VISA required to start a business in Japan

This time, I will talk about VISA, which is necessary when starting a business in Japan.

Japanese visas can be roughly divided into two categories. One is Activity-Type VISA given by activities conducted in Japan, and the other one is Status-Type vise given by status or position in Japan.
(Please refer to the [Visas in Japan and work] table below.)

There are four kind of Status-Type vise: “Permanent Resident”, “Spouse or Child of Japanese National”, “Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident”, and “Long-Term Resident”.
There are no work restrictions for Status-Type vise. Any job is possible if it is not illegal.
When starting a business in Japan, there are no requirements for obtaining VISA, so you can set up a company as freely as a Japanese.

If you do not have one of Status-Type vises above, you must obtain a “Business Manager” VISA to manage or engage in business activities in Japan. (Please refer to the [Business Manager description]  below.)

Some people reading this blog may be thinking of starting a business by acquiring Highly Skilled Professionals VISA which has various types of Preferential Treatment.
This VISA can also manage the business, however, to obtain the VISA.
Firstly, it is necessary to meet the requirements of the “Business Manager” VISA.
In addition, it is necessary to secure income of 3 million yen or more, which is a requirement of “Highly Skilled Professionals” and obtain 70 points or more with the point system for “Highly Skilled Professionals”.

Below are the main requirements for obtaining” Business Manager “VISA.

(1) The business scale of the company satisfies either a) or b) or the combination of a) and b).

a) Business scale of 5 million yen or more
(In many cases, proof of the scale of the business is proved by the amount of capital of the company.)
b) Hiring two or more full-time employee.
(The above-mentioned full-time employees should be Japanese or ” those who holding Status-Type Visa Such as “permanent residents”, “spouses or child of Japanese”,” spouses or child of permanent resident”, “Long-term residents).

(2) An independent office (business facility) is secured for business in Japan.

(3) It is necessary to submit a feasible business plan.

To obtain the VISA, it is required to establish a company to meet the above requirements.

In addition, depending on the content of the business, there are some businesses that require prior permission from the relevant ministry or agency to carry out the business, as required by law.
In that case, it is necessary to establish a company that meets the requirements for permission.
Please be careful when deciding on the facility of business and creating the company’s articles of incorporation.

【Business Manager description】


Authorized activities


Period of Stay

Business Manager

Activities to engage in the operation of international trade or other business in Japan or to manage said business (except for activities to engage in the operation or management of business which may not be legally conducted without the qualification given in the column of “Legal/Accounting Services”).

Manager or operator of a company, etc.

5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 4 months or 3 months

The above “Business Manager description” is a quote from 2019 Immigration Control and Residency Management, (created by Immigration Services Agency, Japan).

Published by

Yoshihisa Takenaka

Yoshihisa Takenaka. Born in Tokyo. Graduated from Berklee College Music located in Boston, Mass., USA. After graduation, worked in the music industry for about 10years, worked for a Taiwanese computer hardware company for 10 years. After obtaining the qualification opened Takenaka Office in Kawasaki City in 2011 started working as an immigration lawyer providing support services related to visa-related application procedures for foreigners, preparation of wills, inheritance procedures, and various permission applications.