Q_iconI understand that a personal Japan bank account is necessary during incorporation; in this case, would it be possible for an individual who is not a resident of Japan to open a bank account?

A_dark_iconFrom what we have seen, it would be difficult for a non-resident to be able to open a bank account in Japan.

★ Explanation ★

opening-bank-accountOpening a personal bank account in a Japanese financial institution may prove difficult for a non-resident. When incorporating a company in Japan, the incorporator must have a personal bank account.

For non-residents who are unable to open a personal bank account in Japan, there is a way to address this issue during incorporation using the following methods:

① For the bank account to be used for capital contribution during the incorporation process, they may perform their contribution through the account of a director (or representative director) (The Ministry of Justice Min-sho, No. 41, dated March 17, 2017). Stipulated in the same document is special consideration given to companies in case all of the incorporators and directors at incorporation do not have any domicile in Japan based on the descriptions of attachments of a written application for the registration, the account holder does not have to be an incorporator or a representative director at incorporation.

② Bank accounts are not limited to domestic bank accounts ― bank accounts opened overseas, provided that the branch is the overseas branch of a Japan bank. It is also possible to use a bank account opened in a Japanese branch of a foreign bank.

If the requirements to be able to proceed with the methods above cannot be fulfilled, then there is a need to request for the cooperation of a Japanese bank account holder.

As for the possibility of opening a corporate bank account after incorporation, then it is recommended to consult with the bank regarding the company’s plans of opening a corporate account.