Doing business in: Korea
Produced in partnership with Paul S. Rhee of Yoon & Yang LLC
Doing business in: Korea

The following Commercial guidance note Produced in partnership with Paul S. Rhee of Yoon & Yang LLC provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Doing business in: Korea
  • Introduction
  • The business environment
  • Forming a company
  • Opening a branch office
  • Financing a company
  • Opening a bank account
  • Utilising office space
  • Immigration controls
  • Key employment laws
  • more

Updated in March 2019

Introduction

The business environment

Forming a company

Opening a branch office

Financing a company

Opening a bank account

Utilising office space

Immigration controls

Key employment laws

Contracting with third parties

Taxation overview

Regulatory compliance

Protecting key assets and employees

Useful links

Introduction

The Republic of Korea (Korea) maintains favourable conditions for entry into the East Asia market due in part to its geographically central location in East Asia’s transport networks. Korea currently has free trade agreements with a total of 52 trading partners, including the US, the EU, China, ASEAN, India, and Chile, and it is emerging as a centre for commerce worldwide, not just East Asia. Korea systematically encourages inbound foreign investment through various legislation to provide foreign investors with some incentives including tax benefits. As a result, the World Bank’s 'Doing Business 2019' ranks Korea the fifth easiest jurisdiction worldwide to do business.

There are a variety of ways of structuring a business operation in Korea. The aim of this guide is to highlight some of the key areas that a new business will need to address before it begins to operate in Korea. This guide should not be considered to be an all-inclusive guide and specific Korean legal advice should always be sought before setting up and running a business in Korea.

The business environment

Under the Korean Constitution, liberal democracy and free-market capitalism are fundamental