top of page

Home >> Doing Business in Taiwan >> Business License for travel industry

Operate a store, counter, or food stall in a department store  

1. Invoice method

Distinct differences exist between the "counter" and "cooperative store" models in terms of sales and invoicing practices. It's crucial for businesses to understand their operational model and issue appropriate invoices accordingly to avoid legal repercussions.

  1. Counter Model (e.g., department store counters):

    • Merchants must seek prior approval from the National Taxation Bureau.

    • Payments are centralized through the department store, and invoices are issued to consumers in the department store's name.

    • The department store provides the counter operator with a sales list detailing sales date, product details, quantities, specifications, unit prices, taxes, total amounts, and settlement dates. Upon receiving this list, the counter operator issues unified invoices, providing the receipt copy to the department store for accounting. The invoice amount represents the actual revenue after deducting the department store's commission.

  2. Cooperative Store Model:

    • This model involves merchants selling goods through cooperative agreements, leasing space from partners, and managing sales and payments independently. They pay a predetermined commission to the cooperative store.

    • Merchants issue unified invoices to consumers under their own name.

    • Cooperative stores issue unified invoices to merchants based on the commissions received.

Businesses should adhere to relevant regulations according to their operational model to ensure correct invoice issuance and avoid legal infractions.

According to the Fair Trade Commission's guidelines and the Ministry of Finance's interpretation, consumers obtaining invoices from department store counters indicate adherence to the counter sales model, without tax evasion. However, operating as a "cooperative store" necessitates prior business registration; otherwise, it is considered illegal.

National Taxation Bureau Announcement:

The National Taxation Bureau recently discovered a case where Business A provided premises to Company B to operate a gas station under a cooperative sales agreement. Although B independently collected payments and paid royalties to A, invoices were issued to consumers by A, similar to the department store counter model, resulting in suspicions of tax evasion by B and subsequent penalties.

While B operated the gas station under a cooperative agreement, leasing premises from A, paying royalties monthly, and managing operations independently, it was considered a "cooperative store" model. In such cases, B should issue unified invoices directly to gas consumers.

However, A mistakenly applied the "counter" sales model, issuing invoices in its name for gas sales to consumers, while B issued monthly total sales invoices to A, obtaining royalty invoices. While A didn't evade taxes, B faced penalties for failure to register for tax purposes and issue required invoices.

The Fair Trade Commission's handling principles for transactions between department stores and counter vendors


1. The purpose of these handling principles is to promote clear and comprehensive disclosure of important transaction information between department stores and counter vendors, ensure fair and reasonable transaction behavior, maintain transaction order, and ensure freedom and fair competition.

2. Definitions:

The definitions of terms used in these handling principles are as follows:

(a) Department Store: Refers to establishments with a sales floor area of 3,000 square meters or more, comprising many counters and self-operated counters, selling a variety of goods. They conduct sales and checkout operations by department and are managed and operated by a single organization. Shopping center formats meeting the aforementioned definition also fall under the category of department stores.

(b) Counter Vendor: Refers to businesses under the management and supervision of department stores. They dispatch sales personnel, pay salaries themselves, sell products at counters (stores) in department stores, and have a certain percentage of their sales revenue deducted by the department store.

3. Restrictive Competition Practices:

Department stores are prohibited from engaging in the following practices by abusing their dominant positions:

(a) For the purpose of harming specific businesses, inducing counter vendors to terminate transactions with said businesses. For example, making representations to affiliated counter vendors that if they cooperate with competitors' counters, they will face delisting, thereby inducing counter vendors to discontinue transactions with those competitors.

(b) Using unfair restrictions on the business activities of counter vendors as conditions for transactions. For example, unjustly limiting the operating areas of counter vendors.

4. Manifestly Unfair Practices:

Department stores engage in manifestly unfair practices if they:

(a) Make adjustments or changes to counter locations or areas without prior agreement with counter vendors and without fully disclosing relevant information in writing.

(b) Organize various promotional activities and require sponsorship from counter vendors without disclosing the standards for collecting sponsorship fees and detailed sharing information.

(c) Set commission standards with counter vendors.

(d) Require counter vendors to share transaction fees agreed upon with credit card issuers, specifying the amount of transaction fees counter vendors must share.

(e) When subcontracting construction for counter setup and facilities, fail to agree with counter vendors in advance and fully disclose relevant information in writing.

5. Legal Effects:

Violation of the provisions of Article 3, Paragraph 1, which poses a risk of restricting competition, constitutes a violation of Article 20, Paragraph 1, of the Fair Trade Act.

Violation of the provisions of Article 3, Paragraph 2, which poses a risk of restricting competition, constitutes a violation of Article 20, Paragraph 5, of the Fair Trade Act.

Violation of the provisions of Article 4, which significantly affects transaction order, constitutes a violation of Article 25 of the Fair Trade Act.























More questions? Let us guide you further

You may find these useful guides in helping you make your decision:

Contact our specialist today.

Our direct inquiry form will allow you to contact our client servicing team member directly

bottom of page