Branch Office Registration

A Step Forward from Representative Office

Registering branch is a simple and low-cost way to have a foothold for your business in Japan. A foreign company wishing to carry out transactions continuously in Japan must specify and register its representatives in Japan. We recommend to register branch OFFICE in addition to representative PERSON to enhance reliability of your company, but registering branch office is not mandatory to run a business in Japan. The time required to complete the registration is approximately one month, when prior notification to the Bank of Japan is not necessary. Note that one or more of such representatives in Japan shall be those whose domiciles are in Japan.

Following is the flow of procedures to set up a branch office.

branch office registration

Susidiary vs Branch

  1. Term of office: There is no restriction on the term of office of representative in Japan, while the term is limited to 10 years (max.) in case of KK (Note: No limit for GK).
  2. Disclosure: A branch has to submit financial documents of its HQ to Japanese tax authorities in addition to those of the branch. In case of subsidiary (KK and GK), there is no such obligation.
  3. Liability: If you run a business as branch office, the HQ is put under the same burdon of liability as its branch, because the branch and its HQ are the same legal entity. This burdon may be intolerable when the branch is sued for product liability, etc. If the base of business is a subsidiary, you can apportion liability between HQ and branch and the liability can be limited only to the Japanese local entity.