Many of MUSA’s customers are companies started by foreign residents who need to protect their brands and product names with a trademark registration. Unlike local entrepreneurs one of their bigger headaches are what kind of visa to apply for and if they need a work permit to legally work for their business. There are many different choices.
If they have a local partner they can get married and obtain a visa and an open work permit that way. This way they can for example start a business while still work for another company.
Another option is to set up a business in such a way that it qualifies to hire the founder as its General Manager. You have to invest at least NTD 500,000 into the business and later achieve at least NTD 3 million turnover to maintain the visa.
For entrepreneurs who have a bit more money, the Taiwan citizenship by investment program might be a great option. By investing NTD 6 million (~USD 200,000) in a private Taiwanese company they can quickly get residency. This company could be one they start themselves or someone else’s. For residents of Hong Kong and Macau it is an especially attractive program since they can potentially obtain not just residency but even citizenship in as little as 18 months.
Yet another option is the entrepreneur visa. Under this program, up to 3 founders can get visas for up to 3 years. There are several ways to qualify for this program:
- Get domestic or foreign venture capital investment of NT$ 2 million (USD63,000) or get funding from a government recognized crowdfunding platform.
- Participate in an approved entrepreneurial accelerator or incubator.
- Hold patents overseas
- Having won international startup or design competitions
- An entrepreneur who has invested at least NT$1 million in an innovative startup and is the representative of that company
If it seems hard to choose which of these options to use we suggest working with a lawyer or visa consultant who can help you pick the best option and also assist with the application. Just like with trademarks, there are some tricky choices that is best left for the experienced professional.