Tokyo Special Economic Zone – Part 1 Advantages for Entrepreneur
From our previous posts regarding starting business in Japan, we have highlighted the main difficulties that entrepreneurs face when they attempt to set up a company in Japan.
On January 29, 2016, the Program to Increase Foreign Entrepreneurs was officially launched by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG). Under this program, prospective foreign entrepreneurs who meet specific criteria are eligible for a 6-month preliminary business manager visa.
This 6-month visa can be granted before the incorporation of company which provides the eligible person better access and resources in completing the procedures required.
The eligible person’s progress is monitored and assessed by TMG and failure to finish incorporation and operate the business would result in non-renewal of visa once the initial 6-months visa expires.
The usual conditions required for business manager visa are still the same for the eligible person, however, having a 6-months in Japan have various advantages for entrepreneurs who don’t have a Japanese collaborator.
Entrepreneurs who wants to be cost-efficient can now perform various tasks themselves without the need to hire an agent. For example:
Opening the Company’s bank account
Ordering the Company stamp
Securing the Company premise
Market research and promotions
The program has been expanded since its launch to cover the whole of the Tokyo area and well as the establishment of the Tokyo One Stop Business Establishment Centre.
The Business Development Center Tokyo (BDCT) and the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center both provide resources and support to entrepreneurs on matters such as labour, health and pension insurance, immigration and taxes.
As of October 2016, the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Centre also has a notary service that provides certification of Articles of Incorporation.
Although this program is still under development, it is a good starting point for foreigners who would like to set up business in Tokyo, especially those who already living in Tokyo.