Starting a Business in Taiwan

A guide to setting up a new commercial or industrial business in Taiwan: the application process, initial capital investment and the company seal...

Foreigners can own and run a company in Taiwan. Below is an outline on starting a firm with up to 50 employees and an initial capital of up to 10 times the country's per-capita gross national income. All steps have an associated fee, which must be paid.

Initial Application

The first step in setting up a new business involves the following procedures:

  1. Choosing a company name and conducting a search to ensure it is not already in use.
  2. Making an application for tax and incorporation registration.
  3. Make an application to the Bureau of Labour Insurance for labour insurance, national health insurance and a pension plan report.

All of these steps can be completed online using the Taiwanese government's Company and Business One-stop Service Request website. This process should take two days: one to search and make reservations and applications and a second for the necessary reviews to be made by government officials.

If the application is approved then it can be collected at the end of the second day from the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). If the approved application is not collected in person, conformation will be sent by mail, which can take up to four days.

Articles of Incorporation

Private limited companies must include the following in their articles of incorporation:

  • Name of the company
  • Purpose of the business
  • Location of the company's offices
  • Names of all directors
  • Shareholder's contributions
  • Profit-allocation ratio
  • Manner of issuing public announcements
  • Date that the articles of incorporation were adopted

An application for a taxpayer's identification number will be submitted at the same time.

Insurance Applications

All companies, regardless of the number of employees must apply for national health insurance; only companies employing five or more people need apply for labour insurance. To make applications easier, the Labour Insurance Bureau accepts applications for labour insurance, national health insurance and pension plan appropriation at the same time. Application forms can be downloaded from the Bureau of Labour Insurance website. If the application is completed correctly it will be granted within five to seven business days.

The Company Seal

All company deeds and registration documents must be sealed. A set of company seals, which include the company's name and that of the chairperson of the board of directors, should be prepared for registration. A seal is required for all future company updates.

The CPA Audit Report

Taiwan does not require new businesses to have an initial minimum capital requirement. However, a CPA audit report must be submitted to the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The report should show that the invested capital is sufficient to cover the costs of forming the company.

  • For more information on starting a business in Taiwan and to download forms: Click here

Further Information

  • World Bank Doing Business Report page on Taiwan: Click here