Identity verification is a standard security measure that ensures the validity and integrity of every business and legal transaction consummated in Japan. As a foreign or international investor, it’s always a good idea to have the required identity documents on hand, so you can conduct business and legal proceedings without needless delays.
Compliance with the Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds
The Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds was put into effect on March 1, 2008, to prevent money laundering and the possible financing of terrorism. All who wish to conduct business, civil, and other legal proceedings in Japan must comply with the law, whether they are a citizen, legal resident, or foreign national.
To prevent fraudulent transactions from being committed on behalf of a business or individual, identity documents (IDs) must be presented before business or legal proceedings can begin. Though this may seem burdensome to some international clients, the ID requirements are also for their protection. The last thing anyone needs, whether he or she is a Japanese national, legal resident, or foreign investor, is to be victimized by fraud perpetuated under his or her name.
Which procedures require the presentation of identity verification documents?
In general, any major legal or business transaction will require the submission of standard forms of ID, which include:
• Registering a company, branch, or representative office
• Any action relating to the incorporation of a company, i.e. re-organization, merger, company split, share exchange, share transfer, amendment of the articles of incorporation, and change of representative directors or directors
• Application for resident visa
• Any action relating to the sale of any building lot or building
• Any business or financial transaction that exceeds 2 million yen
ID verification is generally conducted by judicial or administrative scriveners, lawyers, and by certified public or tax accountants.
Acceptable forms of ID
The following types of ID are considered admissible for all business and legal transactions:
• Valid passport
• Driver’s license
• Resident card
• Alien Registration Card
• Pension Handbook
In cases where an individual is acting on behalf of a corporate entity, he or she must provide any of the aforementioned forms of ID, as well as the Company Seal and the Company Seal Certificate.