Expand Business in South Korea

Global Upside helps businesses expand into South Korea by providing talent acquisition, human resources, accounting, payroll, tax, incorporation, and professional employer organization (PEO)/employer of record (EOR) services. Our comprehensive offerings create an end-to-end solution that helps you establish your business and optimize your operations, all while maintaining compliance with South Korean  laws and regulations.

The hiring and incorporation processes in South Korea are often complex, time-consuming, and involve numerous legal and compliance challenges. Global Upside simplifies these processes and lifts the compliance burden from your business. Our teams have the experience and expertise required to help you establish a legal entity in South Korea . We also offer PEO/EOR solutions to companies interested in hiring employees quickly, without setting up a legal entity in the country.

Capital City

Seoul

Currency

South Korean Won (₩)

Language

Korean

Government

Democratic Republic

Country Overview

Located in East Asia, South Korea is a high-tech, service-based economy that is one of the fastest-growing developed nations in the world. Since the 1960s, South Korea has seen stable growth and alleviation in poverty.

  • South Korea ranks as the 12th largest economy in the world by nominal GDP
  • South Korea ranks as the 4th largest economy in Asia

Legal Entity Setup

The business entity setups options in South Korea are:

Limited Liability Company (LLC) / Yuhan Hoesa

A limited liability company (LLC), or Yuhan Hoesa, is the most common form of legal establishment in South Korea. An LLC must appoint at least one investor and one director. The minimum share capital requirement is only $1.

General Partnership / Hapmyeong Hoesa

A general partnership, or Hapmyeong Hoesa, is formed by at least two partners who share unlimited liability. Each partner is jointly liable for all debts that are incurred by the establishment.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) / Hapja Hoesa

A limited liability partnership (LLP), or Hapja Hoesa, is a form of establishment that requires at least one partner to subject themselves to unlimited liability and at least one partner to maintain limited liability. The LLP is responsible for paying Korean corporate taxes and cannot be treated as a pass-through entity.

Joint Stock Company or Chushik Hoesa

A joint stock company, or Chushik Hoesa, is a standard corporate setup for foreign businesses that establish subsidiaries in South Korea. The liability is restricted to the capital investment by the shareholders.

Human Resources

The following information must be included in all employment agreements:

  • Job duties and location
  • Job rules and working hours
  • Remuneration
  • Annual paid leaves
  • Weekly and public holidays
  • Entitlement benefits for work-related illness and injury
  • Maternity/parental leave and pay

Payroll

Wages are usually paid by the 15th of each month in South Korea. Pay slips can be issued to employees electronically.

Accounting

Accounting standards in South Korea, regulated by the Korean Accounting Standards Board (KASB), follow the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), renamed Korean IFRSs (K-IFRSs). All companies doing business in the country must use either IFRS Standards, as adopted in Korea, or US GAAP.

Tax & Compliance

Corporate Tax

The corporate tax rate in South Korea ranges from 10% to 25%.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

The VAT rate for services and goods is 10%.

Data Privacy

The Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) was established to protect personal data and information. The collection and use of personal data and information by IT service providers is regulated under the Act on Promotion of Information and Communication Network Utilization and Information Protection (IT Network Act).

Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption Law

Articles 129 to 133 of the Criminal Act cover anti-bribery statutes and establish both bribery in any form as an illegal activity.

1. Bribery of Public Officials

For Individuals:

i) Ban from the profession for up to 10 years

ii) Imprisonment for up to 5 years

iii) A monetary fine

iv) Confiscation of all assets resulting from the illegal activity

2. Bribery of Private Employees

For Individuals:

i) Imprisonment for up to 5 years

ii) A monetary fine of a minimum of KRW 10 million

iii) Confiscation of all assets resulting from the illegal activity