Stay in Taiwan

HK & Macau

If You are an entrepreneur from Hong Kong or Macau who wants to start a business in Taiwan, here are some steps you need to do before you start operating your business.  Firstly, you need to get a Resident certificate to stay in Taiwan. This article will show you all procedures you need to know and help you to get a whole picture of how to start your business in Taiwan.

 

There are two common purposes, employment and start-up, for a Hong Kong or Macau entrepreneur who runs a business in Taiwan to apply for a Resident Certificate (Hong Kong and Macau residents should apply for Resident Certificate for the Taiwan area, not ARC). If you enter Taiwan for the purpose of employment, you must establish a company before filming for a Work Permit with Workforce Development Agency. And it is necessary to obtain a Work Permit before applying for a Resident Certificate for the Taiwan area.

Although Taiwan government now allow foreign professionals like company manager apply for '' Employment Pass Card'', it doesn’t open to residents of Hong Kong and Macau. Therefore, professionals from Hong Kong or Macau still need to obtain Work Permit, Entry Permit and Resident Certificate in a traditional way. 

However, if your start-up business can meet the official criteria for designation as a business start-up with innovation capability, you may apply an Entrepreneur Visa, which allows foreign entrepreneurs to get a Resident Certificate with various criteria.

Apply for a Resident Certificate for the Taiwan area in the purpose of employment

A.

Firstly, get an investment approval and establish your enterprise!

Firstly,

get an investment approval and establish your enterprise!

Hong Kong and Macau residents need to follow the relevant regulations concerning foreign investment and remittance in Taiwan. Therefore, it is necessary to submit investment application to Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEAIC) no matter how much funds will be invested in your company. The foreign capital could only be remitted into the bank after receiving the permission letter issued by MOEAIC. 

Basically, there’s no investment restriction for Foreigners and people from Hong Kong and Macau so you only need to check whether your business is on the negative investment list or not before you decide to start your business in Taiwan.

 

You can also refer to the article <Establish your new enterprise!> for procedures of company incorporation. 

B.

Apply for an Entrepreneur Visa

if your start-up business can meet the official criteria for designation as a business start-up with innovation capability, You may consider an Entrepreneur Visa. 

Criteria you need to satisfy

Every applicant must at least must have senior high school or the equivalent degree. 

・You have received investment from a domestic or international venture capital, or obtained funding at least one million (1,000,000) NT Dollars from a government-approved international fund-raising platform. 

・You have been accepted to station at a government-approved innovation park, or in an incubator hat is either directly run by the MOEA, operated in collaboration with the MOEA, or have been rated by the MOEA as a first-class incubator facility within the past three years.

・You have been awarded patents either in Taiwan or other country.

・You have won an award in a leading domestic or international start-up or design competition or have approved to participate in a government project to encourage overseas entrepreneurs to invest in Taiwan.

・You have already established an enterprise that has been lawfully registered in Taiwan for less than five years, served as its legal representative and invested at least one million (1,000,000) NT Dollars in it.

If you are an individual applicant,

you must meet at least one of the following requirements :

If you are in an applicant group, your group may not exceed three members, and consist of either one lead applicant plus one business partner, or one lead applicant plus two business partners. You have not yet established an enterprise in Taiwan, and you should meet with at least one of Items A, B, C or D under Paragraph above.

If your team have already established an enterprise in Taiwan that meets the official criteria for designation as a business start-up with innovation capability, members of the group should be serving as legal representative, executive officers or managers of the enterprise, and members of the group should have invested a combined total of at least one million (1,000,000) NT Dollars in the enterprise.

If you are in an applicant group,

your group may not exceed three members, and consist of either one lead applicant plus one business partner, or one lead applicant plus two business partners. You have not yet established an enterprise in Taiwan, and you should meet with at least one of Items A, B, C or D under Paragraph above.

If your team have already established an enterprise in Taiwan that meets the official criteria for designation as a business start-up with innovation capability, members of the group should be serving as legal representative, executive officers or managers of the enterprise, and members of the group should have invested a combined total of at least one million (1,000,000) NT Dollars in the enterprise.

If you are in Honk Kong or Macau,

you need to submit all the application documents, and fee for Entrepreneur Visa to Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. After receiving the application, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office shall forward documents to Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, MOEA (SMEA). Once SMEA approves your business meets the official criteria for designation as a business start-up with innovation capability, National Immigration Agency shall issue your Resident certificate for the Taiwan area.

If you are inside Taiwan,

 you need to submit application documents and fee for a Resident certificate for the Taiwan area to National Immigration Agency in the duration of your stay. After receiving the application, National Immigration Agency shall forward documents to Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, MOEA (SMEA). Once SMEA approves your business meets the official criteria for designation as a business start-up with innovation capability, National Immigration Agency shall issue your Resident certificate for the Taiwan area.

・The sales revenue of your enterprise for the most recent year, or the average for the most recent three years, is at least three million (3,000,000) NT Dollars.

・The operating revenue of your enterprise for the most recent year, or the average for the most recent three years, is at least one million (1,000,000) NT Dollars.

・You have been awarded patents either in Taiwan or other country.

・Your enterprise employs at least three full-time Taiwanese nationality employees.

・Your enterprise can demonstrate some other category of operational performance that leads the industry competent authority to determine that the enterprise is making a positive contribution to Taiwan’s economic development.

The validity of your Entrepreneur Visa

Basically, initial validity for an approved Entrepreneur Visa will not exceed one year, however, when your business enterprise in Taiwan meets at least one of the criteria listed below, you may apply for an extension. You have to submit the qualification review documents and fee to the National Immigration Agency, which will forward the application to the SMEA for examination. The maximum permitted period of each extension may not exceed two years.

In the long run, we suggest you find a law firm helping you done all enterprise establishing and Resident certificate application procedures so you can focus on financing and business operation. After the established, you might still face several legal problems. It will be important to have a long-term cooperate law firm whom you can trust.