Investing in Japan
Latest UpdatesMinistry of Economy, Trade and Industry: Establishment of new system to grant foreign entrepreneurs residence for preparation in starting business (so-called start-up visa)
Apr 08, 2019
In collaboration with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry issued the "Public Notice Related to Projects for Encouraging Foreign Entrepreneurs to Start Business" (in Japanese only) and established a new system for foreigners to smoothly start business in December 2018.
Foreign nationals wishing to start up business in Japan need to obtain a “business manager” visa. To receive this status of residence, in addition to securing an office, the applicant must employ at least two people full-time, or invest at least five million yen in Japan.
In the new system, even if the above requirements are not fulfilled, foreign entrepreneurs can still acquire a resident status by undergoing an examination by the relevant local government and the Immigration Bureau, which are the implementing entities of Projects for Encouraging Foreign Entrepreneurs to Start Business.
The status of residence is classified under "special activity" and the period of stay is up to one year. To stay after this period, applicants must obtain the “business manager” visa status after fulfilling the requirements.
In January 2019, with approval of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Fukuoka City became the first local government entitled to accept applications from foreign entrepreneurs to launch businesses under the system. In March, 4 local governments (Aichi Prefecture, Gifu Prefecture, Kobe city, and Osaka city) are also entitled.
- New System for Encouraging Foreign Entrepreneurs to Smoothly Start Business（Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry）
- Public Notice Related to Projects for Encouraging Foreign Entrepreneurs to Start Business *Japanese only（Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry）
- METI Grants First Approval to Fukuoka City’s Plan for Managing and Supporting Business Startup Activities by Foreign Entrepreneurs (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry）