How do I register a Trading Name if I work from Japan?
Thread poster: Stuart Carthy

Stuart Carthy  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:50
Japanese to English
Oct 17, 2013


I'm starting out as a freelancer. I live in Japan and I am English. I will be working for agencies around the world but I don't know where I should register my trading name or how.

Additionally, what about tax / vat. For example, If I work for a British agency but I pay tax in Japan - what happens to the money the agency pay me?

Can anyone give me any pointers?

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Alex Farrell  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:50
Japanese to English
Don't worry about VAT Oct 17, 2013

Hi Stuart,

Don't worry about VAT. If anyone asks for a VAT number, just tell them it doesn't apply because you are based in Japan. They won't withhold any tax and you can pay the Japanese government normally.

As for registering a "trading name," what exactly do you mean? Are you running a business entity, or is it just you, a guy named Stuart? Whatever the case, you are living in Japan, so I think any registration requiring a physical location should be in Japan.

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Local time: 23:50
Member (2012)
English to Japanese
Some information Oct 17, 2013

Hello Stuart,

Unless you are incorporated, registration is not necessary.

However, if you submit "Kaigyo-todoke (Business Set Up Form)" to a tax office as a "Blue applicant", you can enjoy more tax benefits.
(There are two types of self-employment called "Blue" and "White". A Blue applicant must prepare financial statements based on double-entry accounting. A white applicant prepares simpler statememts. If you do not submit "Kaigyo-todoke", you are automatically regarded as a white applicant.)

And if you have a copy of "Kaigyo-todoke", you can open a bank account with the registered trading name. (However, not all banks allow an account with a trading name).

Regarding Japanese tax, please visit;

Taxes vary among coutries. As far as I know, Japanse and Thai companies must withhold some amount from payment. You have to declare the withheld amount to adjust your income tax later.

Good luck.

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Stuart Carthy  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:50
Japanese to English
Trading name Oct 17, 2013


Thanks for the replies guys. They were really useful. The VAT number thing was great to know. I'll also check out the link.

What I mean buy 'trading name' is, I want to name my services something other than my full name. I will not be working with anyone else. I want to work as a sole trader from Japan and use a different name to sound more professional.

[Edited at 2013-10-17 14:11 GMT]

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How do I register a Trading Name if I work from Japan?

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