How long does it take between consultation and setting up business?

The duration to establishment will depend on whether or not you have the necessary documents such as certificate of signature.

Many cases require one to two months from consultation. Foreign nationals residing in Japan, who can readily obtain a company seal impression certificate, may be able to set up business in one week. We work with a certified administrative procedures legal specialist corporation for quick, smooth establishment.

When applying for status of residence under Tokyo’s “Program to increase foreign entrepreneurs,” how long does it take to obtain an entry permit into Japan?

It will take one to three months after submitting your three-year business plan to Tokyo. Note, however, that the screening period varies on a case-by-case basis.

Under ordinary regulations, foreign nationals wishing to set up business in Tokyo must first establish the business, then apply for a business manager visa, and wait for three to six months during screening to receive an entry permit into Japan. This entails a loss: if you rent an office at the time of establishment, you would need to continue paying rent until you receive the entry permit.
We recommend the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s new program because it allows you to first enter into Japan, and then make preparations for setting up business with support from the Tokyo government.
We provide support by completing all procedures on your behalf, from preparation of the three-year business plan for Tokyo to application with the Immigration Bureau.

Simply leave everything to us, as we are well acquainted with application procedures under Tokyo’s “Program to increase foreign entrepreneurs.”

I live abroad. Can I set up business in Japan?

Yes, you can. Regulations have been revised so that a company may be established even if the representative director does not have an address in Japan.

However, the account to which you remit capital must be at a financial institution established with authorization from the Japanese Financial Services Agency. This may be a bank in your home country with a branch office in Japan. We can recommend a bank we work with regularly, or provide nominee services involving the appointment of a temporary representative director. Please consult us about the latter service, as it comes with several conditions.

Must a foreign national setting up business in Japan always obtain a visa?

No, a visa is not an absolute requirement. Some foreign nationals run their business from abroad, and visit Japan only several times a year on a tourist visa. If you wish to operate in Japan over an extended period of time, however, you must apply for a visa.

Can I complete registration of incorporation in Japan using a virtual office as the head office address?

Registration of incorporation may be completed with any address. Using a virtual office as your head office address, in itself, does not present a problem.

However, the securing of a physical office space will be a requirement after establishment, for instance if you wish to apply for a business manager visa or invite foreign employees from the parent company abroad to work in Japan.

Certain operations that require permits and licenses also may not accept a virtual office as an address. Please consult us if this applies to you.

When setting up a subsidiary, can I register the trade name in Roman alphabet, to match the parent company in the home country?

Yes, you can. Numerals, hyphens, commas, bullet points, and other symbols are also acceptable in the trade name of a subsidiary. Note, however, that “Kabushiki Kaisha” must appear before, in, or after the trade name.

Must everyone setting up business in Japan always make a company seal?

Yes, making a company seal is a requirement before applying for registration of incorporation. Our services include a three-item package of representative’s seal, bank seal, and square company seal.

Should I establish a subsidiary or a branch office?

This would depend on the purpose of your business activities in Japan. Please contact us for a consultation, and we will recommend the best type of operation for you.

Note that a branch office does not require capital and thus involves fewer expenses at the time of establishment. Taxes will be high, however, if the parent company in the home country has a large capital.

Should I establish a Kabushiki Kaisha (joint stock company) or a Godo Kaisha (limited liability company)? I plan to set up business in Japan and obtain a business manager visa.

As far as obtaining a business manager visa is concerned, neither is better or worse than the other. We recommend Kabushiki Kaisha if you are considering going public in future, and separating shareholders from management.

Godo Kaisha offers advantages for smaller operations such as sole proprietorships, as it involves fewer expenses at the time of establishment, and the articles of incorporation may be amended at will.

Your initial consultation is free of charge. Please contact us by either phone or email. (If you prefer to visit our office for consultation, kindly make an appointment by phone or email.)

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