How to Verify a Japanese Company: A Step-by-Step Guide

Ebooks , Education

Japan KYB

As a risk and compliance professional focused on the Asian market, conducting due diligence on potential Japanese business partners is critical to mitigating risk and ensuring regulatory compliance. Verifying a Japanese company’s legitimacy and trustworthiness, however, can be challenging without local knowledge and connections. You need to navigate government databases, analyse company registry filings, and scrutinize corporate documentation – all of which are in Japanese.

Checking the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) Database

To verify a Japanese company’s legitimacy and background, the first step is to check the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) database. METI oversees the incorporation and registration of all businesses in Japan.

Searching the METI Database

On METI’s website, enter the company name in Japanese or English and select “Corporate Number Search”. Review the company details like registration number, date of establishment, capital, business objectives, directors, and office address. Double check that the information matches what the company has provided you.

The METI database will also indicate if the company has been disciplined for any legal violations. Check if the company is listed as “inactive” or “dissolved”, which could indicate it is no longer operating. Look for the company’s latest annual return to confirm they are still actively filing required documentation.

Verifying Company Information

Cross-reference the METI details with information from the company’s website, official company registry documents, and reports from business information providers like AsiaVerify. Look for any inconsistencies in names, addresses, contact details or business descriptions that could indicate fraud.

Following these steps to verify a Japanese company’s registration and background through trusted official sources like METI and AsiaVerify will help ensure you are engaging with a legally compliant and reputable organization before starting a business relationship. With the right technology and local expertise, the verification process can be efficient while still being comprehensive.

Understanding the Company Type and Legal Structure

To verify a Japanese company, you must first understand its legal structure. Some common types are:

  • Kabushiki Kaisha, similar to a corporation. Most large companies in Japan are KKs
  • Godo Kaisha, similar to a limited liability company. GKs are popular among small and mid-sized businesses.
  • Gomei Kaisha, General Partnership

Next, check if the company in Japan is registered with the Legal Affairs Bureau. Every company in Japan must register to legally conduct business. The bureau’s website allows you to search for a company by name or registration number to confirm if it is properly registered.

You should also examine the company’s financials and credit rating. Major credit rating agencies in Japan include Rating and Investment Information (R&I) and Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR). A high rating indicates the company is financially stable and creditworthy.

Finally, research the company’s key executives and major shareholders. Look for any concerning connections or questionable backgrounds. You can find this information through local media, social networks, and data providers.

By understanding the legal structure, verifying proper registration, and reviewing financials and leadership, you can gain valuable insight into a Japanese company’s legitimacy and reliability.

Obtaining Certified Translations of Legal Documents

Obtaining accurate and certified translations of key legal documents is crucial when verifying a Japanese company. Relying on unofficial translations can lead to misunderstandings and improperly vetting a potential partner or investment.

Costly and Inconsistent Translation Services

Professional translation services that employ human translators who are certified and specialized in legal and business document translation are helpful but they typically take days or even weeks for the manual translation to be completed, and it also incurs a significant additional cost for international businesses. It impacts the scalability in the current competitive and fast-paced business environment.

Furthermore, the translation can be inconsistent due to various scenarios, such as human resource changes or lacking knowledge in the risk assessment field.

Automate the process with AsiaVerify

AsiaVerify’s best-of-class business verification technology provides instantaneous access to business, customer and shareholder verification data, sourced from the most authoritative government registry information across Asia, fully translated in real-time.

Automating the verification process with AsiaVerify can save your business valuable time and resources. Its Japan KYB solution offers API integration and a SaaS platform to perform enhanced due diligence at scale.

  • Direct access to source documents – AsiaVerify’s KYB search and Legal Document Retrieval services connect businesses directly to government registries, facilitating the retrieval of comprehensive and up-to-date intelligence, fully translated in real time.
  • Instant translation technology – This enables businesses to search and report in English or the original language, eliminating the need for expensive manual translation.
  • Auditability of the language translation – AsiaVerify automatically links translated text directly back to source material so firms can evidence a robust audit trail of exactly where and how their KYC data inputs were translated.

API Integration 

Integrating AsiaVerify’s API into your existing compliance workflows enables bulk verification of Japanese entities. Their API connects to official registers and trusted data sources in Japan to return standardized KYB reports within seconds. 

SaaS Platform 

For those without technical integration capabilities, AsiaVerify’s web platform provides an intuitive self-service experience. Users can manually enter company details or upload lists of entities to verify. The platform runs searches against the same trusted data sources as the API and generates downloadable KYB reports. 

Whether integrating their API or using the SaaS platform, AsiaVerify is a trusted partner for automated KYB in Japan. Their technology and local expertise helps businesses overcome challenges in verifying Asian entities and unlock new opportunities. Performing KYB at scale with AsiaVerify gives you confidence in your Japanese customers and partners while optimising resources. 


Japan With Japanese CharactersIn the fast-paced global business world, verifying foreign companies and business partners is crucial to mitigating risk and ensuring compliance. This guide has outlined the key steps to verify a Japanese company, but the process can still be complicated and time-consuming. Consider leveraging professional verification services with local expertise, advanced technology, and access to authoritative data sources. They can save you valuable time and resources, providing peace of mind that you have a trusted partner in one of the world’s largest economies, and focus on your core business. 

With the right tools and knowledge, you’ll gain valuable insights to make informed decisions and forge successful business relationships in Japan. 




For more information on how to conduct real-time company checks in any APAC jurisdiction, including how verify a Chinese company and how to verify a Hong Kong company, our team is here to support you. 

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