Foreign Companies Wishing to Expand into Japan

Foreign companies establishing a presence in Japan generally select one of three types of operation.

  1. Subsidiary (Kabushiki Kaisha or Godo Kaisha)
  2. Branch office
  3. Representative office

* Various advantages are now available to foreign financial companies setting up business in Tokyo

The Asian Headquarter subsidy program ended on 31st March,2017.
The Overseas Finacial Corporation Business Establishment Subsidy Program has started since 1st April,2017.

Foreign financial companies newly establishing business operations in  Tokyo can apply for this subsidy.Advance consultation before determining plans to establish of business operations and other various eligibility criteria are required.
For further information, please contact us.

There are 3 general types for foreign companies to start a business in Japan

1) A subsidiary is a Kabushiki Kaisha (joint stock company) or Godo Kaisha (limited liability company) with a head office in Japan and that engages in sales activities as a Japanese business.

2) A branch office is a foreign company’s base in Japan for conducting sales activities on a continuous basis.

3) A representative office is a base for carrying out preparatory tasks toward full-scale business operation in Japan. A representative office may collect information, engage in publicity and advertising activities, purchase goods, and conduct market surveys. It is not permitted to conduct sales activities such as concluding contracts with and making payment to business partners in Japan.

We can help you decide the best option.

The purpose of your business activities in Japan and other circumstances must be taken into careful consideration in order to select the optimal type of operation for you.
Choosing the wrong type of operation may present significant difficulties later on. The greatest problem is finding out your choice does not permit the activities you intended to carry out. Apart from this, your choice can affect the process of opening a bank account and applying for a visa, both of which can be considerable obstacles to running your business.
As a specialist in supporting foreign companies setting up business in Japan, we work with you to determine the best type of operation for you, and help establish your business and run it smoothly.
In many cases, we recommend setting up a Kabushiki Kaisha (joint stock company) or Godo Kaisha (limited liability company).

Basic flow for establishing a subsidiary: Kabushiki Kaisha (joint stock company)

【1】Determination of business profile

Details are determined such as trade name, address, business contents, amount of capital, and officers.

【2】Preparation and certification of articles of incorporation

The articles of incorporation are prepared based on the business profile determined above. We will draw up the document, ask you to check the contents, and file the completed document at the public notary’s office for certification. This document must be affixed with a registered seal and filed with the company seal impression certificate attached. This is not a problem for foreign nationals already residing in Japan who have completed alien registration and seal registration, as a company seal impression certificate can be obtained in the same manner as a Japanese national.

When foreign nationals residing abroad are listed as equity participant or director, however, a seal or signature certified by authorities in the home country is required in place of the affixed registered seal, and a certificate of signature or certificate issued by authorities in the home country in place of the company seal impression certificate.

* Deregulation measures are scheduled to permit registered signatures in future. For further information, please contact us.

【3】Remittance of capital

Capital is remitted to an account under the name of the promoter (equity participant) or the representative director at the time of establishment. The account must be at a financial institution established with authorization from the Japanese Financial Services Agency. It may be at a bank in the home country with a branch office in Japan.

If needed, we can recommend a bank we work with regularly.

【4】Preparation of other documents

Other documentation is prepared such as letter of acceptance from appointed directors, written proof of remittance of capital, and written determination of equity participants.

【5】Application of registration of establishment

When all documentation is complete, our partner judicial scrivener will apply for registration of establishment at the Legal Affairs Bureau at the address of the subsidiary.

We complete all procedures on your behalf.

As you can see, the procedures for setting up business in Japan are quite complicated for a foreign company.
We are here to provide support and complete all of these procedures on your behalf. Our services promise to save you the trouble of dealing with Japanese systems you may be unfamiliar with so that you can focus on running your business.
In the event you select us as partner, we hope to build a lasting relationship beyond establishment and help make your business in Japan a success.
Kindly send specific inquiries through our inquiry form, and a staff member will get in touch with you. We provide services in English for your convenience.

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.)

If you wish consultation via email, please send your information using the form below. Note that we open and read incoming messages around the clock, but may require some time to reply. For urgent inquiries, kindly contact us by phone.

There is a possibility that inquiries from overseas can not be received by this website. If so, please contact this email address.

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