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  • Writer's pictureTaiwan Investment

How do foreigner setup a business in Taiwan?

1. Can foreign nationals set up a company in Taiwan? Yes, any foreign nationals can set up a company in Taiwan, but those cases should be reviewed by Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEAIC). The whole process should be given 2-6 months. 2. Any area of investments is NOT allowed for foreign nationals to set up their companies in Taiwan? In general, there are no strict restrictions for foreign nationals to set up their new companies here, only a few business areas restrict foreigners’ operations. The first step is to check whether the name for your business has been taken or not and to list the service items one by one. Certain businesses require additional special approval according to their type of activity (e.g. medical equipment, tobacco & alcohol imports, travel agencies, construction, etc.). Some business needs licenses from the government (e.g. immigration companies, real estate agencies and drug dealers, etc.) 3. Is there a minimum capital limit to set up a new company in Taiwan? No, one dollar can start a company. However, the amount of capital will be audited by an independent certified public accountant and the standards will be based on different auditors. Meanwhile, the amount of capital is publicly available information, and it must be considered the corporate image. 4. How much registered capital does a new company need? There is no capital limit for foreign companies. If foreign nationals need to apply for a foreign manager work permit, the amount of capital should not be less than NTD500,000 (basic standard). If foreign nationals need to increase the amount of capital in the foreseeable future, he/she can apply for it later. In addition, the amount of capital should be considered the result of reviewing by Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEAIC) and should be enough to run the company. 5. Can a foreigner be a sole proprietorship or to set up a new company with people who obtain another nationality? Yes. Foreigners can be sole proprietorships or have joint venture partners who obtain another nationality (includes Taiwanese). If the funds involve foreign investment, they must be reviewed and approved by Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEAIC). However, to apply for a foreign manager’s work permit, foreign capital must account for more than 1/3 of the capital. 6. How long does it take for foreign investors to start a company in Taiwan? If all the documents are ready, the whole process should be given 2-6 months. 7. Aside from overseas remittances, are there any ways to fund the new company? Yes. You can fund the new company based on your conditions. A. To fund Taiwan dollars: If you have employment income in Taiwan, you need to provide Tax Payment Certificate, and the income should be more than the investment capital you setup for the new company. B. Overseas remittance: Remit money from an overseas personal account to the company preparatory office account. C. Carrying foreign currency: Foreigners can declare to the customs with the approval letter from Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEAIC). D. Giving property to spouse: Taiwanese spouse can apply to National Taxation Bureau to give property to their foreign spouse. 8. Should the person in charge of the company go to open a business bank account in person? Yes. Taiwan has implemented the Money Laundering Control Art. There are strict restrictions to open any bank accounts. Required time for account opening is different (from 2 hours to 2 weeks). Before opening an account should contact the bank and make an appointment. The person in charge of the company has to go to the bank in person, cannot appoint others to do. 9. When can the capital be remitted? The first step is to open a company's preparatory office account, after Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEAIC) has passed the review, foreign shareholders can remit capital in proportion to their capital contribution. 10. What is the first step to prepare if I decide to entrust the application? A. Power of Attorney: Notarization by a notary (if you are in Taiwan), to contact Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (if you are not in Taiwan). B. To prepare 3 to 5 Chinese names and 1 English name of the new company. C. To list the business items. D. A copy of passport. 11. Investors from Hong Kong, Macao, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, South Asia, need to provide more documents than investors from other countries? Yes. Only these countries need to provide the following documents: A. Proof of education: to describe educational background and provide the highest diploma, if there is no English version, to translate into Chinese should be required. B. Work experience: to list the work experience of each period, and provide the latest work certificate or resignation certificate. Work experience must be related to business services. C. Financial statement: The deposit balance exceeds the bank's capital contribution. ★ Tax System Questions ★ 1. Will the individual income tax rate for foreigners in Taiwan be higher? For an individual who stays in Taiwan for 183 days or longer within a taxable year, the individual income tax rate is the same as local Taiwanese (from 5%). If an individual stayed in Taiwan between 90-183 days in a taxable year then you need to pay a fixed rate of 18% income tax. 2. Are there higher tax rates for foreign companies? No. Taxes for foreign companies established in Taiwan are the same as domestic companies. There are two types of corporate tax in Taiwan. The first one is “Business Tax” that is declared once every 2 months and the rate is 5%. The second one is “Profit-seeking Enterprise Income Tax” declared in May every year and the rate is 20%. Tax filing can be submitted to a professional firm for filing. Foreign Professionals Work Permit Questions 1. Can foreigners apply for foreign professionals’ work permits? Yes. The capital of the newly-established company is equal to or more than NTD$500,000 and a foreigner owns at least 1/3 of capital, which can apply for a work permit for its manager. The validity period of the work permit is 1-3 years; the term of the work permit depends on the Ministry of Labor. 2. Can foreign shareholders hire themselves as managers? Yes, the foreign nationals in charge or shareholders of a foreign-invested company who can hire themselves as the manager or hire someone else (non-shareholder) as the manager. 3. Can I apply for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) after I got the foreign professionals’ work permit? Yes. Anyone who got the foreign professionals’ work permit can apply for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) to the Immigration Department. The term of an ARC is the same as the work permit approval. 4. Can the foreign professionals’ work permit be renewed? Yes. The extension of the work permit depends on the company's turnover meets the regulations: The work permit should be renewed if the company has been established for more than 1 year and the sum of business last year or over the past 3 years reached an average of NT$3 million or more. 5. Are family members of foreign professionals allowed to stay in Taiwan? Yes. Only his/her spouse and minor children can stay in Taiwan. 6. Any chance for the foreign professionals to apply for an APRC after obtaining the ARC? Yes. Foreign nationals can apply for an APRC as long as they have obtained an ARC for 5 consecutive years. People from Hong Kong and Macau who are not investment immigrants can only apply for long-term residence and cannot apply for permanent residence. 7. Why so many foreign entrepreneurs ask us to help them to set up their companies in Taiwan? Our team members include local Taiwanese and foreigners. We know what foreigners’ needs are. We know the challenges and we can provide solutions to you. We help many people to set up their own companies for more than ten years, we have hands-on experience and we understand the needs and regulations of foreign companies, we are committed to providing one-stop services such as foreign company establishment, office rental, tax accounting, work permit and ARC applications, etc. Our customers come from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, France, German, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt, Morocco, Israel, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine.......etc.

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