How To Start A Business In Japan

  • Post category:Japan

Japan is a fantastic environment for business, whether you want to expand a current business or launch a brand-new one. With the third-largest GDP (Gross Domestic Product), it has one of the strongest economies in the world.

Japan is undoubtedly a successful place for all enterprises, with a consumer base willing to spend more for high-quality goods.

How To Start A Business In Japan


Selecting a company name

The applicant must verify that the proposed company name is available. Although it is only available in Japanese, they can use the website of the Japanese Ministry of Justice for this. The applicant can give their business a name in both English and Japanese.

Obtaining a company seal

A seal is required before a company may be registered. To obtain a certificate, the applicant must register this seal with the Legal Affairs Bureau. They can get one that is hand-carved for 20,000 or one that is machine-carved for 10,000. 

Every director at the firm will require their own seals and certifications.

Creating articles of incorporation

This is a crucial action because it will form the foundation of the business. The Article of Incorporation must contain the following information:

  • The name, address, date of establishment, and primary goal of the business, 
  • The amount of capital invested 
  • The number of available shares or stocks, and
  • the founders’ names and addresses.

Notarizing the documents

Make sure to notarize the articles of incorporation. If the business is a Godo Gaisha (GK), getting it notarized might not be necessary. Have three copies of the Article of Incorporation ready, and be prepared to pay roughly $100,000 for all of the steps involved. Additionally, the applicant must bring every director from their business to the notary’s office.

Registering the company

The applicant must register the business with the Legal Affairs Bureau. A copy of the bank book and the notarized Article of Incorporation are required. The applicant will also require the following additional paperwork: 

  • Business Application (Touki Shinseisho), 
  • Director’s Letter of Acceptance of Appointment (Shuninn Shoudakusho),
  • Form for Tax Payment for Registration (Tourokumenkyozei Noufuyoudaishi),
  • Certificate of Registration of the Director’s Seal (Torishimariyaku No Inkanshoumeisho),
  • proof of the bank’s capital deposit, and
  • Form for Notifying Seals (Inkan Todokedesho).

A Founder’s Written Decision (Hokkinin Ketteisho) must be added to these documents if the Article of Incorporation does not state the location of the main office. The applicant must additionally submit a Letter of Confirmation of Appointment from the Auditor (Shuninn Shoudakusho) if they have appointed an auditor for the business.

Informing the local tax office

Upon registration at the Legal Affairs Bureau, the applicant must inform the local tax office. They will need the following paperwork to do this:

  • Incorporation Notification (Houjin Setsuritsu Todokedesho)
  • Application Form for Approval of Payment for Income Tax Withholding (Gensenshotokuzei No Nouki No Tokurei No Shyouninn Ni Kansuru Shinseisho)
  • Blue Tax Returns Application (Aoiroshinkoku No Shouninnshinseisho),
  • Payroll Office Opening Notification (Kyuuyoshiharai Jimushyotou No Kaisetsu Todokedesho).

Informing the Public Employment Security Office and the Labor Standards Inspection Office

If the business employs people, the applicant must inform the Labor Standards Inspection Office of their labor insurance and labor laws. The following documents will be required:

  • Labor Insurance Affiliation Report (Roudouhokenkankei Seritsutodoke), and
  • Estimated Premium Declaration for Labor Insurance (Roudouhoken Gaisan Hokenryou Shinkoku).

If the business needs staff, they must inform the Public Employment Security Office about their workplace insurance. The following documents must be submitted:

  • Notification of the establishment of the Employment Insurance Office (Koyouhoken Tekiyou Jimusho Secchitodoke), and
  • Notification of Employment Insurance Eligibility (Koyouhoken Hihokensha Shikakushutokutodoke).

Informing the Japan public pension office

The applicant will need to show that directors and founders are included in the pension and health insurance coverage. This means that even if the business doesn’t intend to hire any staff, it still needs to complete this stage. In order to do so, they must submit: 

  • Notification of Obtaining Health Insurance and Being Eligible for Social Security Pension Insurance (Kenkhoken Ksei Nenkin Hoken Hihokenja Shikaku Shutotodoke),
  • Health Insurance and Welfare Pension Application Notification (Kenkohoken, Kouseinenkin Hoken Shinki Tekiyoutodoke), and
  • Healthcare Dependent Notification (Kenkohoken Hifuyoushatodoke).

If you wish to obtain more information about the available business structures and the requirements to set up a business, refer to our page on Japan business registration.

Reach out to us at Relin Consultants for our business incorporation services in Japan.