Hotel Industry

Whether you are starting from scratch or are already a seasoned hotel manager, we can offer support with your application for a Hotel Business License. This license is necessary if your service corresponds to the following conditions:
  1. Guests pay for their stay N.B. Contributions to maintenance costs such as for electricity and water are included in this condition
  2. Guests use bedding (incl. guests’ own bedding) during their stay
  3. You bear responsibility for the maintenance of sanitary conditions
  4. Guests do not use the rooms as a base for their travel N.B. An apartment rented by a week would correspond to this condition
Below are the various classifications of different categories defined within the hotel industry in Japan. Knowing which one your establishment fits into is necessary for your application.
Hotel Japanese-Style Hotel


Number of Rooms ・10 or more mainly Western-style rooms ・5 or more mainly Japanese-style rooms ・Non-shared sleeping space must make up less than 50% of total floor space ・Bunk-bed/other stratified sleeping arrangements must provide at least 1m between guests
Room Size ・Western-style: 9m²+ ・Japanese-style: 7m² + ・Western-style: 9m²+ ・Japanese-style: 7m² + ・Total: 33m²+
Room Space per Guest ・3m² ・3m² ・1.5m²
Front Desk ・Space of 3m²+ ・Space of appropriate size to serve guests ・N/A
Lobby, Restaurants etc ・Must have a lobby and catering facilities ・Catering staff can be either employed internally or outsourced ・Provision of catering facilities not compulsory where not deemed necessary ・Must have space for storage of guests’ footwear ・Provision of catering facilities not compulsory where not deemed necessary
Bathing Facilities ・Must have Western-style bathroom or shower room ・Must have bathing facilities unless other bathing facilities are available nearby ・Must have bathing facilities unless other bathing facilities are available nearby
For more detailed information regarding the requirements for starting a hotel business, please contact us for a free consultation session.

Hotel Industry Permits

The following is a summary of the different kinds of permits required to run a hotel business. N.B. These are general requirements and do not necessarily reflect the reality of what may be needed for your specific application.
Hotel Business Permits
  • Japanese-style hotel
  • Hotel
  • Common lodging house
  • Monthly hotel
Other Related Permits
  • Restaurant business license
  • Late-night permit for restaurant serving alcohol
  • Liquor sales license
  • Meat disposal industry license
  • Food hygiene license
  • Tobacco retail license

Applying for a Hotel License

If you apply for our support service, the process for applying for a hotel license should unfold as follows.
Step 1: Collect data and prepare documents We prepare the application form and other documents required not only for the Hotel Business license but for other related/necessary licenses as must be processed through public authorities
Step 2: Carry out procedures required by the Fire Service Act We notify the relevant authorities on your behalf and your premises will undergo a spot inspection
Step 3: Apply for Hotel Business and other related licenses
Step 4: Completion Inspection Attendance at this inspection is mandatory for applicants, and we are also able to attend alongside you
Step 5: Issuing of certificate of operating permission Once you have received this from your local jurisdiction’s public health center, you will be able to start your business activities
We also provide consultation and support services for those opening hotels or Japanese-style hotels on existing real estate. Based on feedback from customers, we have also devised the following service plans.
  1. Support for obtaining necessary government approvals and licenses relating to the hotel industry  For any hotel business in Japan, there are other permits in addition to the Hotel Business License. We will provide support and advice regarding the procedures for obtaining these permits.
  2. Support for government approval and licensing of changes in organization or succession of management If you wish to manage an existing hotel results in a change in organization or succession of management, you will need to apply for new a business permit. In this case, the hotel will be judged based on current rules and criteria regardless of whether it has been approved for a business permit in the past. In particular, any extensions, renovations or reconstruction since the building was originally licensed may lead to a different judgment.
  3. Support for preliminary survey As part of running a hotel, you will need to have the building assessed for whether it is fit for function as well as what kinds of permits you may need depending on the building. We strongly recommend this support plan if this is your first time managing a hotel in Japan.
  4. Support through dispatch of instructors or arrangement of seminars We provide an instructor dispatch service and also hold seminars related to the Hotel Business. Please get in touch for further details.

For any queries about Japan’s hotel industry or about how to establish your hotel business, please do not hesitate to contact us! *Please be aware that the contents of this site are naturally subject to change, meaning that we cannot guarantee their accuracy at the point of access. For up-to-date information, please contact us directly.*  

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