A nominee director is a person who is appointed to serve as a director of a company on behalf of another individual or entity. In Japan, a nominee director is commonly used by foreign companies that wish to establish a presence in the country but are not able to appoint a local director due to residency requirements.

    The nominee director serves as a foreign company representative and can assist with signing agreements and Japan Corporate bank account opening on behalf of the company.

    The nominee director acts as a liaison between the foreign company and the Japanese government and business community, ensuring that the company is in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. The use of a nominee director in Japan can be a valuable tool for foreign companies looking to expand their operations and strengthen their presence in the market.

    Although it is not required by Japanese law for foreign corporations to appoint a local nominee director in Japan, the benefits of doing so can significantly impact a company’s ability to succeed or fail.

    A nominee director Japan increases clients’ winning percentage, particularly for the beginning stage, by serving as a key conduit to Japanese banks, businesses, and regulatory organizations.

    A foreign company or entrepreneur can easily establish a Japanese Godo-Kaisha (GK) or Limited Liability Company (LLC) without the need for a local resident in Japan to serve as a resident promoter or executive. 

    All that is required for the registration or incorporation of a GK is a Japanese address. The Companies Act, introduced in March 2015, made it possible for foreign entities to set up business in Japan without a local representative. 

    The appointment of a local nominee director, while not legally required, can still provide valuable support and assistance to foreign companies in navigating the Japanese market and establishing a successful business and assist in serving as a liaison with Japanese banks, businesses, and regulatory organizations and helping to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. 

    K.K.s (Japanese limited liability companies) are required to appoint at least one resident director. 


    Facilitation of Business Operations

    A nominee director can act as a liaison between the foreign corporation and the local business community, making it easier to establish and maintain relationships with local banks, suppliers, customers, and regulatory organizations. This can help to streamline business operations and ensure that all legal requirements are met.

    Japan Corporate Bank account Opening is getting more and more challenging in every country. The lack of a local director makes opening a bank account in Japan very difficult(sometimes impossible) for freshly incorporated Japanese companies.

    Compliance with Local Regulations

    A nominee director with local expertise and knowledge can help to ensure that the foreign corporation complies with all relevant Japanese laws and regulations. This can help to minimise the risk of legal or regulatory issues, which can be costly and time-consuming to resolve.

    Representation in Meetings and Negotiations

    A nominee director can represent the foreign corporation in meetings and negotiations with local organisations, helping to negotiate favourable terms and establish a positive reputation in the local business community.

    Increased Credibility

    Having a local nominee director can increase the credibility and legitimacy of the foreign corporation in the eyes of local organisations and potential partners. This can help to build trust and establish a solid foundation for future business operations in Japan.

    Protection of Confidential Information

    By appointing a local nominee director, the foreign corporation can keep sensitive information, such as the identities of its owners and key stakeholders, confidential.

    Ease of Doing Business

    The presence of a local nominee director can make it easier for the foreign corporation to navigate the complex local business environment and establish a successful business in Japan. This can help to minimise the time, effort, and resources required to establish a presence in the country.

    Improved Decision-Making

    A nominee director with local expertise and knowledge can provide valuable input and insights into local market conditions, consumer preferences, and regulatory requirements.

    This can help the foreign corporation to make informed decisions and achieve its business objectives more effectively.

    Reduced Liability

    By appointing a local nominee director, the foreign corporation can reduce its legal liability in Japan and minimise the risk of personal liability for its owners and stakeholders.

    Cost Savings

    The appointment of a local nominee director can help to reduce the costs associated with setting up and maintaining a business in Japan, including legal and regulatory compliance costs.

    Support and Assistance

    A nominee director can provide ongoing support and assistance to the foreign corporation as it establishes and grows its business in Japan. This can help to ensure long-term success and stability in the market.

    Helps in the Incorporation Process

    Japan company incorporation with Nominee Director is simpler. An experienced Japan resident nominee director who resides in Japan can deliver all the necessary paperwork to the Legal Affairs Bureau (in Japanese) without delay and can respond immediately to any follow-up inquiries from the authorities.

    In conclusion, the appointment of a Japan nominee director can provide numerous benefits to foreign corporations looking to establish a presence in the country. From facilitating business operations to improving decision-making and reducing liability, a nominee director can help foreign entities to succeed in the Japanese market.


    Despite the advantages of having a Japanese Nominee Director, it is important to be aware of the potential risks involved in this arrangement. One such risk is the authority and access that the Nominee Director has to the company’s seal. As the company seal is registered under the Nominee Director’s name, they have the sole authority to use it unless they issue a power of attorney to authorise another individual.

    To mitigate this risk, it is crucial to clearly state in the Nominee Director agreement that the Nominee Director will not interfere in the day-to-day operations of the business and will only act with the business owner’s consent. This agreement should be carefully drafted to ensure that the interests of both the business owner and the Nominee Director are protected and that the business can operate effectively in Japan.

    While the appointment of a Japan nominee director can provide many benefits to foreign corporations, it is important to consider the potential risks involved. Some of the risks associated with a Japan nominee director include:

    Reputation Risk

    The actions of a nominee director can impact the reputation of the foreign corporation in the local business community.


    A nominee director may misrepresent the foreign corporation or provide false information, which can lead to legal or regulatory issues.


    The appointment of a nominee director can be expensive, especially if a professional service provider is used.

    Compliance Risks

    A nominee director may not have a thorough understanding of local laws and regulations, which can lead to compliance issues and legal or regulatory penalties.

    It is important to carefully consider the potential risks associated with a Japan nominee director and to take steps to minimise these risks, such as conducting thorough due diligence and establishing clear communication and expectations with the nominee director.


    The following documents are typically required for a Nominee Director service in Japan:

    • Company registration documents: This includes the company’s articles of incorporation, bylaws, and any other relevant documents.
    • Personal identification documents: This includes a passport and/or national ID card for the Nominee Director.
    • Proof of address: This can be a utility bill, bank statement, or other official document that confirms the Nominee Director’s address in Japan.
    • Nominee Director agreement: This is a contract between the foreign corporation and the Nominee Director that outlines the terms and conditions of the arrangement, including the Nominee Director’s responsibilities, authority, and compensation.
    • Power of Attorney: This is a document that authorises the Nominee Director to act on behalf of the foreign corporation and to sign on its behalf.
    • Japanese company seal: The company seal is a required component for registering a company in Japan and is used to certify official documents.

    It is important to ensure that all required documents are complete, accurate, and up-to-date to avoid any delays or issues during the Nominee Director service process. A professional service provider can assist in ensuring that all required documents are in order and can provide guidance on the process.


    By using Relin Consultant’s Nominee Director service, you can hire a Nominee Director for your business in Japan who will have complete knowledge of the local Japanese regulations and will help the business maintain full compliance with the laws.

    Our team will ensure that the business owner has full authority and control over the business, and the appointed Nominee Director will not interfere in day-to-day activities or will not have access to the business bank account.

    Reach out to us at Relin Consultants to know more about our Japan Nominee Director service.


    What is a Nominee Director in Japan?

    Nominee Director service Japan refers to a third-party individual appointed as director of a company through a contract. Nominee Director enables international companies to operate and conduct business easily in Japan.

    Is the Nominee Director a director?

    Yes, a Nominee Director is a non-executive director of the company. In the eyes of the law, he will be treated equally to the other directors.

    What is the role of a Nominee Director in Japan?

    The nominee Director acts as a director of the business. They do not hold any shares of the company. A nominee Director will not interfere in the day-to-day activities of the business or have access to the company’s bank account.

    Can I have a Nominee Director in Japan?

    Yes, You can legally have a Nominee Director by appointing a qualified individual who will pass the KYC checks and meets the Nominee Director’s requirements.


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