What is the legal environment for foreign entrepreneurs in Taiwan like? Pascal Thien-Ah-Koon, an French lawyer specializing in the high tech and telecommunications industries, led a seminar about the legal environment for business in Taiwan at the French Chamber on June 10.

The event attracted 18 people to the CCIFT conference room, mostly French company owners coming to draw from Pascal’s large experience and knowledge.

Educated in Paris, Pascal came to Taiwan in 2004 where he worked for several law firms before he founded his own firm TAK Associates in 2011.

Pascal spoke during two hours about the following themes:

Liabilities of creators and investors.
Business structure in Taiwan
Trademarks, patents, copyright
APRC, ARC and work permit.
Many relevant questions were asked at the end of the speech. Among the more interesting subjects being discussed we can mention:


Pascal showed the example of the trademark ‘Decathlon’. Within this trademark, you have not one, but three different marks: one for the name Decathlon, one for the logo design, and one for the Chinese translation. Someone in the audience asked if when you register your trademark you have to protect each mark separately and pay 3 times, fortunately, Pascal told us you can protect all the different versions of the mark at the same time with one service fee.

Corporate Income Tax, Personal Income Tax and Value Added Tax.

There are two kinds of tax most companies have to pay. A company have to pay a Corporate Income Tax calculate as 17 % of your profit and paid once per year. Every 2 months you need to report and pay Value Added Tax of 5 % of net revenues.

Concerning Personal Income Tax, the company will usually withhold and pay to the government on behalf of the employee between 6 and 40% of salaries depending on salary level. The tax would then be directly taken from the salary of the employee (10 % of the salary for example). Every year, when the employees go to the tax office to declare taxes, they have to show how much they have earned and how much have been paid to the government.

Representative Office

A young company owner who have set up his holding company in Hong Kong asked Pascal if he needed to open a Representative Office in Taiwan in order to import taiwanese products to Hong Kong. Actually, it depends on how much products he wanted to import. In any case he has to get an export licence.

Another lady asked if you need to live in Taiwan to have the right to open an representative office. Fortunately you don’t. You just have to get a Taiwanese address. With it, you could live everywhere in the world and lead your Representative Office.

At the very end of the seminar, guests showed their huge interest by asking many other questions but unfortunately Pascal couldn’t answer all of them due to a lack of time.

It is evident from the many events organized by us at Enspyre’s Start a Business in Taiwan, CCIFT, Taiwanease.com, Taipei City Government and more that the interest from foreigners and immigrants to open up companies in Taiwan is just increasing. The legal environment can still need some improvements, but overall there is nothing to stop anyone from starting a company in Taiwan.