10 steps to incorporating in Japan

Japan company formation procedure The typical procedures Healy Consultants follows during a Japan engagement are described below:

    Pre-incorporation Steps

  1. Before Healy Consultants proceeds with the engagement, our Client i) emails us scans of at least 75% of the due diligence documents requested by our compliance department ii) settles our fees and iii) signs our engagement letter. Thereafter, Healy Consultant provides our Client with a detailed project plan, outlining all steps needed before he can start business in the country;
  2. To start the project, Healy Consultants will then agree on the company name and the optimum corporate structure, including shareholders and directors. We also prepare a business plan describing our Client’s planned business in Japan for his review and approval;
  3. Incorporation Steps

  4. When the final corporate structure is agreed with our Client, Healy Consultants i) reserves the company name with the Department of Economic Development (METI) and ii) prepares company deeds of establishment and articles of association. After being signed by our Client, these documents are authenticated by a Notary Public;
  5. Meanwhile, our Client provides us with a lease agreement for their office premises. If our Client is unable to do so, Healy Consultants can alternatively supply Japan virtual office services until our Client finds their preferred business address;
  6. When the above is completed, we submit a company formation application to the Japanese company registrar. The same is usually approved within a few days and we immediately provide our Client with a scanned copy of the certificate of incorporation upon receipt;
  7. Post-Incorporation Steps

  8. Healy Consultants assists our Client to prepare all post-incorporation documents, including notably the minutes of the first meeting of directors, Share Certificates and apply for 3 seals i) official corporate seal (daihyo-in), ii) bank seal (ginko-in) and iii) the informal square seal (kaku-in) and seal certificate;
  9. Healy Consultants will register the company for tax at the nearest District Tax Office and obtain a tax identification number and business registration certificate;
  10. When the above is completed, we assist our Client to open a corporate bank account in Japan without travel. We also assist him to activate online banking facilities;
  11. If needed, Healy Consultants assists our Client to obtain corporate finance, trade finance and to open merchant accounts. If required, Healy Consultants assists our Client to locate business premises and recruit local staff;
  12. Following incorporation in Japan, Healy Consultants provides our Client with a complete company kit including i) original Certificate of Incorporation ii) a bound copy of the government approved Articles of Association iii) original share certificates iv) an original government receipt as evidence of payment of annual company and license fees.

Documents required to form a company in Japan as a foreigner

  1. The documents required for foreigners willing to form a company in Japan are similar to those requested for locals. They mostly include:
    • For corporations: i) legalized copies of the certificate of incorporation, M&AA, latest annual return and financial statements ii) a resolution by the directors (or shareholders according to powers given by the M&AA to directors) approving the formation of a subsidiary in Japan and appointing directors. These documents must also be translated in Japanese by a foreign translator;
    • For individuals: i) legalized copies of their passport and a recent proof of address ii) a seal certificate or legalized signature for each individual iii) bank statements or any other document showing the availability of funds to pay up the shares (only for large amounts of paid-up capital). These documents must also be translated to Japanese.
  2. Refer to this page for further details on the documentation required for Japan business setup.

Frequently asked questions

Contact us

For additional information on our company incorporation services in Japan, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi