Legal Environment

flag Taiwan, China Taiwan, China: Legal Environment

In this page: Business Contract | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework of Business | International Dispute Resolution


Business Contract

General Observation
You must state precisely the obligations of the vendor and the methods of quality control.
Law Applicable to the Contract
Taiwan did not sign the Convention of Vienna because it's not recognized as an independent country. A foreign law can be applied: to be negotiated when writing the contract. If not it is the Code of Commerce will apply.
Advisable Incoterms
Choose FOB or CIF, or more. For more information on Incoterms consult the website of the International Chamber of Commerce.
Language of Domestic Contract
Chinese or English.
Other Laws Which Can Be Used in Domestic Contracts
A foreign law can be applied: to be negotiated when writing the contract. If not, the Code of Commerce will apply.

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Intellectual Property

National Organisations
In order to register a patent, a trademark or a technical design, it is necessary to present it beforehand to the Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) and apply to an expert in Taiwanese patents recognized by the authorities.
Regional Organisations
Chinese Intellectual Property Protection Association.
International Membership

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patent Act
20; 12 or 10 years
Trademark Act
10 years
Patent Act
12 years.  
Copyright Act
The life of the author and fifty years after the author's death.

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreigners can be guaranteed an impartial trial from the country's judicial system.
The Language of Justice
The judicial language used in the country is Mandarin Chinese, having an interpreter is possible.
Recourse to an Interpreter
Having an interpreter is possible.
Legal Similarities
Taiwanese Law today is mainly based on the civil law system.

The Different Legal Codes

The Constitution of Taiwan It is the supreme law of the land and contains 175 articles in the original text.
The Civil Code The Civil Code regulates all aspects of trade, agency, employment, contracts, leases, loans, mandates, partnership, suretyship and tort.
The Code of Civil Procedures The Code of Civil Procedure governs procedurally all civil matters including commercial.
The Criminal Code All criminal matters are governed substantively by the Criminal Code
The Code of Criminal Procedure The Code of Criminal Procedure governs procedurally all criminal matters.
The Administrative laws
Checking National Laws Online
Taiwanese legal research guide
Other Useful Resources
Certified Public Accountant Ltd
Country Guides
Lexmundi Guide

The Jurisdictions

Judicial Yuan Serves as the highest judicial organ.
The Supreme Court The court of last resort in the Republic of China. It is inferior only to the Judicial Yuan that considers constitutional issues.
Taiwan High Court
Fuchien High Court Kinmen Branch Court This Court handles appeal and objection cases from the district courts of Kinmen County and Lienchiang County; and also criminal and other cases subject to a legal decision of the High Court.
The Supreme Administrative Court The high administrative courts decide questions of both fact and law, while the Supreme Administrative Court decides only questions of law.
High Administrative Courts The high administrative courts decide questions of both fact and law, while the Supreme Administrative Court decides only questions of law.
Commission on the disciplinary sanctions of functionaries The Control Yuan may impeach a public official for malfeasance, dereliction of duty, other neglect of duty, or if the head of any of the various branches, ministries or commissions or the highest local administrative head requests a disciplinary measure against a public official for these reasons. The Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries, under the Judicial Yuan, exercises jurisdiction over such cases.
Judicial Personal Study Center of the Judicial Yuan

Court Officials

The lawyer's first role is to inform his clients about their rights and obligations. Then he can represent them in court and make a speech for the defense.
He is the one who decides if the law has been broken or not, as well as the penalties which ensue.

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International Dispute Resolution

Arbitration is a solution for settling disputes. An arbitrator is called in who has to make the final decision.
Arbitration Law
Taiwan amended its Arbitration Law in 1998 to comply with the international standard as defined by the UNCITRAL Model Law. Many of the important provisions of the Model Law can be found in Taiwan’s Arbitration Law.
Moreover Taiwan has implemented investment guaranty agreements with 31 nations.
Conformity to International Commercial Arbitration Rules
Appointment of Arbitrators
Parties may represent themselves or be represented by any advocate of their choice, whether or not legally qualified.
Arbitration Procedure
However, where the parties have not agreed on the arbitration procedure, the rules of the Arbitration Law shall apply. Where the Arbitration Law does not provide such rules, Taiwan’s Code of Civil Procedure, or other rules deemed appropriate by the arbitration tribunal, shall apply. The rules on service of process prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure shall apply in arbitration. The Arbitration Law further provides that if expressly authorized by the parties, the arbitration tribunal may apply rules of equity when rendering its decision.
Permanent Arbitration Bodies
Chinese Arbitration Association, Taipei

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Latest Update: April 2024