Incorporating a company in Japan is relatively easy but it may be difficult under certain circumstances for some foreigners living in Japan to be a founding member of a corporation. The two main difficulties that foreign nationals will encounter when establishing a side business in Japan are restrictions in their employment contract at their main job and the restrictions of their Japanese visa.
While not all companies issued them, share certificates were sometimes created by companies in Japan when issuing stock. The certificates acted as physical proof of the ownership of the shares and transfer of a share certificate generally was legally recognized as transfer of the equivalent amount of company stock.
When forming a corporation in Japan, especially a company with multiple directors on its board, it is not unusual to have the shareholders appoint a company auditor as well. The company auditor system is relatively unique to Japan and is rarely seen in corporate legal systems in America or Europe. However, the position of company auditor has a long history in Japan and therefore has been incorporated into the modern Company Act.
Tokyo is consistently the most expensive city in Japan and naturally the costs incurred in setting up a business in Japan are also highest in Tokyo. On the other hand, Osaka has a lower cost of living and the Japanese government estimates the expenses associated with establishing a business in Osaka are around 85% of what it would cost in Tokyo. These extra savings can be funneled back into the business while enjoying the many business connections and easy transportation to other commercial hubs that living in Osaka provides.