ARC + several work permits?


I understand that work permits can be issued independently by different ministries (education / economic / cultural affairs / financial and so on). At present my ARC is through the Ministry of Education. I am planning on opening my own business(es) and need to know if it is possible to keep my teaching job and ARC at the same time as having a work permit from the Ministry of Economics and/or Cultural Affairs. I have asked an accountant, but he is the dodgy type who says anything is theoreticaly possible. It is what he calls a ‘gray area’. What I realy need to know is wether it is legal to hold an ARC to teach and a separate work permits to run a/more than one business. Any advice would be much appreciated…


I am inclined to think that your accountant is not the dodgy type, but rather is just totally unaware of the laws and regulations regarding foreigners’ residency and work permits in the ROC. Unfortunately, this is a commonly seen situation.

As an average foreigner, you may only hold one work permit at a time. That is a clear specification of the Employment Services Act, and by no means a “gray area”. The exception would be if your employer is applying under ESA Article 48. Persons eligible to apply via that route are those who are married to ROC nationals and have a resident visa based on that status, and those who have been working continuously in the ROC for five years.

For more information on the former category, see “Foreign males married to Taiwanese women” at

For more information on the latter category, see “Work Permits for 5 year residents” at


Thanks for your advice. I am sure you are right about my accountant. I have however heard through a different accountant that if a company is your own, you can do ‘intellectual work’ i.e., giving ideas as long as no physical work is done by yourself and a local person is hired to do office work.
At present, my ‘dodgy’ accountant has decided to become a junior partner (20%) in my business as he thinks we have a good idea. A western lawyer has warned us to watch our backs and never to trust a local in such affairs. Any advice you could give me on these matters would be much appreciated.
One last thing. Since the rules concerning companies have changed prior to WTO entry, I understand that (with a few exceptions such as teaching or street selling)a company no longer needs separate licences to do different things. If so, and I open a company, and I get my ARC through the company, can the company run multiple operations? Many thanks.