How Do I Meet the Electronic Document Storage Regulations?

In today’s digital age, meeting electronic document storage regulations is essential for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in Japan. Particularly for financial documents like invoices, receipts, and purchase orders, adherence to these regulations ensures compliance and efficiency.

The Need for Electronic Document Storage

The Japanese government mandates that if financial documents are originally issued electronically (via email or digital platforms), they must be stored in their original electronic format. This is not just a matter of convenience but a compliance requirement.

Understanding the Regulations

  • Secure Timestamping: As per national standards outlined by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), each stored document must include a secure timestamp. This proves the integrity and authenticity of the document.
  • Long-term Retention: Another critical aspect of these regulations is the retention period. You must store electronic financial documents for up to 10 years, ensuring you can access them for audits or compliance checks.

Why It Matters for Your SME

Adhering to these regulations is crucial. Non-compliance can lead to penalties and challenges during tax audits. Furthermore, efficient electronic document storage streamlines operations and enhances data security.

Best Practices for Compliance

  • Implement Suitable Software Solutions: Choose software that supports secure timestamping and long-term storage.
  • Regular Backups and Security Measures: Ensure your storage solution includes regular backups and robust security protocols.
  • Staff Training: Educate your team about the importance and methods of proper electronic document storage.

For more context on the changing landscape of electronic record keeping and compliance in Japan, refer to our previous article Electronic Record Keeping: What’s Required in Japan.


Meeting the electronic document storage regulations is integral to running a successful and compliant SME in Japan. It’s about adopting the right practices and tools to secure your business’s future.

Call to Action

Looking for a hassle-free way to ensure your SME meets these critical regulations? Paradigm offers a robust solution tailored to your needs. Our platform guarantees secure, compliant, and easily accessible electronic document storage, aligning with Japan’s latest standards. Learn more about how Paradigm can help your business stay ahead in compliance.