As we are headed toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the number of tourists visiting Japan is increasing. In 2015, the number of foreign tourists was at its highest ever, with 19,737,000 visitors, a 47.1% increase compared to the year before. Not only are there more foreigners interested in visiting japan, the number of those who wish to live, work, start a business in Japan is on the rise as well. In response to the increase in opportunities for foreigners to do business in Japan, Japanese Government, The City of Tokyo as well as many other local governments are promoting foreign investments in Japan, and encouraging foreigners to start businesses in Japan.
Reflecting on the matter, how easy would it be to set up a foreign owned business in Japan? In theory, the legal framework is well defined, and there are no distinctions between Japanese citizens and foreigners in the corporation laws, so Japan does seem like a good country to invest in. However, reality is that foreigners are often faced with a number of obstacles when trying to set up their businesses in Japan, including the following:
- Among the plethora of administrative offices, it is difficult to distinguish the right ones to deal with. There is no agency either that advises on that matter.
- It is necessary to have a very clear vision of all the requirements stipulated in the Immigration Act in order to obtain a valid residence status (Business Manager).
- Very few administrative offices offer their services and consultations in foreign languages
This Business Incorporation Guide Book for foreigners stems from our desire to help foreigners conquer this hurdle and ease their way into being business owners in Japan. It is a compilation of knowledge provided by our team of specialists, such as administrative lawyers (Gyoseishoshi), a Small and Medium Enterprise Management consultant, as well as a patent attorney, a Labor and Social Security attorney, a tax accountant and a judicial scrivener. We aimed to provide a thorough and complete guidebook, as valuable as any specialized books, but with an easier language. Furthermore, we’ve decided to provide English and Chinese versions of the book, to reach out to an even wider scope of foreigners.
It is our hope that this guidebook will be a reference for many foreign business managers and entrepreneurs, and it will help further and promote business incorporation and expansion in Japan.
Sincere International Group
Yuji Tsuruno Sincere international Group Representative Director,
SME Management Consultant, Administrative Lawyer
Worked on steel stock trading at a general trading company. Has experience at business company management while stationed in Shanghai. Then became a freelance consultant, mainly for Japanese companies looking to expand overseas or foreign companies looking to invest in Japan. As a coordinator at The Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and industry, has a lot experience providing advice on business management, business establishment to multiple businessperson, regardless of nationality.
Publication「Guidebook for overseas business」（The Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry）
Wataru Shichida Sincere International Group, Labor and Social Security Attorney,
SME Management Consultant
After working at the Commerce and Industry Division at Saitama Prefectural Office, became a consultant at a major think tank group, and worked mainly on restructuring of personnel systems, and personnel systems related to M&A. Worked as a freelance consultant on a wide range of matters, from management strategy formulation to implementation assistance, including solving personnel labor problems, or building international personnel systems.
Yoko Oota Soukyo Intellectual Property Law Office Representative Director.
Patent Attorney, Administrative Lawyer
Worked at a patent office, partially at a listed chemical manufacturer. In 2010, founded a patent office and an administrative lawyer’s office. Joined Sincere International Group in 2013.
As a patent attorney, not only have experience working on patent, utility models, design, trademark rights cases, but she has also mastered legal procedures surroundings status of residence matters.
Susumu Yamaguchi CEO of UTAGE Research Institute Inc.
SME Management Consultant
Specialist in WEB Marketing. Has an established reputation in IT infrastructure building and sales promotion assistance (Website creation, use of SNS. Among his accomplishments, is the experience of providing assistance from start-up stage to creating a home page, by giving advice on engine search measure, web marketing and ending up in the top search page of Google search results three month later.
Keitaro Kuroki Judicial Scrivener
Kahori Oka Certified Tax Accountant
Yuko Iwasaki Administrative Lawyer at Sincere International Administrative Lawyers’ Corporation