Business manager Visa template

How to get A business Manager Visa In Japan? 

The complexities of Japanese immigration law can be a daunting task for entrepreneurs looking to establish or expand their business in Japan. Among the various visa options available, the Business Manager Visa stands out as a crucial pathway for foreign business owners and managers. This visa not only facilitates entry into the Japanese market but also provides a structured framework for sustainable business growth. We will provide you with detailed information on the Business Manager Visa application process, eligibility criteria, and required documents.

Who is the Business Manager Visa for? (経営・管理 Keiei-Kanri Visa)

The Business Manager Visa is designed specifically for foreign nationals who intend to start or manage a business in Japan. This visa allows entrepreneurs to reside in Japan while overseeing their business operations. It is an essential tool for fostering international business relations and promoting economic growth within the country. By securing a Business Manager Visa, entrepreneurs can benefit from Japan’s robust economy, advanced infrastructure, and supportive business environment.

Why do I need a business manager visa in Japan?

For entrepreneurs, the Business Manager Visa is more than just a legal requirement; it is a gateway to new opportunities. This visa enables business owners to establish a physical presence in Japan, which is critical for building trust with local partners, understanding the market dynamics, and directly managing business operations. Furthermore, it provides the legal standing necessary to access local resources, hire employees, and engage in contractual agreements. Ultimately, the Business Manager Visa is a pivotal step for any entrepreneur aiming to succeed in the Japanese market.

Understanding the Business Manager Visa

The Business Manager Visa is part of Japan’s broader effort to attract foreign investment and talent. It is aimed at individuals who have a significant role in the management of a business, whether it is a newly established company or a branch of an existing foreign enterprise. The visa is typically granted for a period ranging from one to five years, with the possibility of renewal, depending on the business’s performance and compliance with local regulations.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for a Business Manager Visa, applicants must meet several criteria, including but not limited to:

  • Experience and Qualifications: The applicant should have relevant experience in managing a business or an equivalent position.
  • Business Plan: A detailed business plan that outlines the nature of the business, market analysis, and financial projections.
  • Office Space: Proof of securing a physical office space in Japan where the business operations will take place.
  • Financial Stability: Evidence of sufficient funds to support the business and personal expenses during the stay in Japan.

Document Checklist

Applying for a Business Manager Visa involves gathering and submitting various documents to demonstrate eligibility and compliance with Japanese immigration laws. The essential documents typically include:

  • Application Form: A completed visa application form.
  • Business Plan: A comprehensive business plan detailing the business objectives, market strategies, and financial forecasts.
  • Proof of Office Space: Lease agreement or ownership documents for the office space in Japan.
  • Financial Statements: Bank statements and other financial documents showing the availability of funds.
  • Resume: A detailed resume highlighting relevant experience and qualifications.
  • Identification Documents: Passport copies and recent photographs.
  • Company Registration Documents: Proof of company registration in Japan, if applicable.
  • Supporting Letters: Letters of recommendation or support from business partners or relevant authorities.

How to Apply for Your Business Manager Visa in Japan

Securing a Business Manager Visa in Japan involves a structured application process that requires careful attention to detail. Below, we outline the steps to apply, including a detailed application procedure, expected processing times, and associated fees.

Applying for a Business Manager Visa in Japan can be a complex and challenging process, particularly if you are not familiar with the Japanese language and local regulations. The application involves numerous steps, including preparing detailed documentation, meeting specific business requirements, and navigating bureaucratic procedures.

For entrepreneurs looking to streamline this process and avoid common pitfalls, Launch Lab Japan offers a comprehensive, hassle-free service. They specialize in assisting foreign entrepreneurs with every aspect of setting up a business in Japan, from initial consultation to visa application support. Launch Lab provides personalized guidance in English to ensure that your business meets all legal requirements and has the best chance of success.

Prepare Your Documentation:

  • Gather all necessary documents as outlined in the document checklist. Ensure each document is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Compile essential documents, including your business plan, proof of office space, financial statements, and personal identification documents.

Draft a Business Plan:

  • Develop a comprehensive business plan that clearly outlines your business objectives, market strategies, financial forecasts, and expected growth.
  • Craft a detailed and professional business plan, including an executive summary, market analysis, marketing strategies, organizational structure, and financial projections.

Secure Office Space:

  • Obtain a lease agreement or proof of ownership for a physical office space in Japan. This is a mandatory requirement for the visa application.
  • Ensure the office meets the legal requirements for a business address.

Complete the Application Form:

  • Fill out the official visa application form with accurate and truthful information, ensuring no details are omitted.

Submit Your Application:

  • Submit your completed application form along with all supporting documents to the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country. Alternatively, if you are already in Japan, submit your application to the local Immigration Bureau.
  • Be prepared for an interview with the immigration authorities. During the interview, you may be asked to elaborate on your business plan and your role in the company. Provide clear and concise answers to demonstrate your preparedness and business acumen.

Receive Approval:

  • Upon approval, you will be issued a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This certificate is necessary to obtain your Business Manager Visa.

Apply for the Visa:

  • With your COE, apply for the actual visa at the Japanese embassy or consulate. You will need to submit the COE along with your passport and any additional documents requested.

Enter Japan and Register Your Residence:

  • Once you receive your visa, you can enter Japan. Upon arrival, you must register your residence at the local municipal office within 14 days.
Business manager Visa in Japan Passport

How long does the application process take?

Processing Times:

  • The initial application for the Certificate of Eligibility (COE) can take between 1 to 3 months.
  • Once the COE is issued, applying for the actual visa at the embassy or consulate may take an additional 1 to 2 weeks.


  • The fees for the Business Manager Visa vary depending on the applicant’s nationality and the length of stay requested. Generally, the visa application fee ranges from ¥3,000 to ¥6,000.
  • Additional costs may include legal fees for document preparation, office lease costs, and other administrative expenses.

Is there a minimal financial requirement for the business manager visa?

Securing a Business Manager Visa in Japan involves demonstrating that you have sufficient financial resources to support your business and personal living expenses during your stay. This section outlines the capital necessary and the proof of financial capability required for a successful application.

Capital Necessary

To qualify for the Business Manager Visa, applicants must show they have enough capital to establish and sustain their business operations in Japan. The specific financial requirements include:

  1. Minimum Capital Investment:
    • ¥5,000,000 (approximately USD 45,000): The business must have a minimum paid-in capital of ¥5,000,000. This amount is intended to cover initial business setup costs, including office space, equipment, and other necessary expenses.
  2. Operational Funds:
    • Beyond the initial capital investment, applicants should have additional funds to cover ongoing operational costs such as salaries, rent, utilities, marketing, and other business expenses.
  3. Personal Living Expenses:
    • Sufficient funds to support personal living expenses while residing in Japan. This includes housing, food, transportation, healthcare, and other daily necessities. It is advisable to have a clear budget that outlines these expenses to ensure financial stability.

Proof of Financial Capability

To demonstrate financial capability, applicants must provide comprehensive documentation that clearly shows their financial standing. The essential documents include:

  1. Bank Statements:
    • Recent bank statements (usually for the past six months) that show a consistent balance and sufficient funds to meet the capital and operational requirements. The statements should be from a reputable bank and clearly display the account holder’s name and account details.
  2. The passbook of your business.

Setting up a business in Japan involves several critical steps, including meeting physical office requirements and developing a viable business plan that meets immigration authorities’ standards. Here’s a detailed guide to help you navigate these processes:

How to Set Up Your Business in Japan

Setting up a business in Japan involves several critical steps, including choosing the right business structure, registering your company, securing a physical office space, and complying with local regulations. This process requires careful planning and thorough preparation to ensure a smooth transition and successful establishment of your business.

For a detailed guide on each step of setting up your business in Japan, including important considerations and practical tips, please refer to this comprehensive article: How to Set Up a Company in Japan.

And make sure you check out our Launch Lab services. 

How does have a business manager visa / owning a company change my taxes in Japan?

Overview of Tax Obligations for Visa Holders
  1. Corporate Taxes:
    • Corporate Tax: Corporations in Japan are subject to corporate tax on their income. The standard corporate tax rate is around 23.2%.
    • Local Inhabitant Tax: Companies must pay a local inhabitant tax, which is a percentage of the corporate tax. Rates vary by municipality.
    • Enterprise Tax: This is a local tax based on the income of the business, with rates depending on the type and size of the business.
  2. Consumption Tax (VAT):
    • The consumption tax rate is 10% on most goods and services. Businesses must collect this tax from customers and remit it to the tax authorities.
  3. Income Tax for Foreigners:
    • Non-Resident: If you stay in Japan for less than one year, you are considered a non-resident and are only taxed on income earned in Japan.
    • Resident: If you stay in Japan for more than one year, you are considered a resident and are taxed on worldwide income. The income tax rates are progressive, ranging from 5% to 45%.
  4. Social Insurance:
    • Employees’ Health Insurance and Pension: All residents working in Japan must enroll in the national health insurance and pension schemes. Employers and employees share these costs.
    • Unemployment Insurance: Employers are required to pay into the unemployment insurance system, which also benefits employees.
  5. Special Taxation for Business Manager Visa Holders:
    • Initial Year Exemptions: Some tax exemptions or reductions may apply in the initial years of business for new companies.
    • Deductions and Allowances: Business expenses, including office rent, employee salaries, and operational costs, are generally deductible.

Additional Considerations

  • Filing Requirements: Businesses must file annual tax returns, and individuals must file personal income tax returns by March 15 of the following year.
  • Double Taxation Treaties: Japan has treaties with many countries to prevent double taxation. These treaties may provide relief for income earned abroad.
  • Tax Planning: Engage in tax planning strategies with your accountant or tax advisor to optimize your tax position and ensure compliance with Japanese tax laws.

Common Challenges in Obtaining a Business Manager Visa in Japan

5 Tips to Navigate Common Application Mistakes

  1. Incomplete Documentation:
    • Ensure Completeness: Double-check that all required documents are included in your application. This includes your business plan, lease agreement for office space, financial statements, and any other required forms note that it is possible to apply for a start-up visa for 6 – 12 months before getting your business manager visa..
    • Accurate Translation: Make sure all documents in foreign languages are accurately translated into Japanese by a certified translator.
  2. Insufficient Business Plan:
    • Detail and Clarity: Your business plan should be detailed and clearly outline your business model, market analysis, marketing strategy, financial projections, and operational plans.
    • Realistic Projections: Ensure your financial projections are realistic and based on thorough market research.
  3. Inadequate Office Space:
    • Physical Requirements: Secure a dedicated office space that meets the requirements for a Business Manager Visa. Avoid using a virtual office or a residential address.
    • Proper Documentation: Provide a lease agreement and any other necessary proof of your office space.
  4. Lack of Financial Stability:
    • Sufficient Capital: Demonstrate that your business has sufficient capital to operate. This is typically shown through initial capital investment and financial reserves.
    • Financial Statements: Submit clear and accurate financial statements that reflect your business’s financial health.
  5. Errors in Application Forms:
    • Thorough Review: Carefully review your application forms for any errors or omissions. Even small mistakes can lead to delays or rejections.
    • Professional Help: Consider seeking help from an immigration consultant or legal expert to review your application before submission.

Handling Business Challenges

How to avoid the 6 downfalls of companies

  1. Financial Troubles:
    • Expense Management: Review and cut unnecessary expenses. Focus on maintaining essential operations and minimizing costs.
    • Alternative Funding: Explore alternative funding options such as loans, grants, crowdfunding in Japan or investor funding to support your business through tough times.
  2. Market Changes:
    • Adaptability: Stay informed about market trends and be ready to pivot your business strategy to adapt to changes in the market.
    • Innovation: Invest in research and development to innovate your products or services and stay competitive.
  3. Operational Issues:
    • Streamlining Processes: Evaluate and improve your business processes to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs.
    • Technology Integration: Utilize technology to automate and streamline operations where possible.
  4. Staffing Problems:
    • Employee Engagement: Foster a positive work environment and keep employees motivated and engaged.
    • Training and Development: Invest in training programs to develop your employees’ skills and improve productivity.
  5. Legal and Regulatory Compliance:
    • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with any changes in laws and regulations that may affect your business.
    • Legal Consultation: Regularly consult with legal experts to ensure your business remains compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.
  6. Customer Retention:
    • Quality Service: Maintain a high standard of service to keep your customers satisfied.
    • Feedback and Improvement: Actively seek customer feedback and use it to make continuous improvements to your products or services.

Proactive Measures

  • Regular Monitoring: Keep a close eye on all aspects of your business, from financial health to customer satisfaction, to identify and address issues early.
  • Contingency Planning: Develop contingency plans for potential risks and challenges. This includes having a crisis management plan and financial reserves for emergencies.
  • Networking and Support: Build a strong network in Japan of business contacts, mentors, and support systems. Joining local business groups and networks can provide valuable resources and assistance.

Renewal and Changes

Visa Renewal Process

How to Renew the Business Manager Visa

  1. Preparation of Documents:
    • Current Visa: Ensure your current Business Manager Visa is still valid at the time of renewal.
    • Application Form: Complete the application form for visa renewal, available from the Immigration Services Agency of Japan.
    • Company Documents: Provide updated company registration documents, including the company’s Articles of Incorporation and registration certificate.
    • Financial Statements: Submit the latest financial statements, including balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and tax payment receipts, note that financial optimization in Japan is very difficult to understand, so make sure to check out our Guide to reduce your company tasks in Japan.
    • Business Plan: Update and submit your business plan, highlighting progress, future plans, and any changes in your business strategy.
    • Proof of Office: Provide a lease agreement or proof of ownership of your office space, you can find more information on our guide to office spaces in Japan.
    • Employment Contracts: Include contracts and employment records of your employees, especially if you’ve hired new staff since your last application.
    • Personal Documents: Provide a copy of your passport, residence card, and a recent photograph.
  2. Submission:
    • Where to Submit: Submit your renewal application and supporting documents to the local Immigration Bureau office.
    • Timing: It’s recommended to apply for renewal at least three months before your current visa expires.
  3. Review Process:
    • Inspection: The Immigration Bureau will review your application and may request additional documents or clarification.
    • Interview: You might be required to attend an interview to discuss your business and future plans in Japan.
  4. Approval:
    • Notification: Once approved, you will be notified by mail. You will need to visit the Immigration Bureau to receive your renewed visa and updated residence card.
    • Duration: The renewal can extend your visa for one to five years, depending on the Immigration Bureau’s evaluation of your business stability and growth.

Recap of the Key Points

  1. Setting Up a Business in Japan:
    • Business Structure Selection: Choose the right business entity (KK or GK); Check out our article on sole proprietorship in Japan for more information about the business entities available to you and register your business with the Legal Affairs Bureau.
    • Physical Office Requirements: Secure a dedicated office space, provide a lease agreement, and ensure the office is in a commercial zone.
    • Developing a Viable Business Plan: Include a detailed business plan with clear business models, realistic financial projections, and compliance with Japanese regulations.
  2. Legal and Tax Considerations:
  • Legal Assistance: Select specialized lawyers with a good reputation, language proficiency, and a comprehensive range of services.
  • Tax Implications: Understand corporate taxes, consumption tax, income tax for foreigners, and social insurance obligations.

Common Challenges in Obtaining a Business Manager Visa:

  • Avoiding Pitfalls: Ensure complete documentation, detailed business plans, proper office space, financial stability, and error-free application forms.
  • Handling Business Challenges: Manage financial troubles, adapt to market changes, streamline operations, engage and train staff, ensure legal compliance, and retain customers.

Visa Renewal and Changes:

  • Visa Renewal Process: Prepare necessary documents, submit them to the Immigration Bureau, undergo the review process, and receive approval for renewal.
  • Changing Visa Status: Apply for a change of status with supporting documents, submit to the Immigration Bureau, and follow the review process to obtain the new visa status.

If you are ready to take the next step in establishing your business in Japan, we at Scaling Your Company are here to assist you. Our experienced business advisors specialize in helping businesses like yours navigate the complexities of setting up in Japan. We can support you in preparing a comprehensive business plan, securing the necessary office space, and gathering all required documentation for your Business Manager Visa application.

Let us guide you through every step to ensure your business achieves long-term success in Japan. For detailed guidance, visit our article: How to Set Up a Company in Japan.

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