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Opening an Office in Japan

The Japanese market has proven to be extremely profitable and boasts the world’s second largest economy. Tokyo is the financial, administrative and governmental centre of the country and is Japans most cosmopolitan city. Other important cities for doing business in Japan include Yokohama, Osaka and Nagoya.

It is advisable to hire Japanese nationals who will understand the social nuances and cultural differences along with legal professional who will be able to advise on the different laws and regulations required in setting up a new business. Laws and Regulations on Setting up a business in Japan.

This laws and regulations that will apply will very much depend on the type of business you are setting up and the procedures for registering your establishment. You will need to apply for a certificate of registration for your company along with a company seal registration certificate from the appropriate governing body.

Visas and Status of Residence

Will you be hiring locally or bringing in some of your employees from foreign countries? If you will be transferring foreign national you will need to apply for a working visa. These visas range from Investors or Business Managers, Engineers, Legal and Accounting Services, Intra-company Transferee’s and Skilled Labourers. If family members will be accompanying your employees then additional visas will need to be arranged.


Your company will be subject to paying taxes in Japan, based on the profits made.

Human Resources

There are a number of laws relating to protection of workers and labour, including the Labour Standards Law, the Minimum Wage Law and the Industrial Safety and Health laws. These will include laws on working hours, days off, breaks, dismissal and resignation and wages.

Business Etiquette

In Japan respect is particularly important along with company loyalty. As a westerner while you would not be expected to bow on meeting a slight nod of the head along with a handshake would show respect. Clothing should be dark in colour and conservative. Dramatic gestures and hand movements should be avoided and pointing is considered unacceptable.

If you take the time to properly research and adhere to business protocol and meeting etiquette before setting up new offices in Japan, your company will be more likely to flourish.