Japan has a well-established and comprehensive set of company compliance requirements that companies must adhere to in order to operate legally and effectively. These requirements cover various aspects of business operations, such as tax, accounting, labor, and environmental regulations.

    It is crucial for companies to understand and comply with these requirements in order to avoid legal penalties and ensure the smooth running of their business. Our guide below provides a brief overview of the key company compliance requirements in Japan.

    The Fiscal Year

    In Japan, the fiscal year runs from April 1st to March 31st of the following calendar year, and companies are required to submit financial documents at the end of the fiscal year. Kabushiki Kaisha (K.K.) companies are required to give public notice of their financial statements and to publish quarterly and annual securities reports if they are publicly traded.

    Japanese GAAP

    The Japanese accounting standards, also known as Japanese Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (JGAAP), are a set of guidelines for financial reporting used by companies in Japan. The main objective of JGAAP is to ensure that financial statements provide reliable and relevant information to stakeholders such as investors, creditors, and regulators.

    JGAAP covers various aspects of financial reporting including the recognition and measurement of transactions, the presentation of financial statements, and the disclosure of information in the notes to the financial statements. The standards are set and maintained by the Financial Services Agency of Japan. Companies in Japan are required to comply with JGAAP when preparing their financial statements.


    Japan Company Annual Compliances

    Annual Financial Statements

    A Joint-Stock Company must prepare a financial statement report. There is required information needed to be included in the financial statement. These are called reporting standards.

          The details for the reporting standards are as follows:

    • Balance sheets
    • Profit and loss statements
    • Statement of changes in shareholders’ equity/net assets,
    • Notes to non-consolidated financial statements,
    • Business reports for each business year
    • Supplementary schedules.

    Additionally, the Joint-Stock Company (Kabushiki Kaisha) must save all financial reports and supplemental schedules for 10 years following the production of the financial statements.

    Annual Audit

    Following the preparation and filing of the financial statement report for a Joint-Stock Company, the financial statement must be audited and conducted per the Companies Act of the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (FIEA) by independent Certified Public Accountants or an auditing company.

    Companies with auditors are obligated to have their financial reports and business reports audited by corporate auditors. This is in accordance with what the Ordinance from the Ministry of Justice has mandated for most “KK” companies in Japan. Two required items must be submitted for an audit.

    Those are:

    • Financial Reports: Accountants and auditors (or audit committees for companies that have committees)
    • Business Reports: auditors (or audit committees for companies with committees)

    There are special regulations applicable to certain large companies. 

    The large companies must have the following conditions at the end of the fiscal year:

    • Capitalization of 500 million yen or more
    • Liabilities that are 200,000 million yen or more

    The special regulations state that large companies must have an external audit as follow:

    • Financial reports and accompanying schedules must be audited by the company’s auditors or the company’s audit committee and then audited again by a third-party independent certified public accountant or a professional auditing firm.
    • As required by the Companies Act, the balance sheet and the statement of income must also be published in newspapers or online.

    Penalties for non-compliance

    Companies that do not comply with the act in relation to the submission of financial statements and tax filings could face fines and penalties.


    Japan accounting services are a crucial aspect of doing business in Japan. These services help companies to comply with the complex accounting and tax regulations in the country and ensure the accuracy and reliability of their financial reporting. From preparing and filing tax returns to managing payroll and bookkeeping, Japan’s accounting services cover a wide range of financial and administrative tasks.

    Whether you are a small startup or a large multinational corporation, partnering with a professional Japan accounting service provider such as Relin Consultants can help you to focus on growing your business while ensuring that your financial and compliance requirements are met.


    You can find more detailed information on the various types of taxes in Japan by referring to the Japan Corporate Tax. This resource provides a comprehensive overview of the tax laws and regulations in Japan, including information on the different types of taxes that companies are required to pay.

    There are two types of tax returns filed in Japan.


    This category of tax return filing is determined by the state of your company at the time you registered your entity. The white form does not require the same paperwork as the blue form.


    Offer better tax advantages than the white forms by obtaining approval from the national tax office. An application must first be made to the national tax office.

    Newly formed companies and foreign companies have two different due dates to submit the blue form tax return.

    The company can choose any of the two dues, following which deadline comes first. The due dates are as follows:

    • Within 3 months after the establishment date of the company
    • Within 3 months after the company’s initial taxable year


    What does KK mean in Japanese?

    A Kabushiki Gaisha, or Kabushiki Kaisha, usually abbreviated as KK, is a Joint Stock Company (Limited Liability Corporation) defined under Japanese law.

    What are the key steps in setting up the Japan Accounting & Bookkeeping Service?

    • Choose an accounting software: Select an accounting software that meets your business needs and ensures compliance with Japanese accounting standards.
    • Hire an accountant: Hire a qualified accountant who is familiar with Japanese accounting standards and regulations to handle your financial reporting and tax compliance.
    • Keep accurate records: Ensure that you keep accurate and up-to-date records of all financial transactions to ensure compliance with Japanese accounting standards.
    • File annual tax returns: File your annual tax returns with the tax authorities on time and accurately to avoid any penalties.
    • Stay informed of changes: Stay informed of any changes in Japanese accounting standards and regulations to ensure that you remain compliant with the latest requirements.

    What are the advantages of outsourcing our accounting and bookkeeping functions in Japan?

    The advantages of outsourcing accounting and bookkeeping functions in Japan include the following:

    • Cost savings: Outsourcing can help companies to save money by reducing the costs associated with hiring and training in-house staff.
    • Increased efficiency: Professional accounting service providers have the expertise and experience to handle financial tasks more efficiently, freeing up time for business owners to focus on other important aspects of their operations.
    • Compliance with regulations: Outsourcing can help companies to ensure compliance with Japanese accounting standards and tax regulations, reducing the risk of legal penalties.
    • Access to expertise: By outsourcing, companies can benefit from the expertise of professional accountants who have a deep understanding of Japanese accounting and tax laws.
    • Improved accuracy: Outsourced accounting service providers use advanced technology and processes to ensure that financial records are accurate and up-to-date.
    • Flexibility: Outsourcing allows companies to adjust their accounting services as their business grows and their needs change, providing more flexibility than hiring permanent staff.
    • Peace of mind: Outsourcing eliminates the stress and uncertainty of managing financial and administrative tasks, allowing companies to focus on growing their business.

    What are some of the Internal control challenges surrounding accounting and bookkeeping in Japan?

    Some of the internal control challenges surrounding accounting and bookkeeping in Japan include:

    • Lack of expertise: Some companies may not have the in-house expertise to handle complex financial reporting and tax compliance requirements, increasing the risk of errors and non-compliance.
    • Limited resources: Smaller companies may not have the resources to invest in the technology and personnel needed to maintain accurate financial records and meet regulatory requirements.
    • Data accuracy: Ensuring the accuracy of financial data is a constant challenge, especially in companies with multiple locations or a large volume of transactions.
    • Fraud prevention: Preventing and detecting fraud is a major internal control challenge, especially in the absence of proper internal controls and checks and balances.
    • Data security: Protecting sensitive financial information from cyber threats and unauthorized access is a critical internal control challenge.
    • Keeping up with changing regulations: Staying informed of changes in Japanese accounting and tax regulations and ensuring compliance is a constant challenge for companies.
    • Time constraints: Maintaining accurate financial records and meeting regulatory deadlines can be a time-consuming process, especially for companies with limited resources.


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