Crucial Insights: Permanent Establishment Guidelines in Taiwan

Crucial Insights: Permanent Establishment Guidelines in Taiwan

permanent establishment taiwan


In international taxation, the concept of Permanent Establishment (PE) holds significant importance on avoiding double taxation. A PE refers to a fixed place of business through which a foreign enterprise carries out its business activities in a jurisdiction, thereby subjecting it to taxation in that jurisdiction. Understanding PE criteria is essential for multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating in Taiwan to ensure compliance with tax regulations and mitigate potential risks.

Definition of Permanent Establishment in Taiwan

A Permanent Establishment in Taiwan is defined as a fixed place of business where a foreign enterprise conducts its business activities, either wholly or partially. This includes branches, offices, factories, workshops, and other fixed facilities. The significance of PE lies in its implications for taxation. Once a foreign enterprise establishes a PE in Taiwan, it becomes subject to Taiwanese taxation on income generated from activities conducted through that PE.

Types for Permanent Establishment in Taiwan

(1) Physical Permanent Establishment

Physical presence will be considered as physical PE in Taiwan if a foreign enterprise performs business activities in the physical presence in Taiwan. This physical presence can take various forms, including offices, warehouses, or manufacturing facilities. The criterion of physical PE includes:

  • A fix place of business in Taiwan
  • Continuously doing the business in the fix place of business
  • The foreign enterprise has the disposability of the fix place of business

The good thing is that certain supporting or preparation works are not included in the definition of doing business.

(2) Other Permanent Establishment

In the case if a foreign enterprise does not have a physical PE but is still doing business in Taiwan, it will be deemed to have a PE if it meets certain criteria of economic circumstances. Examples of other types of PE include:

  • Construction PE : A foreign enterprise conducts a construction in the territory of Taiwan
  • Service PE : A foreign enterprise sends its employee to Taiwan and stay certain period in Taiwan, usually 6 months, to provide the service to its customers
  • Agent PE : A foreign enterprise assigns a local agent to continuously sign contracts on behalf of the foreign enterprise in Taiwan

Challenges and Compliance

Navigating PE regulations in Taiwan presents challenges for MNEs, particularly concerning identifying PE risks and ensuring compliance with tax laws. One of the main challenges is accurately determining whether specific activities or arrangements constitute PE, especially in cases involving complex business structures or digital commerce.

Compliance with PE regulations requires careful planning and proactive measures. MNEs operating in Taiwan must conduct thorough assessments of their activities to identify potential PE risks and take appropriate steps to mitigate them. This may involve restructuring business operations, documenting the presence and activities of employees or agents, and maintaining detailed records to support tax positions.

Conclusion: Encouraging Proactive Compliance and Planning

In conclusion, understanding the criteria for establishing a Permanent Establishment in Taiwan is essential for MNEs to navigate the complexities of international taxation. By proactively assessing PE risks and implementing compliance measures, MNEs can mitigate tax exposure and ensure adherence to Taiwanese tax regulations. Moreover, engaging in tax planning strategies can help optimize tax efficiency while maintaining compliance with local laws. By staying informed and proactive, MNEs can effectively manage PE-related challenges and contribute to their long-term success in the Taiwanese market.

How Can We Help

PREMIA TNC provides comprehensive tax services, including complimentary tax consultation and assistance with tax treaty applications through the National Tax Bureau. Our team of professional consultants manages the entire process, saving you time and ensuring a seamless application experience. We handle all communication with tax authorities and carefully review additional documents before submission. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We’re here to help!


Q1: Will a Taiwan OEM factory be considered as a PE?

A: No, a Taiwan OEM factory will not be considered as a PE if the foreign enterprise does not have the disposability of the OEM factory.

Q2: If a foreign company sends its employee to Taiwan for a business trip, will it trigger the PE issue?

A: Yes, it may trigger the PE issue (service PE) if the period of staying in Taiwan is over 6 months in any of a continuous 12-month period.

Q3: What constitutes an agent PE?

A: A person acting on behalf of a foreign enterprise and has, and continuously, an authority to conclude contracts in Taiwan. It shall refer to any person, who may be an individual or individuals, company or companies, or any other body of persons.