Is it possible for a foreign person or company to expand their business into Japan and establish a Japanese company or branch?

A_dark_iconYes, it is possible. Japan has opened its doors to foreign persons and companies to establish their Japanese companies or branches.

★ Explanation ★

business-incorporationPreviously, for foreign individuals and enterprises who want to establish their business presence in Japan, they were required to have a cooperator who is a Japanese resident. Following the current tax reforms, it has become easier for foreign individuals and businesses to set-up their businesses in Japan. However, for a corporation to be able to open a bank account in Japan, there are some cases where they will need a Japanese resident as a co-representative; hence, it is important to take note of points such as these.

In the case of a Japanese branch office, instead of what would normally be the representative director of a joint stock company (kabushiki kaisha), Japanese branch offices designate a “Japan branch office representative”. Oftentimes, the representative director is a non-resident; in the case of a Japan branch office, there should be at least 1 Japanese resident among the Japan branch office representatives.

Notice by Director of the Commercial Affairs Division dated as of March 16, 2015 (No. 29)

Handling of an application for the registration in the case where all of representative directors of a domestic stock company do not have any domicile in Japan (Notice)

The application for the registration of incorporation of a domestic stock company of which all of representative directors do not have any residential address in Japan, and for the registration of reappointment or appointment of representative directors of such domestic stock company may be accepted from today on, even though the answers of the Director of the Fourth Division of the Civil Affairs Bureau dated as of September 26, 1984 (Min-yon, No. 4974) and March 11, 1985 (Min-yon, No. 1480) mention that such application should not be accepted. Please inform and direct this to each registrar.

Please understand that the previous handling that conflicts with this notice has been revised by this notice.