Can a foreigner start a business as a sideline in Japan?
There are 2 caveats that you can work with your company rules and your current status of residence.
Your company rules and your current status of residence
There are two points in order for foreigners to start business on a sideline in Japan.
The first is that employment contracts with the company you are currently working with or in-house regulations may prohibit secondary business. Therefore, you need to confirm its contents. Recently, there are an increasing number of companies that can do side work while in Japan, but many companies still prohibit side work.
The second issue is whether it is possible to do side work with the status of residence you have now. If you are a resident who has no restrictions on activities such as permanent residents or Japanese spouses, you can do side work.
However, for example, if you are working on a work visa, you can not start a business on the sideline. The reason is that work visas do not allow you to start your own sideline business and earn income.
Although it is possible to apply for a side job in the “PERMISSION TO ENGAGE IN ACTIVITY OTHER THAN THAT PERMITTED UNDER THE STATUS OF RESIDENCE PREVIOUSLY GRANTED（資格外活動）”, it seems that there is no possibility of being permitted because there is a “management control visa” residence status for launching a business on your own.
However, “Highly Skilled Professional(i)(a,b,c)” are allowed to manage the business related to the business currently working. This is only recognized by Highly Skilled Professional(i)(a,b,c).
Note:Highly Skilled Professional(ii) can start a business on a sideline.
First, whether or not the side work is permitted by the work rules of the place of work. People with status of residence who have no restrictions on activities such as permanent residents and Japanese spouses can do side work. It is difficult to do business on a sideline with a status of residence, which has restrictions on the types of jobs that can be worked like a ”Engineer/ Specialist in Humanities/ InternationalServices” or “Skilled labor”.
However, “Highly Skilled Professional(i)(a,b,c)” may be permitted to manage a business related to the business at which they currently work. Please consult your immigration lawyer.
Immigration consultant, Financial advisor
He has 18 years experience in Investment Banking at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley. He had provided financial advisory more than 500 entrepreneurs and senior management.
He currently supports many foreign entrepreneurs in Japan, taking advantage of the experience of an investment banker. He is the best expert of Business VISA in Japan.
Gyoseishoshi Immigration Lawyer
CMA(Japanese financial analyst license)
CFP (Certified Financial Pllanner)
MBA in Entrepreneurship(Hosei Business School)