Serviced Office

Serviced Offices are a Popular Option for Companies Establishing a Presence in Japan for the First Time

Steve Crane chats with Yoko Majima, a certified Japanese gyosei shoshi lawyer who specialises in market entry for international companies, to learn about the various options for setting up a business in Japan. View our podcast here and read the overview below:

Serviced offices are offered by a number of facility management companies in Japan.

They are a convenient option for foreign businesses to easily and quickly establish a presence in Japan while respecting possible budget constaints, and can accommodate small teams as well as larger ones.

Rental terms for these types of offices tend to offer more flexibility as compared to traditional leased offices, and so are an attractive and cost-effective option for businesses that are just setting up and attempting to break into a new market. Typical office leases run for about five years, while serviced offices can offer short-term leases for 1, 3, 6, or 12 months depending on the provider.

Some serviced offices provide extra services such as bilingual receptionists and ensure only high quality tenants through vetting processes.

In the case of service companies, there are various partnering scenarios to consider.

Services Typically Offered in Japan

  • Dedicated receptionist
  • Administrative support
  • Telecommunications services
  • IT infrastructure and internet connectivity
  • Maintenance of facilities

Facilities Typically Offered in Japan

  • Conference rooms
  • Meeting rooms
  • Heating, air conditioning and other utilities
  • Shared lounge and kitchen spaces
  • Furniture
  • Full-time security

Relationships are especially important in Japan, and this means frequently visiting the partners and distributors with whom you are doing business. Western companies must calibrate quality and delivery levels to meet Japanese norms, and serviced offices are an option to achieve this.

Signing up for a lease will require a certificate of company registration (toukibo touhon) and the company’s certifiate of seal impression (inkan shoumeisho), which are both available from the Ministry of Justice office.

Last updated January 2024: Steve Crane OBE


Questions about setting up a company in Japan?