Q_iconWhen establishing a representative office, do we need to register it with the legal affairs bureau?

A_dark_iconThere is no need to register the establishment of a representative office.

★ Explanation ★

signature-certificateThe representative office may perform its activities, which include collecting information, conducting market research, advertising, and buying/storing goods, etc., freely in Japan without having to go through the process of registering with the legal affairs bureau. This makes it possible to start operating a representative office just by preparing an office. Because of this, compared to other forms of business entities in Japan (such as a branch office or Japan subsidiary), considerably less money and time is consumed.

Incidentally, since the representative office cannot perform full-scale business activities, it is assumed that it will not have any transactions which tax may be levied on. Therefore, there are no tax-related general rules that apply to representative offices. This means that it is also not necessary to submit notifications to the tax offices.

However, when paying salaries to the employees (as well as representative(s)) of a representative office, tax notifications related to salaries, as well as social insurance, are still required to be submitted to the relevant offices.