How To Start a Company in Japan?


A foreign business person 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 an interest in your business.

Fact that Japan remains one of the world’s largest economies today, Japan is well known for foreigners looking for 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:

Choose Between an LLC and Joint Stock Company

There are two types of business you can start in Japan: 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. K.K. is an option for a lot of large corporations like Sony or Nintendo, so this might not be the best for small companies. Prospective employees won’t be raising eyebrows when you’re interviewing them.

However, the second type, Goudou Gaisha, is not that popular and it is specifically attached to businesses like “mom and pop” shop image. Of course, you can change Goudou Gaisha to a K.K as time goes on, and is the easiest type to register.

So choose a company type based on your particular needs as each situation is different. 

Find an Accountant

Before you start with any paperwork, you should find an accountant. Finding and having one earlier will help get through the proper paperwork and help you monitor the business expenses.

So again, you should choose an accountant, especially one that is fluent in Japanese.

Write a Company Profile

Before you start your company registration process, you will 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 in your name if you are the owner of the company.

Open Your Company Bank Account

You will also need to create your company’s bank accounts. To do this, you will need to visit the bank with your company registration certificate, company seal certificate, and seals such as inkan or hanko.

Know that you need to spell your company name in katakana because it will make the process better.

Register with the Post Office

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