PEO & Employer of Record in Japan | 2024 Guide

PEO in Japan & Employer of Record Japan

Hire Globally, Pay Locally, Expand Effortlessly

INS Global is your local partner for global Human Resources services. Our PEO services are designed to help you set up, recruit, and expand in 160+ countries.  

What is a PEO in Japan?  a Japan PEO is a local partner for companies wishing to outsource their employees and various HR services to avoid costly local bureaucratic hurdles associated with establishing a separate legal identity in a new country.  

For companies wishing to hire and manage crucial HR functions in overseas target markets in as little as 48 hours, a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) in Japan offers a simple and secure path to total global mobility. INS Global offers a PEO in Japan service combining expertise and experience for internationally expanding companies.

An Employer of Record in Japan is an organization that acts as the EOR for companies wishing to streamline the global expansion process. By making hiring and managing overseas employees simpler, cheaper, and safer through their innovative technology-based EOR solution, INS Global offers locally based solutions to global employment problems.

A PEO in Japan legally hires and manages your staff’s HR services on your behalf. They provide critical services like payroll outsourcing, tax and benefit management, and legal compliance assurance that allows you to focus on the job at hand

Want to have a Team in Japan TODAY?

Show me how to grow my business now!

We prefer to let others grow their business.

Want to have a Team in Japan TODAY?

Show me how to grow my business now!

We prefer to let others grow their business.

PEO vs. Company Incorporation: Which is Right for You?

Establishing a new legal identity in a new country is a complex task at the best of times. It requires a physically established presence in the target market that can take months to create, at a time when you should be focused on more critical tasks. Forming a partnership with a Global PEO can allow a company to begin operations in a new market faster and in a more cost-saving way than competitors.  

Doing business in Japan is stressful, not only because you have to understand a unique working culture, but because the administrative and regulatory requirements that govern your operations are incredibly complicated. 

A PEO:  

  • Makes the most of local resources and support 
  • Reduces setup time 
  • Reduces setup cost 
  • Ensures you are compliant with local regulations 

PEO/EOR vs Company Incorporation

The Advantage in Figures

PEO/EOR Company Incorporation
80% Less Expensive
Market Entry
2-5 Days
6 Months
Employee Turnover
Decrease by 14%
98% of the Current PEO Clients
Administrative Fees
Saves an Average of $450
Costly Payroll and Compliance Fines
Help Avoid
Company Growth Rate
7 - 9%
Closed During Pandemic

PEO in Japan & Employer of Record Japan - Summary

PEO in Japan & Employer of Record Japan

What Can a PEO or EOR Japan Do for You?

Ensure Legal Conformity

Understanding local regulations can be burdensome, and a PEO uses local expertise to make sure you are following every law and legal requirement.

Save Time, Save Money

When opening a business in a new country, making a mistake can be costly. Partnering with a PEO gives you the knowledge you need to avoid pitfalls and problems that might damage your market entry.

Outsource Unnecessary Tasks

By providing payroll outsourcing, recruitment, headhunting, and contractor management services, a PEO takes care of the HR processes required for your entry into a new market while you can concentrate on successful growth  

Organizing payroll, recruitment, tax compliance, and benefits is a hassle at the best times. Why not allow your employees to focus on succeeding in a new market and outsource these HR services to a professional partner?

Improved Market Entry Speed

Estimated time for Company Incorporation in a new market: 4-12 months  

Estimated time to establish a PEO relationship: 5 days  

*Global estimate  

Save months of work going through unfamiliar processes and focus on what matters to your company’s success 

Every HR Service in One Combined Platform

A PEO covers every aspect of HR services and streamlines these into one point of contact.   

Your PEO partner can allow you to streamline an entire department into one handy point of contact. Minimize your company structure, and maximize your potential.

What are the Steps to Making a PEO or EOR work for You in Japan?

INS Global’s PEO takes charge of your employee recruitment or assignment needs in Japan with four simple steps:  

  1. Meet with an INS Global representative to understand your requirements 
  2. We provide a legal entity through which you can bring in staff to begin operations in Japan. 
  3. INS handles all administrative and legal aspects of organizing your employees’ employment in Japan. 
  4. Your staff continues day-to-day operations as usual in Japan, and we take care of the rest. 


Manuel Ramos


Managing Director

We think INS Global is a good solution about starting business in new and complex markets. Understanding the market doesn’t mean you need to set up a company immediately.


PEO vs. Employer of Record in Japan: How Do They Differ?

Depending on your target market, PEOs and EORs may differ in the scope of their available services.  

Typically, A PEO provides HR services to employees of other companies. At the same time, an EOR legally hires employees for the original company and takes on all required liabilities and tasks.  

Fortunately, in Japan, there is very little between the two. In effect, a PEO may act as the Employer of Record for an employee in a legally compliant way, covering as many HR services as the original employer requires.

What does an international PEO service cost in Japan?

For a single monthly fee, a leading PEO services provider handles all required HR tasks, including payroll, contract administration, and a guarantee of tax compliance.

This cost is determined by the wages of your co-employed staff.

Labor Law in Japan - 2024 Updated

Employment Contracts

The working culture in Japan is notorious for its long hours and a strong sense of hierarchy. However, the aging population of Japan and the recent call for reforms have led to a move towards changes meant to improve working conditions and plans to limit overtime. 

The primary laws that apply to employer-employee relations in Japan are the Labor Standards Act (LSA), the Labor Union Act (LUA), and the Labor Contract Law (LCL). These are under review at the moment and have been subject to change in recent years. It’s important to have HR personnel who understand how they affect your company and employees.  

Japanese law regards anyone employed by a company and who receives regular wages as protected by their labor laws, regardless of the type of work. This means the same rules do not protect self-employed or independent contractors.  

While a labor contract does not have to be in writing specifically, employers must provide a written document that outlines the basic terms of the job. 

Hiring foreigners in Japan is difficult as the visa requirements exclude many from working legally. Attempts to simplify the visa process for foreigners have led to some criticism.  

Working Hours

Japan has a standard working week of 40 hours like many countries. Still, many recognize that overtime is largely expected and has been the cause of concern in recent years. 

Overtime rates can vary between 125% to 175% standard salary, depending on the circumstances, with management-level employees and smaller companies being sometimes exempt from higher overtime pay rates. 

In 2019, the “Basic Limit Rule” was put in place, which limits overtime to 45 hours per week. Breaking this rule can result in severe penalties for the employer.  

Workers in Japan are entitled to a 45-60 minutes break depending on the number of working hours in that day.  

Holidays and Annual Leave

Japan observes 16 days of national public holidays per year. If a holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is typically also included as a holiday. While companies are not legally obligated to allow workers time off for these holidays, they are expected to do so.  

The amount of annual leave that an employee is entitled to in Japan ranges from 10-20 days depending on seniority and time served in a company (2 days per year). Employees must first be at a company for more than 6 months to be entitled to this leave.  

Due to the recent Work-Style Reform Law, employers are now obligated to ensure that workers use at least 5 paid days of leave per year. This is part of the push to improve the Japanese work-life balance.

Sick Leave

Without explicitly mentioning it in a contract, employees in Japan are not automatically entitled to any paid sick leave per year. Instead, employees are expected to use annual leave if they need to be absent from work.  

The Japanese government does provide financial support during periods of sickness or injury of up to  ~60% of salary.  

Japanese labor law requires employers to provide annual physical checkups for all employees. 

Maternity/Paternity Leave

As part of the campaign to modernize Japan’s working conditions, childcare has been at the heart of several recent changes to labor law, and the current situation can appear complicated. 

Japanese law allows for up to 6 weeks of paid maternity before birth and 8 weeks of paid leave after childbirth for mothers. Women are not allowed to go back to work for at least 6 weeks after delivery unless given approval by a medical professional. 

New fathers in Japan now have access to some of the world’s most generous childcare leave (which may be utilized by men and women after the end of maternity leave).  

Despite only roughly 7% of men in Japan taking any kind of parental leave, as of 2020, both men and women are entitled to take childcare leave for up to a full year after the birth of a child. 

Two-thirds of an employee’s standard salary is covered by social insurance during maternity and childcare leave. This amount reduces should the company decide to cover some part of the employee’s salary during this period.   

Tax and Social Security Law

Japan has two standard taxes. Individual income tax is known as National Tax. This is levied progressively depending on income level between 5-45%, with non-residents typically paying less. The other standard tax is called Inhabitant Tax, which is paid to local governments and is on average around 10%. This tax is for anyone who has lived in Japan for over a year.  

Employees in Japan are legally obliged to be covered by Japan’s social security system. In general, contributions are split evenly between employer and employee. These social security payments will be around 14% of an employee’s gross salary on average.  

Corporate tax in Japan is currently around 30%. 

What bonus payments are expected in Japan?

So-called “seasonal bonuses” (ボーナス) are typically paid twice a year to employees in summer and winter. These are based on company profits, aren’t mandatory or guaranteed, and typically remain discretionary unless specified in the employment contract.

PEO in Japan & Employer of Record Japan


Discover More Solutions in Japan


No, it is necessary to use a local entity abroad to comply with each country labor law.

Foreign companies can either set up a local entity in each country or use the services a local PEO (Professional Employment Organization) to hire the staff on-site directly.

The employer of record is the legal entity liable for the staff employed in a specific country. In practice, a foreign company can either open a subsidiary to become the employer of record of its abroad employees or use a PEO to act as the employer of record.

Liabilities may vary from country to country and include all the staff management responsibilities: labor contract issues, payroll management, and tax compliance, social security management, expenses claim declaration, hiring and termination
procedures, etc.

In general, 1-month is necessary to have an employee based out abroad using an existing PEO as the employe of record. When incorporating a new subsidiary to be the employer of record, the delay varies from 4-12 months.

Absolutely, EORs allow you a secure and legitimate means to bring on board new personnel or transfer existing ones to Japan, whether permanently or temporarily while you establish a business structure.

When paying salaries in Japan, employers are responsible for deducting all payroll taxes and employee social insurance contributions on behalf of their workers.

Alongside withholding deductions for personal income taxes (based on a percentage of employee salary) employers must organize the following social insurance payments:


  • Worker’s Accident Compensation Insurance
  • Employment Insurance
  • Health Insurance and Nursing Care Insurance
  • Employee Pension Insurance

In Japan, hiring new employees requires not only paying their wages but also covering indirect expenses like social insurance contributions, as well as any bonuses or incentives.

In the event of using a professional agency, some recruiters may charge as much as 30-35% of the employee’s first monthly wage in service fees.

Absolutely, while some differences in labor practices may exist across the many cities and prefectures in Japan, an EOR can handle the employment process on your behalf wherever you need people to work.

Changes to contract details can be made with the agreement with the worker, with the exception of any change that could be unfavorable to the worker.

All employers in Japan are required to provide a copy of workplace regulations to all employees and to the government in cases where they have more than 10 employees.

Currently, there are no limits to the number of employees you can employ via PEO in Japan.

Terminating employees in Japan is notoriously difficult. At a minimum, should an employer be able to provide just cause (economic, severe misbehavior, etc.) employees can be terminated with 30 days’ notice or payment in lieu.

Due to the ease of disputing contract terminations, the situation may require attractive severance packages to instead persuade employees to leave on their own accord. 

Workers in Japan may work remotely, however, a physical address is an integral part of the company incorporation process.

Our recruiting specialists are familiar with regional standards and best practices and have access to both online and offline professional recruitment networks and resources.

There are 16 annual public holidays in Japan. Employers are not obliged to pay employees on these days unless they are working.

The Labor Standards Law (LSL) guides most of the regulations concerning workplace requirements and standards in Japan. In addition, other acts of government provide further protection against discrimination.

While opportunity remains strong in Japan, trust is highly valued among business relationships meaning any errors or signs of dispute around labor standards can seriously affect a company’s reputation and ability to do business.

Yes, we provide solutions to simplify employment functions for both Japanese citizens and foreign workers.