Legalities of freelancing as a photographer in Taiwan?

Does anybody know anything about the legalities of setting up as a frrelance/self employed photographer in Taiwan.

I had been planning on moving out there from the UK next year and wish to work as a photographer. What sort of permits/visa would I need and how would I go about getting them.

If anybody can help or point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

It’s essentially the same as for any other business, of which there’s plenty of info on this site. Search the business/visa section for setting up a company for the latest info.

You may be able to set up as a representative office if you already have a company registered in the UK. Check llary’s guide for all the info.

If you’re a Taiwanese citizen, married to a Taiwanese citizen or have permanent residency you can just work it as you would any other job.

The not-legal way would be to come here as a student, English teacher etc, and do it on the side. You wouldn’t be able to receive any money within Taiwan though but if you have clients overseas they could just pay you to your UK bank.

But how would one go about making industry contacts? How important is it to know Mandarin?

For commercial stuff (advertising industry), portfolio visits and relevant marketing is essential. You’d need to find out who the ad agencies, art directors etc are, make contact with them, set up meetings and show your portfolio. Mandarin would probably be essential, or at least very helpful. Shooting commercially, you’d need a proper registered business or open work permit.

For editorial (magazines etc), you can’t really make a living just on the local market unless you take the jack-of-all-trades approach, which is rarely a good idea. As such, you’d be marketing your work throughout the region - Taipei, HK, Bangkok, Singapore and possibly Jakarta and Shanghai. This is where the rep office approach would work best, and Mandarin wouldn’t be so necessary (but would still be helpful).

I will have a look at the section you have suggested and am already trying to learn Mandarin, I have my 3rd class tonight, it is not easy but I will perservere. I am sure if I have the basics that once submerged I will pick up more.

I have also been working hard to build a fresh pholio to show. I thought it would be good to do a little research into the magazine industry over there and find out who to contact then send an email with some samples prior to actually setting up meetings so that my name is more familiar.

Thank you for the reply though, it sounds positive and not impossible.

If you are interested you can go to facebook and type in into the search bar and you can see some of my work, I also have a website under the same url but it is a little out of date as am in the process of building a new one…enjoy :slight_smile:

I’m curious why you’ve chosen Taiwan. I’m not saying it’s a bad choice - I love living here - but it mightn’t be the easiest place to get established. That said, a number of foreign photographers seem to do OK here. However, as pointed out above, they don’t depend on the local market.

Taiwan’s expat community seems to be awash with people trying (or saying they’re trying) to make it as a professional photographer…