(Published: 2024/6/5)

Virtual office and rental office (serviced office) options?

The address of the company

One of the most important issues to consider when setting up a company is what the address of the company will be. It is impossible to set up a company without a company address. If you live in Japan, then the address could be used. If it is a house you own, there would be no legal problems. However, if it is a rented property, you should check carefully whether you can use that address as the company’s address. Most rental contracts state that the address is for residential use. In this case, the company’s address should not be registered as the company’s address without the landlord’s permission, as this could lead to problems. The company’s address can be seen by anyone. The company’s name and address will be available to the public when searching on the internet. If you register your home address as the company’s address, that address will be made public. This is also important to remember from the point of view of privacy etc. If you do not want your address to be publicly visible, you have no choice but to have a separate company address.


The need for a company address

If you are going to run a restaurant, you will need a company address. The address of the restaurant is the company address. However, depending on the business, a company address, or rather a physical base of operations, is not always necessary. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of people who do their work using only a computer or smartphone. In particular, when a company has just been set up, it is often the case that the company does not have the financial resources to rent an office, and will want to keep costs as low as possible. Then virtual office, rental office (serviced office) will be options.


Virtual offices and rental offices (serviced offices)

You don’t want your company’s address to be your home address, you don’t need a physical base, and you want to keep costs as low as possible. If this is the case, virtual offices and rental offices (serviced offices) are a viable option. A virtual office is literally a virtual address, and it is basically difficult to work there. A rental office is probably more accurately described as a “serviced office”, and it may be possible to work there. Meeting rooms and other facilities are often provided in both. They are often located in urban areas such as Tokyo or Osaka and are suitable for use as a company address.


How to find, pay for and apply for services

If you are considering a virtual office or rental office (serviced office) as an option, the first step is to actually look for one. The process is simple: search the internet. “バーチャルオフィス Tokyo” or “レンタルオフィス Osaka”. In Japan, it is common to use the terms “virtual office” or “rental office (meaning serviced offices)”. It is of course possible to search in English, but it is recommended to search in Japanese as it is often cheaper. Fees can be as low as JPY 660 per month for a virtual office (For a rental office, it would be more). It is common for them to offer a variety of options, such as mail forwarding or a landline telephone. Shared meeting rooms would also be useful (you pay a fee each time you use them). Generally speaking, you can’t go far wrong if you pay between JPY 2,000 and JPY 3,000. Incidentally, it is not always necessary to apply for a telephone number with a virtual office. However, a Japanese telephone number is generally necessary. This is because it will be needed when opening a bank account or submitting the necessary documents to the tax office or other authorities. In some cases, it is not possible to leave it blank. In such cases (when you want to save on phone costs), it is better to use an IP phone (internet-based phone) starting with number 050. Some offer free monthly basic charges and you can sign up for a cheap contract. Regarding the office application process, you can follow the instructions on the virtual office/rental office websites, but you generally have to fill in the application form directly on the website. You would also have to submit your identity documents etc.. If your company is already established, you will also need a company register (Tohon), which proves that the company is established. If for some reason you, the representative, are unable to complete the application yourself, you may need to submit a letter of attorney or other documents. If the company has not yet been established, you should apply as an individual, complete the establishment of the company at your address and then change the contract as a company.



If you want to keep costs as low as possible when setting up a company, a virtual office or rental office is a good option. You don’t have to use your own address and can register a company address in urban areas. It is not too late to consider renting an office as a physical base once the company has grown.