Representative office + ARC - how long should it take?

Hi guys and guyettes,

I’ve been back in Taiwan for four weeks now and trying to set up a representative office of my UK company. I know there are a few people here who have done this before - how long did it take?

At first my CPA seemed great… now he’s starting to annoy the biscuits out of me. At the very beginning I made it quite clear (in English and Chinese, so there’s no excuse) that I needed an ARC and either branch office or representative office registration. This was over a month before I even set foot in Taiwan and asked if there was anything I should prepare before I left.

I turn up in Taiwan, head straight for his office and… oh, by the way, you will need to register your company as Ltd. in the UK instead of a partnership. OK, thanks for telling me before but at least I’m used to UK company law and can do it in 12 hours straight.

Oh, and now you will need to have these two documents notarised. England doesn’t have US-style notaries but notar-oriously bad apostille companies who charge GBP60 / US$100 per document. Add another 3 weeks and $100-odd for FEDEXing the docs back and forth, then through a third address in the UK to the TRO in London and eventually back to Taiwan. Once again, thanks a bunch for telling me in advance I would need to do this.

Oh what’s that? You want an ARC? Err… yes… hence my telling you repeatedly for two months that I was going through this to get Taiwan residency. Well it’s not going to be five days after all… it’ll be 12. NNNNGGGGGGG someone pass me the wari balls and/or a baseball bat.

So… what were you experiences with rep. office registrations? Is it worth me sacking my CPA, withholding the remaining half of his fee and doing this myself? Since he gave me a 5 day estimate at first, I doubled it for good measure and made some deals to buy a motorbike, rent an office, resume Chinese study etc. which have now been scuppered.

Ahh, that’s better. Thanks for the rant. Yes, I will be naming names but after this is all done and dusted. And yes, I know lawyers/CPAs are like this in Taiwan etc. etc., but they’re like this in the UK too. And yes, I’ll be doing everything myself in the future as I planned to in the first place.