VI. Selection of an office

Office (store) location

The importance of the office (store) location varies with the business format. In most cases, if you are projecting to welcome customers in your office/store, a site at the core of the city or nearby stations will be your best bet. On the other hand, if you are looking to run an online shop, or another type of business that does not require for your customers to commute to the store, the office location will not have much influence on the success of your business.

Be aware that for restaurants operating during late hours or any other business requiring police authorization to operate, there might be restrictions such as prohibition to operate nearby hospitals and schools.


1) Checklist for choosing a location

  Check points Self-rating(○×)
1 Is the space enough for the scale of your business?  
2 Does the rent fit in your budget?  
3 Is it convenient to access?  
4 Are you allowed to use it at night/during holidays?  
5 Does it have good signal for cellphones?  
6 Are the other tenants of the building in line with your business?  
7 Can you easily describe the location to your customers?  
8 Is the building owner/manager kind and well mannered?  
9 Does the property fit the requirements for your status of residence application as Business Manager?  
10 Is it equipped with adequate security measures?  



Fees necessary for renting an office

Rent and management fees This is how much you are supposed to pay for the place monthly. The management fees include utility charges such electricity, gas and water bills, and in some case cleaning and maintenance fees.
Rental deposit It is a guarantee fee that you pay to the owner upon renting the property, and that might be used after you leave to renovate the place back to its initial state. Some places requires no money at all while for others you will need to pay up to 10 months’ worth of rent. The rest of the deposit after repair will be returned to you.
Key money You pay these fees at the time of contract signature and is usually equivalent to an additional 1 – 2 months of rent. Notice that fewer office rental contracts come with it nowadays.
Agent commission fee This is the commission fee you will have to pay to a real estate agency if you have used their services. It usually is equal to the rent.
Renewal fee Most office rental contracts have a two year expiration agreement. If you wish to keep using the same office, you will have to pay 1 or 2 months’ worth of rent to renew your contract.


Home offices / Incubation offices

It is stipulated in the list of requirements for applying for a Business Manager status of residence that you need to have secured an existing location for your office. More specifically, this is what it says


  • Economic activities under a singular management agency should be carried out on a separate space.
    (No share of space with other companies)
  • The production or provision of services and goods should be continuous through human resources and equipment.


If you are considering opening an office at your own house, renting an office from a friend, or using incubation office, you should consult with the Regional Immigration Bureau or with an administrative lawyer specialized in the matter to check if they meet these requirements.