing business in Taiwan through opening a Taiwanese company or street shop. They are probably intimidated by the fear of language barriers and lack of regulatory knowledge. Those factors can make things appear risky and difficult. We brought together a team of diverse expertise to serve foreigners or foreign companies looking to explore business opportunities in Taiwan. From establishing a company, renting an office space (both physical office room and virtual mailbox/address rental) to house the company, to accounting services like bookkeeping and filing tax returns to keep the company in operation, we have everything thought out and planned to provide a truly seamless one-stop service.

Our services are fully available in English. English-speaking customers are welcome to consult us about the regulatory environment in Taiwan and their business plans.

A. Establishing a company with foreign capital

We specialize in setting up companies in Taiwan for foreigners. The companies vary from subsidiaries and branches of a foreign company, representative offices, to standalone companies of sole or joint ownership. Aside from regular companies, we also have extensive experience with businesses requiring special licensing, like travel agencies, pharmacies, tobacco and alcohol importers, transportation operators, engineering consultants, and medical equipment distributors.

B. Virtual office

Companies must be registered at a legal address, so aside from physical office space for rental, we also offer the service called the “virtual office”, through which the company can obtain a secured address for registration and mailing at a minimum cost.

C. Accounting services and tax returns

We have certified accountants on our team, who can provide tax consultation and tax filing services. Financial statements can be prepared in English as an optional service for a reasonable fee.

D. Online operations to expedite the process

To overcome space constraints and save time, all consultation and confirmation are performed online via SMS software or emails. Not only are contracts signed electronically online, but we will also answer your questions and provide updates on your status as they occur.

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