Experience of Setting Up a Company in Japan (3)

We, Highly Skilled Japan, are posting series of articles about experience of setting  up a company in Japan.

We hope these articles will be helpful for non-Japanese entrepreneurs who are planning to do the same.

Today’s article is about a Finnish man who established a software development company in Japan.

Starting a development services.

My name is Sampo Kuokkanen and I started a company called Sampo Development Ltd. last year. The company offers development services, mainly using Ruby on Rails. Currently the company’s only employee is me myself.

The reason why I set up my company in Japan

Unlike in Finland, it’s easy to set up a company even if it’s just you yourself, and by having a company I look more professional.

Also I just wanted to start a company, as my father also has one, so that was something I was always interested in.

The good thing about starting a company in Japan

It’s actually pretty easy. (Well, once you have someone helping you with it.)
The process was also pretty quick, and there was no problem in the company only having you in it, no other people.
I think an excellent thing about running a company is how you are respected more than a freelancer by being able to do this.
So it is easier to find clients, plus the growth potential is more significant.

I am currently in the process of hiring someone next year, so that is going to be a big step for my company.
There are no significant hurdles to this in Japan, it all goes pretty smoothly, as long as you have someone helping you with the paperwork.

Challenges for setting up a company in Japan.

Bad things, all the kinds of documents you need once you have a company up and running. So it means applying for different kinds of papers from different places, the IT infrastructure is difficult to use so you end up actually going to the government buildings to get things done.

Sometimes parts of the Japanese bureaucracy can be a bit too stiff. There are things that are not that easy to do.
For example, to get some documents, you can use an online system, but those are usually really difficult to even set up, so you end up having to go to their offices yourself.

Another Challenge is opening a bank account. I needed to select a smaller bank, if the bank do not provide online service for some process, you need to go to their office more often. This takes quite a lot of my time.