weConnect Resources

Challenges of Opening a Japanese Bank Account

Strict KYC

Banks in Japan have strict KYC processes due to anti-money laundering requirements. We have seen countless cases where Japanese banks have rejected applications of newly established entities and branches of foreign headquartered companies. Newly established companies are more likely to be rejected because they have lower credibility.

More Requirements

The bank conducts a stricter assessment for new companies. Sometimes more information is required such as a business plan, financial statements, etc. 

In-Person Visits

Banks generally require the company’s representative director to visit the bank window with the bank seal to open a bank account. If weConnect is helping you to open a Japanese bank account, no bank account visit is required for our recommended branches.

Time-Consuming Process

Companies are unable to open a corporate bank account before they are officially established with an entity in Japan. After incorporation, it can take anywhere between 3 and 9 weeks to open a bank account and another 2-4 weeks to set up internet banking. Actual timelines depend on the actual activities of the business, when operations in Japan will begin, how famous the company is, where the headquarters are located and where funds sent from abroad will originate from. This can be a big challenge if the company needs to pay employees right after establishment. We help guide our clients to the quickest set up possibly for their situation. Until our client’s have their own bank account, we provide access to use the weConnect trust account to pay salaries, insurance premiums and taxes until their own bank is established.

Our positive history with a number of Japanese mega banks ensures applications submitted by us have the shortest application timeframe in the market.

Language Barrier

The bank account application and online banking application are in Japanese, and often the bank requires that the company’s point of contact can speak Japanese.

Key Takeaways

Having a partner like weConnect can be essential to establishing a bank account as business moves into this new market. Japanese banks can historically delay applications for months, or reject the application without explanation.

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