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Branch office, KK, GK, Company Registration, Tax, Social Insurance, etc.
Doing Business in Japan. Opening, Setting up a Company. Incorporation, Registration Options! Branch Office, Subsidiary Co!
Setting up a Company in Japan. Opening up a legal entity and business presence in Japan. Branch Office, Subsidiary Co, etc.
Japan is one of the World’s most significant countries in terms of economic scale. It offers attractive and extensive opportunities to entrepreneurs and foreign companies to build a business network or break into the Asian market.
Japan provides a level playing ground for foreign investors. It has been observed by most of the foreign companies that setting up and doing business in Japan is pretty straightforward. Japan offers an attractive market and extensive business opportunities!
Japan is the home of many World Top Companies, and many multinational companies have their presence in Japan. Having a presence in Japan is a status for a company to do business in the world market(s)! It gives a “Brand Image.”
Japanese sophisticated consumers with high purchasing power and discerning tastes allow a business to improve further in their product(s) or service(s) offered to the international clients!
Foreign companies doing a thorough research will find that administrative, legal matters for doing business in Japan are sometimes more straightforward compared to their own home country! With professional assistance, “Setting Up Company, Administrative Operation and Doing Business in Japan” is quite simple!
To cater to Japanese clients, a presence in Japan is almost a must factor!
There are many options available for establishing a legal business entity in Japan. As a practical choice to engage in commercial business activities in Japan, the option is either to establish a “Branch Office” or a “Subsidiary Company” in the form of a Kabushiki-Kaisha or a Godo-Kaisha.
According to the Japanese Companies Act, there are four types of formats:
The formats such as Gomei-Kaisha and Goshi-Kaisha are rarely chosen in practice because equity participants' burden is unlimited rather than a limited liability.
A foreign company or an entrepreneur can set up a business presence (legal-entity) in Japan in one of the following four (4) options:
However, for commercial business activities in Japan, the most favored option is to establish a “Branch Office” or a “Subsidiary Company” in the form of a Joint-Stock Company(Kabushiki-Kaisha) or a Limited Liability Company (Godo-Kaisha).
Representative Office: Representative office is generally established for carrying out market research and liaison activities on behalf of the head office. It does not allow to conduct commercial business activities in Japan.
Branch Office: A foreign company can establish a "Branch Office" for commercial business activities in Japan. There is no requirement to establish a statutory officers/management body for registration. It only needs a local physical address (not a PO Box) and a Representative in Japan."
Joint-Stock Company (Kabushiki-Kaisha): A Kabushiki Kaisha has commonly abbreviated KK. It can be registered with a capital of 1(one) yen and with only one Investor/Promotor as “Shareholder and Director.” A KK is Japan's most widely known and credible type of company structure. Shareholders and Directors can all be non-residents, and a resident in Japan is not mandatory.
Limited Liability Company (Godo-Kaisha) (LLC): A Godo Kaisha has commonly abbreviated GK introduced in the Companies Act of Japan" in May-2006. GK is similar to the UK's Private Limited Company (Ltd) or the American Limited Liability Company (LLC). A foreign entrepreneur or a corporation can register a GK in Japan without a "Local Resident in Japan" under the amendment in the Companies Act introduced in March-2015.
Limited Liability Partnership [LLP] (Yugen Sekinin Jigyo Kumiai): This format is considered a Japanese version of a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). It is not a corporation but a Partnership formed only by the equity participants, who have limited liability. One partner must be a local "Resident of Japan."
Option regarding the formation of a legal business entity in Japan for ongoing commercial activities: The favored choice is either to establish a "Branch Office" or a local "Subsidiary Company (Kabushiki-Kaisha or Godo-Kaisha)."
A foreign company or entrepreneurs can establish a Japanese company Godo-Kaisha(GK) or Kabushiki-Kaisha(KK)] in Japan without a "Local Resident in Japan" under the amendment in the Companies Act introduced in March-2015.
Time-frame for registration: For the procedure, please refer to the registration flowchart of the Branch Office and Kabushiki-Kaisha [KK] Co. & Godo-Kaisha [GK] Co. Upon applying to Legal Affairs Bureau for registration, it takes about 2(two) weeks to obtain the registration certificate.
Japan Types of Companies(legal-entity) - Comparison At a Glance
Corporate Number (NTA)
Japan Tax (NTA)
My Number (Japan)
Social Insurance (Japan)
Immigration Bureau (Japan)
Japan Visa (MOFA)