Forming a company in Taiwan?


#1

Does anyone know what is required to form a company here and likewise what responsibilties, costs, tax etc are involved?

thanks

graham


#2

Ask Joseph Ni at Good Earth Accounting on Min Seng b[/b] above the Starbucks on the 3rd floor next to the Union Bank Building between Fu Hsing b[/b] and Tun Hua.

He speaks excellent English and can suggest many legal alternatives that can result in you having your own company and control your own visa.

He will give you an obligation free consultation and is very pleasant to boot.


#3

thanks for the name. however i’m not in Taipei but i will keep his details for the next time i travel there.

has anyone reading this ever formed their own company here? if so, what was the bureaucratic process like etc?

thanks

graham


#4

Grham

Can I take it you are not married and /or do not have a local resident that you can trust to do it for you?
Only ask 'cos my wife did it for us and it was pretty simple. If this is a possibility let me know.


#5

Hi Graham

Check out these old threads:

http://segue.com.tw/3/viewtopic.php?t=5273
http://segue.com.tw/3/viewtopic.php?t=5029
http://segue.com.tw/3/viewtopic.php?t=3521

Just remember that things change quickly here and the numbers and requirements might not completely be up to date. However, you might get a better impression of what you have to expect.

The hint with the accounting company actually does make sense. That’s the way I did it, too. It saves you a lot of hassle.

HTH
Iris


#6

Wow, you guys make it sound so simple!

Can you guys tell me what business you guys started…so I can start one and steal your customers? he!he!

Actually, I am very curious as what type of people are doing what type of business…I just recently graduated from college…just seeing if there are any young entrepreneurs on Segue. Of coures, I am very interested in starting a business too.


#7

richmn,

Please email me at jeff@segue.com.tw I have some questions about having had your wife help you.

Thanks!


#8

I used to assist foreign companies set up local branches here. My long and short answer was get a shelf company back home and get a branch or representative office here.

Last I checked, in order to form a “company” as a legal entity you had to have 7 shareholders. This may be an issue for many people as I sure don’t have 7 people in Taiwan that I want to know the details of my business.

While, I represent the vilest of all professions, I would also recommend getting a lawyer to take a look at the documents. I can’t tell you how many times a well meaning accountant has missed a step in the Visa requirements or other purely legal issues… better safe than sorry…IMHO


#9

Heard there was a change in the law (Oct 2001?) that dropped the required number of shareholders to ONE (1). This might depend on the exact TYPE of entity/corporation you set up, so you still have to double check.

My point: it seems to be getting easier


#10

Ed,

Hum, I will have to go check that out… would be much easier!


#11

[quote=“Sharky”]Ed,

Hum, I will have to go check that out… would be much easier![/quote]

Check out Article 2 of the Company Law, which describes the various legal entites that may be formed under the Company Law and the number of shareholders required to form each entity.

After the November 2001 revisions to the Company Law, a limited company may be formed by one (or more) shareholders. Other entity types require two or more shareholders. Which entity meets one’s needs will depend on what you’re goals are.

Opening a representative office of a foreign company may work for some people. However, a representative office may NOT do business in Taiwan. Many people brag about how they set up a representative office in Taiwan of an offshore company that they own and they now have a work permit and ARC through that company. If they are conducting business, then they are breaking the law.

Also keep in mind that companies - whether branches of a foreign company or local companies - are expected to demonstrate that they are doing business (e.g., that sales are being made). If you cannot do so after a period of time, the authorities will get suspicious and the license will be revoked.


#12

[quote=“LCN”]
Also keep in mind that companies - whether branches of a foreign company or local companies - are expected to demonstrate that they are doing business (e.g., that sales are being made). If you cannot do so after a period of time, the authorities will get suspicious and the license will be revoked.[/quote]

LCN: How long is that period of time? How big do the sales have to be? Where could I find info on that?

TIA
Iris


#13

[quote=“iris”]
LCN: How long is that period of time? How big do the sales have to be? Where could I find info on that?

TIA
Iris[/quote]

Iris,

You may want to check with an accountant or a lawyer for the most up to date information. At the very least most entities other than a representative office (which is not supposed to be doing business) must file a VAT return every two months, and, of course, an annual income tax return. If the VAT return shows repeatedly that you are not bringing in any income, it will raise suspicions.

There is no such thing as “shelf” companies in Taiwan. Thus, you have to show that you are doing business.


#14

LCN:

You are correct, the rep office can not do business, they can only do limited actions which includes “touting” the business.

Actually, my cases, were a bit different, they were cases where the person was not really needing to work, for financial reasons, so the purposes were a bit different.

Apparently, the law has been amended to allow single shareholders, which is great! My question, has anyone created a single person Company.

Does that person have to be a ROC citizen? Or can a foreign person do it? How about a foreign entity?

What are the capitalization requirements? Are they prohibitive?

What about I do not have a copy the current law.


#15

Sharky, I suggested you take a look at the revised Company Law for answers to your questions.

[quote=“Sharky”]LCN:

You are correct, the rep office can not do business, they can only do limited actions which includes “touting” the business.
[/quote]

It’s a very fine line. It may be a bit aggressive to tell someone that it is ok for a representative office to “tout” for business for the head office. A representative office can do things like market research, some forms of customer liaison, introduction of the products offered by the head office, etc.

[quote=“Sharky”]LCN:
Does that person have to be a ROC citizen? [/quote]

No.

[quote=“Sharky”]
Or can a foreign person do it?[/quote]

Yes, a non-R.O.C. national can theoretically do it assuming that their legal (i.e., visa) status is OK. Someone on a JFRV should be OK. Someone that has an ARC owing to their work permit with “Company X” might have difficulty. Check with a lawyer or accountant for a good answer.

Sharky, don’t you think the authorities would say “Just set up a branch or subsidiary of the foreign entity. Why are you trying to incorporate a new entity?”


#16

LCN,

I was just thinking hypothetically, you know, obviously a real company say a Ford or a GM or XYZ computer company would set up a branch or a sub, but I guess I could think of some situations where an entity in the states, maybe an LLC or some other closely held company, may want to just establish a new company.

Just thinking out loud as I am want to do!


#17

Actually setting up a company isn’t hard. I set up mine a few years ago thru Ernst&Young and it was fast and painless… I am the “fu je ren” of my company and also own the majority of stock in it as well thus controlling it as well… The upside of this is that my company issues my work permit and ARC.

This is a lot cheaper than setting up an offshore corporation (like those set up in the British Virgin Islands, TCI, etc) and having a branch office here. That would cost you about 2 grand just to set up, extra to run a “presence” in HK, BVI, TCI, not to mention the normal costs of running the branch office here…

Check into it. It’s the best way to do it.

Michael