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Open a Representative Office in Taiwan

Open a Representative Office in Taiwan

A foreign company can choose to open a representative office in Taiwan when it simply needs a point of contact in the country, a base from which it will decide when or if it will open a permanent establishment. The representative or liaison office offers an opportunity to test the market, however, it is subject to certain conditions and limitations.

Our team specializing in company formation in Taiwan assists foreign businesses interested in entering the Taiwanese market. Foreign nationals are permitted to open companies and do business in many different sectors, however, their business choices need to be understood before the commencement of any business activities.

Before you decide to set up a liaison office, or any other business form, our team can help answer your questions about the corporate requirements in Taiwan, as well as the regulations for foreign entities.

When do companies open a representative office in Taiwan?

A representative office is used for non-commercial activities. This means that it is used by companies that are not initially interested in deriving income from Taiwan but exploring their business options here.

Quick facts  
Purpose of a representative office in Taiwan

To establish a local presence for non-profit activities and representation in Taiwan.

Registration

 – prepare documents,

– submit application and documents to Ministry of Economic Affairs,

– receive a registration certificate,

– register with the local tax authorities,

– open bank account.

Remote registration available (YES/NO)

 

YES, our Taiwan company formation specialist can help you remotely with a power of attorney.

Activities of a representative office

 – market research,

– provide training for local staff,

– establishing business connections,

– advertising and promotion, etc.

Interdicted activities

– signing contracts,

– selling goods or services,

– making investments,

– importing and exporting, etc.

Can hire employees (YES/NO)

YES

General documents required to open a liaison office

– legalized parent company’s incorporation documents,

– power of attorney,

– lease agreement for office space,

– property consent letter,

– ID documents for representative agent, etc.

Language for documents

Mandarin Chinese

Related costs

 – utilities,

– rent,

– employees salaries,

– office supplies,

– maintenance, etc.

Differences from a subsidiary

 A subsidiary is a separate legal entity that can engage in profit-generating activities, whereas a liaison office is not a legal entity and is limited to non-profit activities and market exploration.

Differences from a branch office

A branch office is an extension of the parent company and can engage in profit-generating activities.

Transitioning to another legal entity (YES/NO)

YES, our specialists in company formation in Taiwan can help you in this process.

Alternatives

Subsidiaries or branch offices.

Advantages of opening a representative office in Taiwan

– facilitating communication with local market,

– cost-efficient way for market research,

– fast registration process,

– flexibility, etc.

Assistance

 We can help you open a company in Taiwan or establish a liaison office with the specific procedures.

A foreign company can open a liaison office in Taiwan for the following suggested purposes:

  • Conduct market research activities;
  • Provide training or technical assistance/support;
  • Act as a general liaison point for the foreign company in Taiwan;
  • Communicate with local clients and/or business partners.

The general process for company registration in Taiwan does not apply to the representative office as this is not used as a commercial company. Our team will give you details about the requirements that are in place, and any approvals and registrations that may be required, according to the purposes of the office (even if this will not be used as a legal entity).

What are the alternatives to the liaison office in Taiwan?

Because the representative office is not a corporation, and it cannot be used to engage in business activities that derive income from Taiwan, foreign companies will want to register a permanent establishment in the country once they decide that an expansion to this country is favorable.

Once they open a representative office in Taiwan and test the market for opportunities, foreign companies can open a branch or a subsidiary as a next step. These are commonly used business forms that comply with Taiwanese business registration, as well as taxation compliance regulations.

Our agents specializing in Taiwan company formation are able to assist foreign companies that are ready to enter the market through a branch or a subsidiary.

What can business owners expect in terms of compliance?

Companies in Taiwan, including branches of foreign legal entities, are subject to certain registration requirements, as well as tax and filing requirements. However, given the fact that it is not used to derive income from the country, the representative office is not required to comply with the totality of the regulations applicable to other forms of organizing a business in Taiwan.  

A foreign company that decides not to open a liaison office in Taiwan, but a branch or a subsidiary, or one that has functioned via such an office and decides to change the business form, will observe the following corporate tax rates:

  • a 20% corporate tax rate and a 5% surtax on undistributed earnings;
  • 21% withholding tax on dividend payments made to nonresidents;
  • 5% standard value-added tax, and reduced rates of 0%, 1%, and 2% for certain types of goods and services;
  • Companies that provide electronic supply services (ESS) are subject to a 5% VAT upon registration with the authorities;
  • Social security contributions and other taxes apply to companies.

Our team is able to assist investors when they set up a company in Taiwan, as well as once the business is registered, with information on the needed registrations, permits, and licenses, details about the requirements for hiring employees, and much more.

Contact us for more information on how to open a representative office in Taiwan, as well as for details on other business forms.