Start up visa

Advantage of start up visa

If foreign entrepreneurs need business visa, normally they have to open company first and they can apply for business visa later. But with start up visa, they can enter into Japan first, and they can open company later. Then they can make better preparation, and sometimes they can save time and also their money.

With start up visa, they don’t have difficulty mainly in the following matters:

  • Japanese bank account
  • Lease agreement of office

Bank account

Once they enter into Japan with start up visa, they can open their bank account. Then they can start procedures smoothly.

To register a company (especially KK), Japanese bank passbook copy with record of initial contribution is one of required document. Normally personal account of promoter is used for company incorporation for it. Now, by recent amendment of commercial registration precedent, promoter’s agent can receive initial contribution with bank account of the agent.

Even though, promoter needs to pay initial capital of new company to an account of someone else, if promoter asks agent to receive it. If you have some partner who you can trust in Japan, there won’t be problem. But what if you don’t have anyone?

It is possible to open company with initial capital of small amount, and increase capital later. But in this case, the company needs to pay extra cost, because changing paid-in capital requires registration change.

As described above, Japanese bank account can be bottleneck.

Lease agreement of office

Once they enter into Japan with start up visa, they are resident of Japan. They can have Japanese residence card.

Normally it is not possible for foreign residents to lease an office from Japanese landlord without any connection. They are so conservative that they are afraid that foreign lessees don’t pay lease fee appropriately.

They can rent an office from international office providers, such as Regus or Servcorp, even if they are not resident of Japan. But their office is more expensive than those of Japanese local landlords. And if entrepreneurs can’t enter into Japan with temporary visa, they need to sign lease agreement without actually seeing office.

Without start up visa, applicants apply for Certificate of Eligibility. It is procedure for foreign residents. With start up visa, they apply for visa renewal. The main difference in these two procedures is term of process of Japanese immigration bureau. Application for Certificate of Eligibility can take more than 6 months (I know it’s long!). Term for visa renewal is only 2 weeks to 2 months. During the term of process, applicants need to keep paying rent of office, because they need to make lease agreement before company registration. Then entrepreneurs wouldn’t waste their rent if they can use start up visa.

Available areas

Start up visa is not available all over Japan, and is available in limited areas. It is for entrepreneurs who want to start business at Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Gifu, Sendai, Niigata, or Fukuoka. Depending on area, requirement is different.

How to apply for start up visa?

We can help your application as your agent. Required documents must be prepared in Japanese language.