Selecting a real estate broker
When relocating to a new office, it is important to select a reliable real estate broker. A license issued under the Building Lots and Buildings Transaction Business Law is required to engage in real estate businesses, and these licenses can provide you with a certain amount of information about brokers.
There are two types of licenses.
(1) Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism license: This license is required when a real estate business has offices that conduct real estate transactions and do business in two or more prefectures.
(2) Prefectural governor license: This license is required when a real estate business has offices that conduct real estate transactions and do business in only one prefecture.
Check a real estate broker’s business card to see whether it has license type (1) or (2), and this will give you an idea of the size of the business (whether it conducts business in two or more prefectures). Also, these licenses are valid for five years (licenses issued before April 1995 were value for three years), and the number that appears in parentheses after the type of license (e.g., “Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism license (12)”) indicates the number of times the license has been renewed. This means that the higher this number is, the more experience the business has and the more trustworthy it is.
Investigate market rents and confirm plans for new buildings and redevelopment projects
When you start exploring an office relocation, the first step is to investigate market rents in the areas you are considering. By using market rates as a yardstick, you can accurately determine if a particular rent is high or low and quickly narrow the scope of candidate properties.
In addition, if you are considering relocation into a new building, it is recommended that you check the website of a real estate company that has information on new buildings and redevelopment projects.
Confirm if your phone numbers will change
There are many cases where a company will move to a nearby location to avoid having to change telephone numbers and spare their customers the inconvenience. However, relocation to a nearly location does not necessarily mean that your phone numbers won’t change.
If you move to a location outside the jurisdiction of your current telephone office, your phone numbers will definitely change. In extreme cases, moving just one street away will result in different phone numbers. Consequently, it is recommended that you inquire with the local telephone office before deciding on a new location.
It is necessary to investigate businesses with similar trade names?
When the new Companies Law came into effect on May 1, 2006, the regulations on similar trade names–which provided that “a trade name that is the same as or similar to a trade name already registered by another person may not be registered in the same municipality for the purpose of engaging in the same business”–were abolished. This means that the Legal Affairs Bureau in the area where a company relocates does not have to conduct a prior investigation to make sure that there are no companies that infringe the provisions on similar trade names. But because “the same trade name may not be registered in the same location,” care must be taken. Also, even where no bad faith is involved, if there is a company with a similar trade name in the surrounding area, there is the possibility of an injunction against use of trade name or demands for compensation for damages. Therefore, it is recommended that investigations of similar trade names continue to be carried out to avoid future problems.
Earthquake Proofing Standards
Earthquake proofing standards are specified by the Building Standards Law and the Building Standards Law Enforcement Ordinance to guarantee that when buildings are designed, they have the required resistance to earthquakes. The Building Standards Law was adopted in 1950, and was revised in 1971 to make steel-reinforced concrete structures stronger and again in 1981 to introduce new earthquake proofing design standards (new earthquake proofing standards) by adding design methods that employ strength and elasticity.
Under the current standards (the new earthquake proofing standards), buildings are designed to sustain only light damage in earthquakes having an intensity that occurs frequently and to prevent harm to people in and around the buildings in earthquakes of an intensity that is likely to occur only once during the life of the building. This means that under the new standards, buildings must be designed not only not to collapse in earthquakes, but also to protect the safety of the people who use the buildings.