Set up a company (KK) & Visa things in Japan


Foreigners in Japan reached one million people in 2016 and the government expects them to compensate for declining workforce in Japan.

Some of those think of setting up their own business.

In this page, you’ll figure out how to set up a company (KK) in Japan.

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No additional procedures needed with below Visa

You can set up a company like Japanese people do if you have below Visa.

  • Spouse or Child of Japanese Nationals
  • Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident
  • Long-term Resident
  • Permanent Resident
  • Highly Skilled Professionals 2

Without above Visa

Additional procedures are needed to start a company. Followings are general procedures.

1. Buy or rent an office

Your house and office must be separate in order to acquire “Business Manager Visa”, which you need when you have your own business in Japan.

2. Preparation of Articles of Incorporation

Specify the name of a company, location, amount of paid in capital, directors, closing date and so on.

3. Verification of Articles of Incorporation at notary’s office

Take it to the office and have it verified.

4. Transfer an amount of paid in capital

Transfer an amount of paid in capital to your individual bank account (Company’s one hasn’t been set up at this point). If you have opened the account already when you stayed in Japan, you can use it. But if you don’t have one, it’s impossible to open it by yourself because banks in Japan don’t allow foreigners without resident visa to have an account. In this case, you need someone to cooperate. You ask the person to be a temporary director of your company and transfer an amount of paid in capital to his/her account. He/She resigns when you acquire the visa.

With regard to an amount of paid in capital, foreigners are required to set it at least 5 million JPY (2 employees are needed if you don’t prepare 5 million JPY) while Japanese people can set it 1 JPY.

5. Prepare Signature stamps

Below 3 stamps are needed in general.

  • Registered seal:The one you register at Legal Affairs Bureau. Used on important papers such as a contract.
  • Bank seal:Used when you open a bank account. You don’t necessarily have it since you can use the registered seal when you open a bank account. 
  • Square seal:Used for daily procedures such as invoice and estimates. 

6. Registration of establishment

Register at Legal Affairs Bureau. It takes about a week unless any lack of information.

7. Submission to the Tax office

  • Notification on establishment (法人設立届)
  • Notification on the Establishment of a Salary-paying Office (給与支払事務所等の開設届)
  • Application for payment of withholding tax twice a year (源泉所得税の納期の特例の承認に関する申請)

Copies of those papers are needed when you apply for the Business Manager Visa. Remember to submit copies as well as original ones.

8. Apply for a licence

Licence is needed when you engage in business that is allowed to do with licence such as real estate.

9. Apply for the Business Manager Visa

Apply for this visa at the Immigration Bureau after all the above procedures are done. This visa is necessary when foreigners engage in managerial duties in Japan.

【Prove how you prepared paid in capital】

You need to prove where the amount of paid in capital is from. You need to verify how you accumulated it if you prepared it by yourself or how the lease contract is if you borrowed it.

【Preparation of Business plan】

A business plan is needed when the Immigration Bureau judge whether they give foreigners the visa. The business plan basically consists of following information.


  • Business nature
  • Price / Contents of service
  • Customers and how you will promote
  • Progress and plan of a business
  • Recruitment
  • Income statement in the next 1 year

10. Apply for Social insurance

Social insurance is comprised of health, welfare pension and labor insurance. Health and welfare pension insurance is mandatory when you set up a company while you don’t apply for labor insurance if you don’t hire any employees.


Though establishment of a company and visa application are under different jurisdictions, they are engaged with one another. Remember to ask an accountant who is familiar with visa things when you consider setting up a company in Japan.



岩沢将志 公認会計士・税理士事務所



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Masashi Iwasawa

Certified Accountant / Business Advisor / Taxation Consultant based in Tokyo.
Lover of traveling, climbing mountains, reading books, learning new languages, and gym.