How can a foreigner start a new business in Japan? (Visa, Company registration) (2)

By | 2015/06/20

Finally, the slow and lack-of-change Japanese government is moving now.

In the previous article :” How can a foreigner start a new business in Japan? (Visa, Company registration) (1)”, some information was written about how to start a business for a foreigner in Japan.

In this field, there was a big change started from 1st April 2015.

Generally, the permission for foreigners to stay in Japan can be classified into short-term ones and long-term ones. (I guess most countries have similar principles.)


Short-term permission is usually used for visiting friends/families or attending conference, and so on and allows for at most 3 months for staying annually. Depending on the nationality, some foreigners can enter Japan without visa for short-term stay.

Long-term permission is usually used for staying for more than 3 months. All foreigners need to obtain a visa for any purposes.

It’s very different between short-term stay and long-term stay in the government system in Japan.

If you stay in Japan with a short-term permission, you won’t get a residence card. Without a residence card, you are considered staying in Japan without a permanent address in Japan, so you can’t open a bank account, can’t enter national health insurance system, nor enter the national pension system. You certainly can’t register your own company, neither.


There are various kinds of long-term permissions such as for study or for work, etc. The one related to establishment of a company is “Investment and Management” visa.

In the previous article “How can a foreigner start a new business in Japan? (Visa, Company registration) (1)”, it was written that a foreigner living overseas who want to register a limited company in Japan must find a partner who has permanent address in Japan (then it must be a Japanese or a foreigner who has long-term residence permission) to be the co-founder for the new company, or he/she cannot register a company in Japan.

Then, without company registration, he/she cannot apply for Investment and Management visa.

In another word, you just can do nothing without a great business partner in Japan.

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