I heard that there are businesses in Japan that require government licenses. What are these documents?
★ Explanation ★
1. Government licenses
Government licenses here loosely refers to documents that are either submitted to (notifications, etc.) or obtained from (permits, licenses, etc.) administrative bodies such as the police station, health center, prefectural government, etc. that signify to the authority to conduct certain kinds of business. Operating a business despite failure to obtain the necessary documentation is a criminal activity and is punishable under law.
Applying for government licenses is generally done after the incorporation/registration of a company or branch office in Japan. However, it is important to be aware of what kinds of government licenses your business will need even prior to the establishment of the company, as there are some permits or licenses that include capital or business purposes requirements, which are indicated in the company’s articles of incorporation, facility/location-related requirements, which are usually decided early on in the establishment process.
The different government licenses are divided into 5 classifications, depending on how they are processed, their requirements, etc. (refer to Chart 7-4).
Chart 7-4 Classifications of Government Licenses
|Notification||Business operation is permitted following submission of a notification to the relevant government office/agency.|
|Registration||Business operation is permitted following the notification to the relevant government office/agency and registration of the business at a certain registry./td>|
|Authorization||Business operation is permitted following notification to the relevant government office/agency, provided that the business meets the predetermined criteria.|
|Permit||Business operation is permitted following notification to the relevant government office/agency, provided that they pass an examination or inspection.|
|License||A person who holds specific qualifications can submit notification to the relevant government office/agency, and may operate their business if the requirements are met.|
2. Types of government licenses
Depending on the business contents, the permits and licenses as well as the government agency/office where applications are filed differ. Chart 7-5 shows typical businesses that require government licenses.
Chart 7-5 Types of Government Licenses
|Classification||Industry||Relevant Agency||Legal Basis|
|Notification||Hairdresser||Health center||Barbers Act|
|Dry-cleaning||Health center||Laundries Act|
|Massage (government certified for medical treatment)||Health center||Act on Anma, Massage and Shiatsu, Acupuncture, and Moxibustion Practitioners|
|Paid parking lot (hourly rental)||Municipal government||Parking Lot Act|
|Registration||Travel industry/agency||Prefectural government||Travel Agency Act|
|Pet shop||Prefectural government||Act on Welfare and Management of Animals|
|Electrical and demolition work||Prefectural government||Construction Business Act|
|Warehousing||Transport Bureau||Warehousing Business Act|
|Authorization||Security services||Police station||Security Services Act|
|Nursery||Prefectural government||Child Welfare Act|
|Permit||Sale of second-hand goods such as recycling shops, second-hand bookstores, second-hand car sales||Police station||Antique Dealings Law|
|Pachinko parlors, arcades, mahjong parlors, host/hostess clubs, bars, etc.||Police station||Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Business|
|Food service such as restaurants, cafes, and packed lunch stalls (Businesses offering alcoholic beverages beyond past midnight, the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Business will apply)||Health center||Food Sanitation Act|
|Police station||Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Business|
|Food production and sales of confectionery, bread, delicatessen, etc.||Health center||Food Sanitation Act|
|Pharmacy, drug store, drug wholesale||Health center||Pharmaceutical Affairs Act|
|Hotels and inns||Health center||Hotel Business Act|
|Hospitals and clinics||Health center||Medical Care Act|
|Nursing business (home visits, care at institution, home care, etc.)||Prefectural government||Long-Term Care Insurance Act|
|Construction and renovation work (excluding minor contract work)||Prefectural government||Construction Business Act|
|Manpower and job placement businesses||Labor Bureau||Worker Dispatching Act|
|Taxi and bus business (passenger transportation)||Transport Bureau||Road Transportation Law|
|Shipping (freight forwarding)||Transport Bureau||Motor Truck Transportation Business Act|
|License||Real estate transaction||Prefectural government||Real Estate Brokerage Act|