Setting up a Business in Japan – A Summary Guide to get you started. (2023)

Setting up a business in Japan may appear as an overly complicated thing to do, especially if you haven’t done it before. Fortunately, Japan has done a lot in the past decade to streamline this process and structurize it. With a bit of help, you can set up a business in the land of the rising sun without breaking a sweat.

There are myriads of sources online. Juggling them to extract all the crucial pieces of information is time-consuming, if not confusing. Missing out just one important step can render your efforts futile. This is why we are here. Here is the ultimate guide on setting up a business in Japan.


  • Get A Visa To Start Setting Up a Business in Japan
    • Opening a Bank Account
  • Secure an Office or Shared Space
  • Get Your Articles of Incorporation Ready
    • Trademark Registration
    • Inkan and Hanko
  • Get The Articles of Incorporation Notarized
  • Deposit the Initial Capital
  • Get All the Documents Ready
  • File The Application for Business Registration
  • Get the Registry Certificate, Seal Certificate, and Corporate Number
  • Summary
  • FAQ

Step 1: Get a Visa to Start Setting Up a Business in Japan

Foreign nationals are not allowed to start setting up a business in Japan just like that. To start a business in Japan, you will have to obtain one of the required visas.

The procedure of getting a visa is quite simple. For business purposes, you will need to obtain either a 4-Months Business Manager Visa or Start-up VIsa. Or you can consider an Investor visa.

Obtaining the 4-Month Business Manager Visa

Japan introduced the 4-Month Business Manager Visa 4 years ago. To get the visa, you will have to prove that you are in the process of starting a company in Japan. Once Japan grants you the visa, you can begin setting up your business the moment you arrive in Japan.

Make sure to submit all necessary documents in advance so that you can get your 4-Month Manager Visa in time. This visa puts you in a position to obtain a residence card, open a bank account in Japan, and register your business.

Once you set up your business in Japan, you can apply for an extension of stay, which is 1 year.

Obtaining the Start-up Visa

A Start-up visa is a remarkable initiative of Japan’s government to bring in foreign entrepreneurs in Japan. This visa is valid for half a year. Note that it is not available in all the cities. Currently, it is available in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Aichi Prefectures, Sendai City, Fukuoka City, Imabari City, and Niigata City.

The list of required documents for applying for a Start-up Visa is not long. Note that you will have to submit your business plan in Japanese to get a recommendation letter from the local government office.

Once you get all the documents ready, you can apply at the immigration bureau. A start-up visa can be extended for another 6 months. This visa allows you to do the same things as 4-Month Business Manager Visa does: obtain a residence card, open a bank account in Japan, and register your business.

Obtaining an Investor Visa

The investor visa is another option for foreign investors looking for opportunities to start a business in Japan. Investor visas can be granted for 1, 3, or 5 years. The duration of the granted period and whether you are able to prolong it depend on the profitability of your business and other relevant business performance metrics.

You don’t have to be in Japan to apply for an investor visa. As long as you have the required documents, you can apply from the country you reside in. The procedure is quite simple:

Step 1 – Establish your company

Step 2 – Apply for an investor visa Certificate of Eligibility (COE) at the immigration office. If you live outside of Japan, you can put things in motion with the help of a certified immigrant official. This process takes approximately 2 to 3 months.

Step 3 – Once the Certificate of Eligibility is ready, you will have to pick it up from the immigration office. Now you can exchange it for an investor status or residence (SOR) at the Embassy or Consulate of Japan. It will take you an additional 2 weeks to get the SOR.

If you don’t have the means or opportunity to collaborate and get help from certified professionals in Japan, you will have to do all this by yourself. This is why many investors go with a 4-month visa and then submit the application for an investor visa once they have settled all their business affairs.

The document requirements for an investor visa vary depending on the type of company you are planning to run and your financial situation. Here is the list of the documents you might need to qualify for the investor visa:

  • Investment information
  • Elaborate business plan
  • Company registration documents
  • Relevant business licenses
  • Office rental agreements
  • Proof of your professional background
  • Relevant employee documents

Opening a bank account

Since we mentioned opening a bank account in Japan, let’s quickly look at the banking opportunities you have in this country.

Choosing a bank and opening an account can appear challenging to foreigners due to the language barrier and complex bureaucratic procedures, especially to those planning to start a business. Fortunately, there are foreigner-friendly banks in Japan that are easy to register accounts with.

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These banks streamline account registration process and make it convenient for foreigners:

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

This bank was founded in 1876, making it one of the oldest banks in Japan. It has a great front desk for foreigners. SMBC offers plenty of banking services specifically tailored to meet the needs of foreign investors and entrepreneurs. Most importantly, all these services are provided in English.

Shinsei Bank

Shinsei Bank is the go-to place for many foreign investors planning to start a business in Japan. SB did an excellent job when it comes to online banking.

The bank provides services in English and all the services are available online. This is very convenient since you don’t have to visit the bank at any point to open the account. You can do everything from the convenience of your home.

The cash card you will receive doesn’t work on the ATMs. On the other hand, SB has a very wide network. You will be able to withdraw your money by visiting any of the following banks Seven Bank, ENet, JR East Japan Railway, and other.

Seven Bank

Seven Bank is another great bank for entrepreneurs with business plans in Japan. It also offers services in English. Seven Bank is similar to Shinsei Bank in terms of online banking.

You will find their website particularly useful, as it features all the guides on the bank account registration process in English. With the SB’s cash card, you will be able to withdraw money from ATMs in 7-Eleven stores, shopping centers, and airports.

Japan Post Bank

While Japan Post bank is predominantly a postal service, the company also provides bank services. This is a good option because you can withdraw money across Japan.

There is no withdrawal limit with Japan Post Bank and no international fees. Once you register an account at JPB, you will receive a cash card and passbook.

You will have to get the required documents to register an account in any of the Japanese banks. The requirements may vary from bank to bank, but these are the most common ones:

  • Proof of your residency rights (4-month business manager visa, start-up visa, or investor visa)
  • Proof of residency (you can get this one from the government office in the area of your residence)
  • Contact information (phone number and address)
  • Japanese residence card
  • The initial deposit amount (there are no minimum requirements here, but the most common initial deposit amounts to a few thousand yen on average)

If you plan on sending money to your home country, you should look for banks that offer a remittance function. With this service, you will be able to send money outside of Japan even if you are a foreigner.

To use this service you are required to present:

  • Your address in Japan
  • Your name (the name has to be in Japanese katakana script)
  • Your Hanko seal (most banks will allow you to use your signature if you still don’t have your Hanko)
  • Your birth date
  • Your bank account PIN
  • Your gender

Step 2: Secure an Office or Shared Space

The first step of setting a business in Japan procedure is finding an office or shared space. After all, you need a space to work, and depending on your business model, generate revenue from. You have two options – rent an office in Japan for the short term or for the long term.

Short-Term Office Rentals

Renting an office in Japan for the short term is a very popular option these days. The commercial retail industry in Japan answered the demand continuously growing business enterprises created.

There are a lot of opportunities for you to explore. In Japan, short term office spaces are often used as a synonym for serviced offices. They offer a lot more benefits than other office rental options:

  • Flexible lease terms
  • A business address in the town center
  • Excellent management options
  • Low start-up costs
  • Access to furniture, IT and telecommunications infrastructure, and office equipment

Before signing a lease, you have to understand the basic lease terminology. We have an in-depth guide about it which you can find here.

Long-term Office Rentals

While services offices offer great benefits to entrepreneurs coming to Japan, a long-term rental is sometimes a more convenient option. Going with a long-term rental allows entrepreneurs to set up their offices to reflect their brand image and company culture.

Finding a long-term rental space is not hard, and you can do it yourself by browsing the websites specialized in advertising office spaces or going through ads in the newspapers. If you find this overwhelming, you can always hire a real estate agent to handle the renting process for you.

Learn about the common lease terms and practices in Japan before signing a long-term rental lease.

Step 3: Get Your Articles of Incorporation Ready

Articles of Incorporation or teikan (定款) are the bread and butter of setting up a business in Japan. These documents determine how the company is going to be managed, and they are different for every type of business structure.

To make it convenient for you, we have put them in two categories, Articles of Incorporation for a Foreign Individual and for a Foreign Company. You will need both sets if you are a foreign individual expanding your business in Japan.

Articles of Incorporation for a Foreign Individual

Here is a list of required documents needed for a foreign individual:

Seal certificate or Inkan Shomeisho of investor and director – If you register as a resident in Japan, you can get a seal certificate at a local city hall. The only document that can replace it is a signature attestation (notarized signature). This document has to be certified by the Embassy of Japan in your own country.

Company seal – To be valid, you have to register a company seal at the registry office.

Investor’s personal bank account and its passbook or tsuuchou (通帳) – You also need a bank statement to prove the deposit of capital. You can use an existing account or open a new one.

All Articles of Incorporation and other documents should be signed or sealed by each investor and director.

Articles of Incorporation for a Foreign Company

If you are trying to set up a daughter-company type of business in Japan, you will need the following:

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Registry certificate of the parent company – The certificate has to be issued within 3 months.

Notarized Signature attestation of the parent company’s representative.

Seal certificate of each director – The certificate has to be issued within 3 months.

The Representative Director’s personal bank account and bank statement – This is a must to prove the deposit of capital.

Company seal – The seal has to be registered at the registry office.

All Articles of Incorporation and other documents must be signed or sealed by the parent’s company and each director.

Additionally, you might need a field-specific license to register and run your company. Here is everything you need to know about business licenses in Japan.

Trademark Registration Process

Japan is not much different than any other country in terms of trademark laws. To claim the absolute ownership of your company, you have to register a trademark.

Registering a trademark means that the authorities of Japan will officially recognize it and see you as the person of control and proprietorship over your company. In other words, a trademark is not yours until the authorities officially recognize it.

In Japan you can register:

  • Letters
  • Diagrams
  • Symbols
  • Pictures
  • Colors
  • Holograms
  • Moving marks
  • Position marks
  • 3D objects

You need to apply at the Japan Patent Office for trademark registration. If you have a permanent residence or office in Japan, you can do it yourself. Otherwise, you will have to hire a patent attorney or apply under Madrid and Paris Convention Agreement.

The following documents are required for trademark registration:

  • Trademark registration request in Japanese
  • Information about the trademark including a description, drawings, claims, and an abstract in Japanese
  • The representation of a trademark
  • Complete list of services and/or products associated with the trademark

The costs associated with registering a trademark include:

  • Application fee of ¥12,000 for one trademark in one class, and an extra ¥8,600 for registering the same trademark for an additional class
  • Registration fee of ¥28,200
  • Renewal fee ¥38,800 every 10 years (you have to renew it within the 6-months period prior to trademark registration expiration date)

Know Your Hanko and Inkan Seals

The most common thing used in business as a personal identifier is a signature. You basically have to put your signature to close the deal or sign a contract.

The banking sector relies heavily on signatures, using them for personality identification. In Japan, companies don’t rely on signatures, but on Hanko stamps, also known as Inkans.

Basically, Hanko is a personal stamp that serves as your personal identifier in Japan. Hanko contains your name in either kanji, katakana alphabet or a Latin version on its stamping surface. There are personal and business Hankos.

Personal Hankos include:

  • Mitome-in – the loose translation of Mitome-in is “recognition seal”. In Japan, it’s used to sign basic contracts and put signature on documents in day-to-day procedures.
  • Ginko-in – Ginko-in or “bank stamp” is primarily used for banking purposes (bank account management, loan and credit approval). Not all banks require a Ginko-in seal from foreigners. To be on the safe side, make sure to check whether you have to get it with your bank.
  • Jitsu-in – Jitsu-in is the “official seal”. Every Jitsu-in Hanko is unique and has to be registered with the government because it is the most important one among the personal Hankos. Since Jitsu-in is required for starting a company, you will have to obtain one yourself.

Business Hankos include:

  • Kaku-in – Kaku-in for a company is what Mitome-in is for an individual. It’s used to sign the least significant documents in the name of the company.
  • Ginko-in – Ginko-in for businesses is required for financial transactions and the company’s bank account management. It contains two circles.

The outer circle features the name of the company, while the inner one serves as the corporate seal for banking. Once you get Ginko-in, you will have to register it with the bank.

  • Kaisha Jitsu-in – While Jitsu-in is the most powerful and important personal Hanko, Kaisha Jitsu-in is the most important business Hanko. You will have to register your Kaish Jitsu-in with the Legal Affairs Bureau, the same one where you registered your company.

Kaisha Jitsu-in is used with Kaku-in. It contains two circles. The outer circle features a company name, while the inner one contains a company representative’s name.

Hanko seals prices vary depending on several factors including the material, diameter, design and pattern, and registration. The price can go from ¥100 to ¥10,000.

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Step 4: Get the Articles of Incorporation Notarized

If you are setting up a gōdō gaisha or GK company, you will only have to notarize revenue stamps, which will cost you 40,000 yen. In Japan, GK is a type of business organization Americans call limited liability company (LLC).

On the other hand, if you are setting up a kabushiki kaisha or KK company in Japan, you will need to get all your Articles of Incorporation notarized. KK is a type of business organization Americans call share company, stock company, joint-stock company, or stock corporation.

The notarization of the Articles of Incorporation is handled by the Notary Office or Koshonin Yakuba. The notarization fee for KK companies in Japan is 50,000 yen, on top of notarization fee for Revenue stamps, which is 40,000 yen.

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Step 5: Deposit the Initial Capital

You won’t be able to open your company’s bank account in Japan until you’ve completely finished the registration process. You will have to use your personal bank account in Japan to deposit the initial capital.

The process is also simple for those of you setting up a subsidiary company in Japan. All you have to do is make a deposit in the Representative Director’s personal bank account.

Step 6: Get all the Documents Ready

Before finally registering your company in Japan, you will need to get a few more documents aside from the ones in the Articles of Incorporation. These documents include a letter of agreement from the director about to assume your company office and the proof of the company’s seal registration completion.

Step 7: File the Application for Business Registration

Once you have everything sorted out, you can file the application for business registration at Registry Office or Homukyoku. If you are registering a KK type of business registration fee will be a minimum 150,000 yen. For a GK business structure, the registration fee starts at 60,000 yen.

Step 8: Get the Registry Certificate, Seal Certificate, and Corporate Number

After your company is registered, you should acquire the registry certificate, company’s seal certificate, and corporate number. You will need these documents to sign employment and business contracts and to open your official corporate bank account in Japan.

Read more about the Japan Corporate Number and how it applies to you.


Setting up a business in Japan involves a lot of preparations that might seem hectic. However, if you take one step at a time following our guide, you’ll find that the procedure is quite simple and logical: apply for visa, get an office, acquire a inkan/hanko seal, open a bank account, get your Articles of Incorporation, and receive the corporate number for your business.

If you face any difficulties or need professional advice and guidance when setting up a business in Japan, feel free to contact us.

Setting up a business in Japan FAQ

Can foreigners set up a business in Japan?

Setting up a business in Japan is not only reserved for Japanese nationals. Foreign nationals can also start a business in Japan. All they need to do so is a personal bank account in Japan or a director/shareholder with such an account and an address for registration.

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Do I need a Visa to start a business in Japan?

You need to be a legal resident of Japan to start a business in Japan. That being said, you will need to acquire a visa. There are two visas specifically designed to make the lives of foreign entrepreneurs in Japan easier – 4-Month Business Manager Visa and Start-up Visa.

How much capital do I need to deposit to start a business in Japan?

You need to deposit the exact amount as stated in your Articles of Incorporation documents. On a side note, in theory, you can start a business with minimal capital.

But in practice, the situation is different. Most of the companies start out with the capital of 5 million yen to cover the initial costs of rent, taxes, and salaries.

Is there a way to provide proof of capital if I can't open the company bank account in Japan?

The capital amount specified in your Articles of Incorporation documents has to be deposited in a bank, and you must provide the bank statement showing the deposit.

The chances are that you won’t be able to open up a bank account in Japan if you are not a legal resident of Japan. This is why entrepreneurs appoint a representative director who is a resident and has a personal bank account.

Is it better to find an office first or register for my company?

In most cases, you will have to secure a proper office to register your company. We understand that it is hard to get a lease agreement if you are not a resident of Japan, but the office address is a requirement for registering a company.

You can try leasing serviced offices because they are much easier to lease than long-term rentals since they come with less strict screening procedures.


  • Get A Visa To Start Setting Up a Business in Japan
    • Opening a Bank Account
  • Secure an Office or Shared Space
  • Get Your Articles of Incorporation Ready
    • Trademark Registration
    • Inkan and Hanko
  • Get The Articles of Incorporation Notarized
  • Deposit the Initial Capital
  • Get All the Documents Ready
  • File The Application for Business Registration
  • Get the Registry Certificate, Seal Certificate, and Corporate Number
  • Summary
  • FAQ


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How do I set up a business in Japan? ›

  1. Get A Visa To Start Setting Up a Business in Japan. ...
  2. Secure an Office or Shared Space.
  3. Get Your Articles of Incorporation Ready. ...
  4. Get The Articles of Incorporation Notarized.
  5. Deposit the Initial Capital.
  6. Get All the Documents Ready.
  7. File The Application for Business Registration.

Why set up business in Japan? ›

Japanese companies often exhibit a global outlook and a willingness to invest long-term in viable products and services. Japan is synonymous with quality and innovation and this goes hand-in-hand with Japanese companies' commitment and loyalty to business partners.

How many days does it take to set up a business in Japan? ›

Once those are secured, filing for registration doesn't take very long – usually around 2 to 4 weeks. When you eventually receive your articles and have your business registered, you can explore opening a bank account, registering for licenses, and beginning your venture.

What is the Japanese business method? ›

Kaizen is a Japanese business philosophy that focuses on gradually improving productivity and making a work environment more efficient. Kaizen supports change from any employee at any time. Kaizen translates to change for the better or continuous improvement.

What are three tips for doing business in Japan? ›

Here are 10 essential tips for making a good impression when doing business in Japan:
  • Always save face. ...
  • Offer reassurance. ...
  • Manage conflict carefully. ...
  • Understand the strict hierarchy. ...
  • Value status. ...
  • Learn about body language. ...
  • Build trust. ...
  • Work through a third party.
Apr 10, 2021

What are the 4 basics to a start up business? ›

An ownership or business structure. A business registration certificate. A legal license or seller's permit (as well as other legal documents) A source of funding.

What is a good business summary? ›

Your executive summary should include: The name, location, and mission of your company. A description of your company, including management, advisors, and brief history. Your product or service, where your product fits in the market, and how your product differs from competitors in the industry.

How do you write a summary report for a business plan? ›

What to include in an executive summary
  1. your mission statement.
  2. company information and management team.
  3. growth highlights.
  4. products/services.
  5. financial information.
  6. The market and your customer.
  7. market opportunity.
  8. marketing and sales.

What is the most important in Japanese business society? ›

Relationship Oriented

Building and maintaining relationships are a fundamental part of Japanese business culture. People generally expect and desire long-lasting partnerships. As a part of this long-term approach, Japanese people tend to want to know a great deal about their partners.

Is Japan good for starting a business? ›

Whether you want to move your business or start a brand new company, Japan is a great place to do business. It's one of the strongest economies in the world, with the 3rd largest GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

What are the challenges of doing business in Japan? ›

Challenges of doing business in Japan
  • Starting a business. ...
  • Business communication and language. ...
  • Banking system. ...
  • New invoice system. ...
  • Complex social insurance and labour insurance system. ...
  • Use of old methods/technology. ...
  • Registering property. ...
  • Getting credit and protecting investors.
Mar 27, 2023

What is the 70 year rule in Japan? ›

That was further amended last year to encourage businesses to secure opportunities for their employees to work until they reach 70, either by abolishing or raising the retirement age, rehiring employees on post-retirement contracts or commissioning individuals for certain tasks.

How much does it cost to start a company in Japan? ›

Incorporation costs in Year 1 amount to US$5,950 and annual company costs in Year 2 and thereafter amount to US$0. The average total fees per Japan engagement amounts to US$18,560, including company incorporation, resident director, corporate bank account, and virtual office address.

Which city is best to start a business in Japan? ›

Tokyo is the biggest city in Japan and the country's economic center. It is home to some of the world's top companies, like Nintendo, Toyota, Canon, and Sony. With a population of over 13.6 million people and a high concentration of business activity, Tokyo is a perfect place to start a business.

What do Japanese businesses focus on? ›

Japan is known for having a traditional, formal, and very ritualistic approach to conducting business which demands a focus on detail, consensus building and a conservative outward manner.

How is Japanese business different from American? ›

Americans tend to communicate through facts and opinions. While this is also important in Japan, Japanese business people will discuss conflicts indirectly that do not involve confrontation or a public dispute. Instead, Japanese business people tend to conform to the group looking to create harmony.

What is the most successful business in Japan? ›

The biggest company in Japan is Toyota Motors, and it has been for a while now.

What are Japanese business ethics? ›

Japanese society pays meticulous attention to punctuality in business which is at the center of Japanese business etiquette. Being on time for meetings shows that you respect your Japanese host, strengthening their favorable impression of you as a reliable partner, engendering trust and collaboration.

What are the most important dos and don ts in the Japanese business culture? ›

Men should bow while keeping their arms along the sides of their torso, while women should join their hands in front of their lower belly. Do not bow and shake hands at the same time. When meeting someone for the first time, try to introduce yourself in Japanese, even if you can't speak the language fluently.

What is the 7 step process for starting a business? ›

How to Start a Business in 7 Easy Steps
  • Start with a Good Business Idea. If you're wondering how to start a business, it may be easier than you think. ...
  • Conduct Research About Your Business Idea. ...
  • Write a Business Plan. ...
  • Make Your New Business Official. ...
  • Know Your Finances. ...
  • Protect Your Business. ...
  • Build Your Business.

What are the 3 most important things in starting a business? ›

No matter how bold or ambitious your plans are to grow your business, the key to your business's success lies in three critical, interdependent components: operational excellence, customer relations/communications and financial management.

What are 5 essentials of starting a business? ›

The "The Five Essentials for Your New Business” include:
  • Write a Business Plan.
  • Create a Company Overview.
  • Assemble your Tech Toolkit.
  • Formalize a Marketing Strategy.
  • Outline a sample Sales Proposal.

What are the 5 things you should include in a summary? ›

There are five key steps that can help you to write a summary:
  • Read the text.
  • Break it down into sections.
  • Identify the key points in each section.
  • Write the summary.
  • Check the summary against the article.
Nov 23, 2020

How do you start a summary example? ›

A summary begins with an introductory sentence that states the text's title, author and main point of the text as you see it. A summary is written in your own words. A summary contains only the ideas of the original text. Do not insert any of your own opinions, interpretations, deductions or comments into a summary.

What is an example of a summary? ›

The act of summarizing is much like stating the plot of a play. For instance, if you were asked to summarize the story of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet,' you might say: It's the story of a young prince of Denmark who discovers that his uncle and his mother have killed his father, the former king.

What does a business plan summary look like? ›

In it, you may include your mission and vision statements, a brief sketch of your plans and goals, a quick look at your company and its organization, an outline of your strategy, and highlights of your financial status and needs.

What is the outline summary of a business plan? ›

A traditional business plan typically includes an executive summary, an overview of your products and services, thorough market research, a competitive analysis, a marketing and sales strategy, operational and company details, financial projections, and an appendix.

What are Japan most important values? ›

In Japan, some of the core values are thinking of others, doing your best, not giving up, respecting your elders, knowing your role, and working in a group. These concepts are taught explicitly and implicitly from nursery school into the working world.

What is the Japanese business social structure? ›

Japanese hierarchy is based on consensus and co-operation rather than the top-down decision making process which often typifies western models of hierarchy. This means that people feel actively involved and committed.

What is most important about Japan? ›

While its many traditions and cultural landmarks persist, Japan is also one of the leading economic and technological centres of the world. Ancient gods and traditional customs sit side by side with cutting edge technologies and trendy pop culture, and there is always something new to experience on a visit.

Why is Japan good for entrepreneurship? ›

Japan has high GDP, low unemployment, and a great workforce. Japan's business environment is also very friendly to entrepreneurs. Japanese people are very passionate about collaborating and helping each other out in business, which means that they will put their best effort in supporting new businesses.

Is it worth learning Japanese for business? ›

It opens up new business opportunities

Even if you'd like to learn Japanese for personal reasons, there's no denying that being bilingual in English and Japanese opens up a world of business opportunities.

Why should business expand to Japan? ›

For small companies, Japan offers a relatively stable environment to do business in, with fantastic infrastructure and a receptive consumer base. British businesses that specialise in manufacturing, consumer goods, high-tech products and services in particular will find Japan an ideal market to conduct business in.

What are the 2 major problems in Japan? ›

Japan is facing both cyclical and structural challenges as it begins the new year. Its cyclical challenges are global supply chain bottlenecks and labor market frictions, which continue to put downward pressure on its economy as it strives to recover from the global recession.

What American companies are doing business in Japan? ›

Some well-known American-based companies in Japan: GE, Apple, Dell, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Google, Coca-Cola, Adidas,Nike, Harley-Davidson, Citibank, Bank of America (Merrill Lynch), Aflac, American Express, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Prudential, Goldman Sachs, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Hard Rock Café, Tony ...

How do you behave when conducting business in Japan? ›

Do not grab your host's hand when first meeting and give it a hearty shake – many Japanese seldom shake hands and can be so uncomfortable doing so as to avoid meeting again! – Do not use large hand gestures, unusual facial expressions or dramatic movements. The Japanese do not talk with their hands.

Why is 20 an important age in Japan? ›

This important day represents the day that they officially become adults within Japanese society. Once they turn 20 they are able to smoke, drink, and gamble legally!

What is age 88 in Japan? ›

88th Birthday Tradition

Because the character for 88 looks similar to the rice, your 88th year is called the "rice" birthday. Rice is seen as a symbol of goodness, so the 88th year is a joyous celebration. During this special birthday, traditional Japanese gifts like a walking stick with a pigeon are given.

What is the legal age gap in Japan? ›

However, sexual intercourse with a person under 13 is illegal regardless of consent while intercourse with a person aged 13 to 15 will be punished if the perpetrator is five or more years older, as per Japanese laws.

Can a US citizen start a business in Japan? ›

Can foreigners set up a business in Japan? Setting up a business in Japan is not only reserved for Japanese nationals. Foreign nationals can also start a business in Japan. All they need to do so is a personal bank account in Japan or a director/shareholder with such an account and an address for registration.

What taxes do businesses pay in Japan? ›

3.3. 2 Corporate income taxes and tax rates
Brackets of taxable incomeUp to 4 million yenOver 4 million yen to 8 million yen
Local corporate tax1.55%1.55%
Corporate Inhabitant taxes 1. Prefectural0.15%0.15%
Corporate Inhabitant taxes 2. Municipal0.90%0.90%
Enterprise tax3.50%5.30%
3 more rows

How long can you stay in Japan for business? ›

A Japan Business Visa is a type of short-stay visa, which means it is valid for a maximum of 90 days. It is a single-entry visa and allows the holder to stay in Japan for up to 15 days. However, citizens of certain countries may be able to get a multiple-entry visa for business purposes.

Is it hard to start a business in Japan as a foreigner? ›

In order to start a new business in Japan as a foreign national, it is necessary to obtain a specific type of visa. If you do not have a visa yet, you will need to obtain a 4-Months Business Manager Visa or a Start-Up Visa which is provided in some municipalities (Tokyo, Fukuoka and other cities) in Japan.

What city pays the most in Japan? ›

Tokyo offers the highest average salary in Japan as it has many big corporations and a larger business market.

How much does it cost to set up a company in Japan? ›

Incorporation costs in Year 1 amount to US$5,950 and annual company costs in Year 2 and thereafter amount to US$0. The average total fees per Japan engagement amounts to US$18,560, including company incorporation, resident director, corporate bank account, and virtual office address.

Does Japan have LLC? ›

What is a limited liability company in Japan? The limited liability company (LLC), also knowns as the “Godo Kaisha”, is one of the preferred Japanese business forms where the shareholders have limited liability based on their contribution to the capital.

Are there LLC in Japan? ›

Birth of Japanese LLCs and background

As the Companies Act came into effect in May 2006 in Japan, limited liability companies (LLCs) began to be launched as a new form of company. The LLC was designed as an organization that gives priority to human assets under limited liability.

Is Japan a good country to start a business? ›

Japan is a leading centre for innovation, boasting a highly attractive business and living environment within one of the world's largest economies.

Can an American start a business in Japan? ›

Foreign nationals wishing to start up business in Japan need to obtain a “Business Manager” Visa. To receive this status of residence, in addition to opening an office, the applicant must employ at least two people full-time, or invest at least 5 million yen in Japan.

Is it easy to register a business in Japan? ›

Branch Office

As I mentioned, all foreign companies must register their businesses if they want to operate in Japan. After registration, you'll need to decide on a location and a branch representative, and that's it. It's a simple process, and you can get your office up and running in no time.

Do Japanese companies pay taxes? ›

Enterprise tax is imposed on a corporation's income allocated to each prefecture. This allocation is generally made on the basis of the number of employees and number of offices in each location.

Are there American companies in Japan? ›

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY Tokyo Travel and financial services, travelers cheques, charge card and financial services. AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC. (AIG) Tokyo Provides insurance and financial services. AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC.

What does KK stand for in Japan? ›

Kabushiki Kaisha in Japan

A Kabushiki Gaisha, or Kabushiki Kaisha, usually abbreviated as KK, is a type of business corporation defined under Japanese law. Japanese companies often translate the phrase as Co., Ltd, Corporation or Incorporated.

What American companies have branches in Japan? ›

Some well-known American-based companies in Japan: GE, Apple, Dell, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Google, Coca-Cola, Adidas,Nike, Harley-Davidson, Citibank, Bank of America (Merrill Lynch), Aflac, American Express, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Prudential, Goldman Sachs, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Hard Rock Café, Tony ...

What does GK mean in Japanese? ›

Godo Kaisha (GK) in Japan

A Godo Kaisha often abbreviated as GK, is a type of business similar to the UK's private limited company (Ltd) or the American limited liability company (LLC). It has a simplified internal structure which offers limited liability for all investors.

What is Japan's number one business? ›

The biggest company in Japan is Toyota Motors, and it has been for a while now. According to Forbes 2000 list, it's also the 10th biggest company in the world. You might think it's strange that Toyota, an automobile manufacturer, is the largest company in Japan in the year 2022.

What are the cons of doing business in Japan? ›

Challenges of Doing Business in Japan
  • Higher standards than what companies are used to.
  • Low levels of English outside of the big cities.
  • There are some weaknesses in the tax system.
  • Recruitment of highly Skilled Japanese employees.
Aug 30, 2022

How financially stable is Japan? ›

Japan's economic freedom score is 69.3, making its economy the 31st freest in the 2023 Index. Its score is 0.6 point lower than last year. Japan is ranked 6th out of 39 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is above the world and regional averages.

Who does Japan do most business with? ›

Japan is the world's 5th largest exporter and 4th largest importer of goods, and foreign trade accounts for 37% of the country's GDP (World Bank, 2023).
Main Partner Countries.
Main Suppliers (% of Imports)2022
United States10.1%
United Arab Emirates5.1%
17 more rows
May 5, 2023


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