A liaison office
, most commonly known as a representative office
, in Japan
is generally opened by foreign legal entities as a preliminary step to actually doing business in the country. A representative office
can effectuate market research, collect data and purchase and advertise products. In this article, our company formation advisors in Japan
present several details regarding opening a liaison office in Japan
Setting up a liaison office in Japan without opening a legal entity
A liaison office in Japan
must have a representative who is a resident in this country
If the representative office intends to pay wages to employees and offer them social insurance and retirement benefits, a certain procedure, which is quite complex, must be followed.
To achieve this, the liaison office must present the local authorities with the following documentation:
• A lease for office space in its own name;
• A utility bill which is issued on the representative office name;
• A copy of the agreement between the representative and the parent company.
The representative of the liaison office must also prove his or her good standing with the social insurance, tax and legal authorities by filing documents like:
• The registration with the local ward office;
• The registration with the social insurance;
Proof of payment of the resident tax. Our company registration
consultants in Japan
can provide more details on what these documents consist of. We can also assist entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a company in Japan
Differences between a representative office and a branch office in Japan
Opening a representative office in Japan is, maybe, the most basic way of establishing the presence of a company in this country.
As stated previously, such an entity is able to effectuate surveys, collect data, purchase and advertise goods and so on.
However, a liaison office in Japan is not allowed to engage in sales activities.
Setting up a liaison office here does not imply a company registration in Japan.
On the other hand, a branch office in Japan
enables a foreign company to do business in the country while maintaining the control of the decisions and having the entire liability.
If you have to know more about setting up a representative office in Japan
, or for help to open
a company in Japan
, we kindly invite you to get in touch