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2.1. Main Formation Requirements

When establishing a business in Taiwan, several government departments may be involved, including the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the local or national tax authorities, administrative departments of science parks or export processing zones, etc.

Taiwan allows for registration to be done via paper or electronically. Regardless of method, most applications and documents must be provided in Chinese.

The main requirements for each entity type are outlined below.

Incorporated Company (Subsidiary)

Establishing a subsidiary in Taiwan includes the following main steps:

  • Application for search and reservation of company name and business scope - An applicant can present 1 - 5 name options in order of priority, and the names must be in Chinese
  • Application for foreign investment approval, including:
    • Amount of foreign investment contributed in cash
    • Composition of total capital investment
    • Copy of incorporation documents of parent company or passport/ID for individuals
    • Power of attorney appointing a Taiwan individual as attorney-in-fact to file the application
  • Opening of bank account and remittance of capital contribution
  • Application for investment capital verification, including:
    • Notice of inward remittance
    • Exchange memo
    • Copy of bank passbook
  • Application for company registration, including:
    • Amount of capital, par value per share, total number of shares and number of shares to be issued for incorporation (when applicable)
    • Names of directors and supervisors and their terms in office
    • Name of chairperson of the board
    • Accounting year used
    • Any other documentations that may be requested
  • Application for business registration, including:
    • Any permits or license that may have been acquired for the business
    • Business chops (seals)
  • Application for English name reservation

For certain business types or location, one or more of the following steps may also be needed when establishing a subsidiary:

  • Application for investment approval when forming in certain economic zones - Depends on the type of zone - Done prior to application for foreign investment
  • Application for pre-approval from authority in charge of restrictive Business - Only applicable to restricted business types - Done prior to company registration
  • Application for special business operating licenses - Only applicable to certain business types - Done prior to business registration
  • Application for registration as importer/exporter - Only applicable to trade businesses - Done prior to business registration
  • Application for factory registration - Only applicable to producing and manufacturing businesses - Done prior to business registration

The time to establish a subsidiary is typically 4 weeks, although may be longer depending on the complexity of the setup, such as need for licenses, permits, etc.

Branch Office

Establishing a branch in Taiwan includes the following main steps:

  • Application for search and reservation of company name and business scope - An applicant can present 1 - 5 name options in order of priority, and the names must be in Chinese
  • Application for foreign investment approval and recognition of head office, including:
    • Copy of resolution adopted by head offices board of directors to establish the branch
    • Copy of incorporation documents of the head office
    • Power of attorney appointing litigation / non-litigation agent in Taiwan
    • Power of attorney appointing branch manager
    • Photo copies of passports or ID cards of agent and branch manager
    • Any other documentations that may be requested
  • Opening of bank account and remittance of working capital
  • Application for establishment of branch office, including submission of proof of working capital remittance
  • Application for business registration, Including
    • Any permits or license that maybe have been acquired for the business
    • Business chops (seals)
  • Application for English name reservation

For certain business types or location, one or more of the following steps may also be needed when establishing a branch office:

  • Application for investment approval when forming in certain economic zones - Depends on the type of zone - Done prior to application for foreign investment and recognition of head office
  • Application for pre-approval from authority in charge of restrictive Business - Only applicable to restricted business types - Done prior to branch registration
  • Application for special business operating licenses - Only applicable to certain business types - Done prior to business registration
  • Application for registration as importer/exporter - Only applicable to trade businesses - Done prior to business registration
  • Application for factory registration - Only applicable to producing and manufacturing businesses - Done prior to business registration

The time to establish a branch office is typically 3 to 4 weeks, although may be longer depending on the complexity of the setup, such as need for licenses, permits, etc.

Representative Office

Establishing a representative office in Taiwan is very simple and includes the following steps:

  • Application for establishment of  representative offices, including:
    • Address of office
    • Copy of incorporation documents of head office
    • Power of attorney for litigation / non-litigation agent in Taiwan
    • Power of attorney appointing the legal representative
    • Photo copies of passports or ID cards of agent and legal representative
  • Application for tax code, including company chop (seal)

The time to establish a representative office is typically 2 weeks.

Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships

Establishing a partnerships or sole proprietorship follows essentially the same steps as establishing an incorporated company in Taiwan includes the following main steps:

  • application for registration of the company name and scope of business,
  • application for investment permission,
  • capital remittance,
  • application for capital verification,
  • and business registration.

Joint Ventures

Same as above depending upon the type of entity used.

Additional Information

Capital Requirements

Although no minimum capital requirements are set in company law, incorporated companies (subsidiaries) must typically have at least TWD 500,000 in capital for companies limited by shares and TWD 250,000 for limited companies. If engaging in business that requires specific permits or approval, the authorities may require significantly more. Similar requirement may be imposed on a branch office in terms of working capital requirements, depending on the nature of the business and the nature of the parent company. Partnerships and sole proprietorships may be subject to such requirements as well.

One-stop Shop Online Service

Taiwan has an online registration service, Company and Business One-Service Request online service ( http://onestop.nat.gov.tw). The online service allows investors to go through the full company registration process. While the online registration can speed up the registration process, the documentation requirements are the same, and the online service is primarily in Chinese only.

Repatriation of Dividends

Taiwan does not impose restrictions on the repatriation of dividends aside from a 20% withholding tax, which may be reduced under tax treaties, and when earnings are subject to retained earnings tax.