Transport Business: Opening a Business in Japan as a Non-Japanese


Japan is the third biggest economy in the world and with Tokyo winning the bid to host the 2020 Olympics, the transportation sector is certainly one industry worth looking into. As a vibrant and busy city known for business and tourism, 19.7 tourists visited the capital in 2015 alone, with many visitors spending their time in the city. It is a very popular, satisfying country to visit and live in because it has one of the most efficient public transport systems in the world—so much so that you can even commute to the mountains. For the foodies at heart, they have the most Michelin stars than anywhere else. And the tech-savvy can have their fill at theme park-like electronic stores. The list of things to see and do seems endless. It is no wonder it continues to be a top travel destination.

Japan is also the US’ fourth largest partner, especially in terms of foreign direct investment. Hence it is no surprise why many business-minded and entrepreneurial people decide to invest in Japan. If you are considering starting your own business in Japan as a foreigner, there are important things you need to know before taking the plunge. Here are several types of transportation companies you could set up in Japan.

Limousine service


You can provide limo services not only to celebrities but regular people as well. It is crucial that you develop a good reputation for your company and ensure the safety of the passengers at all times by hiring careful, experienced, and reliable drivers and keeping your fleet of limousines well-maintained.

Moving van business

If you start small, this type of business is relatively easy to manage. You can start by investing in several vans or trucks in a range of sizes to accommodate the type of moving you have in mind. Because purchasing the vehicles is an important investment, source them from reputable suppliers like Don Brown Bus Sales, Inc. Research your requirements well and verify the credibility of the vendors you will work with. Find out if previous customers were satisfied with the business and services they provided. There are suppliers who offer to finance and sell parts that you might need in case your vehicles require some future repair or upgrading.

Owner/Operator trucking

Trucking is a huge industry. Generally, in this kind of business you will have to bid and fulfill contracts or accounts — if you are able to close a deal providing trucking services for a specific business — and in most cases, there are two main ways to do it. One is by subcontracting drivers. In this case, you will engage the services of independent contractors for the job. They usually provide their own equipment and vehicles, including insurance. Your main task will be finding the projects and coordinating them with the drivers you engage. Another way to do it is by hiring your own private drivers, in which you own the trucks and they will work for your company.

Other business alternatives include air transport, marine shipping, and specialty transportation. This refers to transporting very large items like modular houses, perishable food, airplane parts, and blood or human organs. Regardless of what transportation business you decide on, make sure you study your options well, consult with trustworthy sources like embassies, the Transportation Ministry of Japan, and seek counsel from your trusted advisers, family, and friends.

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