Global Workforce Management
10 min read

Doing business in Taiwan

Taiwan Skyline
Written by
Paul Arnesen
Published on
April 17, 2024
Global Workforce Management
Global Expansion

Taiwan's Business Scene

Taiwan, a thriving tech hub, presents global companies with unparalleled opportunities for growth and success. With its robust economy and strategic location in Asia, Taiwan blends traditional Chinese traditions with a progressive business culture.

Mastering this ever-evolving industry requires a deep understanding of Taiwan's corporate culture, which can pave the way for your business's successful journey in this dynamic market.

This guide provides practical insights into key business characteristics for navigating Taiwan's commercial landscape.

Finding success in Taiwan's corporate climate requires a nuanced strategy, considering its respect for hierarchy, etiquette, and the innovative technology sector. This guide dissects communication, negotiation, and relationship-building in Taiwan, equipping you to develop successful partnerships and make informed business decisions if you plan on doing business in Taiwan or work with someone from Taiwan.

Understanding the local business scene is a necessity and a gateway to expanding, investing in, or working with Taiwanese enterprises.

The aim is to give you some tools in order to interact with one of Asia's most dynamic economies, emphasising the value and importance of building strong and lasting business relationships in Taiwan.

We will examine the core concepts, methods, and approaches that shape business success in Taiwan, establishing the framework for profitable and long-term collaborations.


taiwan cultural Training

Business Culture Core Values

Taiwan's business culture, inspired by Confucianism, emphasises respect, dedication, and humility.

These ideals form Taiwanese company culture and how individuals interact, affecting business dynamics.

Valuing Command Chain

The respect for hierarchy shapes Taiwanese corporate practices. Experience and rank influence decision-making and organisational structure.

Knowing this structure is essential for doing business in Taiwan. Recognising senior figures can open doors, while not doing so may limit your prospects.

The Importance of Guanxi

Successful Taiwanese business requires good ties. Strong personal and commercial relationships are often considered essential for company success.

This concept they call Guanxi.

Trust and respect are built through regular connections and meaningful interactions. Your Taiwanese business success depends on your network.

Detail-oriented and comprehensive

The Taiwanese culture values hard work and perseverance. Taiwanese companies emphasise thorough planning and presentations as signs of diligence and respect. Showing passion for your profession and business will help you gain credibility and respect from your Taiwanese colleagues and partners.

Advancing consensus and group harmony

According to Confucian values, Taiwanese business culture values group cohesion. Collaboration, however time-consuming, ensures that all parties are included and appreciated in decision-making. This strategy can ensure that corporate results are sustainable and acceptable to all parties.

Understanding and applying these fundamentals to your business plan can improve Taiwanese business interactions. Being successful in Taiwan requires understanding hierarchy, creating good relationships, displaying effort, and fostering collaboration.


Key Regulations and Benefits

  1. Employer Contributions: Approximately 18-21% of an employee's salary goes towards labor and health insurance, and pension contributions.
  2. Employee Benefits: Comprehensive benefits include health insurance, pensions, and workers' compensation, with optional private healthcare.
  3. Maternity and Sick Leave: Employees are entitled to eight weeks of maternity leave and up to 30 days of sick leave at partial pay.
  4. Overtime Regulations: Employees receive 134% to 267% of their hourly wage for overtime, depending on the hours and days worked.
  5. Probation Periods: Typically, a three-month probation period is common in employment contracts.
  6. Termination and Severance: Regulations require severance based on duration of employment and notice periods that vary by service length.
  7. Minimum Wage: The statutory minimum monthly wage is set at TWD 27,470 (2024).
  8. Work Hours: The standard workweek is limited to 40 hours, with provisions for maximum daily hours including overtime.
  9. Public Holidays and Leave: Employees have entitlements to several public holidays and annual leave, which increases with service duration.
  10. Remote Work Regulations: Employers must support remote work setups with necessary tools and training.

Business Communication Style

Since Taiwan combines traditional beliefs with modern business methods, understanding its communication is vital. You must understand and adapt to local communication styles to succeed in this market.

Contrasting directness and indirectness

Taiwanese businesspeople value clear information and direct contact. Their communication is more indirect, especially in delicate situations.

Maintaining harmony and reputation in Taiwanese society requires understanding and honouring cultural norms. Interacting with diverse cultures requires understanding cultural differences and nonverbal signs. Recognising that a lack of express denial may reflect disagreement or ambiguity is crucial.

With professionalism and societal norms in mind

Politeness is paramount in Taiwanese interactions. Use formal titles and surnames unless directed otherwise. Formality is expected and rewarded in business meetings and correspondence. Respect is essential to business interactions.

Understanding Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal clues are essential for efficient communication. Maintaining eye contact shows curiosity without being confrontational. Professional body language, such as nodding and avoiding aggression, can also improve communication.

Written Communication Matters

Taiwanese writing follows rigorous protocols. Business documentation should be complete yet concise, and having the necessary materials in English and Traditional Chinese is beneficial. Offering translations shows appreciation for the local culture and improves understanding, preventing misunderstandings.

Understanding Taiwanese communication conventions demands balancing directness with subtlety, formality, and nonverbal awareness.

Understanding and adjusting to cultural norms can improve communication and relationships, leading to better commercial results and more straightforward negotiations.



Effective Meeting and Negotiation Strategies

Understanding Taiwanese meetings and negotiation strategies will help you build commercial ties.

Taiwanese corporate culture values negotiation preparation, respect, and collaboration.

Being ready is essential.

Meetings and discussions in Taiwan require thorough preparation. Businesspeople in Taiwan value detailed agendas and well-organised presentations. Make sure you grasp the facts and can answer questions about your plans or business. Being well-prepared shows respect for Taiwanese people and can help your interactions succeed.

Being punctual matters.

Taiwanese society values punctuality for its respect and professionalism. Attending meetings and discussions on time is vital. Being prompt shows dependability and helps build a good first impression.

Approach to Negotiating

Taiwanese conversations start gently and get more assertive as they proceed. Being patient and not rushing is essential. Taiwanese corporate culture values harmony and avoidance.

Finding solutions that benefit everyone is the priority. Highlight the importance of establishing common ground and building enduring alliances during negotiations.

Investigating Decision-Making

Taiwanese decision-making is hierarchical and requires high management approval. The process focuses on stakeholder discussions to reach a consensus.

Negotiations may take longer as all opinions are considered. Appreciating and understanding this process might lead to better, longer-lasting results.

Continuation

After meetings and negotiations, present a detailed report with the next steps. This follow-up must be thorough and attentive while reiterating meeting pledges.

Effective follow-up is essential for maintaining clarity and building trust and respect.

Understanding and honouring Taiwanese meetings and negotiation conventions can improve your interactions and commercial success. These behaviours, rooted in Taiwanese culture, emphasise respect, planning, and planned economic dealings.

Creating Strong Taiwanese Business Links

Success in Taiwan, as in many East Asian societies, depends on solid commercial relationships. Guanxi-based interactions go beyond professional contacts and often influence business outcomes.

The Value of Guanxi

Guanxi—building and cultivating relationships—is essential to Taiwanese corporate culture. It emphasises influence networks and mutual commitments.

Strong ties are necessary for succeeding in a Taiwanese company. Building this project requires time, dedication, and consistency. It involves helping when needed and positioning your firm for future success.

Establishing trust and long-term connections

Strong Taiwanese business connections require trust.

Over time, regular and reliable activities and commitments lead to it.

Taiwanese companies value honest, trustworthy partners.

Long-term, mutually beneficial relationships require trust.

Understanding and navigating social interactions

Establishing good commercial partnerships in Taiwan requires understanding social interactions.

Business requires attendance at meals, cultural events, and casual gatherings.

These events allow people to bond and show admiration for Taiwanese culture. Building commercial relationships requires active and respectful participation in these social functions.

Handling Conflict

Negotiating conflicts requires subtlety and diplomacy. People in Taiwan prefer to avoid conflict. Instead, use other methods and discover solutions that benefit everyone.

A smooth and amicable conclusion is crucial to maintaining valuable ties and avoiding relationship strain.

Consistent Engagement

Staying in touch and updating your Taiwanese counterparts on initiatives and developments strengthens the relationship. Continuous engagement shows commitment and respect for the partnership, which helps maintain it even when direct business encounters are minimal.

Building and keeping partnerships in Taiwan requires understanding and integrating into local business culture. This culture values guanxi, trust, and respect.

By following these ideas, you may develop a robust Taiwanese network that facilitates current transactions and future business growth.


Working With Taiwanese with Sunny Foehr-Huang 🇹🇼

Here your can find the episode I did with native Taiwanese Sunny Foehr-Huang on my Working With Us podcast.

Click here to find it on your preferred platform


Law and Regulation

Starting or running a business in Taiwan requires a good understanding of its laws and regulations.

Taiwan has well-regulated policies and explicit guidelines that promote transparency and fairness in company activities.

Mastering local business laws

Taiwan has strong business rules to safeguard businesses and consumers. These rules cover company governance, finance, worker rights, and environmental restrictions; therefore, understanding them is crucial.

Compliance with regulations prevents legal complications and builds credibility and trust with local partners and customers.

Protecting intellectual property

Taiwan is known for its stringent IP laws. Technology and creative companies need strong patent, trademark, and copyright protection.

Understanding and adopting these protections can secure your ideas and provide a competitive edge in Taiwan.

How to Navigate Bureaucracy

Taiwan's corporate environment is forward-thinking, yet bureaucracy can be challenging. Registering a business, filing taxes, and getting permits can be complicated. Local legal and business consultants can help streamline these processes.

Get in touch with native Sunny Foehr-Huang for help

Learning employment laws

Taiwan's labour laws balance company needs and worker rights. When hiring locals, you must understand employment laws.

This includes knowing contract terms, wage rules, working hours, and circumstances.

Compliance with these laws promotes workplace harmony and reduces legal risks.

Ensuring environmental compliance.

Due to Taiwan's sustainability focus, environmental standards must be strictly followed. These rules restrict manufacturing and industrial processes to reduce environmental effects.

Following these regulations fulfils your legal requirements and improves your brand's reputation with eco-conscious consumers and partners.

Understanding and integrating local corporate laws, IP protection, bureaucracy, employment restrictions, and environmental compliance is essential to negotiating Taiwan's legal and regulatory frameworks.

By following these principles, businesses can manage Taiwan's changing market and succeed long-term.

Technology and innovation

Electronics, semiconductors, and information technology have made Taiwan a global technology and innovation leader.

Companies expanding into Taiwan must use this excellent technological knowledge.

Accepting new technology

Taiwan's focus on technology benefits organisations that value cutting-edge solutions. Integrating cutting-edge technologies into operations, product development, and customer service can boost companies' potential. Local tech enterprises and startups can offer collaboration and cutting-edge technologies that may not be available elsewhere.

Using technology to transform and innovate.

Digital transformation is crucial in Taiwan. Taiwanese enterprises are pioneering cloud computing and AI to boost productivity and competitiveness.

Foreign companies should adopt similar technologies to satisfy local partners and consumers who want modern solutions.

Research and Development Collaboration

Taiwan has a vibrant R&D environment thanks to government initiatives and private investment. Foreign enterprises can improve operations by collaborating with Taiwanese firms and institutes on R&D.

These agreements provide exclusive resources, collective experience, and government incentives to accelerate innovation and product development.

Focus on Cybersecurity

With our rising reliance on digital solutions, cybersecurity is crucial.

Due to its critical geopolitical position, businesses in Taiwan must prioritise cybersecurity and take strong precautions to protect their operations.

Strong security and working with reputed cybersecurity solutions can protect your business's assets and confidential data.

Utilising Taiwan's robust ICT infrastructure

Taiwan's excellent ICT infrastructure facilitates firms' digital transformation.

This infrastructure can streamline processes, ensure reliable communication, and give firms a competitive edge in efficiency and connectivity.

Taiwan's technology and innovation help firms adapt to the tech-driven economy, and strategic planning helps organisations grow and integrate into global economies.


Taiwan hiring

CSR and Sustainability

Taiwan increasingly prioritises CSR and environmental sustainability, reflecting global trends and local values. Businesses and customers in Taiwan respect ethics and environmental responsibility, making CSR crucial to success.

Including CSR in Business Strategy

Taiwanese CSR goes beyond environmental compliance and charity.

Ethical procedures must be seamlessly integrated into business strategy. Sustainable sourcing, fair work, and community development may be included.

Corporate social responsibility can boost reputation, customer loyalty, and talent acquisition.

Using green methods

Sustainability is becoming more critical in Taiwan due to natural resource constraints and environmental issues.

Taiwanese businesses must use green technologies, reduce carbon emissions, and reduce waste. These approaches comply with local laws and appeal to environmentally concerned consumers.

Local Community Collaboration

Successful CSR efforts generally involve local communities. Supporting local education, disaster relief, and economic growth can make a difference.

Such efforts build strong, long-term community relationships, laying the framework for corporate operations.

Raising awareness of reporting and transparency

Taiwanese consumers and regulators now need CSR transparency on environmental and social implications.

Businesses should prioritise transparent CSR communication to demonstrate accountability and build stakeholder trust.

Use Government Incentives

Taiwanese government subsidies are available to sustainable businesses. These incentives include tax rebates, subsidies, and green technology development.

These incentives can boost profits and support the company's CSR goals.

By participating in CSR and environmental efforts, Taiwanese enterprises can embrace local values and follow global market trends. This helps them compete and improve their environment. Businesses may meet local consumers' needs and build a sustainable business model for Taiwan's ever-changing market.

Success in Taiwan's Business Landscape

Taiwan's economic landscape requires more than market knowledge—one must embrace its culture and ethics. We have covered many aspects of Taiwanese business culture, including respecting hierarchies, building solid relationships, embracing technology, and prioritising environmental sustainability.

Keys to Taiwanese Business Success:

Embracing Cultural Nuances:

  • Taiwanese culture, including hierarchy and relationships, must be acknowledged.
  • Use Taiwan's advanced technology and R&D to boost your business.
  • Align your business practices with Taiwan's CSR and sustainability values.

By following these principles, foreign companies can thrive in Taiwan's competitive business environment.

Local practices must be valued for constructive collaboration and long-term success.

International enterprises can now embrace fresh chances as Taiwan's global influence grows.

With the appropriate strategy, foreign enterprises can use Taiwan's lively business scene to expand and form long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships.

Accept the opportunity and discover that doing business in Taiwan goes beyond money. You must be valued in a dynamic and progressive community.

Adopting Taiwan's business trends

Staying informed and adaptive in Taiwan's ever-changing market is crucial to long-term success.

Technology, consumer behaviour, and regulations constantly evolve business.

Accepting the digital age and maximising e-commerce

Taiwan's rapid adoption of digital technologies allows businesses to improve operations and consumer engagement.

Digitally aware consumers drive e-commerce growth. Companies should focus on robust online platforms and efficient digital marketing tactics to capitalise on the increasing industry.

Discovering green technologies and renewable energy

Taiwan is leading in green technologies and renewable energy as the globe embraces sustainability. Businesses can actively participate in this transformation by adopting sustainable practices, investing in green technologies, and partnering with local renewable energy firms. These activities comply with local laws and worldwide environmental trends.

Modern society uses AI and automation more. Rapid technological breakthroughs have enabled the creation of sophisticated systems that can execute human activities. These innovations could transform businesses and boost productivity. As we study AI and automation, we must examine their influence on the

Taiwan is a leader in AI and automation. Integrating AI into your company's processes can boost innovation, decision-making, and service delivery. Taiwanese tech companies can provide cutting-edge AI solutions tailored to your company's needs.

Customising Strategies for Local Consumers

A culturally rich and diversified market like Taiwan requires a comprehensive awareness of and ability to react to local consumer preferences. Businesses must modify product design, marketing, and customer service to meet Taiwanese consumer tastes.

Planning for regulatory changes

Taiwan's regulatory frameworks change with new technologies and global economic trends. Staying compliant and competitive requires keeping up with these developments and preparing your firm to adjust quickly.

Keep an eye on emerging trends to stay ahead in Taiwan's economy, embrace new opportunities, and overcome challenges with agility and competence.

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Human Capital Strategist
Paul Arnesen
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