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Company Formation Japan



Special Permits and Licenses for your Business in Japan

Updated on Tuesday 27th November 2018

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Starting a company in Japan implies several steps. Among these, the preparation of the company’s incorporation documents and their filing with the Trade Register will guarantee the registration of the business and the first step towards having an operational enterprise.

Then, the company registration procedure implies obtaining certain licenses and permits with the Japanese authorities. Businesses in Japan are many times required to obtain permits and licenses if they want to activate in certain sectors. 

Below, our company formation agents in Japan offer detailed information on the licenses and permits to be obtained in various industries in this country.

The residence and work permit for Japan

The first and most important permit to start a business in Japan as a foreigner is the residence and work permit. This will allow a foreign investor the right to live in Japan for a determined period of time, as well as the right to do business here.

It is also helpful to know that a work or residence permit grants a foreign investor the right to become a director in the Japanese company.

Foreign investors will be required to submit proof of their Japanese residency when starting the company registration procedure with the Trade Register. Our local consultants can provide the necessary support in applying for a business visa in Japan. After this step, we can also proceed with the incorporation of the business.

The business license in Japan

The business license is the first permit issued to a company which was taken into the evidence of the Companies Registrar in Japan. This license is issued upon the completion of the incorporation of the business with the Trade Register, with the tax authorities and the social security authorities.

For certain companies, the business license is the only permit required to start operating on the Japanese market.

License requirements for the construction and real estate industry in Japan

In order to activate in the construction and real estate industry in Japan, a company must obtain a special license.
When the license applicant is represented by a business, at least one director has to meet the following requirements:
he or she must have an experience of minimum five years as a “Person Responsible for Management and Operation (PRMO)” if the applicant has been working in the same construction activity as the type of license which he or she is applying for;
he or she must have an experience of minimum seven years working in a similar job as a PRMO, in case the applicant has been working in a different building activity;
he or she must have must have experience in working in a similar position as a PRMO, in certain circumstances. Our company registration advisors in Japan can offer more details on what these other circumstances may consist of.

Licenses and permits for export activities in Japan

The Japanese authorities are very strict when imposing the regulations related to doing business here, one of the most important rules being related to applying for specific permits and licenses for various types of activities, among them trading.

It should be noted that these specific licenses must be obtained separately from the business permit and will imply registration with certain authorities.

Among the special licenses and permits which can be obtained for a company in Japan we mention the following types of export permits:

  • -          the import and export permit which is necessary for trading activities in Japan;
  • -          exporting certain categories of products such as second-hand cars and electronic devices requires special export licenses;
  • -          the export of construction equipment and machinery is also subject to a special license;
  • -          exporting antiques will also be subject to obtaining a dealer license in Japan.

When it comes to exporting second-hand products, a Japanese company must obtain a second-hand dealer license with the local police station in the city the company operates in.

Companies dealing with the import of various products must register with the Customs Authorities in Japan and obtain the necessary notifications depending on the types of goods they bring into the country.

The travel agency license in Japan

Japan is one of the most visited countries in the world, which is why opening a travel agency here is a very good business idea. It must be noted that a travel agency license is required when setting up a travel agency in Japan.

Before applying for such a license, the applicant must undergo a course which certifies his or her abilities of a travel supervisor. After the certification is obtained, the license will be requested with the tourist office in the municipality’s office.

Our company formation specialists in Japan can help foreign investors who want to open travel agencies in this country.

Other types of licenses in Japan

In Japan, there are other types of licenses which must be obtained for different fields of activity, such as:
restaurants and cafes: according to the Food Hygiene Law at the health department. This license is put in place to ensure that the safety and sanitation are respected by restaurants in which food is served and prepared. Our Japan company formation representatives can provide more details on this matter;
retail selling of alcoholic drinks: when importing alcohol in the country with the aim or reselling it, the importer has to obtain an alcohol importing license. Without having it, the importer cannot clear customs, therefore this license has to be obtained by the moment the items enter the ports in Japan;
recruitment licenses for hiring temporary or permanent workers can be obtained by staffing agencies in Japan ;
different types of licenses and permits for offering financial services are also available for financial institutions;
• license for the wholesale of alcohol can be obtained by beverage manufacturing companies registered in Japan;
other licenses and permits: our Japan company formation specialists can provide further details on what these other licenses and permits consist of.

How to obtain various types of special licenses in Japan

Our local consultants can help foreign investors who relocate to Japan with the purpose of starting a business. It should be noted that applying for the special licenses required to operate will imply a different procedure which will be completed after the company is registered with the Companies Register.

The procedure for obtaining special licenses and permits in Japan will also imply preparing a new set of documents and a waiting period which depends on the type of licenses applied for.

In order to avoid making mistakes when preparing the documents or to ensure no document or application form is missing, our Japanese advisors are ready to offer specialized consultancy services.

If you need guidance in registering a company and applying for specific licenses in Japan, please note that you can rely on. We remind foreign investors that we offer full support in company registration matters in Japan.

If you would like to know more about the business licenses in Japan, or if you would like to open a company in Japan, please contact our friendly staff. 


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