If you are ever

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If you are ever in the business of setting up a non-profit organization in Japan, here are four ways to do it:

  1. Apply to become an NPO. This is the legal, formal way of going about it. You petition the appropriate government ministry and after about a year, they give you a retiring executive who "works" for you for a few hours a day and takes a big salary.

  2. Incorporate in the US then open a branch office in Japan. This is not as challenging as it seems despite the fact that it has two nations and two tax authorities involved.

  3. Start a normal corporation and run it without a profit. This is perfect for the first three years but then you get audited. Start up costs: $30,000 paid-in capital and about $3,000 in filing fees.

  4. Write up a document that says you're a non-profit organization. Sign it. Done. Unfortunately groups of this sort have no legal standing whatsoever and some banks and businesses will not work with them.

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I am thinking about starting an NPO in Japan. I am an American and I could set up an NPO in America and create a branch office here, but I was wondering whether you know about taxable donations to an organization like that?



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  • Yoshihide Takeda: Hi, I am thinking about starting an NPO in Japan. read more