STARTING A BUSINESS ~Are you getting ready for take-off ?~

November 8th, 2011By Category: Starting a Business

Would you like to start a business in Japan?


If you’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit and are thinking of starting a business in Japan, an Administrative Scrivener (Gyosei-shoshi Lawyer) is one of the first contacts that you should be making.


The red tape is a potential nightmare and even most Japanese business owners don’t understand the necessary legal regulations and procedures for filing with the appropriate  Government Agencies or how to handle unexpected setbacks that occur in regular business operations. Therefore, finding someone reliable and useful, who can advise and assist in these areas, is key for every business owner, no matter what their nationality is.


If you have an attractive business idea and true confidence in it, you should not give up on  “getting it on track” just because you are not Japanese or do not speak the language. It is “mottai-nai” (wasteful).


According to the 2011 White Paper on Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan, there are about 4.2 million enterprises in Japan, 0.3 % of which are large enterprises. However, a staggering 99.7% of them are small or medium enterprises. About 3.6 million enterprises (87%) are categorized as small enterprises with operations of fewer than 5 employees. Small enterprises take a major role in and contribute significantly to the Japanese economy in many ways. It is the energy and activity of small business entrepreneurs that will once again “kick start” the Japanese economy as they have done before. You are “The man”!


Needless to say, determination, self-belief and drive are the most important qualities to possess before you even think about setting up any business in your own country, let alone a foreign one. However, professional help is at hand which will make this a non-issue.


Below are some common FAQs from new business owners:

Q: Does a foreign national need to have a status of residence that permits Work in Japan when establishing the company or to become an Incorporator (promoter) or Director?

A: No, you do not necessarily need to have a working visa in order to set up a company or to become an incorporator. However, any foreign national who intends to manage the company as a director after the completion of the company setup must have a proper status of residence.

*Incorporator=the person who initiated the idea of starting the business


Q: I don’t have any partners to start the business with. Should I find partners for the set-up?

A: No, you don’t have to find anyone. The roles of “Incorporator”, ”Investor” and “Director” are necessary when you set up the company. But you can take all three roles yourself.


Q: Can I really set up a company with a capital of one yen?

A: Yes, it is true that a company can be established with a capital     of one yen. Sometimes people misunderstand this. The company can be set up with one yen in total, but this one yen is only the capital money. The owner must still pay the cost of notary, public and registration tax to the Government Bureau, which can cost at least 240,000 yen in the case of setting up a stock company on your own (Kabushiki Kaisha).


Q: Then what realistically is an appropriate amount for the initial capital?

 A: Capital of one yen is sufficient on the paperwork to found a company. But obviously it is not possible to manage the company with capital of one yen. You need to increase the capital or running fund anyway sooner or later. The operational fund that is needed during the first six months could be a rough indication of the proper amount of starting capital. Extra costs need to be paid when you change the stated capital amount in the articles of incorporation. Therefore, you should decide the initial capital carefully. A “ball park” figure could be in the region of …



For small business owners:

Yamazumi Office is also a small business and the office policy is that clients should experience a friendly atmosphere and receive personalized legal services. A small firm allows more direct and personal contact. “Just call my name”!


Yamazumi Office provides the following benefits for new owners. 

  • Full English support in the establishment process.
  • FREE Advisory Contract before and after the establishment.
  • Clients can save the 40,000 yen revenue stamp as the office uses an electronic authentication system when setting up a company.
  • Provision of visa consultation services as a certified Immigration procedures specialist.
  • Get FREE corporate seal and corporate bank seal.
  • Introduction services to tax specialists, labor specialists, US CPA and business consultants.


For a limited time, a new “set-up campaign” is available at We are waiting to help make your idea a reality!

Author of this article


GaijinPot is an online community for foreigners living in Japan, providing information on everything you need to know about enjoying life here, from finding a job and accommodation to having fun.

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    I am planning to open restaurant in Japan at the end of this year (2013) but I need some information what bank that can offer the business loan for foreigner.

    Hopefully, someone can help me regarding business loan.

    Thank you for your attention.