Japan is one of the most technologically advanced countries. Also, Japanese people are considered to be the most polite and hardworking nation. If you are considering to expand or move your business to Japan – you are on the right path. Although their economy was crushed by the big earthquake in 2011, the number of foreign companies keep growing. Even big companies like Apple are considering to move and expand the business to Japan. If you are planning to expand or if moving your business to Japan is in your plans, you need to keep in mind that their culture is very different from the western. Social conduct is something very important to them and you need to pay attention to that.
Types of corporations
First of all, the legal system in Japan is based on civil law. And in Japan you have four main types of the corporation:
- Stock company (Kabushiki Kaisha)
- Limited liability company (Godo Kaisha)
- General partnership company (Gomei Kaisha)
- Limited partnership company (Goshi Kaisha)
The most common one is a stock company. Advantages of it are that you need a minimum capital and you can have only one investor. And social credibility for a stock company is very high. Legal stability is also very high for stock companies.
Limited liability company is also one of the most used forms because they can be more affordable to foreign investors because of different regulations for tax. But since this is a new model of operation, it does not have legal stability as a stock company. A limited and general partnership is not that common since the investors have unlimited liability.
Starting a business
When you decide to start a business, as we mentioned the stock company is the most common but also it will take approximately some calculations 5 weeks to start a business. Generally speaking, your company needs to register as a foreign company and establish a branch. The company will be legally responsible for all of its activities. The best thing you could do is to get an investor/business manager visa. There are some requirements for it, but in the long run, it will be good for you and your company.
If you decide to hire Japanese workers, you have specialized agency “Hello work” that will help you for free to find suitable workers. You will have to follow all the laws and regulations in order to hire them, so make sure that you have checked out that good. You need to fulfill the minimum requirement for standards on working conditions and wage.
How to move?
A big issue when you are moving across the world is transporting all of the things that you need for your business. Since Japan growing and a lot of non-Japanese companies are coming, the moving business is flourishing. There is a lot of new companies in the market. So, before you make a decision, you need to check and investigate really well which company you will entrust for your moving. They will be not only responsible for transport, but for all the paperwork and regulations that you need to fulfill when you are moving across borders.
So, for example, if you are just expanding your business you will transfer some things to Japan from your location. It seems easy, but that is when a moving company jumps in. If you choose a good company for forwarding cargo to Japan by air they will deal with all the possible issues, with all regulations and paperwork. They will make sure that everything is done on time and your cargo will fly to Japan in no time. It is much faster if you hire a moving company. It is not stressful and you can focus on more important things.
Doing business in Japan
So, moving your business to Japan is done and now the real business is starting. As we mentioned culture in Japan is very different than the one that we are used to. You will have to learn to adjust and to implement knowledge. Some things, customs, details are very important to Japanese people and their culture.
You will need to establish a good relationship with the right people. Building a strong personal network of contacts is something that will help you a lot.
In our culture, we speak a lot. But for Japanese people – silence is gold. So you will have to learn to be quiet and you will have to stop filling the moment of silence. They appreciate silence and connect it with credibility. At the beginning of your business relationship, it will benefit you if you have a more formal approach.
So, the silence and good connections are something that will help your business to start growing fast in the beginning. You will be able to ask them for advice on some very important issues and they will be glad to help. For example, depending on your type of business you might need more equipment when your business grow. At home, you have all the machines and everything and it much cheaper to transfer it then to buy a new one. If you decide for shipping heavy lift cargo Japanese people will gladly tell you which moving company to choose. It is very easy to get scammed and they can advise you properly. They can take you to the reliable moving company and that way you will be sure that everything is going to go smoothly.
One of the customs in Japan is to bring a gift to your first meeting. But you will need to inform very well depending on the region where you are located about their beliefs and history. You might think that a potted plant for the office can be a nice gift. Well, not really since it is related to a lot of negative superstitions. And never send any cards that are re, since that is the color they use when they print funeral notices. As you already know, privacy is very important to them. They will treat you with great respect and very politely, so the least you can do for them is to try to learn and adjust to their culture since you already have chosen Japan as your business starting point.