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Starting a restaurant Business in Japan

License of restaurant business (For foreigners)

In the case of foreigner’s entrepreneurship in Japan, many of foreigners start a foreign style restaurant such as Chinese, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Korean, French, or Italian restaurant.
【Approval of restaurant business】is necessary to manage a restaurant in Japan. This approval is also essential to get a business manager visa. Without this approval, a foreigner cannot get a business manager visa. 
The most bothering problem for a foreigner who tries to start restaurant business in Japan may be making necessary paper works and submitting them to a health department.

Applying to a health department

It is necessary to apply for approval of restaurant business to a health department that has jurisdiction of area where restaurant is. If interior construction of a restaurant is done, it can be opened within 1 or 2 weeks after submitting application forms to a health department.

Steps from applying until getting approval

1, Gathering necessary documents and making all applications forms

2, Submitting documents to a health department & adjustment schedule for field investigation of restaurant

3, Field investigation of a restaurant by health department workers

4. Getting approval of restaurant business

Important points to get approval of restaurant business

The most important point to get approval of restaurant business is to get a【license of food sanitation manager】. It is possible to get this license by participating in one day lecture class. There is no examination; therefore, basically a foreigner can get it without any problems. Such lecture class, however, is done in Japanese. It could be difficult for a foreigner who is not good at Japanese to understand details of lecture class, however, all people need to do to get a license is to participate in one day lecture class. Schedule and venue of lecture class are determined, and reservation in advance is necessary to participate in. Because lecture class becomes fully-booked often, it is necessary adjust schedule considering schedule of incorporation and applying for a business manager visa. Without a license of food sanitation manager, it is impossible to get approval of restaurant business.   

Many of points for getting approval of restaurant business are about restaurant equipment. So it is necessary to be careful from at the stage of finding a place. A foreigner will worry about what equipment is necessary to get approval. So we will explain points below. These are principal rules. Some health departments might have different ones; therefore, it is necessary to make sure rules determined by jurisdictional health department in advance.

●Partition between kitchen and dining hall 

A kitchen area needs to be separated from a dining hall by something like a door. A door as a partition is the best; however, a swing door is fine. Any food and any cooking spaces must not be in a dining hall. Basically, it is not allowed to put food into a fridge in dining hall. But bottles of beverage may be allowed to be put into a fridge in dining hall. So it is necessary to consult health department workers in advance. If self-service drink area or salad area is necessary, consulting in advance is also needed.

●A thermometer in a fridge

It is necessary to set up a thermometer in a fridge in a kitchen. A thermometer which can be checked from the outside of a fridge is essential. It is possible to buy such thermometer which costs about 1,000 yen on the internet.

●Sideboard with a door

A sideboard must have a door to protect dishes from dust or waste.

●Waterproof material for floor and wall in a kitchen

It is necessary to use waterproof material for floor and wall in a kitchen to clean kitchen easily and to keep kitchen clean. Basically, carpet or wooden material is not allowed.


A window without a ventilator needs to have mosquito screen for moth and mouse proofing.

●Water heater

Basically, it is necessary to set water heater for hot water.



Applying for approval of restaurant business seems simple. In fact, there are a lot of things to do such as consulting a health department, getting a license of food sanitation manager, making application forms for restaurant business, and field investigation. Compared to the situation where Japanese starts to restaurant business, A foreigner has to deal with more problems on establishment of a company and getting a business manager visa. Please consider to consult an administrative scrivener about applying for approval of restaurant business. If you ask us, our administrative scriveners will deal with things such as consulting a health department in advance, making paper works which are submitted to a health department, accompanying to field investigation, and others.

Content of service Cost
(For a foreigner) Application for approval of restaurant business 95,000 + Tax

Content of service

・Making a list of necessary documents
・Consulting a health department in advance
・Making paper works which are submitted to a health department
・Accompanying to field investigation
・Receiving a license of approval of restaurant business

Information about free consultations

If you have any concerns about for a visa, we recommend that you first consult an immigration lawyer who has detailed knowledge about visa applications. Making an early consultation is the key to ensuring visa permission.

Samurai Immigration Law Firm accepts consultations about visa applications. We will search for measures that correspond to the circumstances of each client and suggest a path to obtain permission.

We conduct free consultations, so please feel free to consult us first.
There are two methods of applying for a consultation. * All consultations require an appointment.

1. Make a consultation application by telephone

2. Make an application through the website

We have offices in Tokyo's
Ikebukuro・Shinjuku・Shibuya・Ueno and Nagoya.
Thank you.

English : 080-4941-0978

Tokyo : 03-3831-2505

Nagoya : 052-446-5087