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Cost to Invest in a small bar in Tokyo? 2019/8/10 23:14
My friend and I have a lot of money saved up (close to 70K US dollars) and we have been thinking about investing in a small izakaya type bar anywhere in Tokyo. We don't need to be downtown, but that would be best. We are willing to rent out a bar that is completely empty or a bar that already has all/some of the equipment needed to run the bar. We are also willing to rent out a 2 story apartment, where the first floor would be for the bar and we would just live in the 2 floor as the domicile. There are a lot of local Japanese bar/restaurant owners that do this.

I know that when investing in a bar, we will need to pay at least 6 months rent in advance, key money, fire insurance, hidden fees, etc. We want to avoid renovating or at least renovating in moderation to avoid paying really high costs. There will most likely be no hidden fees if we find a bar that already has everything needed to run the bar, but are these common are really difficult to find? Does anyone know of a safe neighborhood to invest in a bar where there isn't a lot of rebuilding going on? We want to avoid investing in a place somewhere and need to close the business down due to city-planned rebuilding projects and avoid areas where landlords are known to have a history of lease issues. For anyone that is knowledgeable about this, we would appreciate any advice.
by blondesurferboy  

Re: Cost to Invest in a small bar in Tokyo? 2019/8/11 15:58
Um, I donft quite understand your question – when you say you want to ginvest,h are you thinking of renting a ready-to-occupy establishment and running it yourself/yourselves as a bar, or owning one and renting it out to someone??

If you are looking for a ready-to-occupy place, thatfs really a matter of looking around the area where you are interested in, finding an estate agent that trusts you, or finding someone who trusts you AND knows the bar/restaurant trade in the area well and is willing to introduce you to the current occupant who is about to fold up their place or to the landlord.

If you are thinking of running a bar/restaurant, beware of all the license/permission that you need to get in order to be the owner/operator.
by ....... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Cost to Invest in a small bar in Tokyo? 2019/8/12 17:17
You want to start a business and either operate it or have people working for you?
Or put money into an existing bar simply as a shareholder?

In either case, your experience in this particular line of business and understanding the risks would be one of the first areas to address. It is quite easy to start with US$70,000 and then finishing quite quickly with nothing left (or even owing money to people/suppliers).
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Cost to Invest in a small bar in Tokyo? 2019/8/13 03:57
it seems like you need to research neighborhoods first before going that far. and as tokyo is huge and demographics will vary from area to area. there really is a difference in serving post-work salarymen vs cool kids in shibuya vs international community etc etc.
by matic rate this post as useful

Re: Cost to Invest in a small bar in Tokyo? 2019/8/13 16:03
I apologize for not being clear. I meant we want to run a small bar. Yes, you guys have provided some good information and advice. A bar that is already fully equipped would be best, but we will check all around Tokyo to see what options we have.

I know there is a long list of rules for owning a bar, but is there an extra set of rules for foreigner bar owners that Japan locals need not worry about (aside from visa rules)?

I actually have permanent residence status but my friend that wants to open this bar with me is a US citizen and will be coming here on a tourist visa. If he has the money to open a bar, would he be able to explain the situation to immigration and apply for a business visa?

He has no plans to become an English teacher or get married to a Japanese woman, so he won't be getting a working visa or a spouse of Japanese national visa either.

I appreciate the help with this.
by blondesurferboy rate this post as useful

Re: Cost to Invest in a small bar in Tokyo? 2019/8/13 18:01
Your friend need to know this.. having 'has the money to open a bar' won't cut it ..
https://shiodome.or.jp/application-for-a-business-manager-visa-in-japan-for-foreign-nationals/

Setting up business in Japan..
https://www.jetro.go.jp/en/invest/setting_up/
http://behere.asia/making-it-in-japan

and others municipal regulations (health,hygiene,alcohol, entertainments etc.) related to running a restaurant/izakaya. How good is your Japanese to deal with all those thing?
by @.. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Cost to Invest in a small bar in Tokyo? 2019/8/14 08:18
Clearer, but no less difficult. You have a couple of advantages, having PR you can be the Japan representative for the company you will need to set up.
Your friend, however, will have a harder route to securing a visa. They will need to be able to prove business skill/acumen, a host of docs and plans, and 5 million yen. US$70k between you doesn't get you over the investment hurdle.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

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