Lawyer system in Japan

We, the Gyouseishoshi-lawyers who handle visa procedures, call ourselves immigration lawyers. We are always called Bengo-shi by foreigners. The word “lawyer” is translated to Bengo-shi in Japanese. But our gyouseishoshi-lawyer’s license is different from bengo-shi’s one. Bengo-shi can handle every legal matter. Probably, there are few cases you can ask to a Bengo-shi. Because the major matter of Bengo-shi is appearing in court., Few bengo-shi handle procedural matters like visa matter. In addition, their fee is more expensive than ours.

If you don’t have any conflict, it is more reasonable for you to ask other types of lawyer in Japan.

 Lawyers other than Bengo-shi are procedure lawyers, who have the license for each aspect of authority. I shall explain the eight major types of lawyers including Bengo=shi here.

Lawyer Matter Proper authority Office
( Judicial scrivener)
Registration of company and Real property / Deposit / Pleading cases for which the amount claimed is under 1,400,000- Ministry of Justice Regional Legal Affairs Bureau.
(a certified public accountant)
Inspection Cabinet office
(Financial services agency)
(Tax accountant)
Filing tax returns Ministry of finance Japan Tax office
Shakai-hoken roumu-shi
(Labor and Social Security Attorney)

Making and submitting documents to the offices under the welfare ministry Welfare Ministry Labor Standards Inspection Offices
Public Employment Security Office (Hello Work) 
Pension offices
(Patent attorney)
Filing patents Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
(Patent Office)
Patent office
(Land and house investigator)
Investigation of the value of Land and houses Ministry of Justice Regional Legal Affairs Bureau.
Making and submitting the documents to the government office except the office designated to the other lawyers.
Making documents relating to rights, duties or the certification of facts
Ministry of internal affairs and communications The government office except the office designated to the other lawyers.
(The immigration bureau, The police station,The local government etc)
*Another license is required depending on the office.

Case of starting a business and getting a visa
Thinking about the case for which you start a business of exporting used cars.

Making an article of incorporation Gyouseishoshi-lawyer /
Judicial scrivener
Not exclusive
Authentication Gyouseishoshi-lawyer /
Judicial scrivener
Not exclusive
Registration of a company Judicial scrivener Exclusive
Notification to the tax office Tax accountant Exclusive
Applying for the license Gyouseishoshi-lawyer Exclusive
Applying for a visa Gyouseishoshi-lawyer Exclusive

First, we make articles of incorporation. Then we request registration from an affiliated judicial scrivener. Because a registration is an exclusive matter of judicial scriveners. Then, you need to notify the establishment of the company to the tax office. But this procedure is a matter for tax accountants. So, we ask this matter to the affiliated tax accountants. If any license, the license for trading used cars here, is required, we, the gyoseishoshi lawyer apply for it to the police station. And after these processes, we apply for a visa with the evidence of the company registration record, the copies of notification to the tax office and the copy of the license. The reason that gyoseishishi-lawyers handle many cases for foreigners when making a company is that the gyoseishoshi-lawyer is a specialist in visa procedures.

Many matters are exclusive for lawyers. The other lawyers can’t touch and receive fees from registration matters. If we handle these, it is the same as us doing these matters. So, you don’t need to pay double.

Though I have explained lawyers other than bengo-shi here, you may need to consult a Bengo-shi if you have problems. For example, when refugee applicants who are rejected file suits against the Japanese government, only bengo-shi can protect you.