Resident Status Required to Start up a Business in Japan

The resident status required to start up a business in Japan called is “Business Management status.

A typical case is when a foreigner comes to Japan, establishes a company by themself and becomes the CEO. 

Two types  for the business management status

There are two types for the business management status.

One is (A) the Regular business management visa, and the other is  (B) the 6 months business management visa (start-up visa), which is an exception for business management status using the program by the Tokyo government.

Under regular procedures, to be granted Business Manager status, the applicant needs to fulfill conditions at the time of entering Japan, such as having a company with its capital of 5 million yen or more and having an office.

Under this Tokyo government program (start-up visa, 6-month management visa), however, the residence status will be granted for six months to start up the business when it is acknowledged that the applicant is highly likely to fulfill these requirements within six months after entry.


(A)Regular business management visa

(B) Start-up visa


Required to set up a company and obtain an office before applying for business management resident status.

After obtaining a start-up visa, set up a company, and get an office.

Someone in Japan who help your business start-up


Not necessary




(A) Regular business management visa

Difficulties with bank accounts

When establishing a company, the foreign national must transfer their money of at least 5 million yen to their own Japanese bank account. However, if the foreign national has been in Japan for less than three months, the Japanese bank will not usually provide a bank account for them.

If you cannot open a bank account, you can not establish a company, and you will not be able to obtain a business management visa.

Then how to treat this problem?

They would ask a business partner or someone trusted living in Japan who has a bank account in Japan to be a co-founder. They can pay the capital contribution into that co-founder’s account.  The transfer will be regarded as evidence of the capital investment.  After registering the company, the foreign national then purchases all the shares from the co-founder or runs the company together.

In regular business management visa procedures, it isn’t easy to establish a company unless they have a relative or business partner who has a bank account in Japan.

Difficulty in securing office space

In regular business management visa procedure, the foreign national needs to secure an office in Japan and starts paying the rent before applying for the resident status. Although the applicant will not conduct business until the residence status’s approval, they will still have to pay the monthly rent. Further, if the residence status’s approval is not granted, they will have paid the rent in vain, hurting financially and emotionally.

If you do not have a business partner in Japan, you will need to establish a company and secure an office on your own, which is a six-month business management case.