Most people are looking to pursue a hobby or creative outlet while in Japan: photography, knitting, leatherwork, painting, woodcarving, etc. Eventually, you might get pretty good at selling your product online, and for that, you’ll want an e-store.
Building an online store is not only a great creative endeavor and a way to earn passive income, but it also boosts your resume with hiring managers. Setting up an online store shows employers that you demonstrate key skills such as market research, marketing and sales and shows that you can take on projects proactively and independently.
In Japan, e-commerce revenue has been on the rise since 2017 and is expected to rise through 2025 and beyond. Given its ease of access and growth opportunities, there’s no better time than the present to get in on the action.
Administrative formalities, immigration and visa
Learn skills, earn extra money and improve your CV. Photo: iStock/Mixetto
I will have to preface this by saying that it does not replace official advice and all information is subject to change. You should only take official advice from an immigration lawyer and the Japan Immigration Office.
One of the biggest barriers to setting up an online store in Japan is your residency status. However, this is not a problem for permanent residents, business owners and spouses of Japanese nationals/PR visa holders.
However, let’s say you have a visa with restrictions on the types of jobs you can take. In this case, you must seek permission from your local immigration office and apply for activities not described on your visa before proceeding with this adventure.
At the end of the year, you must claim your income from the tax authorities as secondary income. Read our quick guide to taxes in Japan.
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