foreign investment approval in taiwan

Taiwan’s investment approval is an important policy aimed at ensuring the stable growth of Taiwan’s economy and safeguarding national interests. As the global economy accelerates its integration, more and more businesses and investors are turning their attention to Taiwan, a potential country. To promote the inflow of foreign capital, the Taiwanese government has carried out a series of reforms and improvements to its investment approval policies, lowering investment thresholds and improving approval efficiency. Investors must follow the relevant company laws, regulations governing and statute for investment to conduct investment activities in Taiwan.

Application Process and Review

Taiwan’s investment review process involves multiple government departments, including the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Financial Supervisory Commission, and others. These departments work together to ensure the legality and feasibility of investment by foreign nationals. Investors need to submit relevant application materials, such as business plans and business licenses, for the government departments to conduct a detailed review. The review process covers many aspects, including investment quotas, economic benefits, and environmental impacts. Currently, investment applications can only be processed by mail, and all documents must be sent in hard copy to the Investment Commission or government departments under Executive Yuan. The basic required documents include:

Overseas Investment Application Form and Checklist 

The application form contains information on the investor’s background, basic information on the Taiwanese company, contact person, source of funds and business plan. The business plan should include a three-year business expansion plan and the detailed items include the Taiwanese company’s business scope, employee hiring plan and financial forecast

Proof of Identity for Foreign Investors

Corporate investors should submit a copy of the foreign company’s registration certificate with its Chinese translation, as well as an organization chart; individual investors should submit a certificate of nationality or a valid passport copy.

Taiwan Company Name Reservation Form

The approval letter for reserving the name of the Taiwanese company.

Power of Attorney for Investment Agent

This document only applies to the business types of limited company and limited company by shares. After being stamped, the original document must be legalized by the Taiwan embassy in the foreign country.

Foreign Investment Qualification Declaration

The foreign investment qualification declaration provided by the authority is also one of the required documents under the laws and regulations. It is only applicable to the investors who are foreign corporates. The form must be signed by the representative of the foreign company.

With all the necessary documents in place, the entire review process takes approximately 2-4 weeks.

Other Factors Affecting the Review

Based on our past application experience, the review process by the Taiwan authority for foreign investors becomes more complicated due to the change of international economic and political situation. Sometimes the government officer may request to provide additional documents and the reviewing time can be extended significantly. Here we provide the factors which may make the application more complicated as below:

Taiwan Anti-Money Laundering Act

Due to the implementation of Taiwan’s Anti-Money Laundering Act in recent years, foreign investors apply to invest in Taiwan must provide the explanation on the source of the capital they will be remitting. For certain Southeast Asian countries or sanctioned countries, the investor must provide the proof of financial capacity in addition to explaining the source of funds.

Political Factors

Taiwan has a special historical, geographical and political relationship with mainland China. Therefore, if the investor’s nationality is from mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau, the review process will become very complicated. Not only the additional information will be required, but also the review time will be significantly extended. If the investor is from mainland China, the review time will exceed one year; for investors from Hong Kong or Macau, the review time will be at least three months. Thus, you may need to carefully consider it before you go for the submission. It is useless to arrange a complicated holding structure as the information of the ultimate beneficial owners will be requested to submit.

How Can PREMIA TNC Help You?

PREMIA TNC‘s professionals will provide you with free consultation services and offer customized professional advice based on your company’s situation. If you engage with us for the company incorporation service, we will prepare the necessary documents for submission in the timely manner. During the review process, our professionals will answer all inquiries raised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs on your behalf. We will also keep track of the progress of your case to ensure there will be no delays.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What language should the documents be used in the submission for foreign investment approval?

A: Taiwan's official language is Traditional Chinese, thus, all documents must be written in Chinese. English documents should be accompanied by a Chinese translation.

Q2: Can I speed up the review process by paying a fee?

A: No, Taiwan is a country with strict law enforcement and transparency, and officials are not allowed to accept any fees. The only way to speed up the review process is to well prepare the documentation and reply to the officer in the timely manner.

Q3: Can the capital be remitted in Taiwan dollars (TWD)?

A: It is possible, but you need to provide the explanation on the source of the TWD deposit. For example, if it was the salary you earned from working in Taiwan in the past years, the relevant salary documents must be provided. Generally, we would recommend you to remit the capital in foreign currency, such as USD, EUR. When you transfer the fund from the overseas bank account, please remember that the fund must be transferred from the bank account under the name of the foreign.

Q4: Should I apply for investment approval if I want to establish a branch in Taiwan?

A: Yes, you will still need to apply for the foreign investment approval under the Taiwan Company Act and the capital injection procedure will be the same as mentioned above.