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Starting a business in japan ?

hey there

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Hey Everyone!

I hope everyone is well !!


I recently came back from a holiday in Japan and I am in love !


I would like to go back to Tokyo and perhaps start some sort of small business and hopefully one day grow it bigger one day.


Does anyone have any experience in this? And want to share any of their experience?

Is 7,770,855.84 JPY enough for start up ?

Of course I am doing further research and I just want some input from some people

Thanks !!
 

musicisgood

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Hey Everyone!

I hope everyone is well !!


I recently came back from a holiday in Japan and I am in love !


I would like to go back to Tokyo and perhaps start some sort of small business and hopefully one day grow it bigger one day.


Does anyone have any experience in this? And want to share any of their experience?

Is 7,770,855.84 JPY enough for start up ?

Of course I am doing further research and I just want some input from some people

Thanks !!


No.
You need one yen of hope and will power.
 

KyushuWoozy

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I'm in the early stages of starting a business. What research have you done already? What specifically would you like to know? What kind of business are you planning? Why did you mention that very precise amount of money?
 

WonkoTheSane

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Hey Everyone!

I hope everyone is well !!


I recently came back from a holiday in Japan and I am in love !


I would like to go back to Tokyo and perhaps start some sort of small business and hopefully one day grow it bigger one day.


Does anyone have any experience in this? And want to share any of their experience?

Is 7,770,855.84 JPY enough for start up ?

Of course I am doing further research and I just want some input from some people

Thanks !!
I opened and run a small business here in Tokyo (合同会社). What are your questions?

I can say it is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. You need to have good support around yourself and to be at least making an active effort to learn Japanese. Banks and other institutions are quite risk averse, so even opening a business bank account can be difficult. It might be worth it to pay your accountant 5,000 JPY or so to come with you and act as an intermediary and advise you on exactly what to write on the forms.

I assume you're wondering about the 5,000,000 JPY investment, but I'm not sure about the other 2.7 million you mention.
 

Mike Cash

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You've been back here at least twice and presumably have seen the replies you have received so far. It would be nice if you would engage the people who have taken the time to try to help you instead of just lurking.
 

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PatrickNZ

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I agree with WonkoTheSane. It is difficult, expensive and time consuming. It also takes a lot of planning, research, good advisors, and patience.

Did I mention it is expensive?

In addition, you have all of the new procedures to deal with like actually getting a residence status that allows you to stay in the country, bank accounts, a phone number (see residence status), and a host of other things. Many steps are circular so until you break the circle (get residency) you are in a bit of no-mans-land. Plus, you have to have something that allows immigration to approve what you are doing (the CoE bit).

JPY7M ($100k NZD) covers your basic paid capital requirement (business manager visa), so do you have physical office, real (not internet phone number), place to stay, suitable qualifications and then a heap more money while you get established. That assumes you know how to run a successful business in a foreign country and a different language while dealing with the time consuming activities dealing with bureaucracy.

Oh, btw, it's expensive.
 

WonkoTheSane

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I agree with WonkoTheSane. It is difficult, expensive and time consuming. It also takes a lot of planning, research, good advisors, and patience.

Did I mention it is expensive?

In addition, you have all of the new procedures to deal with like actually getting a residence status that allows you to stay in the country, bank accounts, a phone number (see residence status), and a host of other things. Many steps are circular so until you break the circle (get residency) you are in a bit of no-mans-land. Plus, you have to have something that allows immigration to approve what you are doing (the CoE bit).

JPY7M ($100k NZD) covers your basic paid capital requirement (business manager visa), so do you have physical office, real (not internet phone number), place to stay, suitable qualifications and then a heap more money while you get established. That assumes you know how to run a successful business in a foreign country and a different language while dealing with the time consuming activities dealing with bureaucracy.

Oh, btw, it's expensive.
Unless it changed since I opened my business, it's 5 million yen capital requirement. That's what I capitalized with. Of course it was about another 1 million for startup costs.
 

Mike Cash

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Sadly, I think Patrick is more likely to run into the OP by random chance on the streets of New Zealand than he is ever to encounter her here.
 

WonkoTheSane

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Sadly, I think Patrick is more likely to run into the OP by random chance on the streets of New Zealand than he is ever to encounter her here.
Yes, I've pretty well gotten to the point where I just kind of consider these threads reference material for new people.

What I don't understand is that people care enough to ask but don't care enough to follow up. Regardless of the basic decency, it seems counter productive. Maybe it's just that I don't ask questions unless I've pretty well exhausted my ability to find information and I have access to the entire internet, a local Japanese library, and online access to a US library, so it's rather rare that I need information I can't find and when I do it's important enough that I want to follow up.

I don't know, it almost seems like the flitting of a hummingbird the way people zip from one thought to the next without alighting on one long enough to reach a conclusion.

Either way, I've several times found information from threads that the OP did not respond to when I've been searching, so I do my best to be a good steward of any thread I post in and make sure the best information I have is there for the unintended audience.
 

PatrickNZ

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LOL - I have a week back in New Zealand in January, but I really don't expect to run into too many budding entrepreneurs wanting to come to Japan.

The process of setting up here in japan has been a very interesting exercise. Sure most people come and work for someone else, but starting from scratch involves quite a different set of skills. I suspect the OP has not done a start-up venture in NZ let alone in a different country (I did one in Australia and that wasn't too hard - just high risk). I might not have done things in the most efficient way, but I got some good advisors, put all of the necessary pieces in place, and so now have a local company (as well as my main one based in NZ that I run remotely).

The 5M yen is still the same for business manager/investor visa, along with things like a physical office and expenses for lawyers/accountants etc. One of the other big costs is living while it all gets set up - it's not a quick process.
 

Mike Cash

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Not sure about other types of company formation but I believe a gōdō gaisha (合同会社?) has a capital requirement of 1 Yen.

So does a KK, apparently, but there are still other expenses involved.

http://subaru-juku.com/llc-joint‐stock-company-difference-867
 

WonkoTheSane

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Not sure about other types of company formation but I believe a gōdō gaisha (合同会社?) has a capital requirement of 1 Yen.
If you want a visa sponsored by the company you need to capitalize at 5 million yen. This is true with either a KK or GK (yes, 合同会社 is correct), but a KK is more of a pain in the *** paperwork wise so I went with a GK. The cost from my lawyer would have been essentially the same to form either one. The primary difference for my company would have been that most Japanese know what a KK is and trust it, but don't necessarily know what a GK is. I don't care, my only purely Japanese clients are a couple of pro bono cases I took because the kids absolutely needed some help and the families couldn't find what they needed from the local systems. So they pay for an interpreter and I provide services for free.

It's not about creating the business, that's easy and relatively cheap if you have good Japanese skills, it's about whether you want to actually live here after you create it. For those of us who rely on our businesses to sponsor our visas, this becomes an important point. It means we pay people to create the business in a way that ensures that we can then pay them again to use the business to sponsor our visas. Not cheap if you want it done right by people who actually know what they're doing. It cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of 500,000 - 700,000 JPY to create the business and get the visa IIRC.

This ignores all the other money one has to actually spend, which Patrick is 100% right about. My business was showing a profit of about 200,000 JPY (aside from all expenses, including my (minimal) salary) from the day my visa came through but, even now after 5 months of successful business, I'm just getting out of the hole I put myself in monetarily. I'm hoping that by the 1-year mark I've fully paid back my investment and the only reason I consider that possible is that I happen to be in a field which is quite highly valued and underserved for expatriate needs.

Expect to drop about 1.5 Million JPY on expenses, and that's if you're thrifty and have some experience with Japan. Though I'm a bit drunk, so let's assume I could be off by perhaps half a million yen. Really depends on how you plan to live while working through the process. I grew up broke, so I'm actually feeling quite flush living in my low-income UR apartment barely over the border from Chiba, and before I had a visa I spent considerably less during the 6 months of waiting and hoping nothing went horribly wrong.

I'm happy to break it down for anyone really interested, and I bet if I worked with Patrick on it (based on my assumption that he is running a successful business here in Japan) we could pretty well lay out the expected expenses and how to make it possible in the face of some rather insane policies both public and private.

I don't think that would be useful, though, because anyone who can appropriately fund and run a business here doesn't need a tutorial.
 

PatrickNZ

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The 1 yen capital is the requirement for a business (KK or GK), but we (Wonko-san and myself) are doing visa applications where there are different rules and requirements involved.
Also, because of how my business operates and the regulations around it, I had a few extra hurdles and things to be careful of. So, I was able to do an intra-company tranferee first and then changed to the business manager/investor version later. It allowed me to establish my local office, get residency, apartment and established locally (ward office, insurance, my-number, bank accounts etc). Then we did the local company establishment, getting a business bank account and visa change.

WonkoTheSane's final comment is probably one of the most relevant: if the OP has sufficient funds and ability to set up a company in Japan, they shouldn't be asking for a tutorial. Who to use and recommended helpful advisors - that would be a better question.
 

KyushuWoozy

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For someone who's in the process (like me) of setting up a business this is all good info - even (or especially?) the alcohol-fuelled calculations. I'm lucky enough to have a Japanese spouse so, assuming I can get a spouse visa, will be able to avoid those ugly-sounding visa expenses.

I'm going for a GK too, for the same reasons as mentioned. My customers won't be Japanese so the 'prestige' or otherwise of the company status won't be an issue.

I know it will be difficult and expensive to establish a business here ...

... but I know another thing too - it sucks to be an employee.
 

WonkoTheSane

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For someone who's in the process (like me) of setting up a business this is all good info - even (or especially?) the alcohol-fuelled calculations. I'm lucky enough to have a Japanese spouse so, assuming I can get a spouse visa, will be able to avoid those ugly-sounding visa expenses.

I'm going for a GK too, for the same reasons as mentioned. My customers won't be Japanese so the 'prestige' or otherwise of the company status won't be an issue.

I know it will be difficult and expensive to establish a business here ...

... but I know another thing too - it sucks to be an employee.
Keep in mind that as a business owner you suddenly become every customer's employee instead of just your boss's employee. ;)

Good luck with the business, it's a challenge but an interesting one!
 
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