Questions about E.SUN + PayPal & self-employment/freelancing in Taiwan

Hi folks,

First off: I tried finding some info on the E.SUN/PayPal matter, but didn’t find an answer to my exact question, so I’ll just ask here:

When opening an E.SUN bank account for freelance income from PayPal, what kind of account should be used? There is an option for “Digital Account” and “General Deposit Account”. (see image)

  • What is the difference?
  • Can both be connected with PayPal?

So I just got this neat new job training AI / alignment of AI for a company overseas that is task based (no contract or anything).
I can work as many hours as I want and get paid by hours. The problem is, I couldn’t find a company register ID or phone number, not even of the task platform used for the work (which might or might not be an independent online service not directly related to the company that hired me).
All I found was a website, nothing useful under contacts.

Now E.SUN will ask me for a Company Name, Telephone No. and ID No., which I simply don’t have, can’t find and won’t be able to give them. I consider myself a freelancer/self-employed.
Will this proof fatal for me trying to get a bank account there to claim my salary?

As freelancer on marital ARC that presumably earns between 15k to 60k, depending on how much time invested into this job, what form of business do I need to register? Or am I even obliged to register a company or business in any form for freelance work?

The way I understood similar discussions here, one has to either be employed by a company or register a company oneself. Nothing in between, no freelancing nor self-employment status. Is this correct?

This is the stuff E.SUN wants to know:

As a dependant of my wife (local), I should be able to work in Taiwan, but do I still need to get an Open Working Permit despite being here on marital ARC or am I exempt from getting one and can work without it?

Sorry, It’s not just a single questions, but while I am at it, why not ask them all.

Thanks for any help in advance!

maybe some relevant stuff for you here?..

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Yeah, I would read the other thread, but personally I’d avoid PayPal like the plague.

Actually, I looked into PayPal/E.SUN again recently for getting paid by a Japanese client, and it still didn’t make sense to me in terms of fees. (I’m tired and busy with something so can’t be bothered looking at the details again, but they were high enough to make it not worth considering even compared with the high fees of the alternative option I was trying to avoid.)

Better options probably depend on where the company is, but Wise might work. Do you have any overseas bank accounts you could be paid into instead?

It’s not Scale AI/Outlier is it, by any chance? (If so, I suggest reading the reviews about how it is working for them and their business practices.)


The only options the platform offers to withdraw funds is by PayPal or AirTM, but I’ve never even heard of AirTM and have no clue what exactly it is and if I can access these funds from Taiwan.

I read that other thread but some people were contradicting each other on the legality of working as a dependant without Open Work Permit and I remember the conversation ending in discussing if the OP would be able to get remote work rather than answering how to legally do it from within Taiwan as spouse.
I will revisit it and see if I missed anything.

EDIT: It appears that below 40k/month, one does not need to register a company. But does that mean one pays tax as private person/individual?


I used PayPal through E Sun for a freelance gig and it was fine. What’s wrong with it?

When you opened the ESUN account, did you choose the Digital Account or the General Deposit Account? And as a freelancer, what company info did you write into the application? I can’t find any phone number or company ID from the freelancer platform I use.

I think General Deposit but I opened my E Sun 8 years ago and connected my PayPal 3 years ago, so while it was a very exciting process, I forget most of the details. Just ask the pretty E Sun ladies to help you? I think one helped me connect my PayPal to E Sun. Iirc, your PayPal doesn’t need to be linked to a particular company; it’s your PayPal! It’s open to receive money from wherever.

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The fees. Although they might be tolerable for a one-off/occasional thing, they make PayPal not a great option for regular freelance work IMO.

When I was looking at using PayPal again in February, it was for a regular Japanese client who I haven’t done much work for lately, so just a small amount (ca. 13,000 TWD/62,000 JPY). In this case I’d normally postpone the invoice until I’d earned more because any option is going to be expensive, but it was the end of their fiscal year so they wanted an invoice.

For the normal expensive option I was trying to avoid (a “cheap” remittance service from Japan to my UK bank account), between the remittance fee (2000 JPY), the exchange rate loading (1.5–2%), and the receiving fee charged by my UK bank (ca. 1350 JPY), the total cost would have been on the order of 7.3%, so quite a lot just for getting paid.

When I calculated it for PayPal (based on the information listed on the PayPal and E.SUN websites, which I can’t be bothered looking for again), it worked out as 6–7% for receiving funds plus the currency conversion. So not really any better, and possibly worse… especially if you factor in that I’d have to go and open yet another Taiwanese bank account. IIRC, PayPal fees themselves are normally listed in the region of 3–4% plus a fixed fee plus whatever it costs for any currency conversions at a less-than-ideal rate.

Doing the same thing with Wise would have been around 0.8% rather than 7+%. (The client didn’t want to use Wise, and in the end they just let me mark the invoice as on hold.)

Point is that there are better options out there and it would be worth trying to use those wherever possible (and calculating what the hidden fees are in each case). I’d only use PayPal as a last resort, and the only major one I can think of that’s worse is Payoneer (which seems to have pretty much become a scam at this point).