More focus on registering a Branch Office in Japan.

More focus on registering a Branch Office in Japan.

Although most gyoseishoshi-lawyers’ offices like us or accountants or other visa supporting companies tend to recommend foreign companies that wish to operate business in Japan that Japanese subsidiary is more suitable or preferable than branch, many of our foreign customers still choose branch for variety reason.

Documents Required (Both Branch/ Subsidiary)

  • Either establishing a branch or a subsidiary of your company in Japan, specifying representative and place of business in Japan, Japanese bank account is almost mandatory.

  • Affidavit certified by your country’s Embassy/ Consulate in Japan or a public notary of your nation.
    →To prepare Affidavit, registry certificate of your company, Articles of Incorporation of your company and those two’s Japanese translation are required.

  • Seal certificate (inkan shomeisho in Japanese) or signature attestation of the Representative in Japan(issued within 3 months)

  • Company(or Branch)’s official seal(to be registered at the registry office in Japan)

This is iconic Japanese meal called Skiyaki or Nabe. Hitomi Law Office is cozy and friendly, and we often gather and have one big meal together sometimes with our clients also.

When setting a branch, documents required are almost same as mentioned above, but when it is a branch and not a subsidiary, it is possible to set up a branch even if you doesn’t have Japanese bank account prior to actual start of business as a branch itself doesn’t have the capital funds and doesn’t need to receive those money before setting up a branch.

However, we still recommend to open a Japanese bank account to set up and expand your business and to proceed with the tax and social security related procedures (manage a Japanese bank account to make payments for Japan taxes, employee’s salaries or suppliers).

Opening Japanese Bank Account and Custom of hanko tradition

You may only open a Japanese bank account by the corporate name AFTER you set up a branch or a subsidiary. Thus, when there’s a need to secure a Japanese bank account for the initial capital deposit for a subsidiary, not a corporate bank account but the representative director or someone who is resident of Japan needs to open a bank account by his or her personal name.

In Japan, the bank account of a company is operated by a seal (so called inkan or hanko) registered with the bank and we always advise our customers not to use the official registered seal of the company to operate the bank account but to use so called the bank seal. The registered seal of the company (jitsuin) is very powerful and allows to make important changes to the company such as changing the owners of the company so jitsuin should be kept in the safe place(this information is for now, because of Covid19, Japanese society is changing rapidly so seals, personal stamps(inkan) might be eliminated in the near future as they seem to be impractical in a digital society compared with a signature.).

This is official letter of complaint so called naiyou shoumei in Japan. This letter proves that the letter had been sent and the contents of claims. Seals of senders and post office are needed to make this document legally valid.
Jitsuin(officially regisutered seal) is used when purchasing valuable stuff such as a vehicle, land and so on.

Status of Residence (so called Visa)

The status of residence is determined depending on applicant’s activities in Japan and not on the type of company operation. There are 30 types of status of residence at present.

The period of stay refers to the period during which foreign nationals with any of the status of residence can stay in Japan. The permitted period is specified for each status of residence. A foreign national may engage in activities within the scope of the status of residence and period of stay permitted to him or her. Therefore, it is necessary to first determine one type of visa. One person can get only one type of visa at a time so if there are more than one visa that are eligible, you have to choose one visa type (in this case, we advise either International Services visa or Intra-company Transferee visa).

International Services visa (this is shortened term for Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/ International Services) authorizes activities to engage in services, which require skills or knowledge pertinent to physical science, engineering or other natural science fields, or to engage in services, which require knowledge pertinent to jurisprudence, economics, sociology or other human science fields, or to engage in services which require specific ways of thought or sensitivity based on experience with foreign culture, based on a contract with a public or private organization in Japan.
International trade is authorized activity for this visa.
The permitted period of stay: 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months

This picture’s taken in Autumn year 2019 (before corona)at baseball match of Osaka Certified Administrative Procedures Legal Specialists Association(Osaka-fu Gyoseishoshi Kai)

Gyoseishosi Lawyer Hitomi Miki speaks English and she always carries her job equipment like a laptop, internet connection device, battery backup things, a Sony camera and so on in order to stay productive by getting work done and answer customers’ need quickly.

We would rather recommend Intra-company Transferee instead of other working Visas if you want to send your staff members of home country to Japan. It is because the requirements of Intra-company Transferee visa are more simple compared with other working visas such as Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services. If your employees have worked more than one year in the parent company in overseas, University degree or professional experience in the field are not required.

Activities authorized to engage in for Intra-company Transferee is activities of a staff member transferred to a business office in Japan for a limited period of time from a business office established in a foreign country by a public or private organization which has its head office, branch office or other business office in Japan, which are to be conducted at such business office in Japan.
The permitted period of stay: 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months.

Either working visa, you can’t get a working visa for manual or simple labor work, and there are requirements to meet as to successfully obtain a Japanese visa for foreign employees. Working visas only cover the kind of work that requires high level of professional knowledge or skills.

Submitting a statement in Japanese explaining the reason for obtaining visa helps immigration understand the situation better, and so we write such letter which requires a profound knowledge in Immigration Law and policies to possibly increases the chance of getting the visa.

This is our office’s chief Gyoseishoshi Lawyer Kei Enokida’s license card to prove the authorization to be Representative of the Applicant. This is called ‘Pink Card’ in Japan, and not all the Gyoseishoshi Lawyers are this ‘Pink Card Hoders’.
Gyoseishoshi can help you in obtaining various kinds of permits, licenses or authorization from Japanese Governmental Authorities.

Sample of Total Cost Estimation

■The costs for setting up Branch(Certificate of Eligibility for two employees)

Hitomi Law Office fees 150,000
Registration duties 90,000
Stamp Fee 20,000
Certificate of Eligibility for a Status of Residence(visa)
100,000yen (per one employee)
合計 460,000

+Translation(5,000yen per 1page/ other than Affidavit)

■The costs for setting up Subsidiary(Certificate of Eligibility for two employees)

Hitomi Law Office fees 180,000
Registration duties 90,000
Stamp Fee 202,000
Certificate of Eligibility for a Status of Residence(visa)
100,000 (per one employee)
合計 602,000

+Translation(5,000yen per 1page/ other than Affidavit)

The above costs include the following services:

  • Preparing an Affidavit (in English) and its Japanese translation (no extra charge for Affidavit translation)

  • Communicating with the people involved at the parent company and the Japanese branch if necessary (in English or Japanese)

  • Ordering the branch/subsidiary office’s official seal (stamp) on your behalf

  • Filing the application of the branch/ subsidiary office registration

  • Obtaining the registry certificate and seal certificate once the branch/ subsidiary office registration is completed.

A branch is an extended office of the parent company in Japan and can engage in commercial activities based on the capital of the parent company. The expenses are paid by the parent company, but it also collects the profits made by the branch office, which needs to be integrated to the company’s annual accounting.

A branch office needs to declare and pay corporate taxes in Japan. The tax amount is based on the profits generated by the branch office in Japan.

In principle, working visas cannot be obtained before establishing a business entity since working visas (Intra-company Transferee) are issued for applicants (foreign nationals) on the premise that a Japan entity for which they work is secured.

For further information, please contact us by using the inquiry form below.