Company register in Japan - YB Case 2024
Registration period - 21, days
Best offer in the market - starting at 3900 EUR

Company register in Japan


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You can register a company in Japan either by visiting our office in person or remotely through the internet.

Features of jurisdiction

Japan is a centre for new trends, inventions and a preferred testing ground for new products. A large percentage of overseas companies view Japan as a centre for research and development and as a place to do business in Asia. Today, an increasing number of companies around the world are collaborating with Japanese companies to develop products and services, create innovative technologies and conduct R&D projects.

  • In-demand business areas

    Due to economic, legislative and territorial peculiarities, here are the most popular areas of business activity in Japan: business services, engineering, IT, pharmaceuticals, and trade.

  • Possibility of remote registration

    Remote registration of a company in Japan is possible.

  • Corporate taxes

    The standard corporate tax rate in Japan is 23.4%.

  • Attitude towards foreign investors

    Japan is open to foreign investment, making it a sought-after country for non-resident entrepreneurs.

  • Banks

    SMBC, Bank of Japan, Post Office Bank, Mizuho Bank, Shinsei Bank.

  • Legal system

    Japan's legal system is based on the continental system of law, similar to countries in Europe.

Company registration process in Japan

Incorporating a company in Japan takes up to 3 weeks and includes the following steps:
Initial consultation
Meeting with YB Case representatives at the office to clarify the details and requirements of the client. Starting the process of incorporating the company in Japan (initial consultation is possible in a remote format).
Name Reservation
The name of the future company should be unique and also contain the abbreviation of the company's legal form. The company name should be in Japanese, Chinese characters are allowed.
Filing an application for company registration in Japan
The applicant prepares the articles of association and memorandum of the company for notarization and also prepares the company seal. All documents are submitted to the Japan Legal Affairs Bureau.
Review of the Japanese company registration application by the regulator
After receiving all the necessary documents, the regulator (Legal Affairs Bureau) reviews the application and decides whether to incorporate the company in Japan.
Receipt of the certificate of incorporation
After the incorporation of the company in Japan, the founders receive a certificate of incorporation containing the company's registration number. Then, the company must register for tax purposes in Japan.

Primary prerequisites

  • Minimum paid-up capital of JPY 1
  • Minimum one founder
  • Registered local address
  • Minimum one director (Japanese resident)
  • Filing of financial statements once a year
  • Annual meeting of members (can be held remotely)
Company register in Japan

Company register in Japan

Company register in Japan

In today's world, where globalisation has become a defining feature of the economic landscape, the opportunity to open a company in another country is becoming an increasingly attractive and viable strategy for entrepreneurs. One of the countries that attracts attention for its unique culture, technological advances and business prospects is Japan. Starting a company by a foreigner in this country is a challenge that requires a deep understanding of its peculiarities and a responsible approach to planning and implementation. The main sectors of the economy in Japan are as follows:

  • the financial sector, including banking;
  • insurance sector;
  • real estate market;
  • retail trade;
  • transport infrastructure;
  • telecommunications.
There are three free economic zones within Japan, which offer foreign entrepreneurs the opportunity to benefit from lower tax rates. Typically, the standard corporate tax rate ranges from 19% to 23.4%. The country has significant industrial potential and is an important centre for the development and implementation of new technologies. In this text, we will review the key aspects to consider when setting up a business in Japan, as well as analyse effective steps and strategies that will help a foreign entrepreneur successfully cope with this task.

Advantages of company registration in Japan

Here are some of the most important ones:

  1. Technological forwardness: Japan is a leader in the development and implementation of advanced technologies, which opens up endless business opportunities in innovative industries.
  2. High-quality labour force: Highly educated workers with diverse skills and experience are ready to support your business and contribute to your growth.
  3. Global logistics: Japan's geographical location makes it easy to trade with other countries using highly developed transport networks.
  4. Favourable regulation: Japan offers favourable tax rates and a business-friendly regulatory framework that ensures sustainable development.
  5. Excellent infrastructure: An extensive network of communications, transport and services supports the efficient operation of businesses.
  6. Ready market: Japan is one of the world's largest consumer markets where you can find your customers.

Choosing the Optimal Business Structure in Japan: Importance and Benefits

When considering starting a business in Japan, an important step is to choose the right business structure. Choosing the right form of business has a key impact on taxation, legal status, financial control and the ability to attract investment. In this context, we will review the main business structures in Japan and their advantages, as well as provide detailed information on the conditions for registering a foreign individual entrepreneur.

Joint Stock Company (Kabushiki Kaisha):

A joint-stock company is a popular form of business in Japan. It divides ownership into shares that can be publicly traded. The company has shareholders who own shares and are entitled to receive dividends from the company's profits. Shareholders also participate in making important decisions at the general meeting of shareholders. The legislation does not set a mandatory minimum capital, but the company must have sufficient funds to carry out its planned activities.

Limited Liability Company (Godo Kaisha)

A limited liability company is another popular form of business in Japan. It gives the owners (partners) limited liability for the company's obligations. Each partner has a defined share of ownership and liability and shares in the company's profits and losses.


That’s a form of business organisation in which two or more persons combine their resources and knowledge to achieve common goals. The partners are jointly liable for the company's obligations and share profits and losses.

Sole proprietor (Kojin Jigyo)

A sole proprietor is a natural person who carries on business independently. The owner is liable for all the obligations of the business with his or her personal property.

Joint venture

A joint venture is a joint project between two or more companies that pool their resources to achieve common goals. They share profits and risks according to the terms of the agreement.

Foreigners wishing to register as sole proprietor in Japan must follow the following steps:

  1. Obtaining residence status: The foreigner must obtain an appropriate residence status in Japan that will allow him/her to conduct business activities.
  2. Choosing a business activity: You must also determine the nature of your business activity and register it following the requirements of the law.
  3. Registration of an individual entrepreneur: A non-resident must register his/her business with the local government authorities (municipality) at the location of the enterprise. To do this, you need to submit an application and the necessary documents, including a copy of your passport and residence status.
  4. Taxation: A foreigner must comply with mandatory registration taxation and obtain a tax number.
  5. Bank account: To conduct business, a foreigner must open a bank account with a local bank.
  6. Permits and licences: Depending on the nature of the activity, you may need additional permits and licences to conduct business.

These conditions are subject to change according to the laws and policies of the country, so it is important to familiarise yourself with the current requirements and guidelines of the relevant authorities before registering.

What is a free economic zone?

A Free Economic Zone in Japan is a special territory where simplified rules and benefits for entrepreneurs are in place to attract investment and promote economic growth and development. Such zones are usually created to attract foreign investors and support the development of new technologies, exports, innovation, etc.

Companies that register following the rules of free economic zones may enjoy certain benefits, such as reduced taxes, customs benefits, simplified administrative procedures, access to infrastructure and other benefits depending on the specific conditions of the zone. The main free economic zones are:

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Area: Located around the capital of Japan – Tokyo. This zone is aimed at developing financial services, technology, research and development.
  • Keiyo Industrial Zone (Keiyo Special Economic Development Zone): Located on the east coast of Tokyo and designed to stimulate industrial development, innovation and exports.
  • Kansai Special Economic Zone: Located in the west of Japan and includes Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima prefectures. It is focused on the development of industries such as automotive, electronics, biotechnology and others.
  • Shingo Innovation and Startup Support Zone: Located in the southwest of Tokyo. It is aimed at supporting innovative companies and start-ups.

Key features and requirements

Starting a company in Japan is a process that involves several steps and requirements, but it can also be quite simple if you have a good understanding of the procedures and requirements. Here is a detailed overview of the main aspects of opening a company:

  1. Choosing the type:
    1. Rely not only on your desires and goals, but also on your capabilities. Some forms are more accessible than others.
  2. Company name:
    1. Choose a unique name for your company and check it against the registry.
  3. Place of incorporation:
    1. Select the place of incorporation (usually in the municipality where you plan to operate).
  4. Identification of a resident director:
    1. According to the requirements, at least one of the company's directors must be a resident of Japan. This means that they have permanent residence in the country.
  5. Filling out the paperwork:
    1. Usually, you have to submit the following documents to register a company:
      1. Application for company registration.
      2. Articles of association (agreement for a limited liability company or a joint stock company).
      3. Copies of passports of directors and shareholders (if it is a joint stock company).
      4. A statement of the company's address and consent to its use.
      5. Confirmation of a resident director (if it is not you).
  6. Payments and start-up capital:
    1. Japan does not have a hard-coded minimum start-up capital for most types of companies, but you must provide sufficient funds to carry out your planned activities. The amount is usually determined based on the specific needs of the company.
  7. Registration:
    1. Register your company with the local commercial registration office or relevant authority. The registration procedure involves submitting the necessary documents and filling out the appropriate forms.
  8. Opening a bank account:
    1. After registration, you can open a bank account for your company where you will conduct financial transactions.
  9. Obtaining a tax number:
    1. Contact your local tax office to obtain a tax number for your company.
  10. Taxation and reporting:
    1. You must comply with the tax reporting and taxation requirements governed by Japanese tax law.

Taxes for foreign companies

The taxation system in Japan includes various types of taxes that apply to both residents and foreigners operating in the country. Here are some of the main ones:

Corporate Income Tax:
Japanese companies are taxed at a rate that is generally 23.2%. Foreigners doing business in Japan through their own companies also pay this tax. Note that rates may vary depending on various factors.
Value Added Tax (VAT):
The general VAT rate in Japan is 10%. This tax is paid on most goods and services, but there are some exceptions. Foreigners doing business in Japan are also subject to VAT under the relevant rules.
Personal income tax (Income Tax):
Foreigners who are resident in Japan are subject to taxation on their income in Japan. Income tax rates can range from 5% to 45%, depending on the level of income. For non-residents, a flat rate of approximately 20% applies.
Property Tax:
Foreigners who own real estate must pay property tax. The rates of this tax may vary depending on local conditions and the property.
Social security:
Residents of Japan, including foreigners residing in the country for a longer time, are required to pay social insurance contributions, such as pension, health and unemployment insurance.
Inheritance Tax:
Japan's inheritance tax system may apply to inheritances received from persons who are residents.
Reporting and documentation:
Foreigners operating in Japan must comply with tax reporting and documentation requirements. This may include reporting on income, VAT, social security contributions, etc.


Starting a company in Japan is a powerful step for those seeking to do business in a highly developed economic environment with rich opportunities. The registration and taxation system in Japan requires awareness and vigilance, but with the right approach and proper advice, the process can be successful.

Doing business in Japan is more than just opening a company. Cultural sensitivities, language barriers, and understanding of consumer warnings and market dynamics are of great importance. Interaction with local experts, partners and consultants can significantly increase your opportunities in this competitive market.


What documents are needed for opening a bank account?

You will need the following documents:

  • Passport or other document proving your identity and residency status.
  • A resident card (iko card) is issued to foreigners for long-term stays in Japan.
  • Personal identification number (My Number), which is issued to all residents of Japan.
  • Certificate of employment, source of income or business activity.
  • Additional documents that the bank may request to confirm financial stability and compliance with the law.

What are the taxation features for foreigners?

They are subject to taxation under the same conditions as local entrepreneurs. Above, we have discussed each aspect in more detail.

What are the benefits of starting a company in a free economic zone?

It can provide some benefits, such as reduced taxes, simplified customs procedures, access to specialised infrastructure, government support for innovation and research, and opportunities to attract foreign investment. These zones promote a favourable business environment and support the development of entrepreneurship and new technologies.
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