Immigration consultant's notes. Startup to Japan.
Japan has been and remains a market, both enjoying a special reputation, and distinguished by old-fashionedness, conservatism and risk aversion.
However, in 2018, the Japanese government developed the ambitious J-Startup program, according to which 20 unicorns from local startups should appear in the country by 2023.
The very fact that the program appeared was possible due to the fact that technological experience, a well-developed infrastructure, a high level of education and qualification of the workforce acquired an innovative component, which was proved by the example of startups not only recognized in Japan by SmartNews, Mercari, etc.
The city of Fukuoka (north of the island of Kyushu), which was awarded the title of National Strategic Special Zone, was chosen as the basis for the development of startups. Its status made it possible to simplify bureaucratic procedures, to define a new type of Startup visas, to provide advantages in corporate taxes (winning up to 8%) ...
Fukuoka was not chosen by chance: the city occupies one of the first places in terms of the growth rate of foreign residents, the third in the number of students, plus it also has first-class beaches, parks, modern shopping centers ... And finally, it is the Startup Cafe or Global Startup Center, the place where English-speaking visitors can get access to almost any necessary resources, exchange opinions, find associates, mentors ...
Fukuoku provides numerous sources of financing for startup creators, including an annual business plan competition with a first prize of 1 million yen, credit resources with a maximum amount of 35 million yen and a rate of 1.3%, financial assistance for renting residential and office premises, etc.
In order to become the owner of Startup Visa, you must submit a business plan, according to the results of which the commission determines how well the applicant complies with the standard requirements of the Residential Status of Business Manager. This status is a logical continuation of Startup Visa and can be acquired by the visa holder within one year from the date of its receipt. Otherwise, Startup Visa may be extended.
A prerequisite for the Residential Status of Business Manager is an office and a minimum of 2 full-time employees. As an alternative to employment - the presence of an investment portfolio in the amount of at least 5 million yen.
The only restriction on participation in the program is that the project must be involved in one of the following sectors:
- knowledge creation industry (e.g., semiconductors, software development, content production, robotics),
- healthcare, medical or social sphere (for example, development of drugs, medical technologies, regenerative medicine, development of equipment for the social sphere),
- environmental or energy industries,
- logistics (for example, international home delivery, the development of unmanned logistics),
- international trade (for example, the export of goods produced in Fukuoka abroad).
For questions about organizing Startup projects in Japan, obtaining visas, arranging financing, and optimizing taxation, please contact our specialists.