My career and business experiences

Hello. It is Akiko HORI, Shihoshoshi lawyer in Japan. Today, I would like to talk about my career and business experiences.

I started my career at the Industrial Bank of Japan after my college graduation, and was in charge of reception and secretarial work. I wrote “my career”, but in reality, it was not as such, and I did only general office administration, but I enjoyed working there, because the bank was one of the leading banks in Japan. I saw many company executives and smart people, but I felt inferior at the same time, and decided to study something. I took the Secretarial Skills Test, 1st Grade, but I still felt it was not enough.

Since then, I was thinking what kind of qualification I should have, and I realised there are so many disputes in society, and I want to avoid those troubles. In addition, in order to know how society is structured when agreements and rights enter into the practical need to acquire knowledge and to avoid problems in advance, I studied for the Shihoshoshi Lawyer qualification exam, and passed the exam in 2006 and after 1 year’s work experience at a law firm, opened own law office in 2008.

While managing my own office, I focus on building business networks, performing daily legal work and registration work. However, as an individual, I cannot cover everything, so I need help some time, and I want to offer support. My work is a referral basis, and there are other people in society. Humans are social creatures.

Things might be hard especially for non-Japanese people in Japan, because in general, in Japan, co-operation with society is most important, and individual ideas and individual happiness tend to be ignored. However, when one door closes, a new door opens. I am here to help if needed.

I will update every Monday.
For more information
Japanese business consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)

Akiko HORI

A Guide about share capital for private limited companies in Japan.

Japanese business start-up consultant

The world economy has been hit by the worst economic contraction in its modern history as the coronavirus closed businesses and dampened consumer spending. However, The Japanese style is still a popular culture, and I found a new word, “Japandi” on Cambridge Words website. Some international investors keep saying to me that Japan still has a growing business potential in terms of the safety and security of the country and the power of private consumption.

Share capital is not linked to how much the company is worth, but investors must pay the company the full amount of their share capital. Because of trading activities, Japanese Yen is the most popular choice, but payment can be made in foreign currency. The exchange rate should be considered in case of foreign currency remittance, and the exchange rate shall be calculated on the payment day.

The legal affairs bureau will look over to validate the information contained in the Statement of Capital for each company registration.

A private limited company needs at least one shareholder for KK or member for GK, who can be a director.

I hope the information is useful.
I will update every Monday.
For more information

https://lawhelp4u.com/english/legal-advice-for-business-in-japan/
Japanese business consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)

Akiko HORI

Private limited companies

Japanese business start-up consultant

A private limited company can be a small or large business.

Under the current company law, one person can set up a private limited company. A private limited company has limited liability and these types of business have ‘株式会社(KK)’ or ‘合同会社(GK)’ before or after their business name in Japan. Only the trade name of a corporation can be registered with English alphabet, numbers and some symbols, such as “&(ampersand)”, “,(comma)”, “.(full stop)” and the like.

Any type of business can set up as a private limited company. ‘株式会社(KK)’ is likely to used for larger businesses, and ‘合同会社(GK)’ is for example, a(n) instructor, hairdresser, photographer, etc.

There is no such a big difference from both legal entities, but historically, ‘株式会社(KK)’ is a traditional form of a private limited company. On the other hand, ‘合同会社(GK)’ was introduced in 2016. The biggest difference is registration tax and notary public fee. Registration tax for ‘株式会社(KK)’ is 150,000 JPYen, and one for ‘合同会社(GK)’ is 60,000 JPYen. In addition, articles of incorporation of ‘株式会社(KK)’ should be notarised, which costs about 52,000 JPYen.

Private limited companies pay corporation tax. Corporation tax is a tax on the profits of a business. There is a lot of paperwork to found a private limited company, because the business has to register with the Legal Affairs Bureau, and file annual financial reports to the Tax Bureau.

I hope the information is useful.

I will update every Monday.

For more information

Japanese business consultant

Shihoshoshi Lawyer(Judicial Scrivener)

Akiko HORI

https://lawhelp4u.com/english/legal-advice-for-business-in-japan/

A business start-up as a sole trader

Japanese business start-up consultant

I used to work as an adviser at Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center. Many foreign nationals came to seek legal advice on how to set up a company in Japan, especially in Tokyo.

 

Setting up a company is an option to do business, but working as a sole trader is another option. A sole trader is a business that is owned and run by one person. There is only one owner, but they may have employees who work for them. Sole traders are usually start-ups or small businesses. Sole traders have unlimited liability and the owner is personally responsible for the debts of the business. A sole trader pays income tax on their earnings.

 

A sole trader calculates the amount of income earned during the year from 1st January to 31st December of each year and the amount of income tax, and must file a tax application form at a tax office between 16th February and 15th March of the following year.

 

It has the risk of unlimited liability and there is a high level of responsibility for the business owner, but it is quick and easy to set up and has low set-up costs.

I hope the information is useful.

I will update every Monday.

For more information

Japanese business consultant

Shihoshoshi Lawyer

(Judicial Scrivener)

Akiko HORI

https://lawhelp4u.com/english/legal-advice-for-business-in-japan/

 

 

Thinking about a Japanese Public Holiday: Respect for the Aged Day

In Japan, today is a public holiday, and it is called “Respect for the Aged Day.” Like other developed countries, Japan has an ageing population.

 

Source: National Institute of Population and Social Security Research

 

Nowadays, many young people are fascinated by the idea to live in cities, because they can pursue something new, gorgeous and exciting to fulfill their own desire and leave the place where they were born. They try to find their own identity among the great number of population in cities, the life in cities never let them go back to a quiet country life.

 

However, human bonding is most important for human beings because we are social creatures. Statistically, when children feel secure in their young ages at home, they can be persistent and strive for anything after they become adults. This is because the security in their mind keeps them motivated and confronts any challenging situation they might encounter.

 

Balancing between a warm family atmosphere and the community environment is critical because it supports young people’s internal development and communication skills. A family should look after each other to build up their trust, and secondly disciplines are needed to learn events that happen in the actual world.

At Respect for the Aged Day, I am thinking about it.

 

I will update every Monday.
For more information
Japanese business consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)

Akiko HORI

https://lawhelp4u.com/english/legal-advice-for-business-in-japan/

Realising women’s potential in business

My father’s family owns a business, but I grew up in a very ordinary family environment, because my father didn’t succeed in his family business and was employed by a company and my mother is a housewife. When I got married, I had no idea about taking more than a part-time job just to kill time, and I had never thought about a “business”.

 

I’m a Shihoshoshi Lawyer now, but I wish I had worked harder in that banking-related environment when I was working at a bank. However, as I always tell my child, “Failure is never a bad thing”. “The problem is what results those mistakes leave behind”, but I should think about what the reasons were for my mistakes and learn from them and apply them to my decision-making process in the future.

 

I think the percentage of women in management positions in Japan is still low, compared to other countries. There is no need to feel sad about the low rate because it reflects the past, and there are no 100% perfect methods in life. We should focus on the factors to consider when thinking about what to do in the future.

I decided I could turn the energy and positivity I was experiencing into my own business. I am working tirelessly to support everyone wanting to unleash their full potential with the “Ideas-turned-business” perspective, and how the Japanese legal system is used for those purposes.

 

I will update every Monday.
For more information

http://lawhelp4u.com/advice/
Japanese business consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)
Akiko HORI

Wise advice: Those that fail to learn from the mistakes of history are bound to repeat them.

Japanese business start-up consultant

The legal system takes together processes and procedures, and each country constitutes its own category. The system was backed up by history, thus, history has interested me as a way of finding out about other countries.

 

There are very great differences between the Common Law and Civil Law systems in many areas of the law, and the Japanese system generally follows the Civil Law system. The traditional Japanese system was similar like in the old Roman system, where the head of the family had control over his sons and younger brothers, even if adults, and the family women including a widowed mother, wife and unmarried sisters and daughters with the head of the house having authority over all other members of the house, until he was succeeded by his eldest son in his death.

 

After the late 18th century, the French Revolution, which brought about the ideas that all adult family members were equal, so that the head of the family had no legal control over his adult sons and daughters, and that all had, at least in principle, equal rights of succession, was truly revolutionary in changing the law in this area. It also affected the Japanese system.

 

I will update every Monday.
For more information

https://lawhelp4u.com/propertyJapan/

Japanese business consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)
Akiko HORI

How can I disclaim an inheritance in Japan?

Japanese business start-up consultant

In Japan, there is a three-month period of time (called a deliberation period) during which the legal heir may accept or disclaim the inheritance (The Japanese civil code, Article 915). The deliberation period starts from the time when the legal heir recognises the deceased person’s death and that they are their legal heir. It does not automatically start from the date of the deceased person’s death. This period can be extended by the family court on the application of the legal heir, an interested party or a public prosecutor.

An inheritance windfall isn’t always welcome, and it is often the case that all you get is a debt after all. The Japanese civil code (Article 882) applies what is called “The doctrine of universal succession”, that the heir(s) succeed to all the rights and liabilities relating to the property a deceased person at the time of death. The heir(s) inherit the deceased person’s entire estate and debts, including any tax arrears, as well as assets. In the case where the debts of an estate exceeds its assets, it is better to consider disclaiming any inheritance. When the heir disclaims their inheritance, they are no longer obliged to pay the deceased person’s tax arrears.

Application for a disclaimer of inheritance is made to the family court in Japan. When the process at the family court is completed, the legal heir is no longer the deceased person’s heir and does not owe any debts. However, they will not be able to inherit any right, such as real property or financial assets. After the completion of the process, the family court will issue a “Certificate of Acceptance of the Application for Renunciation of Inheritance,” and in practice, a copy of the certificate is sent to creditors, such as a bank and a credit company.

It’s important to note that if you discover that the deceased person has money in the bank and you withdraw it and spend it, you might not be able to disclaim the inheritance afterwards as this could allow you to evade repaying this debt. However, if you use the money for the deceased person’s funeral expenses of or any other reasonable necessity in a common sense amount, you can still disclaim the inheritance at a later date. It is generally recommended that you keep as little money as possible and avoid using it.

The effect of an inheritance disclaimer is that the person who disclaims the inheritance shall be deemed not to have been an heir to it from the date of succession. If the sole or all statutory heirs of the first rank, the spouse or children of the deceased, disclaim their inheritance, then, the deceased is legally treated as if they had neither spouse nor children, and under Japanese civil code, the parents of the deceased, in turn, become the heirs. The parents, of course, don’t want to owe the debt, so they also go through the process of disclaimer of inheritance. Then there will be no parents, so under Japanese civil code, the siblings of the deceased person will be the heirs. The siblings don’t want to owe the debt, of course, so they also go through the process of disclaiming it.

 

In other cases, where (for example) the statutory heirs do not a wish not to break up a family business, and agree that the eldest son should be the only heir, the other statutory heirs would each make a disclaimer.

The issues mentioned above might make you worry if everyone needs to disclaim their inheritance within three months of knowing of the deceased person’s death, but don’t worry. For parents, the three months period of the disinherit counts after the child or children’s disclaimer is made. Likewise, the three months period for siblings only starts after the parent’s disclaimer is completed and they know that the parent has disclaimed their inheritance.

I provide support for the disclaimer process to the Japanese family court from abroad.

I will update every Monday.
For more information

https://lawhelp4u.com/propertyJapan/

 

Japanese business consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)
Akiko HORI

 

Choices about how to succeed

Japanese business start-up consultant

It was after my grandfather’s death that I first became aware of the “inheritance process”. I was already married at the time, and I had never cared about the “law” itself until then. At that time, when my family got into trouble with the division of the estate, I realised that “The law was something that costs money and time, and if I hadn’t prepared for it beforehand, the situation wouldn’t proceed as I want”. That’s why I started studying for the Shihoshoshi lawyer’s exam. Now I am working as a lawyer.

 

In the past, it was the standard practice for the eldest son to inherit the family’s estate, but today, each heir has the right for a certain portion of the estate. I would like each individual to come to understand the options for the estate succession, and they can make their own choices about how to succeed.

 

Specifically, the following options could be possible.

  1. Leave it to the potential heirs after death. (This is the current mainstream.)
  2. Make a gift in advance.
  3. Leave a will.
  4. Coming to an agreement into effect before death or by a will.
  5. Using the adult guardianship system.

 

Every procedure has its pros and cons, and as long as we are alive, we have different individual feelings. It would be impossible for others to understand a person’s heart 100%, but I believe it is important for a lawyer to make an effort to understand individuals’ feelings, feel empathy to their thoughts, and achieve their plan within the framework of the law.

 

Rather than us not caring about our inheritance problems, we might be so busy in our daily lives that we don’t have time to think about the death of a parent, grandparent or our own death. However, it will definitely happen at some point in the future.

 

The judicial statistics for 2018 shows that about 76% of the cases that are brought to family courts nationwide are ones of estates under 50 million YEN (equivalent to about 360,000 UK pounds). Any conflict regarding distributing an estate is not uncommon, and all of us might encounter it.

I try to be proactive about inheritance-related procedures and succession planning as my motivation for becoming a lawyer is related to my family’s inheritance issues.

 

As part of the process, I often talk to a client about how to start their succession planning. I believe that succession planning is a “letter to the family or people who will be heirs or beneficiaries”. My advice is to encourage my clients to write it like a letter first if they don’t know how to distribute their property,

 

Documents should be finalised under the appropriate law because a succession planning is a legal process, but perfect documents cannot be prepared from the beginning, and the writing from your heart is most important. After that, leave the process to the experts. I want to follow the person’s heart as best I can.

 

I will update every Monday.
For more information

https://lawhelp4u.com/propertyJapan/
Japanese business start-up consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)
Akiko HORI

Family, Inheritance and legally secured portion

Japanese business start-up consultant

The following contents on this subject of legally secured portions are written in accordance with Japanese civil law.
I will write an outline of the “legally secured portion” in relation to the international law another time.

In my work as a Shihoshoshi Lawyer, I often have opportunities to talk with heirs and relatives about the inheritance procedure for the deceased person’s real property. Because of these experiences, I often think about my life and death through a number of legal proceedings. I don’t think I need to think about this too seriously, but as long as I am a human being, I will die one day, and when I do die, I hope that I avoid conflicts between my heirs as much as possible.

In my opinion, Shihoshoshi Lawyers, who are primarily working on non-conflicting cases and legal administrative matters, have a different perspective from Bengoshi lawyers, who are working on any cases including negotiating legal disputes.

In Japan, when a person makes a will or gifts real property to someone before their death, or divides their estate among the heirs after the inheritance occurs, there is often a problem about the “legally secured portion”.

The “legally secured portion” in Japan acknowledges the right of heirs other than the siblings of a deceased person to get a certain percentage of the estate, if the deceased person’s parent is the only heir, the fixed percentage is one-third of the entire estate. If a child is included among the heirs, he or she will be allowed a legally secured portion, even if the child is an adult. When a spouse or a child (or both) are included as an heir, the legally secured portions is one-half of the entire estate. The individual heir multiplies this entire estate by their individual legal percentage.

It is easy to say “a certain percentage” in words, but it’s hard to know what the extent their estate is at the time of death. Even if the heirs clarify what is the whole estate, if a conflict arises because one of the heirs keeps an excessive proportion of the estate, and they refuse to negotiate, the heir who thinks they have not received what is their right should take action in a court. However, it is not always possible for such an heir to be granted their full entitlement in accordance with their wishes.

In today’s nuclear families, it is common for different generations not to live together when children legally become adults at 20 (at 18 from 1st April, 2022), and there might not be many opportunities for them to see each other if they live separately. However, inheritances will always occur at some point. I think the best way to avoid a conflict is actually to find as many opportunities as possible to keep in close contact, see each other once in a while, and keep the relationship between parents and children alive. I believe that with rights always come obligations. I don’t think looking after parents is an obligation, but I do believe that this responsibility as a child exists to some extent.

Please refer to the article about “Estate and Succession planning – 1-7. Making a will Part 1 & Part 2”

https://akikohorishihoshosilawyer.wordpress.com/2020/06/01/estate-and-succession-planning-1-7-making-a-will-part-1/

I will update every Monday.
For more information

https://lawhelp4u.com/propertyJapan/

Japanese business start-up consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)
Akiko HORI