Japan Branch vs. Subsidiary

Japan Branch vs. Subsidiary

HOME Business Services Japan Branch vs. Subsidiary

  Representative Office Branch Office Subsidiary
(Stock Corporation)
Business (Sales) Activity No Yes Yes
Registration Not Required Required Required
Capital Not Required Not Required No minimum capitalization requirements
(Note that when applying for a Business Investor/Manager Visa, in principle, a minimum of 5,000,000 yen is required)
Directors Not Required Japan Branch Representative with Japanese residency is required At least 1 director is required
Staff Employment Yes Yes Yes
Public Disclosure Requirement None May be required under some circumstances Periodic financial reporting requirement, public disclosure and preparation of public documents as required under Japanese Corporate Law
Establishment of Bank Account Can only open a personal bank account Can open a business account under the branch name Can open a business account under the subsidiary name, if, in principle, at least one director is a Japanese resident
Leasing of Real Estate Under the personal name of the representative of the Representative Office Yes Yes
Registration Expenses (Out of Pocket Expenses, Not Including Professional Fees) Not applicable Approximately 125,000 yen Approximately 250,000 yen

Additional Notes

  1. While the Representative Office in principle does not require any registration procedures, it is not permitted to directly engage in sales activities. Furthermore, the opening of bank accounts and leasing of real property must be done under the personal name of the representative of the Representative Office.
  2. Since the Branch Office does not have independent corporate legal status and is considered an extension of the foreign company, credits and liabilities of the Branch as a result of its operations belong to the foreign company. Bank accounts may be opened and real property leased under the name of the Branch Office.
  3. A company that is incorporated as a subsidiary through the capital investment of a non-domestic company possesses independent corporate legal status and, therefore, with respect to the credits and liabilities of the subsidiary as a result of its operations, the non-domestic company is only liable up to the amount which it has invested.


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