We explain the types of company that foreigner choose after they decide to set a company in Japan.

Other types of company may be incorporated but they are not chosen as suitable form for business even by Japanese companies.

Kabushiki-Kaisha(KK)
(joint-stock corporation)
Godo-Kaisha(GK)
(limited liability company (LLC))
Capital 1 yen or more 1 yen or more
Number of investors 1 or more 1 or more
Liability of equity participants/parent company toward creditors Limited to an amount of equity participation Limited to an amount of equity participation
Transfer of equity participation share Most of the companies in Japan have an article that shareholders are required permission from the company when they transfer their share.
If the company is listed, it doesn’t have such article
Unanimous approval of equity participants (members) required
Number of executives required Minimum is just 1 director. It depends on how you want to create your company.
If you want to set board of directors, you have to assign 3 or more directors and at least 1 auditor(or Accounting advisor).
※I recommend you to consult with professional.
No legally stipulated minimum.
In principle, all members are executive officers, but normally the company chooses a representative.
Legally stipulated term of office for directors 1 to 10 years. If you don’t stipulate different term, it basically is 2 years.
I recommend you to consult with professional
No legally stipulated term
Regular general meeting of shareholders (members) must be held every year Not required
Financial public notice for fiscal year required Not required
Possibility of the public offer of stock (equity participation share) Possible Not possible
Possibility of reorganization into a joint-stock corporation (A joint-stock corporation may be reorganized into a limited liability company.) Possible
Distribution of profits and losses Allocated according to equity participation ratio May be allocated at a different rate from equity participation rate if specified in articles of association
Taxation of profits Taxed according to profits of joint-stock corporation and profits allocated to shareholders Taxed according to profits of Godo-Kaisha and profits allocated to participants