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Open a business bank account in Taiwan
One of the steps to register a company in Taiwan is to open a preparatory business bank account where to transfer the capital. However, opening a business bank account is not easy nowadays. Due to the increasing compliance requirements such as FACTA, CRS(common reporting standards), and Anti-Money laundering law, most of the banks in Taiwan reject the company to open the preparatory business bank account if the company is owned by foreign companies or by foreign nationals, or the chairman of the Taiwan company is the foreign national. Banks may also reject to open the preparatory business account if the chairman's nationality is from certain countries. The definitions of "certain countries" vary depending gon banks' policies.
Well preparation of your financial documents that gives you more credits
Before you go to the bank in Taiwan, please prepare all the authentic documents that give you more credits such as your personal or your company' s tax filing report in other countries, your or your company's bank statements in other foreign banks, and your company's products categories etc. It is better to prepare your Taiwan business plan and the investor background if they ask for it.
FATCA for US citizens and CRS (Common Reporting Standards) requirements
If you are a US citizen, you are required to submit a form to the bank that the bank will forward the financial information of your bank account to the US government. You also need to fill up a CRS form if you are not a tax residency in Taiwan. The bank will exchange the financial information of your bank account to the countries where your tax residency is.
Under Anti-Money Laundering Law, banks have the obligation to report any suspicious transactions to the Taiwan government
After you successfully open the business account, your bank in Taiwan has the obligation to report any suspicious transactions to the government without your permission even if the amount is immaterial. To minimize their risk, banks almost report all new transactions to the government, if that transition is new to your company. For example, you just set up a Taiwan, every transaction is new to your company. One day your company gets a commission from a foreign client, your banks may ask your company to show them the communication email before they do the foreign currency exchange. They may ask your company to provide the internal information to show the fund remitted from overseas is real and reasonable. If they are satisfied with the answer, they report the foreign remittance to the Taiwan government.
Provide the ownership and control structure information of your Taiwan Company, if the shareholder is a legal entity
According Regulations Governing Anti-Money Laundering of Financial Institutions Article 3, 7,(1)
"....When the customer is a legal person, an organization or a trustee, a financial institution shall ...understand the ownership and control structure of the customer or the trust, and obtain the following information to identify the beneficial owners of the customer and take reasonable measures to verify the identity of such persons:
For legal persons and organizations:
A. The identity of the natural person(s) who ultimately has a controlling ownership interest in the legal person. A controlling ownership interest refers to owning directly and/or indirectly more than 25 percent of the legal person’s shares or capital...."
If the shareholder or the entity controls the company is a Listed company, then the company should disclose the shareholders subject to the regulatory disclosure requirements of its principal shareholders.
Open a personal bank account in Taiwan
If you do not have the ARC:
It used to be easy for foreigners with a valid passport to open a bank account. But not anymore. If you do not have the ARC ( Alien Residency Certificate) in Taiwan, it is extremely hard to open the personal account. Although the official requirements for a foreigner to open a personal bank account do not include ARC, most banks just reject your application if you are a foreigner and you do not have an ARC.