What types of official seals do companies in Japan keep?

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When establishing a company in Japan, the founder will be required to register an official seal for the company.  Stamps or seals are commonly used in Japanese business as an alternative to signatures to authorize documents.  Officially registering the seal will legally bind that specific design to the company and any time that seal is used it will be presumed to be an official recognition by the company.

In addition to the official seal, many companies also create a bank seal and a private seal.  Since the official seal is often reserved only for official documents, the private seal is used on internal company documents and less important communications.  The bank seal, as its name suggests, is used by the company when conducting business with a bank such as taking a loan or opening an account.  These additional seals are optional but many companies choose to create them to avoid having to repeatedly use the official company seal for less important work.

If you have any questions about starting a business in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.