Companies Act

In cases where a foreign company imports goods from a foreign country to Japan and sells goods to a customer in Japan, the Companies Act may become an issue.

The Companies Act stipulates that “a foreign company shall appoint a representative in Japan if it intends to continue to conduct business in Japan” (Article 817, Paragraph 1 of the Companies Act).  Therefore, for example, if a foreign company wants to open up a bank account in Japan, it will be necessary to have at least a branch office and a registered representative in Japan. In addition, when importing home appliances into Japan, notification is required. However, in the case of foreign corporations not registered in Japan, imports of home appliances into Japan will not be permitted.

In addition, the Companies Act stipulates that “a foreign company whose main purpose is to conduct business in Japan may not continuously conduct business in Japan” (Article 821, Paragraph 1 of the Companies Act), and any violation of this provision shall be subject to a fine (Article 979, Paragraph 2 of the Companies Act).


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