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Difference between Kabushiki kaisha ( Joint stock company )  and Godo kaisha ( limited liability company )
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When you want to incorporate a company in Japan ( you are incorporator ), you can select Kabushiki kaisha ( KK = Joint stock company = 株式会社 )  or Godo kaisha ( limited liability company = LLC =GK =  合同会社 ).
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If you have incorporated Kabushiki kaisha or Godo kaisha, you can obtain legal personality.
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Basically, there is not difference between two as for taxation.
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And liability of investor ( shareholder ) is limited in both cases.
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Main differences are whether there is distinction between ownership and management, expenditure to incorporate.
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When someone wants to collect money to launch business, they incorporate joint stock company and find investors.
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Investors ( = shareholders ) can receive dividends when business of the company goes well.
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In the case of Godo kaisha, ownership and management coincide with each other.
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When Mr Yamada invests his money to incorporate Yamada Godo kaisha, in general he manages this company.
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He can not appoint a person as representative person other than investors to this company.
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However, when there are investors ( shareholders ), all investor can appoint managing person from investors.

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He is called ” Gyomu shikko shain  “.
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He is similar to director of joint stock company with board of directors.
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As for expenditure to incorporate, there are  differences between two.

Kabushiki kaisha Godo kaisha
Minimum registration tax
 150,000 yen 60,000 yen Registration tax = Amount of stated capital × 7 / 1000 yen. But, there is Minimum registration tax
Fee for notary public 52,000 yen 0 yen In the case of Godo kaisha, notarization by notary public is not required

Fee for judicial scrivener or lawyer to incorporate a company should be different from each case.
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Process to incorporate a joint stock company is more complicated than that of Godo kaisha.
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So, the amount of fee to incorporate a joint stock company will be higher by 50,000 yen than Godo kaisha.
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And in the case of joint stock company, it needs to make public of its financial statement every fiscal year.
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Though, there are a lot of joint stock companies that do not perform this obligation.
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In the case of joint stock company, it needs to file registration at least once for 10 years.
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Because, in the case of joint stock company that is stipulated in its articles of incorporation that transfer of shares of the company requires approval of shareholders meeting, maximum term of office of director is 10 years.
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So, at least the company needs to file registration of change of directors.
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When the joint stock company does not file any registration for 12 years, legal affairs bureau can, without permit of the company, file registration of dissolution of the company.
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In the case of LLC ( GODO kaisha ), there is not such stipulation.
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There is difference as for process of incorporation.

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In order to make joint stock company or limited liability company, a person or a company ( subscriber = a person or a company who subscribes to shares of company ) needs to pay fund to company.
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( In the most of cases, subscribers coincide with incorporator = Hokki nin )
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At the time subscriber pays money to company, there is not bank account of the company.
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So, subscriber needs to pay money to one of incorporator.
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And in the process of registration of incorporation of joint stock company, incorporator needs to prove that he has received the money.
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Then, Incorporator needs to receive money from subscriber in his bank account.
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And he needs to submit scanned copy of his bank book to legal affairs bureau.
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So, if incorporator does not have bank account in Japan, it should be trouble.
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If a person who becomes representative director of newly establish company has bank account in Japan, subscriber can send his money to representative director’s bank account.
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However in the case of most of my client, representative director also does not have bank account in Japan.
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So, in that case, I can become incorporator of your company.
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Then, subscriber can send money to my bank account ( You can incorporate joint stock company with capital amount of 1 yen ) .
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And after I have incorporated your company, I can transfer all shares to you.
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In this way, you can own joint stock company without bank account in Japan.
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However I know this process is not simple to some extent.
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In that case, you can select limited liability company ( LLC ).
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In the case of LLC, incorporator does not need to submit scanned copy of bank book to legal affairs bureau.
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So, as far as incorporator receives money from subscriber ( bank transfer is not necessary. Subscriber can deliver money to incorporator by hand ), he can incorporate LLC.
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