Business entities in Taiwan

Business entities in Taiwan

Foreigners willing to do business in Taiwan usually register a local limited liability company. There are however alternative corporate structures available in Taiwan, including the possibility for foreign companies to register a branch or a representative office. Please find below more information on the different types of corporate structures available to do business in Taiwan.

Doing business in Taiwan through a local entity

The Taiwan limited liability company (limited company)

Taiwan business structure options and setup requirements

  • The Taiwan limited liability company (LLC) can be registered with only i) one shareholder and ii) one director, who can both be non-resident foreigners. While there is no minimum paid-up capital requirement, Healy Consultants recommends to allocate a minimum of US$3,300 to optimize the probability of timely company registration approval by the Ministry of Economic Affairs;
  • Before registration of the company, our Client will be required to open a capital account in Taiwan and thereafter inject the paid-up capital. Unfortunately, banks require foreign directors and signatories to travel, before approving capital account opening;
  • Best uses: Setting up an LLC in Taiwan is the best option for most foreign investors due to its flexibility and low administrative requirements. Multinationals favour the LLC when establishing a subsidiary of their foreign company in Taiwan.

The Taiwan limited partnership (LP)

  • Foreigners can register limited partnerships in Taiwan, which must however include at least two partners, one of them being a general partner personally liable for any debt or tax due by the partnership and who must be a Taiwanese resident. Limited partnerships in Taiwan are not allowed to hire foreigners;
  • The partnership is a tax transparent entity, not subject to corporate income tax but still subject to the preparation and filing of financial statements and requiring all partners to submit a personal income tax return;
  • Best uses: foreigners having a local partner can consider to register a limited partnership in Taiwan. In other cases, Healy Consultants recommends to register instead a limited liability company.

The Taiwan free zone company

  • Foreigners willing to register export-oriented businesses can register a subsidiary in a special economic zone (SEZ). In addition to requirements applying to a branch, the company will be required to submit a business plan to the SEZ authority;
  • While there is no minimum investment officially required, Healy Consultants recommends our Client to allocate a minimum of US$200,000 to the paid up capital of their Taiwanese free zone company. See also this page for additional information on the tax incentives available in the Taiwan free zones;
  • Best uses: we usually recommend our Clients to seek free zone registration in Taiwan when they expect to make a significant investment and to export a significant percentage (over 75%) of their products overseas.

Doing business in Taiwan with a foreign entity

The Taiwan branch office

  • Foreign companies may establish a branch office in Taiwan to conduct business. Compared to the registration of a subsidiary, this however requires the appointment of a local agent/branch manager. There is no requirement for these appointments if an LLC is set up;
  • Best uses: We usually recommend our Client to register a branch when they plan to operate in regulated industries such as financial services, banking and finance. Otherwise, registration of a subsidiary (LLC) is more advisable.

The Taiwan representative office

  • A representative office is allowed to conduct only limited, non-commercial activities in Taiwan. Like a branch, such entity is additionally required to appoint a resident as manager;
  • Best uses: a representative office can be used by foreign companies to carry out market research, brand marketing activities and research & development, but they may not generate any revenue of their own.
Operations and logisticsLLCLimited PartnershipFree zone companyBranchRepresentative office
Doing business in Taiwan permitted?YesYesYesYesNo
Allowed to sign contracts with local Clients?YesYesYesYesNo
Must have a lease agreement signed before registration?YesYesYesYesYes
Allowed to import raw materials?YesYesYesYesNo
Allowed to export goods?YesYesYesYesNo
Accounting and tax
Corporate tax rate?17%0%Up to 0%17%0%
Corporate bank account?HSBCSCBHSBCCitibankDeutsche Bank
Statutory audit always required?NoNoNoYesYes
Annual tax return to be submitted?YesYesYesYesYes
Access to DTAAs?YesNoYesYesNo
Company law
Paid up capital required?US$1US$1US$1NoneNone
Paid up capital recommended?US$3,300US$3,300US$200,000US$3,300US$3,300
Resident director/manager required?NoNoNoYesYes
Resident bank signatory required?NoNoNoNoNo
local shareholder required?NoYesNoNoNo
Minimum number of directors?12111
Minimum number of shareholders?121Parent companyParent company
Individual shareholders allowed?YesYesYesNoNo
Public register of shareholders and directorsYesYesYesYesYes
Immigration
Can the entity hire expatriate staff?YesNoYesYesYes
How long to get work permit approved?3 monthsN/A3 months3 months3 months
Fees and timelines
How long to set the entity up?3 weeks3 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
How long to open corporate bank account?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Estimate of engagement costsUS$13,040US$18,390US$18,390US$14,04013,490
Draft invoicedraft invoice Taiwan limited partnershipdraft invoice Taiwan FTZ

Contact us

For additional information on our business setup services in Taiwan, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi
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