How to start business in Japan?

1. Decide structure

First of all, you have to choose structure of business. You can do business as individual (freelance or sole proprietor), or you can open company.

For companies, including foreign companies, subsidiary, branch or representative office is their options.

If you need to come to Japan for marketing research, you will need to apply for temporary visitor visa. You can talk to Japanese embassy in your country to learn more  about it.

2. Decide company type

If you want to open a Japanese company, you have to choose company type. Practically you have two choices, KK or GK.

2.1 Start up visa

If you don’t live in Japan, and want to start new Japanese company, you can try start up visa. It can be  issued in certain area of Japan, such as Tokyo. You can get 6 months visa before starting company.

Start up visa is not for every entrepreneur. It requires prior approval from government. If you have good foreign affiliate company, or any other good business record in the past, it can be your choice.

3. Prepare documents and submit application

If you decide what to start, we will work together for paperwork.

Time duration depends on business structure and if you live in Japan or not.

If you live in Japan, it takes 1-3 weeks, and if you are not in Japan, normally it takes 2-5 weeks to finish procedures depending on how fast you arrange documents.

4. Post-incorporation procedures

Some procedures are required, and there are some optional procedures as well.

It takes 1-2 months if you apply for business manager visa by status change, and it takes 6-7 months if you apply for Certificate of Eligibility in jurisdiction of Tokyo immigration bureau after application.