How to Set Up a Business in Japan

One of the most important decisions a foreign company can make when entering Japan is choosing the right business model.


Each business model carries its own legal, tax, and representation demands, all of which can impact a company’s long term market success. For companies in the early stages of expanding to Japan, here is an overview of the incorporation process. For JETRO's complete guide for Laws & Regulations for Setting up Business in Japan, click here.

Section 1: Incorporation in Japan

This section highlights the various business models companies can choose from and the application steps needed to register the company with the Japanese government. 

 

1.1   Types of Operations in Japan (Choosing a Business Model)

1.2   Comparison of Types of Business Operations

1.3   Procedures for Registering a Business

1.4   Information Listed in the Articles of Incorporation

1.5   Certificate on Registered Company Information & Company Seal Impression Certificate

1.6   Notifications Required After Registration

1.7   Closure of Branch Offices or Subsidiary Companies

Section 2: Types of Visas

This section covers the various entry procedures required to work and live in Japan. This section also outlines the types of work visas available to foreign staff and the family of foreign nationals.

 

2.1   Entry Procedures

2.2   Relation Between Visa and Status of Residence

2.3   Process from Acquisition of Certificate of Eligibility to Acquisition of Visa

2.4   Types of Working Statuses

2.5   Temporary Visitor Visa and Status

2.6   Reciprocal Visa Exemptions for Temporary Visitor

2.7   Resident Card

2.8   Re-Entry Permission

2.9   Family Members Accompanying Working Foreign Nationals

2.10 Extension of Period of Stay and Change of Status of Residence

2.11  Points-Based Preferential Immigration Treatment for Highly-Skilled Foreign Professionals

2.12  Promoting Acceptance of Foreign Entrepreneurs

Section 3: Corporate Taxes in Japan

This section discusses Japan's tax system for foreign businesses. Subjects include corporate tax structures, tax treaties, and personal taxes. 

 

3.1   Overview of Japanese Corporate Tax System for Investment in Japan

3.2   Domestic-Sourced Income

3.3   Overview of Corporate Income Taxes (Corporate Tax, Corporate Inhabitant Tax, Enterprise Tax)

3.4   Overview of Withholding Income Tax

3.5   Tax Treaties

3.6   Overview of Consumption Tax

3.7   Overview of Personal Tax System

3.8   Other Principal Taxes

3.9   Other Principal Corporate Taxation Regarding International Transactions

3.10 Handling of Corporate, Local, and Consumption Taxes Depending on Capital Amount

Section 4: Labor & Employment Law in Japan

This section covers Japan's labor laws and regulations. Topics include recruitment, employment contracts, wages, working hours, work rules, workplace safety, hygiene requirements, resignation and dismissal procedures, and Japan's social security, health, and pension systems. 

 

4.1  Application of Laws

4.2  Recruitment

4.3  Labor Contracts

4.4  Wages

4.5  Legislation on Working Hours, Breaks, and Days Off

4.6  Work Rules

4.7  Safety and Hygiene

4.8  Resignation and Dismissal

4.9  Japan’s Social Security System

Section 5: Trademark Registration in Japan

This section outlines Japan's trademark and design protection systems, registration vehicles, periods of protection, and trademark and design registration procedures. 

 

5.1  Legislation on Trademark and Design

5.2  Japan’s Trademark System

5.3  Validity and Term of Trademark Registration

5.4  Cancellation of Trademarks

5.5  The Registration Process

5.6  International Registration of Trademarks

5.7  Protection of Designs

5.8  The Registration Process

5.9  International Registration of Industrial Designs

Schedule a Free Business Consultation

For questions about the incorporation process, schedule a free business consultation with the nearest JETRO office.