Points when foreigners apply for the Secondhand dealer license, “Kobutsu License”
Updated Jan. 5, 2023
If you want to sell secondhand goods such as watches, bags and cars as your business or export the secondhand goods bought in Japan and sell them overseas, you need to obtain a “Secondhand dealer licence”. I would like to explain the points you need to be careful when you apply for the “Secondhand dealer license” (Kobutsu License) if you are not Japanese Nationals.
Related article: Rules for Kobutsu License
This article in Japanese 日本語はこちら: 外国人の古物商許可申請のポイント
Point 1: The type of visa (status of residence)
The most important point to keep in mind is that not everyone can get a secondhand dealer license if you are a foreigner.
This is because the visas that allow you to obtain a secondhand dealer license are limited. There are only six types of visas.
This visa is for running a business in Japan, so it is possible to obtain a secondhand dealer license and run a company that deals in secondhand items.
Permanent Resident Visa
Those who are granted a permanent resident visa are expected to live in Japan permanently, so there is no limit to the period of stay and activities, and they can do any kind of work just like Japanese people. Therefore, it is also possible for a permanent residence to obtain a secondhand dealer license.
Spouse or Child of Japanese National Visa
For Spouses of Japanese nationals, children of Japanese nationals (including special adopted children), there are no restrictions on their activities, so it is possible to obtain a secondhand dealer license.
Long-term Resident Visa
This visa is granted to foreign nationals who are permitted to reside in Japan for a specified period by the Minister of Justice, taking into consideration special reasons. As there are no restrictions on activities, it is possible for them to obtain a secondhand dealer license.
Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services
This visa is for foreigners who are employed by a company and work as office workers. In the case of Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services visa, the possibility of cases where a secondhand dealer license can be obtained is quite limited.
If it is stated that you are “engaged in secondhand business” on the ” Permission to engage in activities other than that permitted” (Shikakugai-katsudou-kyokasho) or “Certificate of Authorized Employment” (Shurou-Shikaku-Shoumeisho), you can obtain a secondhand dealer license. But to have such a statement is very rare.
This visa is for transferring from a foreign company to a subsidiary, branch or head office in Japan.
In the case of an intra-company transfer visa, the possibility of obtaining a secondhand dealer permit is also very limited because the “activity description” on the “Permission to engage in activities other than that permitted” (Shikakugai-katsudou-kyokasho) or “Certificate of Authorized Employment” (Shurou-Shikaku-Shoumeisho) must state that the applicant is “engaged in secondhand dealer business”.
Point 2: Substitute for an identification certificate no longer required
One of the required documents for a Japanese person to apply for a secondhand dealer license is an Identification Certificate from the municipal office where one has his/her domicile. Foreigners do not have a domicile in Japan. Therefore, they cannot get an Identification Certificate issued by the municipality of their domicile, and in the past, some police stations where they applied for a secondhand dealer license used to ask for a substitute. However, the system has changed, and it is no longer necessary to submit a substitute for an identification certificate.
Required Documents for Foreigners Applying for a Secondhand Dealer License
Common for individuals and corporations
Brief personal record
Certificate of residence (with information on nationality and status of residence)
In the case of a corporation, Brief personal record, Certificate of residence and written oath are required for all directors.
In the case of a corporation
A copy of the articles of incorporation
A copy of the articles of incorporation must include a statement in the “purpose of the corporation” column that the corporation operates a secondhand business.
A copy of the Certificate of All Historical Matters
are also required.
In case of selling through a website → Documents that prima facie prove the authority to use the URL
In the case of handling automobiles, etc. → Documents that confirm the parking space (drawings or photos of the parking space, etc.)
If you are a foreigner, you may be asked if you can speak Japanese when you apply for the license. This is because if you are granted a permit, you will need to understand and comply with the laws regarding secondhand dealers.
If you are a foreigner and would like to apply for a secondhand dealer license, but you are not sure about the application process, please contact Amie Immigration Law Office. We are happy to help you apply for the Kobutsu License.
News and Blog