My Company Set Up in Japan

Ok, my company got finally incorporated in Japan – it takes about a month including all the admin and etc..

I used Hitoride Dekirumon, a DIY incorporation service provider via web. I liked that it’s cheap and everything done over the web except those you need to go to government offices. I chose the option of the most DIY that the I didn’t ask for any additional service. If you are busy and don’t have time or bother to do document submission etc, you can ask a licensed administrative scrivener (or Gyousei Shoshi / 行政書士 ).

The total damage is about JPY 230,000:

  1. Fee by Hitoride Dekirumon – JPY 12, 350
  2. Certification by Notary Officer (Koushou-nin / 公証人)- JPY 52,000
  3. Incorporation Registration (法人登録) at Legal Affairs Bureau (Houmu-kyoku / 法務局)- JPY 150,000
  4. Misc ( Company Seals, Authorized Copy of Registration, etc..) – JPY 10,000
  • you can see the details of the charge here (in Japanese)

Review of the Services

1 is actually the system and admin fee by the service provider. Japan has adopted so called e-application system but the system flow requires you to purchase JPY 200,000 system. Stupid! I haven’t even tried but according to some people commented on web, the application system is hard to use and need some patience to use. Unless you are those who want to do DIY everything – really everything – you’d better opt in for these service provider and paying some minimal fee.

I personally think the Japanese system should not require such certification on #2, and the charge of #3 is unnecessarily expensive just for “registration”. Although those charges are very expensive in my opinion, the services I’d received in the government offices are very welcoming. I expected more authoritative clerical way of service, but they were instead very service oriented. They consulted me what I want to do and kindly advise me what I should write on the counter. (well probably you don’t want to queue up behind someone like me..)

Company Seals

Another thing that might be surprising to someone from overseas including myself having spent much time outside Japan is Company Seals. Here’s the culture of seals. You need seals and chops everywhere. I bought the seals here at e-Hankoya as it offers more competitive price than the partner from Hitodeki. If you don’t mind doing another online transaction, you may check it or if you like one-stop shopping you should just stick to Hitodeki then.

You need at least a company seals (Daihyou-In / 代表印) for the CEO. The round-shaped chop represents CEO. Since any documents with the seal can represent the company’s lawful decision, people typically prepare other lesser powerful one – Bank Seal (Ginkou-In / 銀行印) and Admin Seal (Kaku-In / 角印). Bank Seal is the one lesser degree of company seal. It can deposit/withdraw cash with the banks, but it can’t sign/seal on the business contract. Admin Seal is more or less to state that whatever document is the real one, but it can’t manage cash nor sign on the contract. After I studied many people’s comments, although it’s always good to prepare all three of them, I created only company seal and admin seal. I will use company seal for banking transaction, as it’ll be only me who manage such things.

Let me post more details when I’ve got more time. I am just so happy that my company is finally up now. Now it’s time to start rolling…

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