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Old Feb 19th 2017, 7:28 pm   #1
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Default Help starting a business in japan

So I moved to Japan, Tokyo and have some money I would like to use and invest in the catering/food business in Japan. i don't know the language and I know this will be a hindrance, but I still want to give it a shot. I am on a working holiday visa currently.

Simply put my plan is to sell some Turkish food, starting off small and if successful to grow by preparing food/snacks, and potentially selling my 'product' to local shops or going to events and selling there.

I would like to get some advice/support or even find a potential business partner.

I understand that i would need to contact a legal adviser/accountant, I would also very much appreciate it if you could recommend any within the Tokyo area.

For more information please PM me, or send me an email.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 23rd 2017, 11:49 am   #2
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Default Re: Help starting a business in japan

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Originally Posted by herculas View Post
So I moved to Japan, Tokyo and have some money I would like to use and invest in the catering/food business in Japan. i don't know the language and I know this will be a hindrance, but I still want to give it a shot. I am on a working holiday visa currently.

Simply put my plan is to sell some Turkish food, starting off small and if successful to grow by preparing food/snacks, and potentially selling my 'product' to local shops or going to events and selling there.

I would like to get some advice/support or even find a potential business partner.

I understand that i would need to contact a legal adviser/accountant, I would also very much appreciate it if you could recommend any within the Tokyo area.

For more information please PM me, or send me an email.

Thanks in advance.
I don't think you can setup a business on a WHV. Your best option will be go to the local immigration office for whichever ward you are living in and check before doing anything else. Violating the terms of your visa in Japan is a serious offence and could land you with a fine, a deportation order or even jail time. The office that deals with you is usually based on your juuminhyou so you can't ordinarily just go to any immigration office that you like, although they might be more open to you than normal if you're on a WHV.

Your business model could work, there's a Turkish guy near Narita who owns a few kebab/kofta trucks and does sterling business so far as I've seen however the process to get health certificates etc will not be available in English and you would also need a Japanese speaker constantly on hand to communicate with the customers.
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Old Feb 24th 2017, 8:32 am   #3
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Default Re: Help starting a business in japan

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I don't think you can setup a business on a WHV. Your best option will be go to the local immigration office for whichever ward you are living in and check before doing anything else. Violating the terms of your visa in Japan is a serious offence and could land you with a fine, a deportation order or even jail time. The office that deals with you is usually based on your juuminhyou so you can't ordinarily just go to any immigration office that you like, although they might be more open to you than normal if you're on a WHV.

Your business model could work, there's a Turkish guy near Narita who owns a few kebab/kofta trucks and does sterling business so far as I've seen however the process to get health certificates etc will not be available in English and you would also need a Japanese speaker constantly on hand to communicate with the customers.
Thanks for the heads up!
I kind of had a feeling that I wouldn't be able to start a business with WHV. But yeah, I can go to my local civic center.
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Old Feb 24th 2017, 10:47 am   #4
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Default Re: Help starting a business in japan

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Thanks for the heads up!
I kind of had a feeling that I wouldn't be able to start a business with WHV. But yeah, I can go to my local civic center.
To my knowledge only a few statuses of residence will allow a foreigner to setup a business in Japan. There's the investor visa obviously plus PR, SPR (zainichi), and family/spouse of a Japanese national. Humanities visa holders are permitted to teach languages part-time independently in addition to their sponsored full-time job but need special permission to actually set themselves up as a registered school.

Also keep in mind that the WHV for Japan is designed for sightseeing first and casual work second. You're not even really supposed to base yourself in the same place throughout your time there and starting a business is something that someone usually does when they are trying to establish roots in a place. I think immigration may give you a bit of a grilling over that and what would your plans be for after your visa expires considering the first year is normally the toughest time for any new business venture?
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Old Feb 24th 2017, 4:20 pm   #5
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Default Re: Help starting a business in japan

I would also imagine that street vendors need to pay a "special insurance premium" as well...
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Old Feb 24th 2017, 4:30 pm   #6
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Default Re: Help starting a business in japan

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I would also imagine that street vendors need to pay a "special insurance premium" as well...
Yes in some areas that might be required especially for a gaijin-owned operation.
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Old Feb 24th 2017, 5:03 pm   #7
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Yes in some areas that might be required especially for a gaijin-owned operation.
So desu ne...
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Old Feb 24th 2017, 5:06 pm   #8
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Default Re: Help starting a business in japan

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So desu ne...
怖いそうな。。。。
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Old Feb 24th 2017, 5:09 pm   #9
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怖いそうな。。。。
They're fine with the average punter, in fact they do a lot of what the regular police seem incapable of doing. They were truly impressive after the Great Kansai Jishin. But not good to get on their wrong side...
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Old Feb 24th 2017, 5:14 pm   #10
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Default Re: Help starting a business in japan

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They're fine with the average punter, in fact they do a lot of what the regular police seem incapable of doing. They were truly impressive after the Great Kansai Jishin. But not good to get on their wrong side...
Definitely. They will very seldom get involved with a foreigner unless that foreigner goes looking to become involved with them (like a lot of the illegals from Nigeria and a few other places end up doing). Just stay out of their way and out of places you shouldn't be in and you will usually have nothing to worry about.

The problem with them helping after natural disasters is that most normal Japanese don't want to accept their help. In fact they don't want anything to with them at all and for that reason they tend to have to give charity anonymously or through a 3rd party.
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Old Feb 24th 2017, 10:47 pm   #11
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Default Re: Help starting a business in japan

Wow seems like there's quite a hurdle ahead of me. I thought of what the difference or if there even is a difference between self employment and what I want to do? Would it still require the same procedure?

If it becomes all too cumbersome, I could ask my fiancee to open the business in her name and I could just be an employee and manage behind the scene.
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Old Feb 25th 2017, 12:15 am   #12
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Default Re: Help starting a business in japan

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Wow seems like there's quite a hurdle ahead of me. I thought of what the difference or if there even is a difference between self employment and what I want to do? Would it still require the same procedure?

If it becomes all too cumbersome, I could ask my fiancee to open the business in her name and I could just be an employee and manage behind the scene.
Wait, wait, is your fiancee Japanese?

If so then my advice would be just to chill out for now and then get married and change your SoR to a spousal visa. That is pretty much the highest immigration status that any gaijin can get apart from PR or full naturalisation and there would be pretty much nothing to hold you back at that point.

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Old Feb 25th 2017, 12:23 am   #13
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Default Re: Help starting a business in japan

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Wait, wait, is your fiancee Japanese?

If so then my advice would be just to chill out for now and then get married and change your SoR to a spousal visa. That is pretty much the highest immigration status that any gaijin can get apart from PR or full naturalisation and there would be pretty much nothinf to hold you back at that point.
Yh she is full Japanese and I do plan on getting married but I really want to do something ASAP haha. The reason I moved to Japan with her was so that I can do something and make a saving, I don't want to just let time pass while not earning money. I am currently looking for a job (but it's not going great, been 2 months since I moved here), while trying to figure out to make some extra money.
It was a big decision for me and her to make because I had a stable job in the UK.
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Old Feb 25th 2017, 1:46 am   #14
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Default Re: Help starting a business in japan

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Yh she is full Japanese and I do plan on getting married but I really want to do something ASAP haha. The reason I moved to Japan with her was so that I can do something and make a saving, I don't want to just let time pass while not earning money. I am currently looking for a job (but it's not going great, been 2 months since I moved here), while trying to figure out to make some extra money.
It was a big decision for me and her to make because I had a stable job in the UK.
I understand. Presumably you've been looking at food/service-related jobs, right? Most of them do want at least N5-level usually so you can basically communicate however maybe look at the places around Yokohama.

There are a lot of US military and expats based around there and therefore there's quite a high concentration of British pubs and diners where the first language will be English.
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Old Feb 25th 2017, 10:36 am   #15
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Default Re: Help starting a business in japan

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I understand. Presumably you've been looking at food/service-related jobs, right? Most of them do want at least N5-level usually so you can basically communicate however maybe look at the places around Yokohama.

There are a lot of US military and expats based around there and therefore there's quite a high concentration of British pubs and diners where the first language will be English.
Yh since I have experience in customer service and waiting but I have also started looking at teaching jobs but I just can't seem to get pass the interview stages haha. Thanks for the info, we stay in Tokyo and I'm don't think she is willing to move out.
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