Business Registration

Forms of Business Organization for Investment in Taiwan

Representative Office
A representative office is an entity for foreign companies that wish to invest in Taiwan to begin preparatory operations. The representative office cannot conduct direct business operations, and can only conduct nonprofit activities such as information collection, market survey, advertisement and promotion, liaison, quotation, and price negotiation. It cannot conduct for-profit activities such as accepting any payment or purchase orders. The representative office can file expenses after its establishment but it cannot generate revenue, meaning that revenue in its NTD bank account is restricted to working capital wired from its head office. Employee salary and rent expenditures require withholding declarations. Even when there is no revenue, the representative office must still declare its annual income tax.
Branch Company
Many multi-national companies operate in different countries through branch companies. The relationship between a branch company and its corporate head office may be similar to that of a subsidiary and its parent company, but a branch company and a subsidiary company have different legal status. A branch company is a branch under the corporate head office that conducts business activities. Branch companies do not qualify as institutions. They do not have independent legal status and they are not independently responsible for civil liabilities. The branch company does not have its own property, articles of association and operation, or decision-making business operation departments such as a board of directors. The name of the branch company must include the name of the head office and the words "branch company."
Subsidiary Company (Limited Liability Company/Limited Company)
A parent company refers to a company who owns over a certain proportion of stock in another company, or one that can exercise actual control over another company. A subsidiary company refers to a company that has a certain proportion of its stock owned by another company, or one that can be controlled by another company through negotiations. Parent and subsidiary companies are separate, independent institutions and can bear civil liabilities independently. Subsidiary companies are managed by parent companies on many levels and they can be similar to branch institutions of the parent company, but legally, subsidiary companies are independent companies with their own legal status, their own company names, and their own articles of association. They conduct business activities under their own names and their properties are independent from the properties of the parent companies.

Establishment and Registration Procedures

Business Related Laws

Taxation and Customs

Links to Tax Related Agencies
Central Government
Taipei City Government Taipei City Revenue Service:
Tax Laws & Regulations

Taxes in Taiwan are divided into "national taxes" and "local taxes," which are collected by the National Taxation Bureau or the local government revenue services respectively. The Ministry of Finance is the highest administrative unit in charge of tax affairs, interpretation of tax laws, and division of financial administration.

To promote international trade and exchanges and to prevent double taxation in international trade, Taiwan has established comprehensive income agreements with 30 countries across the world and signed the Cross-Strait Sea Transport Agreement and the Supplementary Cross-Strait Air Transport Agreement with Mainland China to establish mutual exemption from business taxes and income taxes in sea and air transportation.

Taiwan joined the World Trade Organization in 2002. The central government amended related laws and regulations in accordance with the rules established by the WTO as the basis for the collection of tariffs and established the Tobacco and Alcohol Tax Act to facilitate international trade.

Taiwan has friendly tax laws and regulations with simple filing procedures, clear tax collection procedures, and open communication channels with taxation agencies. The government also continually reforms tax laws and regulations in accordance with the state of the economy such as by lowering tax rates for individual income tax, income tax, and inheritance and gift taxes to create a more attractive investment environment in Taiwan.

Related Link:Taxation Administration, Ministry of FinanceInvest Taiwan

Trademarks and Intellectual Property

Intellectual property rights are composed of collective rights and protections granted in regulations and in the laws of various countries to protect the results of human research, development, and creativity. In Taiwan, intellectual property protection regulations include: the Patent Act (invention patent, utility model patent, design patent), the Trademark Act (trademark, certification mark, collective membership marks, and collective trademark), the Copyright Act (moral rights and economic rights), the Trade Secrets Act, the Integrated Circuit Layout Protection Act, the Plant Variety and Plant Seed Act, and the Fair Trade Act (unfair competition).

After their patent applications have been reviewed, inventors, creators, and designers must publicize their patented technologies in accordance with the provisions of the Patent Act without having to worry about competition. Their rights and interests shall be protected for a certain period of time. According to current Taiwan patent law, patents are divided into invention patents, utility model patents, and design patents.

Invention Patents

The key to a successful invention patent application lies in whether it meets the definition of a “new technology.” The following inventions are not considered “new technologies”: pure discoveries, science principles, pure disclosures of information, or art creations.

Utility Model Patents

This type of patent covers the creation of technical ideas relating to the shape or structure of an article or combination of articles, utilizing the laws of nature. Utility model patents refer to creations relating to the shape or structure of an article or combination of articles to manufacture objects that have value in use and practical purpose. Utility model patents are restricted to the creation of the shape, structure, or combination of tangible objects and not for intangible technical ideas or perspectives; they are for the methods for manufacture, processing, and use of objects.

New Design Patents

Also known as “design patents,” new design patents cover designs that pioneer shape, pattern, color, and aesthetics. The new design must be novel and new. New design patents criteria are stricter than those of invention patents and utility model patents, as designs can be easily imitated or copied.

Related Link: Intellectual Property Office, Ministry of Economic Affairs