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Femmes Actives Japon. Starting a business in Japan. 13 December 2011 Yoko Majima - Legal Advisor, Immigration Lawyer. Introduction. Education One year students exchange program at a high school in Melbourne, Australia

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femmes actives japon

Femmes Actives Japon

Starting a business in Japan

13 December 2011

Yoko Majima - Legal Advisor, Immigration Lawyer

introduction
Introduction
  • Education
    • One year students exchange program at a high school in Melbourne, Australia
    • Graduated from Sophia University, majoring in French studies (language, sociology), including one year exchange at Université Aix-Marseille I (Aix-en-Prevence)
  • Work history
    • Japanese fashion designer’s office in charge of International Dept.
    • Japanese importer of French wine and food
    • Permanent Mission of Japan in Geneva, Switzerland
    • Mission Economique, l’Ambassade de France au Japon
starting your own business in japan how
Starting your own business in Japan – how?
  • Two ways of doing business – as a sole proprietor (kojin jigyo / auto-entrepreneur) or by setting up a company
  • SOLE PROPRIETOR:
    • Business entity owned and run by one individual
    • Possible to use a different commercial name
    • No legal distinction between the owner and the business
    • All profits/losses, assets/debts of the business belong to the owner
sole proprietor vs company
Sole proprietor vs. company
  • Advantages of sole proprietorship
    • Easy to start – no registration required
    • Simple tax procedure
    • Low cost, no corporate tax
  • Disadvantages of sole proprietorship
    • Less credibility
    • Unlimited liability
    • No corporate bank account available
    • Difficult to manage when there are several partners
    • Higher tax rates when the profit exceeds certain amount
sole proprietor vs company1
Sole proprietor vs. company
  • What is a company?
    • A legal entity that can be defined as an “artificial person” registered at the registry office (homukyoku)
    • Different types of legal entities – Kabushiki Kaisha (KK), Yugen Kaisha (YK), Godo Kaisha (GK), NPO, Association (shadan hojin), Foundation (zaidan hojin), LLP…
  • Advantages of a company
    • Credibility
    • Limited liability
    • Easier to manage when there are several partners
sole proprietor vs company2
Sole proprietor vs. company
  • Disadvantages of a company
    • Registration required for setting up, changes, closing down – more time and costs involved
    • Complicated tax procedures (need to hire an accountant)
    • Two levels of taxation – corporate tax and personal tax

 However your visa category doesn’t always give you a free choice.

different visa categories1
Different visa categories
  • Visas that allow you to become a sole proprietor
    • Visa status without work restrictions
    • Freelance under a work visa – need to have stable contracts with Japanese companies (translator, IT engineer…)
    • Dependent, student, cultural activities visa – within 28 hours/week under a permission from Immigration office (or change to a work visa if working on full-time basis)
    • Working holiday visa (change to a work visa when the WHV expires)
    • Investor/Business Manager visa if 5 million yen investment can be proven without a company
different visa categories2
Different visa categories
  • Visas that allow you to run a company
    • Visa status without working restrictions
    • Investor/Business Manager visa
    • Other types of work visa if someone else can become the Representative Director
    • Dependent, student, cultural activities visa – within 28 hours/week under a permission from Immigration office (or change to an “Investor/Business Manager” visa if working on full-time basis)
    • Working holiday visa (change to an “Investor/Business Manager” visa when the WHV expires)
requirements for an investor business manager visa
Requirements for an Investor/Business Manager visa
  • To invest 5 million yen from foreign source (foreign company or individuals)
    • Investment from the visa holders without work restrictions doesn’t count
    • Doesn’t need to be your own funds
  • To have a physical, dedicated place of business (office, shop, etc.)
    • Virtual office is not accepted.
    • If working at home, a written consent from the landlord authorizing you to use the residence as an office is required
    • Could be a place rent out from a friend for free
requirements to renew an investor business manager visa
Requirements to renew an Investor/Business Manager visa
  • Company’s financial stability
    • Ideally the company needs to generate a profit or have no loss.
    • It’s still possible to renew the visa even if the company is in loss, as long as the capital hasn’t been exhausted.
  • Payment of personal income and resident tax
    • The company needs to pay you a sufficient monthly salary (ideally 200,000 yen/month or above) and withhold the income tax to pay to the tax office on your behalf.
    • It is necessary to pay the resident tax (jumin-zei) to be able to provide a tax certificate (nozei shomeisho) for the visa renewal.
procedures and requirements for setting up a company
Procedures and requirements for setting up a company
  • Required documents
    • Inkan shomeisho (seal certificate) issued at the city hall or signature certificate issued by the Embassy or certified by a notary public abroad
    • Personal bank account in Japan (for deposit of capital)
  • Necessary to decide:
    • Office address in Japan
    • Representative Director who needs to be resident in Japan
    • Amount of capital (minimum 1 yen / 5 million yen for an Investor visa)
    • Other detail such as company name, activities…
business requiring licenses
Business requiring licenses
  • Importing and selling products such as medicines, cosmetics and other products that have contact with skin or could damage the health
  • Restaurant, café, catering, hotel, spa (sanitary requirements)
  • Importing and selling alcohol
  • Sale of used items (including auctions)
  • Travel agency
  • Real estate agent
  • Recruitment, temp agency
  • Investment brokerage, advisory
taxes and social security
Taxes and social security
  • Corporate taxes
    • Corporate income tax (hojin-zei)
    • Corporate inhabitant tax (hojin jumin-zei)
    • Enterprise tax (jigyo-zei)
    • Effective tax rates from 25% to 40% (on taxable income)
    • Minimum tax 70,000 yen (even if the company is in loss)
    • Consumption tax (shohi-zei) 5% : 2 years after making 10MY sales
  • Personal taxes
    • Income tax (shotoku-zei), withheld from your salary (5, 10, 20, 23, 33 and 40%)
    • Inhabitant tax (jumin-zei): 10%
  • Social insurance
    • Health insurance
    • Pension
    • Limit of “dependent” status: 1.3 million yen income/year
    • No unemployment insurance availableas a business owner
leaving japan what to do with the business started
Leaving Japan: what to do with the business started?
  • Manage from overseas: necessary to hire someone in Japan
  • Make company dormant
    • Until you can decide what to do or if you might come back to Japan
    • Still necessary to file the tax declaration once a year
  • Sell the business to someone interested
  • Close down the company (cost around 200,000 yen, 2-3 months procedure)
for more information
For more information…

Yoko Majima– Legal Advisor, Immigration Lawyer

www.juridique.jp - [email protected]

2F Minami Azabu Centre, 4-12-25 Minami-Azabu

Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047

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