Select the activities of your business.

Japanese business start-up consultant

In many countries, it used to be the case that, if a company did not list a business activity in its company registration documents, it could not carry out that activity, thus, companies put in everything that they might do. In Japan, the company registration is still conducted in this way. So, when considering a company’s business activities, the owner of the company should select the activities of their business.

More recently in Japan, the Commercial Registration Act allows companies to register one specific business activity, such as trading, restaurant business and travel business along with any other lawful activities and/or all business incidental to or related to the preceding activities. However, in many cases that, especially immigration matters are involved in, certified copies of certificates on the Legal Affairs Bureau register should be submitted to other Bureaus, and an officer at the Bureau might point out something insufficient for their purpose. The company in Japan still normally has many business activities listed in its articles of incorporation.

Some companies use model articles provided from the Legal Affairs Bureau, but narrow business activities may cause further amendments, additional work and extra cost. You can go down the DIY option, but that is not without its risks. A good expert will be aware of the technical issues and what potentially could go wrong. Professionals are likely to save you money in the long term, because we can deal with things quickly and efficiently.

司法書士堀明子 – HORIakiko –

司法書士 / ビジネスコンサルタント / ライフ・コーチ

Shiho-shoshi Lawyer / Business consultant / Life coach


Tel:    +81-(0)3-3249-1536

How do I choose an estate agent?

Japanese business start-up consultant

When considering real property transaction, it is critical to identify a good estate agent. Initially, it is wise to have a personal recommendation, such as family, friends and colleagues. if there is someone reliable with enough knowledge about real property, it is useful to ask that person, too. In addition, collecting information from the internet is also effective nowadays.

In Japan, as to an estate agent’s license, there are two types of licenses: one is the license approved by the prefecture governor and the other is the license approved by The Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).

The license approved by the prefecture governor is issued when the estate agent runs its business in one prefecture only. On the contrary, the license approved by MLIT is issued when they run its real property business across several prefectures.

There are brackets and numbers on their license number, which indicates the length of their working history. The license should be renewed every 5 years. When it is one in brackets, it means the agent has been running their business less than 5 years.

When a purchase agreement is formed, the brokerage fee for an estate agent is generally the sale price multiplied by 3% plus JPN 60,000 plus consumption tax of 10 %, but it might be negotiable.

司法書士堀明子 – HORIakiko –
司法書士 / ビジネスコンサルタント / ライフ・コーチ
Shiho-shoshi Lawyer / Business consultant / Life coach
Tel: +81-(0)3-3249-1536

Private limited companies

Japanese business start-up consultant

A private limited company can be a small or large business.

Under the current company law, one person can set up a private limited company. A private limited company has limited liability and these types of business have ‘株式会社(KK)’ or ‘合同会社(GK)’ before or after their business name in Japan. Only the trade name of a corporation can be registered with English alphabet, numbers and some symbols, such as “&(ampersand)”, “,(comma)”, “.(full stop)” and the like.

Any type of business can set up as a private limited company. ‘株式会社(KK)’ is likely to used for larger businesses, and ‘合同会社(GK)’ is for example, a(n) instructor, hairdresser, photographer, etc.

There is no such a big difference from both legal entities, but historically, ‘株式会社(KK)’ is a traditional form of a private limited company. On the other hand, ‘合同会社(GK)’ was introduced in 2016. The biggest difference is registration tax and notary public fee. Registration tax for ‘株式会社(KK)’ is 150,000 JPYen, and one for ‘合同会社(GK)’ is 60,000 JPYen. In addition, articles of incorporation of ‘株式会社(KK)’ should be notarised, which costs about 52,000 JPYen.

Private limited companies pay corporation tax. Corporation tax is a tax on the profits of a business. There is a lot of paperwork to found a private limited company, because the business has to register with the Legal Affairs Bureau, and file annual financial reports to the Tax Bureau.

I hope the information is useful.

I will update every Monday.

For more information

Japanese business consultant

Shihoshoshi Lawyer(Judicial Scrivener)

Akiko HORI

Doing business in TOKYO

Japan is a country that Secure, Safe Clean and Punctual, which are essential doing business.  In addition, Japan has a rich nature because of the humidity and people appreciate the nature and worship every nature.

In this year (2020), the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held.
Those living in Japan, those planning to do business and those visiting Japan from abroad are most welcome to take this advantage.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government promotes the “Global Financial City: Tokyo” Vision
National Strategic Special Zone

1. Entrepreneurship/Employment
Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center
Tokyo Employment Consultation Center

2. Urban Revitalization
Development of international business centres
The building of a large underground bus terminal in front of Tokyo Station
The building of new stations near Toranomon and Shinagawa stations

3. Tourism
Relaxation of the Inns and Hotels Act
For more information
Japanese business start-up consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)
Akiko HORI

Legal Advice for Business in Japan


Japanese property system

Most nations follow one of two main legal systems: Common Law (in the USA, Britain, Australia etc.) and Civil Law (in France, Germany, other European countries and also Japan).
In the 19th century, Japan based its Civil Code on the legal codes of France and Germany, both Civil Law systems.

Although it can be jointly owned, Civil Law systems regard property as indivisible in theory, so a transaction transfers ownership completely or not at all.
It makes no distinction between beneficial, legal or equitable titles, as does Common Law.

One analogy is that Civil Law treats property ownership as a box: whoever has the box, owns it. The owner can open the box and transfer the rights inside it to others, but still owns the box. In Common Law, property ownership is like a cake. You can keep the whole cake or divide it into slices. Each slice represents a part of the ownership of the property, as there is division of ownership, not just the transfer of rights.

The Japanese Civil Code bases property law on the principle of ownership. Article 29 of the Japanese Constitution includes the property rights of Japanese citizens:
1) the right to own property is inviolable;
2) property rights shall be defined by law, in conformity with the public welfare; and
3) private property may be taken for public use upon just compensation for this.
The Civil Code prohibits the creation of new real property rights not provided for in the law. The main property rights are ownership, possession, leases and usufruct. Accessory property rights include pledges, mortgages and easements.