Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can foreigners set up a corporation in Japan？
A. Yes, it is possible for foreigners to start a business in Japan as long as they have one representative director for the company who is a resident of Japan. The representative director, whether foreign or Japanese, must be able to produce a seal certificate at their local ward office.
Q. What if I don’t have a representative director?
A. If you do not have a representative director and you are not a resident of Japan, it is also possible to become your own representative director by acquiring a business investor visa. For more information on
this parallel process, please call us or contact us via the mail form.
Q. What are the necessary documents if the source of capital is a foreigner or foreign firm？
- If the source of funding is from a foreign individual who is a resident of Japan, then a seal certificate is required. If the foreign individual is not a resident of Japan, a notarized signature certificate is required.
- If the source of funding is from a foreign firm, a notarized copy of the company registry, and a notarized copy of the signing authorities of the company are required.
Q. What other things should I consider before starting my incorporation?
A. If you are already in Japan under a activity restricted visa and plan to manage the business, it is neccesary to change your visa to a business investor visa. This visa is not necessarily granted upon the incorporation of your business although this is is a common misconception. Therefore is it important to consider the steps of acquiring the visa as well as the steps for the incorporation itself.
*It is our policy to do a pre-screening of visa candidates before fees as we know it is an important investment to you and only proceed with applicants with a high probability of acquiring the visa.
Q. I want to start a company and am currently on a work visa.
Is it possible to change my visa to a business investor visa？
A. In order to apply for the business investor visa, your business needs to be already running. Therefore you should complete the incorporation first, hire employees and notify the appropriate HR agencies, select your suppliers and prepare your office and office furniture. It sounds like a lot, but is it possible to prepare these things in 1 to 2 months after the incorporation if one moves quickly. Please contact us for further detail on schedule and requirements.
Q. Can I register my company using Romaji characters？
A. Yes it is possible. It is also possible to register numbers as part of your name.
Q. Please tell me about your free initial consultation
A. The incorporation process can vary from case to case depending on many factors and your situation. We recommend scheduling an initial free consultation with one of our incorporation specialists. We have done many successful incorporations and will answer your questions honestly and assess your situation. We will give you free advice if your requirements are sufficient and will take you through the steps of the incorporation process.
Q. How much capital should I prepare?
A. Although in theory it is possible to start a company with capital of 1 yen, we do not recommend it for credibility reasons with banks, suppliers and investors. Most companies start with a company of ５million yen or more. (In the case you plan on sponsoring a business investor visa, this is the minimum requirement per person)
Q. Can you incorporate a company with just one person？
A. Yes it is possible. In this case the individual must be a representative director and a resident of Japan.
Q. Can I register my home as the head office for my business?
A. Yes you can. However in the case it is an apartment or other rental facility, please check with the landlord and ensure it is not a commercial activity prohibited building. In most cases if you are able to acquire a seal certificate（If you have not already）, there should be no problems in registering this place as your business location.
Q. Which should I do first, register my company or find an office first？
A. Ideally, because an address is a requirement for registering a company, you should do this step first. However, if you are not yet a resident of Japan, it is very difficult to secure a rental contract without having an existent company already. (Although in some cases, a large down payment will be accepted by property owners) If you are unable to secure an ideal commercial property before your company is registered, your best option is to use a virtual office address (we offer these services) or use the address of an employee temporarily until the registration is completed.
Q. When registering the address for my business, should I also include the building name？
A. If the head office is one room in a building, you may chose whether to enter the building name in the address or not.
Q. After the registration of my company is completed ,what things should I do next？
A. After your company is registered、the next steps include:
- Mandatory initial tax filings
- Filing notification of business commencement to prefectural offices
- Filing notification of business commencement to city offices (if outside of Tokyo-city)
- Initial filings to the social insurance offices
- Initial filings to the labor office bureau
- Filings to hello work (if you hire one part time or full time worker)
*We also offer these services along with other after-incorporation services in accounting, tax, social insurance, and labor insurance. Please ask us about via telephone or by clicking on the contact form below.