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Setting Up in Japan

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Setting Up in Japan

Looking to expand your business into Japan?
Mannet is here to help!

Incorporating in Japan can be an expensive proposition. Japan’s External Trade Organization (JETRO) estimates that after conducting market research, hiring, acquiring necessary licenses, etc., an average business incorporating in Japan will spend the equivalent of US$100,000 or more.
The good news is, it may not be necessary to incorporate in order to expand your business operations into Japan. Mannet’s Business Expansion Support Program makes it possible for your business to flourish in Japan at minimal cost, by helping you determine if incorporating is best for your business.

Setting Up in Japan Service Flow


Mannet’s team of experts will consult with you to determine whether incorporation is necessary. If you are a small-to-mid size business, you may be able to begin doing business in Japan without incorporating, for as little as US $5,000/month.


Using Mannet’s Payroll or Staffing program, we will hire new staff or employ existing staff on your behalf. Mannet will also procure the necessary facilities for your operations, from offices to retail locations and call centers.


Mannet will also help with market research, marketing and promotions activities and more to ensure a smooth transition into the Japanese market and long-term success in the region.

Why Use Our Service?

Whether or not you decide to incorporate, doing business in Japan is costly. According to JETRO, most businesses will need to hire a third party to help create distribution channels, import goods, conduct marketing and promotions and handle sales transactions. Mannet’s Business Expansion Support Program covers all of these areas with minimal initial investment and at a guaranteed, fixed monthly rate.* *Rates start at US$5,000/month. However, rates may vary depending on services required. Please contact us for an estimate.

The following table shows the typical process for setting up a business in Japan and associated costs:

Market Research Approx. US$100,000 or more Source: Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO)
Obtaining permits
Location costs
Creating distribution channels Cost varies Finding distribution outlets, contracts
Imports Letter of credit, freight, etc.
Marketing/Promotions PR, promotions, home page, etc.
Sales Orders, delivery, billing, follow-up

* US$ 1 = JPY 100

Mannet is dedicated to offering you the best service to help you begin business operations in Japan. By offering the following services, our team will ensure your business adheres to Japan law and generates a profit as quickly as possible:

Market research Data provision and research.
Hiring Mannet will hire staff on your company's behalf (see PAYROLL for more information).
Incorporation Mannet will represent your business and apply on your behalf.
Licenses Licensing representation and consultation.
Location Mannet can provide offices, warehouses and other facilities for you.
Distribution Mannet looks for distribution agents and establishes contracts on your behalf.
Importing Mannet will represent your business for the purposes of importing goods.
Marketing Events, market research, consultation.
Promotions Consultation and direction. Staffing.
Sales Consultation and direction. Staffing.
Retail Mannet will bill customers on your behalf and transfer funds.
Follow-up Consultation and direction. Staffing.

Specialty Fields

Manufacturing/sales, communications, insurance, financing, medical, retail, import/export, education, construction, real estate, farming and agriculture, food and accommodations, marketing and promotions, technology and specialized services, maintenance, waste disposal, etc.

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Case Studies:
See How Mannet Helped Foreign Companies Succeed in Japan

Waste Recycling, USA

An American waste recycling company wanted to set up a factory for silicone recycling in Japan. Originally, the company planned to bring over existing US employees to live and work in Japan.
After consulting with Mannet, the company found that doing so would be cost-prohibitive, and, with Mannet's help, were able to employ competent Japanese workers to staff the plant. Additionally, the company was also able to source parts from within Japan, increasing efficiency and cutting down on costs. The company's Japan expansion was a success, and now the entity is looking to expand into other regions.

Engineering Service, UK

A UK-based aeronautical engineering service wished to perform a service quality check on their parts being used in Japan. This meant hiring staff to perform the checks, so the company considered incorporating.
After consulting with Mannet, the company concluded this would be extremely cost-ineffective, opting for Mannet's Staffing service, which allowed them to avoid the astronomical costs of incorporating and also allowed them to avoid paying consumption taxes, since the company did not need to maintain a Japan office.

Whole saler, South Korea

A South Korean trading company specializing in wholesale wanted to target the Japanese market but could not figure out how best to expand into the region, even after conducting extensive research.
Mannet recommended its Business Expansion Support Program, which allowed for minimal initial investment by holding off on incorporation. After generating healthy profits in the Japanese market, the company incorporated its own entity. Currently, the company has grown to 15 Japanese employees and generates about 1 billion yen in sales.

Machinery Manufacturer, Germany

A German machinery manufacturer wanted to sell its products on the Japanese market while suppressing initial costs.
Mannet's Business Expansion Support Program allowed them to begin with just one general salesperson employed through Mannet on the company's behalf. This way, the company was able to keep total costs for the year (including expenses for the employee) to just 60,000 Euros. Their first year of operations in Japan exceeded expectations, leading them to step up operations the following year.

Medical Device Parts Manufacturer, Taiwan

This Taiwanese company sought to incorporate in Japan in order to do business in the region. The company understood the necessary procedures but was unsure of some paperwork details, such as getting a visa for a company manager.
Mannet offered support, helping to file for the manager's visa, as well as securing a living space for the manager and a warehouse, in addition to providing transportation and logistics support. Mannet also aided the company with market research that the company could not conduct itself due to the language barrier.

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