How to Change the Corporate Address on Your Touki
We’ve got you covered.
This article will explain how to register a company address change on your touki, the necessary paperwork to file, and how much it will cost to do it yourself or ask a specialist.
A quick overview of corporate registries (houjin touki) in Japan
There are many types of registration required to operate a business in Japan. These include 商業登記=shougyou touki (commercial registration), 法人登記= houjin touki (corporate registration), 不動産登記 = fudouyasan touki (real estate registration), etc.
When a corporation is first established, the following basic information is registered with the Legal Affairs Bureau:
The company’s trade name
The date of incorporation
The purpose of the company
Amount of capital
Total number of shares authorized to be issued
Names of officers
So what happens when your company relocates, an officer retires, or some other change occurs to your basic information? That's up next.
What company changes are you required to update on your touki?
In some cases, you are required to file and update your registry when your company undergoes certain changes. The changes that require paperwork include the following:
Relocation of the head office
Change in representative director, company director, or auditor
Change in trade name
Change of business purpose
Change of representative director's address or officer's name
Because company officers often serve 2- to 4-year terms of office and downsizing of head office real estate has become an increasingly popular cost-saving measure, knowing how to update your company’s registration information is handy knowledge that will serve you well in time.
So if your company doesn’t have a dedicated department that deals with this type of paperwork, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the following general procedures for how to make official changes to your company’s touki.
What paperwork should I file for changing the address on a touki?
After deciding to relocate your company’s head office and getting a consensus at a general meeting of shareholders or majority of the directors, you will need to file the following paperwork at the Legal Affairs Bureau of your current jurisdiction* within two weeks from the day of your relocation.
*Note: Jurisdictions do not strictly follow prefecture or city limits. Here is a list of all the Legal Affairs Bureaus in Japan and the areas they preside over.
a. If your head office is staying within your current Legal Affairs Bureau jurisdiction
Submit the form "Application for Registration of Transfer of Head Office of a Stock Company" 株式会社本店移転登記申請書 = kabushikigaisha honten iten touki shinseisho to the Legal Affairs Bureau presiding over your jurisdiction.
Fill in the form 株式会社本店移転登記申請書 with your company’s information along with the new address you will be moving to.
Gather required attachments (a. board meeting minutes showing the decision to move the company, b. list of shareholders, c. proxy letter if you intend to use a proxy).
Affix a revenue stamp (registration license fee: 30,000 yen).
The representative director must sign and stamp your company seal at the relevant places.
Send in your documents to the current Legal Affairs Bureau within 14 days of your address change.
b. If your head office is moving outside of your current Legal Affairs Bureau jurisdiction
If you are relocating outside of the current Legal Affairs Bureau’s jurisdiction, you need to prepare "Application for Registration of Transfer of Head Office of a Stock Company" for your current Legal Affairs Bureau and a form for the new Legal Affairs Bureau presiding over your new location.
Fill out 2 copies of 株式会社本店移転登記申請書 with your company’s information along with the new address you will be moving to—1 for sending to your previous Legal Affairs Bureau and 1 for sending to your new Legal Affairs Bureau office.
Gather required attachments (a. board meeting minutes showing the decision to move the company, b. list of shareholders, c. proxy letter if you intend to use a proxy)
You will need to submit a seal registration form for your company to the new Legal Affairs Bureau.
Revenue stamps (registration license fee: 30,000 yen) must be placed on both forms to the current and new Legal Affairs Bureau (total: 60,000 yen).
The representative director must sign and stamp your company seal at the relevant places.
Send in your documents to your previous Legal Affairs Bureau and the Legal Affairs Bureau office that you just moved into within 14 days of your address change.
OK, but what if Japanese paperwork isn’t your favorite thing? Basically, there are a few ways of going about this. We list all your options in the following section.
3 methods for filing a corporate address change to your touki
There are 3 methods to use for filing your corporate address relocation and updating your touki. They are as follows:
1. Hiring a judicial scrivener
You can request a lawyer or a judicial scrivener (who specializes in touki-related changes) to file the paperwork on your behalf.
Pros: Accuracy, efficiency, etc. Also bilingual support if you can find a bilingual scrivener or lawyer.
Cons: Average cost: 47,466 yen, according to "Judicial Scriveners' Remuneration Questionnaire,” conducted in January 2018.
2. Outsourcing to an online service
Online services, such as AI-CON (10,000 yen) and Legal Script (7,700 to 9,900 yen), provide help with filling out the forms. You then download the filled-in paperwork they’ve created, affix your company’s seal, and then send to the appropriate Legal Affairs Bureau.
Pros: Less complex than doing it yourself; cheaper than a scrivener.
Cons: The services we could find are in Japanese with no English support.
3. Filing the paperwork yourself
You can download all the required forms from the Regional Legal Affairs Bureau site and then fill in, gather, and send in the paperwork yourself. There’s also an online method for sending in the forms, which requires both a My Number Card and an electronic certificate of commercial registration (商業登記電子証明書). If you do not have either of these, you will need to use the mail-in method.
Pros: The do-it-yourself-mail-in method is the cheapest option.
Cons: Japanese proficiency required, forms must be filled in exactly as instructed in Japanese, complex to complete on your own.
Filling out the paperwork on your own is complex, even for fluent Japanese speakers, which is why services such as AI-CON and Legal Script exist.
Our recommendation: AI-CON
We recently moved our head office, and we chose AI-CON to help us with the paperwork. By the way, we’re not affiliated with them and we’re not getting any kickbacks for recommending their services.
But—if you asked us point-blank what service we’d recommend, we would point to AI-CON because they were easy to use and saved us from countless paperwork-induced headaches.
One more thing to mention about AI-CON: they provide a 5,980 yen add-on option to their 10,000 yen fee to get the documents prepared by AI-CON delivered to your door with an envelope for mailing to the Legal Affairs Bureau, bypassing the need to download and print the forms! You can also purchase a set of revenue stamps from them, which are required for the payment of the registration license tax.
Frequently asked questions
What does 法人登記 mean?
The meaning of 法人登記 = houjin touki refers to "Corporate Registration." This is a legal process in Japan where a corporation registers its establishment or changes in its corporate structure, such as changes in officers, capital, or company name, with the Legal Affairs Bureau. The information registered is made public for anyone to view or confirm through a certified copy of the register or a certificate of all current matters. This process ensures transparency and reliability in corporate activities.
What is 本店移転登記 (head office relocation registration)?
The meaning of 本店移転登記 = honten iten touki is the registration required when a company changes its head office location in Japan.
Where do I apply to register my head office relocation?
The application for head office relocation registration is made at the Legal Affairs Bureau that presides over the current location of your company's head office.
What documents are needed for head office relocation in Japan?
Documents such as the application form for head office relocation registration, minutes of the general meeting of shareholders, minutes of the board of directors meeting (or director's decision document), etc., need to be submitted to the Legal Affairs Bureau.
How long does it take to complete head office relocation?
The head office relocation registration is usually completed within 1 to 2 weeks after you have applied. After completion, a certified copy is obtained and reported to the tax office, etc.
Can I apply for head office relocation online?
Yes, in some cases, the representative director can use their My Number Card to apply for registration online.
What happens if I don't register my head office relocation?
If you change the address of your company's head office and do not register the relocation, the address registered in the commercial register will not be updated. This could lead to various problems, such as legal documents being sent to the old address.
Where can I find a list of English-speaking lawyers in Japan?
Looking for a bilingual lawyer with a certain specialty? Try MailMate's bilingual lawyer directory. You can find English-speaking divorce lawyers, English-speaking corporate lawyers, English-speaking immigration lawyers, and more!
Remember, keeping your corporate registry updated is not just a legal requirement but also an essential aspect of maintaining transparency and reliability in your corporate activities.
So, whether you're moving to a virtual office, a coworking space, or a new physical location, equip yourself with the knowledge shared in this article and navigate the process with confidence.
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