How To Start a Company in Japan?

A western businessman looking to establish a business in Asia is like pouring a cup of water into the ocean; there are very few Asian countries that hold the interest in your business more than that of Japan. The fact that Japan as a business destination has lost some of the lusters that it enjoyed during the 1970s and 80s is far from true, in fact this country remains one of the world’s largest economies today. Japan is well known for foreigners looking the best place to do business. So, if you are thinking of starting your business in Japan below is a list of some of the things you can do:


1. Choose Between an LLC and Joint Stock Company

There is two basic type of business you can start in Japan which includes the Goudou Gaisha (LLC) or a Kabushiki Kaisha (K.K.). The most common one among the two is the K.K. due to its status and image it projects. A K.K. is an option for a lot of large corporations like Sony or Nintendo, so this option might not be the best for small companies, and prospective employees won’t be raising eyebrows when you’re interviewing them.

However, the second type which is the Goudou Gaisha is not that popular and it is specifically attached to business like “mom and pop” shop image. However, you can change it to K.K. as times goes on and is the easiest type to register. So choose a company type based on your particular needs as each situation is different. 


2. Find an Accountant

Before you start with any of your country paperwork, it is advisable that you find an accountant. Finding one earlier will help you in getting the proper paperwork done and help monitor your business expenses. So it is advisable that you choose an accountant that is fluent in Japanese. 


3. Write a Company Profile

Before you can start your company registration process, you need to create a profile describing what your new company will do. Your company profile should include things such as:

  • Company Name – decide the specific name you want for your business.  The name you choose will appear on your company registration certificate and seal.
  • Address – You should choose a permanent address from the start because changing the name later might cost you some money.
  • Paid-In Capital―decide how much money you’ll want to set as your business capital as this money will be transferred to your company registered bank account. 
  • Tax Year – You also need to get your registration date as far from the tax filing date as possible so you won’t have to file taxes a month after registering the company.
  • Owners’ Names― Fill your name if you are the owner of the company.


4. Open Your Company Bank Account

You need to create your company personal bank accounts, to do this you will need to visit the bank with your company registration certificate, company seal certificate, and seals. However, you need to spell your company name with katakana company name, because the most foreigner-friendly of the Japanese banks do not allow Shinsei name.


5. Register with the Post Office

Lastly, you need to register a post office box for your company. This is a very simple half-page form available at any post office.

Japanese people feel challenged when it comes to using English – you can’t believe what it takes when consumers want to buy your product when all they see are contents in English! There are more than just borders to cross.

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