weConnect Resources

How to Set Up a Business in Japan from Abroad

What if we told you that you could set up your business in Japan in one week, without stepping foot in the country?

Most people find it hard to believe. Why? Because for many, even setting up their home internet in Japan can feel like a trek up Mount Fuji. Japan is notorious for having a lot of paperwork, one-too-many regulations, and processes that can take weeks longer than you’d expect in any other country. So, the idea of being able to set up your business in Japan without being in the country can sound impossible.

But the reality is that none of these things are issues when it comes to setting up your business in Japan.

Covid-19 forced Japan to impose travel restrictions which might make you feel delayed in starting your business in Japan. So, we want to take this opportunity to share with you how you can set up your business even if you can’t travel to the country right now. Luckily, you don’t have to let Covid-19 stop you from moving forward with your plans!

To set up your business in Japan, all you need are: incorporation documents and registration forms, a registered address, a registered company seal, and a bank account. 

For starters, you don’t need to hire a local representative to set up your business in Japan…

Most people assume that in order to expand their business into Japan, they need to hire a local native to be the director for their Japan subsidiary. It feels like you need to rely on a person you don’t even really know to get your business set up. Plus, not to mention the fact that they’ll have total control and power of attorney over your business. Yikes.

Unlike in other countries, hiring a local director is not a prerequisite to registering and opening your business in Japan. You can set your business up first, and then think about the hiring process later.

…But you will need help from someone based in Japan (hint: us!)

There are three parts of the business registration process where you’ll need someone on the ground to help if you want to set up your business remotely: a registered address, a registered seal, and a bank account. 

  1. Registered Address: A registered address is a requirement for incorporation. Provide us with the address and proof you are allowed to use it and we’ll register it for you. Don’t have a location in Japan, yet? You can use our address. Added benefit? We can receive and handle any government mail and scan it to you. (And, if you use our accounting and payroll services, we can even take care of it for you… *wink wink* )
  2. Registered Company Seal: A seal is also a requirement, which represents the Power of Attorney of your company. We can make one for you and safeguard it.
  3. Bank Account: You need a bank account to receive the capital to set up the entity. If the representative and shareholders don’t have bank accounts, then you can use a third party. You can use our weConnect custody account for this part of the process. 

There’s one last thing you’ll need to set up your entity (but if you work with weConnect, it’s optional): 

When preparing your forms for incorporation, you’ll need to get your documents notarized in your home country. That means you’ll need to visit your local public notary office and send the documents to Japan. This process can really extend the timeline of registering your business. And if that’s not inconvenient enough, Covid-19 will definitely put a delay on you getting a notary and sending it to Japan.

If you want to speed up registering your business to as little as a week, then we can set up the business on your behalf in our name and then immediately transfer the ownership to you, which doesn’t require you to have anything notarized. 

You don’t need to be present if you hire a firm to help you – heck, you don’t even have to leave your chair – and we are the masters of making this happen. Get it done fast and out of the way so you can focus on business development. 

Let’s help you figure this out

To get started, contact us here to set up a time for a chat and we’re happy to walk you through the process.

And if you want to learn more about how to set up a business in Japan, check out all of our resources on this page, here.




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How to Streamline Your Year-End Tax Adjustments (Nenmatsu Chosei) in Japan

How to Set Up a Business In Japan from Abroad

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