Procedure and Costs to Start Small Business in Japan

costs to start small business in japan

In this comprehensive guideline, we will explain the detail procedure and costs to start small business in Japan.

In case if you missed the beginner guide to start business in Japan, we encouraged you to read before jumping into these comprehensive guidelines.

Procedure and Costs to Start Small Business in Japan

Step 1 :: Required Documents and the Details to Decide in the Articles of Incorporation

At first, you must find the office address to start the business. You must decide the basic elements and prepare the required documents for the business.

Required documents for a foreign individual

  • Seal certificate (inkan shomeisho) (issued within 3 months) of each investor and director.
  • Signature (or seal) of each investor and director is required on the Articles of Incorporation and other required documents.
  • One of the investor’s personal bank account and its passbook (tsucho) / bank statement for the deposit of capital. Company seal that needs to be registered at the registry office.
  • Company seal that needs to be registered at the registry office.

Details to Be Decided in the Articles of Incorporation

  • Company Name

The company name can be in alphabet, numbers, kanji, hiragana or katakana (or a mixture of these).

  • Company Address

The company address will be shown on the registry certificate (which anyone can get), so some companies prefer to choose an address to give a good image (such as Ginza, Aoyama, Akasaka, etc.).

  • Company’s Activities

It is possible to list as many activities as you wish to do, including those that will not be performed immediately.

  • Administration

A company needs to appoint at least one director. An investor/shareholder can become a director at the same time.

  • Corporate Capital

Even if it is technically possible to establish a company with 1 yen, it is wise to fix a capital that would allow to pay the initial expenses or to gain credibility according to the nature of your business.

  • Fiscal Year

A company is free to decide its fiscal year that needs to be fixed in the Articles of Incorporation.

Step 2 :: Preparing the Articles of Incorporation (teikan)

Articles of incorporation are all about how your company will be managed. In this step, it should be clearly describing the needs of shareholders or investors and their relationship with the corresponding directors.

Step 3 :: Notarization of the Articles of Incorporation

Notarization is done at the Notary Office / Koshonin yakuba.  It is only needed for Kabushiki Kaisha (KK), but not required for Godo Kaisha (GK).

Notarization fee: 50,000 yen Revenue stamps (also required for GK): 40,000 yen

Step 4 :: Deposit of Capital

After the completion of registration, you can open the company’s bank account. You should use one of the investor’s personal bank account in Japan to deposit initial capital.

Step 5 :: Preparing Documents for Company’s Registration

Besides the application form, you should prepare various documents like as notification of the company’s seal (inka) registration, as well as a letter of agreement from the directors.

Step 6 :: Application Filling For Company Registration

It can be done at Registry Office / Homukyoku.

The minimum registration fee for KK is 150,000 yen and 60,000 yen for GK.

Step 7 :: Obtaining the Registry Certificate and Company’s Seal

After the completion of registration, you must obtain the registration certificate and company’s seal certificate. These are necessary while you open a corporate bank account or signing business or other employment contracts in company’s name.

Step 8 :: Tax and Social Insurance Related Procedures

These include but not limited to open a bank account under company’s name, application of visa and status for a status of residence for staffs, application of business license if required.

To sum up, if you are trying to set up Kabushiki Kaisha (KK), the estimated setting up costs is around 500,000 yen and for Godo Kaisha (GK), you can start up with around 300,000 yen in accordance to the market evaluation of 2018.

Note that these all above-mentioned procedures can be done within two to four weeks periods.

We hope, at least you have set up somewhat of mind for the procedures and costs to establish business in Japan.

If you need more information and consultant, you can find many advisory and consultancy companies in Japan who can really help you to establish business in Japan. They might have years of experience in this field.

Especially, if you are trying to invest more, we suggest you find some advisory and consultancy companies for help.


We are not related to any advisory and consulting companies. All the information herein is published in good faith and for general information purpose only and not for providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any issue or problem.


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