Opening corporate / business bank account in Japan. Part 2: what are the types?

In the previous post we spoke about why it is so (so) hard to open a corporate bank account in Japan.

In this post, I will talk about what options you have.

In general, there are two types of banks + 1. One that offers a physical bank branch and others that only exists online.

Physical banks can either be “Mega Banks”, which refers to banks that you see everywhere in Japan. Such as MizuhoMitsubishi UFJ (MUFJ), Mistuisumitomo (SMBC) bank. Others are more regional banks that tend to only exist around districts. Such as Yokohama bank that exists mainly in Yokohama and some in Tokyo.

Online banks do not have any physical stores. Popular ones are Rakuten, GMO Aozora, Japan Net, Sumishin SBI banks.

The plus one refers to Yucho Bank that is operated by the Japan post office.

Depending on what you read, the easiness of opening a corporate bank account is in this order: Yucho bank > Online > Regional / Megabanks. However, I feel that it is case by case and these situations changes every year so don’t just believe what you read.

Here are the main characteristics of each banks:

Mega Banks:

  • You can find them almost in every city
  • An element of trust if you have a bank account with these big players
  • You can discuss investment/loans
  • Expensive!!! You need to pay for almost everything, including having access to online information. It is like 2,000 yen per month! Also, the fee for making payments, cash withdraw is more expensive
  • Online experience may not be the best
  • Not 24/7. This is same with personal bank accounts but these banks are not open 24/7 (even online… crazy)

Regional Banks:

  • Almost the same as megabanks.
  • Plenty of physical stores but only in that region
  • If you have a physical business in that region, they may be more nice to you. Especially investment/loans

Online Banks:

  • Everything at your fingertips as everything is done online
  • Open 24/7
  • Cheap fees. Having access to online is usually free. All other fees are cheaper too
  • No one physical to discuss your business and talk about investment/loans
  • May not sit well with old traditional business partners (please pay into Rakuten Bank account etc)

Yucho Bank:

  • Somewhere between megabanks and online. Offers the usual services.
  • BUT you can only have up to 13,000,000 yen in the bank account. You cannot have more. So if you have big cash flow coming in and going out, this might not be enough

If you are reading this, there is a likely hood that you do business with oversea clients and if that is the case, there is one KEY information that you need to consider before opening the bank account.

Not all bank account accepts payment from abroad

So in the next post, I would like to go into which banks you can apply to IF you wish to accept payment from abroad. This will really limit your options….

2 thoughts on “Opening corporate / business bank account in Japan. Part 2: what are the types?

  1. Pingback: Opening corporate / business bank account in Japan: receiving payment from overseas | Yama-no-shita LLC consulting

  2. Pingback: Opening corporate / business bank account in Japan: why so hard? | Yama-no-shita LLC consulting


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