Supports for Foreign Companies

Program to increase foreign entrepreneurs

Service Description

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” status of residence. 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 makes it extremely difficult for foreign entreprnurs to start a business on their own without a domestic partner.

Under the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Special Zone system, a special six-month "Business Manager" status of residence can be granted if the Tokyo Metropolitan Government approves the business plan and other details before the Immigration Bureau examines applicants upon entry.

Foreign nationals who plan to establish a business can take advantage of this six-month period to conduct preparatory activities for starting a business after entering Japan.

How to use and proceed with the system

The following requirements must be met when applying for the "Business Manager" status of residence.

Acquisition requirements

(1) Opening an office
(2) Hiring two or more full-time employees, or having capital/investments of at least five million yen in Japan

Requirements for obtaining the Business Manager status of residence Under standard procedures foreign nationals need to fulfill certain conditions before entering Japan.
Normally, foreigners need to do preparatory work, such as securing a business partner and signing a lease for office space. It is extremely difficult to start a business on their own.

通常の流れ

Under this program, however, applicants can conduct business startup activities for six months after entering Japan.
Since applicants only need to fulfill requirements for the one-year extension of the "Business Manager" status of residence within six months, they can smoothly conduct preparatory activities.

Flowchart of application for the program to increase foreign entrepreneurs ≪Acquisition of 'Business Manager' status of residence≫
留学から変更の場合

Flowchart of application for the program to increase foreign entrepreneurs ≪Acquisition of "Business Manager“ status of residence≫

STEP1

Apply at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for the Confirmation of Business Startup Activities.

Where to submit:

“Business Development Center TOKYO,” Akasaka Desk,
seventh floor, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) headquarters

1. Submit application documents to “Business Development Center TOKYO,” Akasaka Desk.

●Documents to be submitted.

Submit all of the following documents: (Note: Fill out the forms in Japanese)

  • (1) Application for Confirmation of Business Startup Activities (consent form) (format /sample
  • (2) Plan for Business Startup Activities (format /sample)  ★Points to note for filling out the form.

    For the business plan and income and expenditure plan in the Plan for Business Startup Activities, applicants can consult with a Small and Medium Enterprise Management Consultant at TOSBEC.

  • (3) Applicant’s resume (format /sample
  • (4) Copy of applicant’s passport.
  • (5) Document that can clarify where the applicant will be residing for six months after coming to Japan.
  • (6) Statement of balance issued by bank within one month from issuance.
    Note: A certificate showing the balance of the applicant's account is required. The balance to be confirmed should be simple with a yen-converted figure, the date of exchange rate, and exchange rate.
  • (7) Other required documents (reference materials, etc.)
  • Note: When applying by proxy.
  • (8) Power of attorney (The proxy shall be a person who has been entrusted by the applicant with the “establishment of a business entity in Japan.”)
  • (9) Copy of administrative scrivener's certificate or attorney’s ID card/certification of notification.

●Where to submit:

“Business Development Center TOKYO,” Akasaka Desk, ARK Mori Building, seventh floor, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) headquarters, 1-12-32, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
  Email : support2@bdc-tokyo.org
  TEL : 03-3582-8353
  Operating hours : Weekdays 9:30 a.m.to 5:30 p.m. (Excludes Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and the new year's holidays.)

●How to submit

As a general rule, submit in person at the abovementioned place.
Note: Please contact “Business Development Center TOKYO” first so that we can electronically check in advance the contents of the documents to be submitted.

● Persons who may submit application documents.

  • (1) Applicant
  • (2) A member of the staff of a public interest incorporated association or a public interest incorporated foundation, which has the purpose of facilitating the smooth acceptance of foreign nationals, and whom the director of the regional immigration services agency deems to be suitable (Currently, the Japan Immigration Association fulfills these conditions.)
  • (3) An attorney or administrative scrivener who has, through their bar association or administrative scrivener association, given notification to the director of the regional Immigration Services Agency that has jurisdiction over the association. However, if the applicant is not in Japan, this person will be someone (or a staff member of a company) commissioned by the applicant to establish a business in Japan.

Note: If the application documents are submitted by a person described in (2) or (3), documentation that clarifies their relationship with the applicant (power of attorney) and proves that they are in the position to do so (Certified Administrative Procedures Legal Specialist identification card, etc.) must be also be presented.

● After submission

The receipt shown on the right will be issued by the Business Development Center TOKYO.

受領書イメージ

2. Confirmation of the business plan by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (about one month)

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will make assessments from the perspective of whether the applicant has a high likelihood of attaining the regular "Business Manager" status of residence after the six-month preparatory period.(*1)

● Method: Application documents and interview (conducted either online or in person).(*2)

● Specific items to be confirmed: Business details/Area of operation/Office location/Concrete plans up to launch of business/Funds for start-up activities/Business size/Residence, living funds.

(*1)Note: The application will not be accepted if the applicant is found to be an antisocial force or to have a relationship with an antisocial force. If it is discovered that the applicant is an antisocial force after the application had been accepted, the effect will be revoked retroactively.

(*2) Note: The interview will be held online or face-to-face.

About one month. Interviews and examination of the business plan by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

STEP2

Receive the Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Note: The certificate may not be issued as a result of examining the application.

Method for issuing the certificate:

Either by mail or in person.

After considering the opinion of experts with insight into the management of the business and assessing the application contents, the following documents will be issued and an official in charge at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will contact the applicant using the contact information on the application document.

Note: The documents will be issued either by mail or in person.

● If the application is found appropriate and necessary conditions are met

=> Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities

● If the Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities is not issued due to an incomplete application or failure to meet various requirements (No issuance)

=> Notification of the Results of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities

Once the Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activity is issued,
apply for the Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence as soon as the document is ready at the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center (TOSBEC) Immigration Booth or at  the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau.
Note: The Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities is valid for three months from the date of issue.

Apply once you are ready to apply for Certificate of Eligibility for status of residence. (Apply within the three months during which the Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities is effective.)

STEP3

Apply for the issuance of Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence.

Where to apply:

“Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center,” (TOSBEC) Immigration Booth, seventh floor of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Headquarters.

Note: An application can also be submitted to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

Apply for regular "Business Manager" (six months) status of residence.

1. Preparation

1) Fill out the application form. (See sample)

If there are any items that have not yet been decided, enter them as far as the applicant knows and add "(scheduled).”
For items that are not decided yet, enter "undecided.”

2) Prepare necessary documents.

●Documents to be submitted.

(1) Application for Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence.

(2) Photograph (3 cm × 4 cm, taken within three months)

Note: A photo must show the applicant pictured alone; the applicant should face squarely forward and should remove any hats, caps, or head coverings; the background should be plain with no shadows; the photo must be sharp and clear; the photo must have been taken within three months prior to submission.
Note: Write the applicant’s name on the back of the photo and paste it in the specified area on application form.

(3) Copy of passport
 (Pages with the applicant’s photo, name, passport number, etc.)

(4) A self-addressed (Japanese address) return-mail envelope affixed with stamp(s) worth 404 yen.

Note: The address on the self-addressed envelop should be one where the applicant can reliably receive mail.
The address can be the applicant’s friend's residence. If that is the case, attach a note that specifies whose address it is.

(5) A set of copies of the application documents submitted to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

  • - Application for Confirmation of Business Startup Activities (consent form).
  • - Plan for Business Startup Activities.
  • - Applicant’s resume.
  • - Documents clarifying where the applicant will be residing for six months after arrival in Japan.
  • - Statement of balance issued by bank within one month from issuance.

(6) A copy of the “Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities” issued by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
Note: Effective period: within three months

3) Keep a copy of your application package. (For the applicant’s own use)

2. Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence at the “Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center (TOSBEC).”

1) Visit the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center (TOSBEC) and tell the receptionist that you would like to “apply for Business Manager (six months) status.”

●Where to apply:

“Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center (TOSBEC),” 1-12-32, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, ARK Mori Building, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) headquarters, seventh floor.
 Operating hours : Weekdays 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Excludes Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and the new year's holidays.)

Note: It is recommended to make a reservation in advance.
 (1)TEL: 03-3582-4934
 (2) Go to the website of the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center (TOSBEC) and apply using the reservation form.
   In Japanese
   In English

2) Submit a set of application documents at the Immigration Booth.

Note: Note that your application may not be accepted if the required information is not filled out or required documents are missing.

Example for filling out the application[for the applicant].

Example for filling out the application[for an organization].

3) If your application is accepted, you will receive an "Application Receipt" from the Immigration Booth.
  Email a copy of the "Application Receipt” (PDF file) to the person in charge at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

(Application Receipt)

Note: An application can also be submitted to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.
Location: 5-5-30 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo
TEL : (call handling service): 0570-034259
    (IP phone, overseas): 03-5796-7234
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Reservation in advance: Not available

When applying at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, have your application documents checked by “C5 (Business and Employment Inspection Department) on the second floor for a preliminary review, and then submit them to the B Counter (Residence Inspection).

3. Wait for the results of the screening (about one to three months).

1) If the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau asks the applicant questions, or requests the applicant to submit additional documents, respond promptly by the deadline.

2) If the applicant thinks it is taking a long time to obtain the results, have the application receipt on hand and call the phone number listed on the receipt or visit the following to check on the progress.
Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, 5-5-30, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, second floor, “C5 (Business and Employment Inspection Department”)

STEP4

A Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence is issued from the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

Note: The certificate may not be issued as a result of examining the application.

How to receive a Certificate of Eligibility:

Receive by mail (simple registered mail).
Note: Certificates of Eligibility shall not be mailed outside Japan.

Note: A Certificate of Eligibility may not be issued as a result of the screening.

The Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau will send the applicant a sealed letter by mail (simple registered mail).
Note: A sealed letter shall not be mailed outside Japan.

● If the enclosed document is a "Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence,”

 ⇒That means that the preliminary examination to obtain a status of residence has been completed.
With the "Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence," apply for a visa at the Japanese embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country.

Present the Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence at the Japanese diplomatic mission in the applicant’s home country and receive a visa before coming to Japan.

● If the enclosed document is a “Notice on non-issuance of Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence,”

 ⇒That means that the applicant has been rejected for the status of residence at the preliminary screening stage for obtaining status of residence.
Confirm the reason for not issuing the Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, 5-5-30, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, second floor, “C5 (Business and Employment Inspection Department”)

Present the Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence to the Japanese diplomatic mission in the applicant’s home country and receive a visa before coming to Japan.

STEP5

Arrive in Japan and receive landing permission for "Business Manager" status of residence (six months).

Receive a "Business Manager" (six months) resident card upon entering Japan.

1) After a visa has been issued, bring the following three items to Japan:

  • - Passport
  • - Visa
  • - Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence

2) "Business Manager" (six months) resident card will be issued upon entering Japan.

Note: In the case of arriving at Haneda Airport or Narita Airport, the residence card will be issued at the airport, but in the case of arriving at a regional airport, the residence card will be sent by post after you report your place of residence in Japan.

3) After you have settled on an address, go to a municipal office within 14 days and present your resident card to register your residence and report your place of residence. In this process, your place of residence will be written on the back of your residence card.

  • Note: When entering Japan, if your resident card has not been issued and "Resident card to be issued later“ is written near the landing permit stamp in your passport, present your passport instead of your resident card to notify your place of residence.
  • Note: You will be subject to penalties if you do not notify your place of residence within 14 days from the date you establish your place of residence.
  • Note: If you do not notify your place of residence without a valid reason within 90 days after arriving in Japan, your status of residence will be revoked.

<Required procedures at a municipal office>

(1) Moving-in notification/Notification of place of residence.
When establishing a new address, you need to submit a notification of moving in and a notification of place of residence.

(2) Registration of Individual Number Card.
When you register your address, an "Individual Number Card notification card" will be sent to the address you registered.

Note: If you wish to have an electronic authentication at the time of establishing a corporation, you will need an Individual Number Card with electronic certificate. You will need to have an Individual Number Card with photo and electronic certificate issued at a later date at a municipal office or online.

4) Keep your resident card with you at all times.

5) Now that you are ready to start your business startup activities, begin your activities.

6) During the six-month period, there will be an interview with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to confirm the progress of the activities.
Once you enter Japan, contact the person in charge at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Flowchart of steps after obtaining "Business Manager" (six months) status of residence.

Note: The following is an example of an entrepreneur establishing a corporation with capital of five million yen. If you wish to establish a company using a method other than a corporation, consult with the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center (TOSBEC).

Note: Carefully read the application criteria for the “Business Manager” status of residence.

Note: At least once every two months, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will check the progress (follow-up) of the applicant’s startup activities during the period of startup activities. (including interviews in person or online)
One of the interviews during the period of startup activities will be conducted in person. During the interview, you may be requested to submit documents that clarify the implementation status of your startup activity plan.

Note: Although TOSBEC can handle all procedures for company formation, consider hiring a professional such as an administrative scrivener, judicial scrivener, or attorney to handle the process.

First month

Open a personal bank account in Japan.

Prepare the articles of incorporation of your company and have them certified by a notary public office.
Note: In the case of a limited liability company (G.K.), certification of the articles of incorporation is not required.
Note: If you have your Individual Number Card with an electronic certificate, you can go through the process of certifying your articles of incorporation online.
(You can also apply online at TOSBEC).

First follow-up by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Second month

Transfer five million yen to your personal account. (If there is only one incorporator, deposit is acceptable.)
In this case, obtain written proof from the bank that the prescribed amount has been transferred to your account.
1. Proof of deposit (POD)
2. Balance Certificate

You need to secure a place of business to register your company.
Note: Sign and receive the lease agreement for the business premises.

Prepare the necessary documents for company registration and apply for company incorporation registration at a Regional Legal Affairs Bureau.
Note: The following documents need to be submitted to TOSBEC: Articles of Incorporation/Incorporator’s written consent/Document certifying the selection of the representative director at the time of establishment/Letter of acceptance of the directors at the time of establishment/Seal certification/Proof of identity/Investigation report of the directors at the time of establishment and its attached documents/Document certifying the payment/Certificate from the representative director at the time of establishment regarding the recording of the amount of capital

Submit the necessary documents to TOSBEC.
Note: It usually takes about two weeks for the Legal Affairs Bureau to complete the registration.
Note: After the registration is completed, obtain a certificate of registered matters, etc.

Third month

After establishing a company, file the necessary notifications with the relevant government agencies at TOSBEC.

Open a corporate bank account and transfer the capital from your personal account.
Note: It takes time to open a corporate bank account. It is recommended that you take the procedure for opening a corporate bank account as soon as possible after registering your company.

Submit the documents for social insurance coverage to TOSBEC.

Fourth month

Second follow-up by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Consult with TOSBEC in advance.
Note: Before you apply for the renewal of “Business Manager” status of residence at the Regional Immigration Services Bureau, TOSBEC will confirm whether you have all the necessary documents to renew your status of residence.

Consult with TOSBEC approximately 1.5 months prior to submitting your application to the Regional Immigration Services Bureau as the immigration bureau checks the application and you may have to rewrite it.

Fifth month

Prepare to apply for permission for an extension of the period of stay for the "Business Manager" status of residence (see the next step that follows for details) and visit the Immigration Bureau.

Sixth month

Interview

Interview

Interview

[Things to be completed within the six-month period of startup activities]
・Secure a business location.
・Register a company incorporation.
・Hire employees.
・Find business partners, etc.

Note: At least once every two months, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will interview with the applicant to discuss the progress of the applicant’s startup activity plan. The Interview will be conducted either online or in person.

STEP6

Apply for extension of period of stay.

Where to apply:

“B application (Residence Inspection)” counter, second floor of the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

If you wish to continue to operate a business in Japan for more than six months after landing, you must go through the procedures for extending your period of stay at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

Note: If it becomes difficult for you to continue your startup activities during your six-month stay, or if your "Business Manager" visa is not renewed, you must leave Japan. Be sure to have money for a return trip (equivalent to one-way airfare to your home country) kept separate from the funds needed for your business.

1. Preparation

Ensure that you meet the conditions a to e of the application.

A. The applicant must be engaged in the activity of managing a business.

Note: If more than one person is engaged in the management or administration of the business, the business will be examined comprehensively regarding whether it has the scale, workload, sales, number of employees, etc., required for such number of people to be engaged in the management or administration of the business.

B. The applicant must have a place of business in Tokyo to operate the business pertaining to the application.

Note: Business activities are carried out under a single management entity at a fixed location, i.e., on a single plot of land.

Please inquire at the Immigration Booth at the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center (TOSBEC) about office conditions for the application for permission for extension of period of stay.

Note: The production or provision of goods and services will be carried out on a continuous basis with people and equipment. (The office must be equipped with the necessary functions.)

Note: From the standpoint of business continuity, the purpose of use in a lease contract must be for business purposes, such as business use, store, office, etc., and the contract must be long-term.

Note: In the case of a dual-use property for residence and place of business, additional conditions will apply. Consult with the Immigration Booth at the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center (TOSBEC).

C. The scale of the business pertaining to the application must fall into one of the following categories: a, b, or c.
  • a. The amount of capital or the total amount of investment must be five million yen or more.
  • b. The business must be operated by two or more full-time employees residing in Japan other than those engaged in management.
    Note: They must be a Japanese national, permanent resident, spouse or child of a Japanese national, spouse or child of a permanent resident, long term resident, or special permanent resident.
  • c. The scale of business is deemed to be equivalent to a. and b. above.
D. "Stability" and "continuity" of the business to be managed are objectively recognized (indicate in the business plan).

Note: Reference materials: Immigration Services Agency of Japan “Clarifications regarding the criteria for the Business Manager status of residence.”(in Japanese)

2. Filling out the application for extension of period of stay

Fill out the "application for extension of period of stay." (Attachment: Example for filling out the application)
Fill in all fields with no field left blank. (If there is a field that does not apply, enter "none.")

Example for filling out the application[for the applicant].

Example for filling out the application[for an organization].

3. Prepare the required documents (Refer to the list of required documents: on the back).

List of required documents

4. Keep a copy of the application package (as your copy).

5. Apply for extension of stay at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau

  • 1) Apply for extension of stay at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

    ● Where to apply:
    Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, second floor, “B (Residence Inspection)” counter,
    5-5-30, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 108-8255

    ● Operating hours for application
    8:30 a.m.: Start distributing number tickets.
    9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Application reception (Excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays).

  • 2) When your number is called, submit your application package to the B counter.
    Note: Your application may not be accepted if the required information is not filled out or if the required documents are missing.
  • 3) If your application is accepted, you will receive an "Application Receipt." Keep the receipt.

6. Wait for the results of the screening (about one to two months).

  • 1) If the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau asks the applicant questions, or requests the applicant to submit additional documents, respond promptly by the deadline.
  • 2) If the applicant thinks it is taking a long time to obtain the results, have the application receipt at hand and call the phone number listed on the receipt or visit the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau (second floor, “C5 (Business and Employment Inspection Department),” 5-5-30, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo) to check on the progress.

One to two months

STEP7

Receive permission for an extension of the period of stay for the "Business Manager" status of residence.

Note: Permission may not be issued as a result of examining the application.

How to receive a Certificate of Eligibility:

After receiving a notice by mail, receive a residency card at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

Note: Permission for extension of period of stay for “Business Manager” status of residence may not be issued as a result of the screening.

The Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau will notify the applicant of the result of the examination by mail.

● When receiving a notice by postcard.

Bring the necessary documents indicated in the notice to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau to receive a new resident card.
Once the receipt process is complete, the applicant can continue business.

Note: The next application for extension of period of stay can be filed approximately three months prior to the expiration date of the period of stay indicated on the resident card.
Check the documents required for the next renewal beforehand and be prepared to apply well in advance.

Note: During the period of stay, you may be required to notify the immigration office if you change your residence or relocate your place of business.
Check the website of the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, etc., for details and ensure that you notify the agency of such change.
https://www.isa.go.jp/en/applications/procedures/index

● When receiving a notice of denial of extension of period of stay.

This means that it has been judged that the applicant will not be allowed to renew their period of stay.

Visit the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, 5-5-30, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, second floor, “C5 (Business and Employment Inspection Department”) to confirm the reason for rejection.

Flowchart of application for the program to increase foreign entrepreneurs ≪Change from “Student” to “Business Manager” status of residence ≫

STEP1

Apply to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for the Confirmation of Business Startup Activities.

Where to submit:

“Business Development Center TOKYO,” Akasaka Desk,
seventh floor, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) headquarters

1. Submit application documents to the Akasaka Desk of the “Business Development Center TOKYO.”

●Documents to be submitted.

Submit all of the following documents: (Note: Fill out the forms in Japanese)

  • (1) Application for Confirmation of Business Startup Activities (consent form) (format /sample
  • (2) Plan for Business Startup Activities (format /sample) ★Points to note for filling out the form.

    For the business plan and income and expenditure plan in the Plan for Business Startup Activities, applicants can consult with a Small and Medium Enterprise Management Consultant at TOSBEC.

  • (3) Applicant’s resume (format /sample
  • (4) Copy of applicant’s passport.
  • (5) Copy of resident card (both sides).
  • (6) Certificate of residence.
  • (7) Statement of balance issued by bank within one month from issuance.
    Note: A certificate showing the balance of the applicant‘s account is required. The balance to be confirmed should be simple with a yen converted figure, the date of exchange rate, and exchange rate.
  • (8) Copy of the certificate of enrollment (if you are currently enrolled) or diploma (if you have already graduated).
  • (9) Other required documents (reference materials, etc.).
  • Note: When applying by proxy.
  • (10) Power of attorney (The proxy shall be a person who has been entrusted by the applicant with the ”establishment of a business entity in Japan”).
  • (11) Copy of administrative scrivener's certificate or attorney’s ID card/certification of notification.

●Where to submit:

“Business Development Center TOKYO,” Akasaka Desk, ARK Mori Building seventh floor, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) headquarters, 1-12-32, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
  Email : support2@bdc-tokyo.org
  TEL : 03-3582-8353
  Operating hours : Weekdays 9:30 a.m.to 5:30 p.m. (Excludes Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and the new year's holidays.)

●How to submit

 As a general rule, submit in person at the abovementioned place.
Note: Please contact “Business Development Center TOKYO” first so that we can electronically check in advance the contents of the documents to be submitted.

● Persons who may submit application documents.

  • (1) Applicant
  • (2) A member of the staff of a public interest incorporated association or a public interest incorporated foundation, which has the purpose of facilitating the smooth acceptance of foreign nationals, and whom the director of the regional Immigration Services Agency deems to be suitable (Currently, the Japan Immigration Association fulfills these conditions.)
  • (3) An attorney or administrative scrivener who has, through their bar association or administrative scrivener association, given notification to the director of the regional Immigration Services Agency that has jurisdiction over the association. However, if the applicant is not in Japan, this person will be someone (or staff member of a company) commissioned by the applicant to establish a business in Japan.

Note: If the application documents are submitted by a person described in (2) or (3), documentation that clarifies their relationship with the applicant (power of attorney) and proves that they are in the position to do so (Certified Administrative Procedures Legal Specialist identification card, etc.) must be also be presented.

● After submission

The receipt shown on the right will be issued by the Business Development Center TOKYO.

受領書イメージ

2. Confirmation of the business plan by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (about one month)

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will make assessments from the perspective of whether the applicant has a high likelihood of attaining the regular "Business Manager" status of residence after the six-month preparatory period.(*1)

● Method: Application documents and interview (conducted either online or in person).(*2)

● Specific items to be confirmed: Business details/Area of operation/Office location/Concrete plans up to launch of business/Funds for startup activities/Business size/Residence, living funds.

(*1)Note: The application will not be accepted if the applicant is found to be an antisocial force or to have a relationship with an antisocial force. If it is discovered that the applicant is an antisocial force after the application had been accepted, the effect will be revoked retroactively.

(*2)Note: The interview will be held online or face-to-face.

About one month. Interviews and review of the business plan by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

STEP2

Receive the Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Note: The certificate may not be issued as a result of examining the application.

Method for issuing the certificate:

Either by mail or in person.

After considering the opinion of experts with insight into the management of the business and assessing the application contents, the following documents will be issued and an official in charge at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will contact the applicant using the contact information on the application document.

Note: The documents will be issued either by mail or in person.

● If the application is found appropriate and necessary conditions are met

=> Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities

● If the Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities is not issued due to an incomplete application or failure to meet various requirements (No issuance)

=> Notification of the Results of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities

Once the Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activity is issued, apply for the certificate of change of status of residence as soon as the document is ready at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.
Note: The Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities is valid for three months from the date of issue.

Apply once you are ready to apply for residence status. (Apply within the three months during which the Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities is effective.)

STEP3

Apply for change of status of residence to "Business Manager" (six months).

Where to apply:

Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, second floor, “C5 (Business and Employment Inspection Department)”
Note: After your application documents are checked at C5, submit them to “B application (Residence Inspection) counter.”

Application for change of residence status from “Student” to “Business Manager” (six months).

1. Preparation

1) Fill out the application form. (See sample)

Note: If there are any items that have not yet been decided, enter them as far as the applicant knows and add "(scheduled).”
For items that are not decided yet, enter "undecided.”

2) Prepare necessary documents.

●Documents to be submitted.

(1) Application for change of status of residence one form

(2) Photograph (3 cm × 4 cm, taken within three months)

Note: A photo must show the applicant pictured alone; the applicant should face squarely forward and should remove any hats, caps, or head coverings; the background should be plain with no shadows; the photo must be sharp and clear; the photo must have been taken within three months prior to submission.
Note: Write the applicant’s name on the back of the photo and paste it in the specified area on the application form.

(3) Copy of passport
(Pages with the applicant’s photo, name, passport number, etc.)

(4) Postcard for notification to be given by the Immigration Services Bureau.

When you apply at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, the postcard for notification by the Immigration Services Bureau will be given along with a number ticket at the “B (Residence Inspection)” counter.

Note: The postcard should be addressed to an address in Japan where the applicant can reliably receive it.

(5) A set of copies of the application documents submitted to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

  • - Application for Confirmation of Business Startup Activities (consent form).
  • - Plan for Business Startup Activities.
  • - Applicant’s resume.
  • - Documents clarifying where the applicant will be residing for six months after changing his or her resident status.
  • - Statement of balance issued by bank within one month from issuance.

(6) A letter of reason that explains the reason for changing your status of residence from "Student" to "Business Manager.”

(7) A copy of the “Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities” issued by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
Effective period: within three months

(8) Present passport and resident card.

3) Keep a copy of your application package. (For the applicant’s own use)

2. Apply for change of status of residence at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

1) Go to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, inform them that you are applying for a change of status of residence to “Business Manager” (six months) by using the "Tokyo Metropolitan Government Program to increase foreign entrepreneurs,” and ask them to check your documents.

● Location

Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, second floor, “C5 (Business and Employment Inspection Department),” 5-5-30, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 108-8255
 TEL: (call handling service): 0570-034259
    (IP phone, overseas): 03-5796-7234

● Operating hours

 9:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m. (Excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays).
 Note: No advance reservation is available.

Note: You cannot apply for a change of status of residence at the Immigration Booth of the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center (TOSBEC).

2) After your application documents are checked at C5 as described above, submit them to the “B (Residence Inspection)” counter.

Note: Your application may not be accepted if the required information is not filled out or required documents are missing.

3) If your application is accepted, you will receive an "Application Receipt." Keep the receipt.
Email a copy of the "Application Receipt” (PDF file) to the person in charge at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Example for filling out the application[for the applicant].

Example for filling out the application[for an organization].

3. Wait for the results of the screening (about one to three months).

1) If the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau asks the applicant questions, or requests the applicant to submit additional documents, respond promptly by the deadline.

2) If the applicant thinks it is taking a long time to obtain the results, have the application receipt on hand and call the phone number listed on the receipt or visit the following to check on the progress.
Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, 5-5-30, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, second floor, “C5 (Business and Employment Inspection Department”)

STEP4

Receive “Business Manager” status of residence from the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

Note: “Business Manager” status of residence may not be issued as a result of examining the application.

How to receive “Business Manager” status of residence.

After receiving a notice by mail, receive a residency card at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

Note: “Business Manager” status of residence may not be issued as a result of examining the application.

The Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau will notify the applicant of the result of the examination by mail.

● When receiving a notice by postcard.

Bring the necessary documents indicated in the notice to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau to receive a new resident card.
Once the receipt process is complete, the applicant can continue business.

● When receiving a notice of denial of change of status of residence to “Business Manager.”

This means that it has been judged that the applicant will not be allowed to change of status of residence to residence to “Business Manager.”

Visit the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, 5-5-30, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, second floor, “C5 (Business and Employment Inspection Department”) to confirm the reason for rejection.

Flowchart of steps after obtaining "Business Manager" (six months) status of residence.

Note: The following is an example of an entrepreneur establishing a corporation with capital of five million yen. If you wish to establish a company using a method other than a corporation, consult with the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center (TOSBEC).

Note: Carefully read the application criteria for the “Business Manager” status of residence.

Note: At least once every two months, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will check the progress (follow-up) of the applicant’s startup activities during the period of startup activities. (including interviews in person or online)
One of the interviews during the period of startup activities will be conducted in person. During the interview, you may be requested to submit documents that clarify the implementation status of your startup activity plan.

Note: Although TOSBEC can handle all procedures for company formation, consider hiring a professional such as an administrative scrivener, judicial scrivener, or attorney to handle the process.

First month

Open a personal bank account in Japan.
Note: If you already have a bank account, this is not necessary.

Prepare the articles of incorporation of your company and have them certified by a notary public office.
Note: In the case of a limited liability company (G.K.), certification of the articles of incorporation is not required.
Note: If you have your Individual Number Card with an electronic certificate, you can go through the process of certifying your articles of incorporation online.
(You can also apply online at TOSBEC).

First follow-up by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Second month

Transfer five million yen to your personal account. (If there is only one incorporator, deposit is acceptable.)
In this case, obtain written proof from the bank that the prescribed amount has been transferred to your account.
1. Proof of deposit (POD)
2. Balance Certificate

You need to secure a place of business to register your company.
Note: Sign and receive the lease agreement for the business premises.

Prepare the necessary documents for company registration and apply for company incorporation registration at a Regional Legal Affairs Bureau.
Note: The following documents need to be submitted to TOSBEC: Articles of Incorporation/Incorporator’s written consent/Document certifying the selection of the representative director at the time of establishment/Letter of acceptance of the directors at the time of establishment/Seal certification/Proof of identity/Investigation report of the directors at the time of establishment and its attached documents/Document certifying the payment/Certificate from the representative director at the time of establishment regarding the recording of the amount of capital

Submit the necessary documents to TOSBEC.
Note: It usually takes about two weeks for the Legal Affairs Bureau to complete the registration.
Note: After the registration is completed, obtain a certificate of registered matters, etc.

Third month

After establishing a company, file the necessary notifications with the relevant government agencies at TOSBEC.

Open a corporate bank account and transfer the capital from your personal account.
Note: It takes time to open a corporate bank account. It is recommended that you take the procedure for opening a corporate bank account as soon as possible after registering your company.

Submit the documents for social insurance coverage to TOSBEC.

Fourth month

Second follow-up by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Consult with TOSBEC in advance.
Note: Before you apply for the renewal of “Business Manager” status of residence at the Regional Immigration Services Bureau, TOSBEC will confirm whether you have all the necessary documents to renew your status of residence.

Consult with TOSBEC approximately 1.5 months prior to submitting your application to the Regional Immigration Services Bureau as the immigration bureau checks the application and you may have to rewrite it.

Fifth month

Prepare to apply for permission for an extension of the period of stay for the "Business Manager" status of residence (see the next step that follows for details) and visit the Immigration Bureau.

Sixth month

Interview

Interview

Interview

[Things to be completed within the six-month period of startup activities]
・Secure a business location.
・Register a company incorporation.
・Hire employees.
・Find business partners, etc.

Note: At least once every two months, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will interview with the applicant to discuss the progress of the applicant’s startup activity plan. The Interview will be conducted either online or in person.

STEP5

Apply for extension of period of stay.

Where to apply:

“B application (Residence Inspection)” counter, second floor of the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

If you wish to continue to operate a business in Japan for more than six months after changing his or her resident status, you must go through the procedures for extending your period of stay at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

Note: If it becomes difficult for you to continue your startup activities during your six-month stay, or if your “Business Manager" visa is not renewed, you must leave Japan. Be sure to have money for a return trip (equivalent to one-way airfare to your home country) kept separate from the funds needed for your business.

1. Preparation

Ensure that you meet the conditions a to e of the application.

A. The applicant must be engaged in the activity of managing a business.

Note: If more than one person is engaged in the management or administration of the business, the business will be examined comprehensively regarding whether it has the scale, workload, sales, number of employees, etc., required for such number of people to be engaged in the management or administration of the business.

B. The applicant must have a place of business in Tokyo to operate the business pertaining to the application.

Note: Business activities are carried out under a single management entity at a fixed location, i.e., on a single plot of land.

Please inquire at the Immigration Booth at the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center (TOSBEC) about office conditions for the application for permission for extension of period of stay.

Note: The production or provision of goods and services will be carried out on a continuous basis with people and equipment. (The office must be equipped with the necessary functions.)

Note: From the standpoint of business continuity, the purpose of use in a lease contract must be for business purposes, such as business use, store, office, etc., and the contract must be long-term.

Note: In the case of a dual-use property for residence and place of business, additional conditions will apply. Consult with the Immigration Booth at the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center (TOSBEC).

C. The scale of the business pertaining to the application must fall into one of the following categories: a, b, or c.
  • a. The amount of capital or the total amount of investment must be five million yen or more.
  • b. The business must be operated by two or more full-time employees residing in Japan other than those engaged in management.
    Note: They must be a Japanese national, permanent resident, spouse or child of a Japanese national, spouse or child of a permanent resident, long term resident, or special permanent resident.
  • c. The scale of business is deemed to be equivalent to a. and b. above.
D. "Stability" and "continuity" of the business to be managed are objectively recognized (indicate in the business plan).

Note: Reference materials: Immigration Services Agency of Japan “Clarifications regarding the criteria for the Business Manager status of residence.”(in Japanese)

2. Filling out the application for extension of period of stay

Fill out the "application for extension of period of stay." (Attachment: Example for filling out the application)
Fill in all fields with no field left blank. (If there is a field that does not apply, enter "none.")

Example for filling out the application[for the applicant].

Example for filling out the application[for an organization].

3. Prepare the required documents (Refer to the list of required documents: on the back).

List of required documents

4. Keep a copy of the application package (as your copy).

5. Apply for extension of stay at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau

  • 1) Apply for extension of stay at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

    ● Where to apply:
    Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, second floor, “B (Residence Inspection)” counter,
    5-5-30, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 108-8255

    ● Operating hours for application
    8:30 a.m.: Start distributing number tickets.
    9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Application reception (Excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays).

  • 2) When your number is called, submit your application package to the B counter.
    Note: Your application may not be accepted if the required information is not filled out or if the required documents are missing.
  • 3) If your application is accepted, you will receive an "Application Receipt." Keep the receipt.

6. Wait for the results of the screening (about one to two months).

  • 1) If the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau asks the applicant questions, or requests the applicant to submit additional documents, respond promptly by the deadline.
  • 2) If the applicant thinks it is taking a long time to obtain the results, have the application receipt at hand and call the phone number listed on the receipt or visit the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau (second floor, “C5 (Business and Employment Inspection Department),” 5-5-30, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo) to check on the progress.

One to two months

STEP6

Receive permission for extension of period of stay for "Business Manager" status of residence.

Note: Permission for extension of period of stay for “Business Manager” status of residence may not be issued as a result of examining the application.

How to receive “Business Manager” ” status of residence.

After receiving a notice by mail, receive a residency card at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

Note: Permission for extension of period of stay for “Business Manager” status of residence may not be issued as a result of the screening.

The Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau will notify the applicant of the result of the examination by mail.

● When receiving a notice by postcard.

Bring the necessary documents indicated in the notice to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau to receive a new resident card.
Once the receipt process is complete, the applicant can continue business.

Note: The next application for extension of period of stay can be filed approximately three months prior to the expiration date of the period of stay indicated on the resident card.
Check the documents required for the next renewal beforehand and be prepared to apply well in advance.

Note: During the period of stay, you may be required to notify the immigration office if you change your residence or relocate your place of business.
Check the website of the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, etc., for details and ensure that you notify the agency of such change.
https://www.isa.go.jp/en/applications/procedures/index

● When receiving a notice of denial of extension of period of stay.

This means that it has been judged that the applicant will not be allowed to renew their period of stay.

Visit the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, 5-5-30, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, second floor, “C5 (Business and Employment Inspection Department”) to confirm the reason for rejection.

Q&A

References

Inquiries

Business Development Center TOKYO(Akasaka)

Hours
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TEL
81-(0)3-3582-8353
FAX
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Email
Address
JETRO headquarters 7F
ARK Mori Building, 12-32 Akasaka 1-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6006
Roppongi-1chome stationbr
N-05 Namboku line:Exit 3, 1 minute walk
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