Supports for Foreign Companies

Program to increase foreign entrepreneurs

Smoother business startups in Tokyo by foreign nationals through deregulation

Foreign nationals wishing to start up business in Japan need to obtain a “business manager” visa. To receive this status of residence, in addition to opening an office, the applicant must employ at least two people full-time, or invest at least 5 million yen in Japan. This presents a high hurdle to prospective foreign entrepreneurs.

In this program to increase foreign entrepreneurs, applicants can receive status of residence (business manager) for half a year even if these conditions are not met, if business plans and other necessary information are submitted to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirms that the applicant has prospects for fulfilling the conditions within that half year.

The Business Development Center TOKYO will provide individual support so that the foreign entrepreneur will be able to fulfill the conditions by the end of the six months, and renew his/her status of residence.

Program Overview

Additionally, as of April 1st, 2021, this program will be applicable to foreign nationals who are already residing in Japan under the residence status of “Student”.

<Procedure in case of changing residence status from “Student” to “Business / Management”>

Procedure in case of changing residence status from “Student” to “Business / Management”


Foreign nationals wishing to start business in Tokyo
(including those planning to be joint founders)

Documents to be submitted

  • Those applying for confirmation of startup activities must prepare and submit all of the following documents.
  • To prepare these documents, refer to the samples for how to fill in the forms and the Q&A.
  • Prepare the forms in Japanese.
Application documents
Application for confirmation of business startup activities Word Format ※Japanese only sample
Plan for business startup activities Word Format ※Japanese only sample
Applicant’s resume Word Format ※Japanese only
Copy of applicant’s passport (section with photo, name, and signature)
Document that can clarify where the applicant will be residing for 6 months after coming to Japan (e.g. copy of lease contract, copy of application for lease)※
Other necessary documents (e.g. copy of bank book, documents that show bank balance)

※When changing the residence status from ”Student”, make a copy of the residence certificate and both sides of the residence card.

Where to apply

Business Development Center TOKYO
【Akasaka Desk】
ARK Mori Building 7F (inside Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) headquarters)
1-12-32 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Operating hours : Weekdays 9:30a.m. to 5:30p.m.
(Excludes national holidays and the new year's holidays.) Persons that fall under any of the following (☆) are requested to bring documents to be submitted at the time of application to the application desk. Please note that application documents will not be accepted by mail or other method.
(☆) Persons that may submit application documents
  1. Applicant
  2. A member of the staff of a public interest incorporated association or a public interest incorporated foundation∗ with the purpose of facilitating the smooth acceptance of foreign nationals and whom the director of the regional immigration services agency finds appropriate. (∗Currently, the Japan Immigration Association falls under it.)
  3. An attorney or administrative scrivener who has notified the director of the regional immigration services agency exercising jurisdiction over the area where the bar association or administrative scrivener association to which the attorney or administrative scrivener belongs is located. However, if the applicant is located in a foreign country, this shall be a person (or staff member, in the case of a corporation) that has been entrusted by the applicant with the establishment of a business entity in Japan.
※If the application documents will be submitted by persons described in (2) or (3), please submit documentation that proves the relationship with the foreign national.

Confirmation of the application

  • After TMG receives the submitted application documents, a TMG official will conduct an interview with the applicant.
  • Based on the application documents and interview, we will make assessments from the perspective of the applicant’s possibility of attaining the regular “business manager” visa status after the 6-month preparatory period and make a judgement also considering the views of a third party with specialized knowledge in business management (e.g. Small and Medium Enterprise Management Consultant).

Issuance of certificate/notification of confirmation of business startup activities

  • After the application contents have been assessed, a TMG official will contact the applicant using the contact information on the application document.

☆ If the necessary conditions were met and the business startup activities were approved: “Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities"
☆ If the business startup activities were not approved: “Notification of the Results of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities”

Application to the Tokyo Immigration Services Agency for Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residency (Business Manager)

  • Those who have received the Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities must apply to the Tokyo Immigration Services Agency for the Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence (Business Manager) Those who wish to change the residence status from ”Student” must apply for the Change of Status of Residence.
  • For details on the procedure, inquire at the Tokyo Immigration Services Agency.

After receiving “Business Manager "status"

  1. Confirmation of progress in startup activities
    • Those who have utilized this program and received “Business Manager” status from the Tokyo Immigration Services Agency, will be subject to confirmation by the TMG on progress of startup activities based on the plan for confirmation of business activities.
    • Confirmation of the progress of startup activities will be conducted three times during the six month period of stay (once every two months). In at least one of the three times, the person will be subject to an interview on the progress of startup activities at his/her office or residence.
    • For confirmation, the person may be requested to submit documents clarifying the situation, such as office lease contracts, staff employment contracts, and bank books. If satisfactory progress is not being made, the person may be prompted to leave the country.
  2. Support for renewal of period of stay