Necessary Visa to Run a Business in Japan
If you already have a visa (status of residence) that has no restriction in the type of your activities such as Permanent Resident, Spouse or Child of Japanese National, you are free to choose your business structure whether it is a sole proprietor (kojin jigyo) or a company (KK or GK).
In some cases, it is recommended to establish a company in Japan in order to show a certain credibility to your business relations such as your office's landloard, clients and suppliers or to better manage the relation between several investors and directors. (Please see the page on the incorporation in Japan)
If you would like to start a business in Japan but don't have a long term visa that allows you to do so, it is necessary to apply for the Investor / Business Manager visa.
There are conditions to satisfy in order to qualify for the Investor / Business Manager visa (see the page on the visa and immigration procedures in Japan), and in most cases, it is required to register a company with at least 5 millions yen capital before you can apply for the visa.
You need to make sure that you are eligible for this Business Manager visa in advance, as it is technically possible to register a company even if you don't satisfy the visa requirements, although you won't be allowed to run the company without having an appropriate visa.
In the case where you are not eligible for the Investor / Business Manager visa (lack of investment funds, etc.), the alternative options would be to find a Japanese partner or other investors, and apply for another type of visa status such as "Specialist in Humanities / International Services" or "Engineer".
Certified as Immigration Lawyers by the Japan Immigration Office, we can help you with obtaining an appropriate visa and with other immigration procedures.