top of page
  • Writer's pictureAll Hands Taiwan

Going Legit: Creating the All Hands Association

Updated: Jan 2, 2022

After over a year of filling out forms and holding meetings with accountants, we’ve finally done it: All Hands Taiwan is now officially a legally-recognized non-profit association!

Some might ask why All Hands needs to be a formal association. Well, this is a huge step for All Hands Taiwan and its mission. Now that we have a legal entity in place, we can continue to expand the services that we offer to job seekers, students, freelancers, entrepreneurs, companies and other like-minded organizations.

If you’re interested to learn what it took to create the All Hands Association, read on.

The Right Accountant is Crucial

It took us over a year to finalize our association, when it really shouldn’t take longer than six months. So what happened? It came down to the accountant we chose. We realized early on that it was crucial to have a good accountant, so we chose one who came highly recommended from friends who’ve opened up their own companies. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any actual experience in setting up an association, but told us he could do it. We spent months filling out all the forms and sent them along to him. Weeks went by without any meaningful response. Finally, when pressed for answers, the accountant owned up to the fact that he didn’t know what he was doing and was stumped.

This led to a hunt for a more qualified accountant, another round of payments, and another round of forms. It also resulted in considerable delay getting our association off the ground.

Choose a Home for Your Organization

After we found a more capable team of accountants, the first thing they asked was, “Where do you want to incorporate? In all of Taiwan, or just Taipei?”

Incorporating as a city-based association in Taipei was a much easier process, and that’s the option we chose. By setting up in Taipei, we would only need to prove we had members in the Taipei area (which was still a huge effort in paperwork collection).

To incorporate as a nationwide association, you would have to prove that you have members all over Taiwan.  If you’re considering founding an association, we strongly recommend that you talk to some people who have done it before to get an understanding of the membership workloads, because they are considerable. (For more on this, keep reading.)

Bring Your Crew

Everyone’s all ears at the first All Hands members meeting

Once we established our location, the next step was to gather signatures of our members. Since All Hands didn’t really have a membership system, we had to make one. We decided to gather close friends and some of the people who consistently showed up at our events and invite them to become our members.

In order to legally establish an association in Taipei, you need to have at least 30 members willing to sign membership forms who are in one of the following situations:

A) Taiwanese and have their household registration in Taipei, B) Foreigners who have an ARC that shows that they live in Taipei, or C) Taiwanese or Foreigners who don’t live in Taipei but work there (which can be proven with a letter from their employer).