Japan sets its sights on startups and lowers the requirements for the business investor visa

We can affirm with no doubt that the Japanese Government is performing a total, deep face-lift on their visa system in order to facilitate the access of foreigners to the national work market. The next visa type in line to undergo some changes is the Business Investor visa. The underlying objective is, obviously,  to attract as many talented entrepreneurs as possible to the country. The Business Investor visa is granted to those who are aiming to start a business in Japan, or to those who are going to manage an existing business in the country. However, some of the requirements can be kind of hard to fit, especially at the beginning of your entrepreneurial adventure (such as finding the correct staff for your company and making sure you make revenues enough to pay their salaries!). 

The Government is resolved to lure more startups into the country and, for achieving that goal, it has prepared a new package of regulations that will come to force as early as in September. For the first time ever, investors managing their businesses from coworking spaces will be eligible for the visa too.

Current requirements

If the applicant wants to start a business in Japan, it is necessary to fill the following requirements:

  • The business must have a physical office in the country.
  • The business must have the capacity to employ at least two full-time employees in Japan, in addition to those who are operating the business.
  • Prove at least 5 million yen capital at the moment of creation (and 10 million yen sales plus 5 million yen expenses in case of renewal).

If the applicant is going to manage an existing business in Japan, the requirements will vary:

  • The applicant has to prove at least 3 years’ experience in business management, which can include the time spent studying a postgraduate course. 
  • The applicant will not receive a lower remuneration than a Japanese national for a comparable work.

Coworking spaces, an uprising trend

As from September, it will not be necessary to have a physical office in Japan anymore. That means that entrepreneurs who perform their tasks in the aforementioned shared offices will be eligible for a business investor visa under the new system. The measure is being celebrated by  startups’ owners all across the country since coworking spaces represent a cost-effective and flexible solution for small companies, compared to the usual offices. On top of that, sharing spaces is often seen as a potential, useful source of professional contacts. The trend is increasing quickly in Japan, that houses around 400 coworking spaces at the moment.

Are you interested in running your own startup in Japan? Contact us and we will help you to find the perfect candidates for your business!

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