(original photo by John Mettraux; CC BY 2.0)

Permissions and Registrations

Depending on the type of business you aim to start in Japan, different kinds of administrative permissions and registrations are necessary to begin the operation of your business.

Food Business

If you are planning to open a food related business, you will need to apply and receive an official permission from the Japanese health department. To receive this permission, you will have to meet the prefectural terms on hygiene as well as designate a food sanitation supervisor who will be in charge of keeping your business in accordance with prefectural regulations. You can obtain certification as a food hygiene representative by participating in classes on food hygiene and sanitation.

Travel Agency

When setting up a travel business, it is mandatory to establish an official representative that holds the necessary qualifications in travel administration. The main requirement in acquiring these qualifications is to take and pass the national exam in travel business and management.

Temporary Staffing

In the case of a temporary staffing business, it is required that you apply to the Ministry of Labor for temporary staffing business permit. There are different types of permit, a general labor staffing permit and a specific temporary staffing permit. The type of permit required depends on the kind of staffing that is offered.

Other businesses that require special registration and/or permits include:

  • Selling of liquor (import and sale of wine and other types of alcohol)
  • Hotel/hospitality
  • Financial services
  • Sale of pharmaceuticals (please make sure that the sale of health foods and treatments does not fall into the same category as pharmaceuticals.)
  • Hospitals/clinics
  • Child welfare facilities (e.g., Pre-schools)
  • Second-hand shops (e.g., used cars/second-hand clothing)
  • Others

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