K.K. (Kabushiki Kaisha) or Japan Joint-Stock Company

What is a K.K. Company?

The Japanese term “Kabushiki Kaisha” can be translated literally as “Stock Company,” and is usually abbreviated as K.K for simplicity. A K.K. company offers the most flexibility when compared to other business types, and it is also the most respected corporate structure. Unlike operating a G.K. company in Japan, operating a K.K. stock company allows a business owner to list on the stock exchange and sell shares. If you want to scale your business and become a true international presence, a K.K. stock company is the obvious choice for foreign companies in the Japanese market.

Of course, while the Japanese government offers support for foreign companies, it can still be confusing to incorporate into another country. The team at JMC can help you ensure you are informed about and prepared to meet all the requirements for starting a K.K. company or any other type of company in Japan. We can also assist you with office setup in Japan as well as accounting and other ongoing services.

Japan KK company

Advantages of setting up a K.K. in Japan

The main advantage of forming a K.K. in Japan is credibility. All publicly-traded companies in Japan use the K.K. structure, so a smaller business may want to adopt this structure to gain more credibility. Under current Japanese law, the requirements to set up a K.K., or stock company are considered rather stringent. While a K.K. only needs one incorporator, it may also be required to have a board of directors with at least 3 directors, as well as a statutory auditor. In that case, board meetings will need to be held annually, with minutes taken, financials published, and more. Various fees will need to be paid to incorporate. Because of these requirements, companies that choose to incorporate as a K.K. are often considered more “serious” than other types of companies.

Main Features of a Japanese K.K. or Japan Stock Company

  • A Japanese K.K. has no minimum capital requirement.
  • A Japanese K.K. needs to have at least one director resident of Japan who is a representative director.
  • There are no limitations to the business that can be undertaken by a Japanese K.K. except for special activities that require a business license like finance and telecom, for example.


If you are new to the Japanese market, you may have difficulty finding someone to serve as your resident director. If this is the case, JMS can provide you with a Japanese resident director to fulfill this requirement.

What is Needed to Create a Japanese K.K. Company?

  • Define the name of the company in Japan
  • Define the purpose of the company
  • Write articles of incorporation in Japanese
  • Decide if the company needs a board of directors.
  • Obtain a Japanese registered address.
  • Appoint a Japanese resident Director


JMC can assist in fulfilling some of these requirements; for instance, we can provide a registered address in Japan under certain conditions. We can also provide a questionnaire that outlines the main issues to be considered on request to corporate clients. JMC and its legal partners can manage the entire creation process on your behalf with a budget starting from 500,000 JPY including registration taxes for a company of less than 10 million JPY capital.

Main Obligations of a Japanese K.K. or Japan Joint-Stock Company

  • A Japanese K.K. needs to be registered with the Japan Legal Affairs Bureau
  • A Japanese K.K. needs to be registered with the relevant tax office
  • Statutory accounting: Your Japan company is required to maintain a General Ledger in the Japanese Yen. JMC accounting services can help you fulfill this obligation
  • The Japanese K.K. needs to hold an annual shareholder meeting that approves the corporate accounts for the fiscal year.
  • You must also periodically renew the mandate of the Japanese company directors.

Disclaimer: This information is provided for illustration purposes only. JMC cannot be held liable for any decisions made based on this information. For any legal advice in Japan, a Japanese Legal Professional should be consulted.