October 19, 2016

What are the highest and lowest interest rates allowed in Japan?

Interest-free loans are allowed under the Japanese Civil Code so parties are free to contract into zero-interest loan agreements as they wish.  However, there are limits on how much interest a lender can charge on a loan.  The Interest Rate Restriction Law provides that the maximum allowed interest rate is 15% annually for amounts of 1 million yen or more.
October 17, 2016

How do investors prove their initial investment in a startup company?

One of the requirements to establish a company in Japan is to prove that the requisite money for the initial investment is available.  However, since this proof is required before the company is formed, the yet-to-be-established company will not have a bank account yet.  Therefore, the initial investment must be deposited into the bank account of one of the founding members. 
October 13, 2016

Is it possible to patent an invention that is already known to others?

One of the main requirements to obtain a patent is that the invention not be known to the public.  This prevents people from patenting inventions that are not special and unique to the inventor.  Therefore, it is important to keep an invention secret until you’ve had a chance to discuss patenting it with an attorney.
October 11, 2016

What type of evidence should be collected before enforcing a debt in Japan?

Usually parties will negotiate among themselves through email before resorting to the legal process to enforce a debt.  If these negotiations fail, often the content of these email exchanges becomes the evidence in a legal case against the debtor.  Therefore, it is important to draft emails in a way that maximizes their potential use in future litigation.