As one of the most politically stable economies in Asia with a stringently enforced regulatory environment, Japan is considered to be an ideal country for business expansion. However, to open a new business in Japan or to take your existing business overseas there, you will need to follow the rules and regulations that are in place with regard to the incorporation of a Japanese company. These steps are fairly straightforward in nature and adherence to them is paramount if you want to start a successful and compliant Japanese company. This article details the steps involved in incorporating a Japanese company.
What are the main types of Japanese company?
The different types of Japanese company structures are as follows:
- Local Entities
- Limited Liability Company (LLC) also called Godo Kaisha
- Free Zone Company
- Joint Stock Corporation or Kabushiki Kaisha
- Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
- Foreign Entities
- Japanese Branch Office
- Japanese Representative Office
Steps for the incorporation of a Japanese company
To incorporate a Japanese company, there are certain prerequisites and a series of steps that must be followed:
Before filing for incorporation
Even before submitting the paperwork for the incorporation of the Japanese entity, there are a couple of things that must be done to ensure a smooth process. These include:
- Due diligence with respect to the documents. Naturally, it is essential that any company that is filing for incorporation has all the required documents up to date and in place.
- Key company details. Next comes deciding on the company name, the proposed business structure, who will be the shareholders and the directors. This is also the time that the detailed business plan is outlined for clarity on the scope of activity of the new company.
As with the pre-incorporation stage, there are a number of requirements during incorporation:
- Submission of the required documents and registration. Once the above two steps are accomplished, all the documents along with a completed registration form must be submitted to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI). This includes deeds of establishment and articles of association which must be been duly signed by a notary. The company name is also registered at this point.
- Lease Agreement. At the same time as the above, you will need to obtain a space for doing business and sign the lease agreement for your desired work period.
- Company Formation Application. After completion of the above two steps, a company formation application must be submitted to the Japanese company registrar. If everything is in order, then this gets approved within a few days and you will receive a certificate of registration for doing business in the country.
After the incorporation
After the successful incorporation of a Japanese company, there are a few steps that are advised to be taken for a seamless start to the business. These include:
- Meeting with shareholders. The first meeting with the shareholders and the board of directors is an important one. All important information regarding the company formation must be shared during this meeting and the minutes should be carefully noted down for future reference.
- Tax registration. This must be completed at the nearest District Tax Office and must be done as soon as feasible. A tax identification number and business registration certificate must be obtained.
- Opening a corporate bank account. This is a requirement for doing business transactions. Activating online banking services is also highly recommended.
Ready to expand into Japan?
Planning to take your business to Japan to make the best of its current economic situation but not sure how to go about it? The team at New Horizons Global Partners are experts in company incorporation in Japan, and we can help you with all aspects of setting up your Japanese company in accordance with local laws and stipulations. Find out more about our company incorporation service in Japan and get in touch if you have any questions.