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Taiwan – Self-Employment

Taiwan is a thriving hub for entrepreneurship, with a supportive business environment and a skilled workforce. The country offers many opportunities for expats to start their own businesses or become self-employed. In this article, we will explore how self-employment and start-ups work for expats in Taiwan, including a step-by-step guide on how to register as self-employed or set up a company.

How self-employment works for expats in Taiwan

Foreigners are allowed to work as self-employed individuals in Taiwan, but they are required to obtain a valid work visa and register their business with the relevant authorities. Self-employed individuals are also required to pay taxes and social security contributions, and there are restrictions on the types of businesses that can be operated.

Step-by-step guide on how to register as self-employed in Taiwan

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to register as self-employed in Taiwan:

  1. Obtain a valid work visa that allows you to work in Taiwan.
  2. Register your business with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and obtain a business registration number.
  3. Register for social security contributions with the relevant authorities.
  4. Obtain any necessary licenses or permits for your business activities.

Can you work as a digital nomad in Taiwan?

Yes, Taiwan is a popular location for digital nomads, with a highly developed technology infrastructure and a growing entrepreneurial scene. There are also co-working spaces and shared offices available in major cities such as Taipei, making it easy for digital nomads to work from Taiwan.

How to start a company in Taiwan

Starting a company in Taiwan involves several steps, including choosing a legal structure for your company, registering with the relevant authorities, obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, and registering for taxes.

Step-by-step guide on how to set up a company in Taiwan

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to set up a company in Taiwan:


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  1. Choose a legal structure for your company, such as a limited liability company (LLC) or a sole proprietorship.
  2. Reserve a company name and obtain approval from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
  3. Prepare the necessary documents, such as the articles of incorporation and the company bylaws.
  4. Register your company with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and obtain a business registration number.
  5. Obtain any necessary licenses or permits for your business activities.
  6. Register for taxes with the relevant authorities.

Incentives and programs for expats

Taiwan has several programs and incentives in place to encourage foreign investment and entrepreneurship, including:

Entrepreneur Visa

The Entrepreneur Visa is a program designed to attract foreign entrepreneurs and startup teams to Taiwan. The program offers a fast-track visa process and financial support to eligible applicants.

Taiwan Globalization Association

The Taiwan Globalization Association is a government-supported organization that provides a range of services to foreign entrepreneurs and investors. These services include business matching, legal support, and assistance with obtaining visas and permits.

Other incentives

In addition to these programs, there are other incentives available to expats who want to start a business in Taiwan. These include tax incentives for certain industries, such as research and development, and grants and loans for startups in certain sectors.

Challenges of doing business in Taiwan

While Taiwan offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs, there are also challenges to doing business in the country. One of the main challenges is the language barrier, as many business activities in Taiwan are conducted in Mandarin Chinese. The legal system can also be complex and bureaucratic, and cultural differences can present challenges for expats.

Starting a business or becoming self-employed in Taiwan can be a rewarding but challenging experience. While the country offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs, there are also bureaucratic procedures and cultural differences to navigate. However, with the right approach and the right resources, it is possible to succeed in Taiwan’s growing entrepreneurial sector. By following the steps outlined in this article and taking advantage of the available incentives and programs, expats can establish successful businesses and contribute to Taiwan’s economic development. It is also important to research and seek guidance from local experts to ensure compliance with Taiwanese laws and regulations. With the right preparation, expats can successfully navigate the Taiwanese business landscape and thrive as entrepreneurs.


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