Representative (liaison) Office

The representative Office being registered with same legal data than the parent company won't be required to have a separate paid up capital.

The representative office is not a separate entity than the parent company.

The representative office is the simplest and most cost effective choice for a small to medium sized foreign company as the first step to entering a new market, Japan. It allows you to be physically present in Japan, to analyze the market, the competitors and the cultural environment, without allocating a substantial budget.
The liaison office can also bridge the language and cultural gaps, negotiate contracts with local partners, distribute brochures, advertise effectively, promote the corporate image of the parent company, and can prospect on this new market to test commercial inputs & outputs.

Taxable status

Since it doesn’t generate any commercial sales on its own (it only intermediates business between parent company and local partners, at most), the Representative Office is not taxable in Japan.

Staff employment

The parent company cannot employ local staff directly, but we can recruit and employ new staff dedicated to your needs.
In case you don't specifically require dedicated staff and the amount of work is not excessive, another option is to let our existing staff work for you.

Benefits & Advantages:

  • Presence in the Japanese market.
  • No need for typical investments necessary for opening an office.
  • No need for a high monthly budget for office expenses (like rent fee, maintenance fees, staff wages, transportation, etc).
  • Operation during Japan business hours, communication in both languages.

Legal status:

The Representative (liaison) Office doesn't have a legal status and no approvals from the authorities are required. In some rare cases, the local partners that we talk to or negotiate with may ask for evidence of representation, that's why it is necessary for the foreign company to issue a document stating that they empower us to be their representative in Japan (beside the contract, which is confidential).
All the legal documents (contracts, invoices, receipts, etc) needed in business with the Japanese partners have to be issued and signed by the parent company, so all transactions are international.

Note: In other parties' offers, you may encounter services that describe conditions for the Representative Office like they were for the Branch, hence confusion may arise.


Japan company incorporation
See comparison table
representative in Japan

Branch - conditions for registration:

  • Have a rental contract for an office space (We can assist in this regard by letting you use our office address as your branch address).
  • Must nominate a director, who is the local representative of the company (We may assist in this regard by providing a local resident for the nominee director).
  • The parent company has to provide a hard copy of the act of incorporation in own country.
  • Document issued by you with the signature certified by a Notary Public (eg. Hague Apostille, etc).
  • Japanese translations for the above required documents (we can help with that too).
  • No minimum capital is necessary to establish a Branch. The parent company is legally bound for the Branch activities.

Other remarks:

Time needed: 10 days, if all conditions and documents are in good order.

We can open a bank account bearing the company name.

Note: Please note that sometimes you may encounter services that describe conditions for the Representative Office like they were for the Branch, hence confusion may arise.

Benefits & Advantages:

  Registration as a legal body, in Japan.

  The Japan branch can issue invoices, sign contracts, etc. whenever required.

Japan bank account open setup
See comparison table
Japan representative director

New company setup - conditions for registration:

  • Have a rental contract for an office space (We can assist in this regard by letting you use our office address as your branch address).
  • Must nominate a director, who is the local representative of the company (We may assist in this regard by providing a local resident for the nominee director).
  • Document issued by you with the signature certified by a Notary Public (eg. Hague Apostille, etc).
  • Japanese translations for the above required documents (we can help with this too).
  • Required capital: there is no minimum limit, registration can be made from 1 yen.

Taxable Status:

YES - registration with the Tax Office is required after incorporation, before opening a bank account.

Filing an annual tax return is mandatory, in April, every year. (We can help you in this regard).

Other remarks:

Time needed: 10 days, if all conditions and documents are in good order.

We can open a bank account bearing the company name.

Japan representative office


Japan business agent