Starting up a new business Visa holder?

I would like to start a new business in Taipei without a Taiwan id: is this possible?
Low skilled work and I intend to train employ local workers.
I plan on getting married to a Taiwanese but not just so I can get residency, I would like to prove my independence first, that some may find ridiculous, however my principle.

Yes, entirely possible - no Taiwan ID required. There are several different business structures to choose from depending on your needs. If you’re just starting to investigate this, I recommend picking up a copy of Elias Ek’s book “How to Start a Business in Taiwan”. It was invaluable for me to get the lay of the land.


Thank you very much, book now purchased I look forward to reading.
Best Regards

I have a CPA I can recommend you who will help and guide you through the setup process.

Do you want his contact? If so, feel free to PM me. You’re gonna need a CPA anyways. I’ve done the process myself.


The book was published 7 years ago on January 2013.
How much of it is outdated?

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A few numbers here and there, but in general still a great reference that I flick open now and again.

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Things have gotten far easier now since 2013. Thinks like.required capitol, visa ease etc. Very doable, contact the gov they are normally quite happy to help.


I did notice last publishing date and a bit pricey at 1200nt (amazon 2780nt!!!) decided good for a starter read, having a visa week in Cambodia this week I shall read then.

Just wait til you realize the gov can be extremely daft and not up to date. The tens of thousands of dollars spent on a lawyer will even seem like chump change compared to the fines and BS if the gov decides to ADHD you legally.

Havent read the book, but if it is recommended by many probably has many cultural and social norms that are worth the 1200. Legally it is good to check the up to date on the government website. I never understand why so many people put 100% faith in accountants and lawyers. If they dont give you paper stating they accountable for said advice, then ALWAYS check the current law. Taiwan is good at providing, online for free, english translations of various acts, bills, amendments etc. Chinese as well obviously. It is not hard, but certainly time consuming. Schooling yourself on the legal shit is going to make everything going forward a hundred times easier and clearer.

Hi Marco,
Would you mind sending me his contact. I am searching for some suggestions. THANKS!

Ok! Please PM me so I have a reminder tonight to photo his business card.

Other than 3 years training as a motor engineer that I never worked at! run my own business’s for 35 years never use a Lawyer once and did my own accounting after a course I did that was free.
Good chance I will use a accountant here to start with.

There are several virtual offices here which provide bookkeeping services and some also help with registering a business. I don’t have details but I found them on


If you download the PDF from the website some errors have been fixed and numbers updated. The process for starting a business is still the same but the infos regarding ARC are outdated now, with the gold card and everything.


Normally i agree. But the laws in Taiwan can often be unclear. We have been fined numerous times for following the letter of the law. By bank situations mostly. We fight it everytime and win because we record every conversation and have them state their agency and name. Taiwan isnt bad, but it is still quite messy. Sometimes it seems intentional.

But is also very dependant on which field. We are in food/medicine and its a total cluster fuck


Many Thanks advice taken.
I’m planning not 100% as yet will not be sales. Very simple basis.

Hi, I have just found this thread about set up a new business in Taiwan. Now that I am going through this process myself, I am wondering if anyone of you or acquaintance has opened a restaurant without Taiwanese backup, just on your own. I have ARC and have been living here for 2 years. I would appreciate your support. Thank you

How far into your third year of holding an ARC are you?

I haven’t opened a restaurant but I have opened a business.

If you haven’t found a CPA, here is mine.

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Thank you Marco. But I wanted to go through the process myself since it’s just a sole proprietorship. Could you please share the CPA service fees?

I don’t have the fees. It’s been half a decade since I started and I use him to this day. Feel free to call him.

For all practical intents and purposes, You need a CPA. There is no getting around this. You can’t go through the process yourself in Taiwan.

One. There is no ‘Sole Proprietorship’ in Taiwan.

One. Sole Proprietorships are not available as the WDA does not issue work permits for Sole Proprietorships.

Two. You need a trained CPA to do the paperwork to get started.

Three. Part of that is registering your investment money with the authorities for attaining a work permit. You need a work permit as a foreigner to open your business and that has extra requirements.

Also. How far are you along your ARC’s third year?

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