Q_iconIt is necessary that we set up a business office separate from the registered address of the representative in Japan?

A_dark_iconNo, that is not necessary.

★ Explanation ★

“When a Foreign Company intends to carry out transactions continuously in Japan, it must specify its representatives in Japan. […]” (Companies Act, Article 817 (1)).

japan-countryAs stipulated in the article quoted above, a foreign company that wishes to operate (carry out transactions) continuously in Japan must have a representative. There is no provision that requires the foreign office set up a business office in Japan. As a result, the foreign company must decide whether they will only assign a representative in Japan, or establish a business office.

A representative office, or similar entities where its primary purpose is to simply display (or advertise) the products the company plans to sell in Japan, is not enough to qualify as a “business office”; the business office must serve as the central location of the foreign office’s sales activities in Japan with a clear chain of command.

Finally, the Legal Affairs Bureau that handles registration and license tax as well as the registration process itself may vary depending on whether a business office will be established or not.