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You can discover unique opportunities for doing business in a highly developed Asian country by registering a company in Japan. For non-residents, this procedure has certain features. In this article, we will share the specifics of the process of creating a legal entity in Japan, the main corporate forms of business, and the requirements for foreign businessmen.

Briefly discuss the advantages of opening a company in Japan

  • Stable political situation.
  • Strong support for innovation and technology.
  • High level of GDP.
  • Well-developed infrastructure.
  • Double taxation agreements with various countries.
  • Lack of exchange controls.
  • Access to more than 20 ports and five international airports.
  • Stable domestic market.
  • Numerous trade partnerships exist with countries in Asia, Europe, and America.

This is just a small part of the obvious advantages of the Land of the Rising Sun for doing business. Even registering a new company in Japan remotely will not be a problem. You just need to submit an application to the regulatory authorities. A personal visit to the country will be necessary to complete the establishment of an enterprise in Japan.

Business structures foreign entrepreneurs choose 

When establishing a company in Japan, selecting the right legal and organizational structure is a critical decision that can significantly impact your business operations. The following options are commonly considered by foreign entrepreneurs:

  1. LLC registration.
  2. Establishment of a joint stock company.
  3. Creation of a Japanese LLP.
  4. Opening a branch.
  5. Registration of a Japanese representative office.

Let's take a closer look at the process of registering different legal forms.


LLC or Godo Kaisha

  • An LLC in Japan offers a straightforward path to business ownership. You can form this legal entity with just one founder, and this individual can be a non-resident. This flexibility in ownership allows for a wide range of business opportunities.
  • It's essential to appoint a local director, which ensures that there is someone with knowledge of local regulations and business practices.
  • To kickstart your LLC, you'll need to open a corporate account in Japan, and the minimum capital requirement is surprisingly low, at just 1 JPY.
  • Compliance is crucial when operating an LLC in Japan. This includes the obligation to have a registered office within the country and the annual submission of financial statements, ensuring transparency and accountability.

JSC or Kabushiki Kaisha

  • Registering a joint stock company in Japan follows a similar process to establishing an LLC. The minimum paid-up capital requirement is just 1 JPY, making it accessible to entrepreneurs.
  • Foreign individuals or entities can form a joint stock company, but they must appoint at least one local director to oversee business operations and ensure compliance with Japanese regulations.
  • Certain exemptions from auditing requirements are available for these companies, provided they meet specific criteria. These exemptions apply to companies with fewer than three directors, those not listed on a stock exchange, and those with issued capital of less than 4.5 million USD. Such exempt companies can also be classified as closed joint stock companies.

LLP in Japan

  • An LLP is another option for foreign entrepreneurs looking to establish a presence in Japan. While there are no minimum capital requirements, this form of business necessitates the involvement of a local partner. This local partner can be instrumental in navigating the regulatory landscape.
  • An interesting feature of an LLP is its tax transparency. Income generated from the activities of the partnership is typically included in the personal tax declarations of the participants, allowing for flexibility in tax planning.

Representative office in Japan

  • A representative office is an excellent choice for foreign companies seeking to establish a presence in Japan without creating a separate legal entity. This option is often used for market research, promoting the parent company's business, and other non-profit activities.
  • The activities of the representative office are determined by the parent company's head office. While this option offers a simplified approach to entering the Japanese market, it is limited in terms of the scope of business activities it can undertake.
  • As with other legal structures, it's essential to appoint a permanent representative within Japan to ensure effective communication and compliance with local regulations.

The choice of business structure should align with your specific business goals, level of investment, and long-term strategy. Consulting with local experts and legal professionals can help you navigate the intricacies of Japan's business environment and ensure a successful business venture in this economically developed and promising country.

Taxation in Japan

For those considering establishing a company in Japan, it's essential to understand the taxation system, which includes:

Corporation tax

The corporation tax rate in Japan varies from 21.42% to 33.59%. This rate depends on the company's annual income. Understanding the tax brackets and ensuring proper compliance are crucial for your financial planning.

Value-added tax 

Japan levies a value-added tax of 8%. Businesses that engage in taxable activities must account for and collect this tax, ensuring compliance with VAT regulations.

Double taxation agreements 

Japan has signed DTAs with 54 countries. These agreements are essential for preventing double taxation of income and ensuring that you can enjoy the benefits of the tax treaties between Japan and your home country.

To explore this topic further and receive comprehensive guidance, please don't hesitate to contact our specialists using the provided contact information on our website. Our experts are dedicated to offering advice and support at every stage of your business establishment process in Asia.



What types of companies can foreigners register in Japan?

Foreign investors can choose from various corporate forms, including limited liability companies, joint-stock companies, limited liability partnerships, branches, or representative offices.


Is there a minimum capital requirement for registration in Japan?

Yes, you can register a company in Japan with a minimal initial capital of only 1 Japanese yen (JPY) per investor.


What business taxes must be paid in Japan?

Businesses in Japan are subject to corporation tax, with rates ranging from 21.42% to 33.59% and a value-added tax (VAT) of 8% on taxable activities. Understanding and complying with these tax obligations is crucial for successful business operations in Japan.