Business setup



From cultural barriers, to government regulations and legal requirements, setting up a company in Japan can be a wearisome process. When in unfamiliar territory and unsure of your best option to gain market presence, hiring assistance streamlines the process and reduces the chances of unforeseen costs. Regardless of the route you choose, with our help you can enter Japan with confidence, unhindered by needless delays. Our deep specialism and knowledge of regulations, procedures and culture greatly reduces the complexity of starting your business in this flourishing marketplace.


  • Cost reduction. We will help you cut expenses whenever possible and divert resources towards strategic goals.
  • Customised advice. How businesses enter Japan depends on a variety of factors. Whatever route you choose, we will account for the unique features of your company and its aims.
  • Legal and administrative compliance. We will take care of legally integrating your company and aligning it with Japanese regulations.
  • Linguistic and cultural guidance. We are dedicated to helping businesses overcome language and culture as a complication of entering Japan.
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How we can help

Representative office

A representative office in Japan is a non-registered entity that is not subject to taxation and other corporate guidelines. White unable to perform profit-generating activities such as trade and sales, this structure allows companies to prepare for market entry and decide whether establishing a subsidiary is a viable step. Our team at OPTI can set up and run the representative office on your behalf, performing activities such as advertising and market research, while preparing for further development of your market presence in Japan.

Incorporate a company

Working through a third-party distributor is a viable market entry framework for certain businesses, and carries benefits in the early stages of your growth in Japan. For example, the costs are much lower; an experienced partner is likely to have deep knowledge within their industry and far-reaching connections. Third-party distribution may form an important first step in your market entry.  

Most companies, however, will look to strengthen their presence in Japan through a permanent establishment. Forming a subsidiary or a branch office gives you far greater control of any logistics and allows for a same time-zone response customer requests. Moreover, a local presence displays commitment to customers and partners alike, who in turn commit to your business. Despite the higher costs involved, the long-term payoff incentivises most companies to take their operations in Japan to the next level

An array of legal requirements, regulations and tax implications makes a daunting process for foreign companies. At OPTI, we fully support the creation of a KK Kabushiki Kaisha, a GK Godo Kaisha, or a branch office. Expect a process that is cost-effective and transparent, with a provision of bilingual documents. Subsequently, we take it upon ourselves to register you with local and national tax offices, complete initial tax filings and form a banking structure most in line with your business needs.

Representative director

Japanese KK Kabushiki Kaisha and GK Godo Kaisha companies are required to have resident directors and resident executive managers respectively. At OPTI, we provide temporary nominee directors who will act on your behalf until you are ready to appoint a candidate yourself.

Hiring one of our nominee directors prevents disruptions and keeps momentum on your side after the establishment of your company. Equipped with managerial experience and plentiful linguistic skills, the direction will act on your behalf to complete the incorporation process, and act as liaison between financial and legal entities. Local knowledge, which is an invaluable asset to any company operating abroad, will give your business an advantage right from the start.

M&A and Joint Ventures

Joint ventures and Mergers and Acquisitions create a lucrative route of entering the Japanese market. When done correctly, they provide quick access to new customers and Japan-specific business knowledge. You can maximise your chances of long-term success by sharing risk and capitalising on your partner company’s existing expertise within the industry.

However, foreign companies face several issues when attempting a cross-border M&A or strategic partnership. Cultural differences are widespread, diluting the trust needed for a mutually beneficial deal to take place and frustrate the hopes of inbound businesses, in particular when intentions do not align with outcomes. Similarly, factors such as varying laws and regulations and stakeholder interest must be considered before the finalization of an agreement.

If we decide that an M&A or a joint venture is the best option, we will streamline the process from start to finish and make sure that the value of the transaction is as good as it can be. From our qualified and professional team, you can expect:

  • Groundwork: we provide extensive market insights and identify optimal partners
  • Risk elimination: anticipate any challenge through meticulous due diligence and a recognition of uncertainties
  • Clarity: expect an unambiguous outline of business objectives for both sides involved
  • Reliability: we build a trusting relationship between ourselves and the teams involved
  • Cultural adjustment: acclimatize through our training in Japanese business culture and translation/interpretation services
  • Deal structuring: the deal will be built fully in line with your company’s objectives
  • Implementation: faultlessly negotiate and execute the agreed-upon strategy
  • Integration: synthesize business models and company cultures with our guidance  
  • Rewards: we take all the steps needed to guarantee value maximization and realize synergies

Our post-transaction support ensures the partnership works as intended, from designing long-term strategy, to identifying opportunities and guiding you in times of dispute.

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E-commerce assistance

Selling your products through a third-party platform such as Amazon or Rakuten is the quickest method to enter the Japanese market, carrying the lowest risk. Making sales through an established marketplace can test the viability of your product and enhance the trustworthiness of your product in the eyes of Japanese customers.

At OPTI, we can ensure your product meets the necessary regulations and standards, provide import support and tailor the description of your products to the preferences of Japanese customers. Afterward, you can enlist us in sustaining the reach of your brand and managing anything from customer complaints to social media outreach.

If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact us.