A representative office is one of the easiest ways to establish a legal business presence in Taiwan. It is a form that many foreign companies take during early development stages of investing in Taiwan. A representative office is basically a legal agent of the foreign company that is permitted to engage in price negotiations, provide quotations, participate in tenders, and sign procurement agreements. However, a representative office is not permitted to engage in income-generating business activities such as signing sales contracts, providing services, or receiving funds from clients.
Advantage of Representative Office
- The most efficient form of entity to set up in Taiwan
- There are neither VAT nor corporate income tax filing requirements for representative offices.
Disadvantage of Representative Office
- Cannot issue invoices to customers or apply for permit to import items to Taiwan.
- Except for the person registered as the chief representative, it is generally difficult to apply for work permit for other expatriates.
Procedure for setting up a Representative Office
Only businesses recognized as legally established companies in a foreign country are allowed to establish a representative office in Taiwan.
- The foreign investor should first file an Application for Reporting Designated Representative for Handling Legal Matters in the ROC with the Central Region Office, MOEA, and obtain its letter of approval.
- The investor should then apply to the local tax collection authority for a taxpayer code number.
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