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How to set up an LLC in Japan

What is a Godo Kaisha

The issue of incorporation of a company and status of residence

Your company’s legal address in Japan

Gōdo Kaisha (合同会社— is the japanese equivalent of the well-known Limited Liaibility Company. Similarly to its western counterparts, incorporating a Gōdo Kaisha in Japan is the easiest way to set up your own company.
While not as famous overseas as the well-known Kabushiki Gaisha — the japanese equivalent of the joint-stock company, Gōdo Kaisha is the way to go if we are looking for a safe way to register a legal entity, that can be engaged in business activities.
In order to officialy register a company in Japan, you must submit the necessary application documents at the so-called legal affairs bureu 法務局 (Hōmukyoku).
Be advised, you have to submit them at your local bureu, meaning the one that has jurisdiction over your company’s address.
It means that should you decided to incorporate a company in Minato City (ward) in Tokyo, you will have to file the documents at the Minato branch of the Legal Affairs Bureu.

Your company’s legal address in Japan

Similarly to the majority of western countries, you need to determine or even find (if needed) your company’s official legal address.
As you know having a virtual office or virtual address has become quite popular, especially now when providing services remotely (often called telework in Japan nad WFH in Europe).
Unfortunately it creates a different set of problems, when you decide to register a corporate (business bank account for your newly-established company. Take a look at your Business bank account for a company in Japan article for more detailed information.
Obviously if you have some connections or got some friends in Japan, you can use their address as your company’s legal address. While it may make it easier to open a bank account for your japanese company, from the legal point of view you are supposed to provide services at the address you listed as your company’s legal address.

Company name determination and trademark registration

If you are establishing a company in Japan, you will need to decide on a company name.

If this is the case, please read this article.

Even if you set up a company, your company name won’t be protected.

We always recommend to plan ahead. Especially if you are not familiar with the local Japanese law concerning establishing and operating a company here.


Here at Tomohiko Akiyama Legal Services, we are ready to arrange everything beforehand, and look into potential problems you may have encounter.


The issue of incorporation of a company and status of residence 

Suppose you have come up with a good business idea.

But you have a day job.

No matter how good your business idea is, it is too risky for you to leave your current company. What should you do in such a case?

You will find someone who will hire you as an employee. That person (let’s say Mr. Akita) will run a business using your business idea. And you receive a salary from Mr. Akita.

 Of course, the scope of your activities in the company should be within the scope of your current status of residence. Mr. Akita will not help you do anything illegal.

If you cannot find Mr. Akita, you may contact me. 

Regarding “Change of Executive Office in Japan”, you can see the page.

Please do not hesitate to contact us. akiyama(a)

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