Company registration in South Korea - YB Case 2024
Registration period in days: 14
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South Korea

Company registration in South Korea


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You can register a company in South Korea by either visiting our office in person or completing the process remotely through the internet.

Features of jurisdiction

South Korea is a country characterised by a developed high-tech economy that only continues to grow. The state has a high standard of living, education and income, and is well-known by global high-tech corporations. In addition to its industrial prosperity, the country also has an open-door policy towards foreign investment, which has led to an influx of foreign entrepreneurs.

  • In-demand business areas

    Due to its territorial location and domestic policy, here are the most popular areas of business activity in South Korea: IT, logistics, financial and business services, investment projects, and manufacturing.

  • Possibility of remote registration

    Remote incorporation of a company in South Korea is possible.

  • Corporate taxes

    Corporate tax in Korea is progressive. The tax rate is 10% on the first 200 million KRW, 20% on taxable income from 200 to 20 billion KRW, 22% on taxable income from 20 to 300 billion KRW and 25% on income over 300 billion KRW.

  • Attitude towards foreign investors

    South Korea is open to foreign investment, making it a sought-after country for foreign entrepreneurs to establish a business.

  • Banks

    Shinhan Financial Group, KB Financial Group, Hana Financial Group, NongHyup, Woori Financial Group, Standard Chartered, Citi Bank.

  • Legal system

    South Korea's legal system is based on the continental common law system, similar to countries in Europe.

Company registration process in South Korea

Company registration in South Korea takes from 2 weeks and includes the following steps:
Initial consultation
Meeting with YB Case representatives at the office to clarify the details and client’s requirements. Start of the company incorporation process in the Republic of Korea (initial consultation can be done remotely).
Name reservation
The name of the future company must be unique and contain the abbreviation of the company's legal form.
Filing an application for company registration in the Republic of Korea
The articles of association and memorandum of the company are prepared and notarised, the applicant signs all necessary documents, which are submitted to the local regulator for review.
Review of the application for registration of a Korean company by the regulator
After receiving all the necessary documents, the regulator reviews the application and decides whether to incorporate the company in South Korea.
Receipt of the certificate of incorporation
After the company is incorporated in the Republic of Korea, the founders receive a certificate of incorporation containing the company's registration number. The company must then register for tax purposes in Korea.

Primary prerequisites

  • The minimum paid-up capital depends on the GFC and area of activity
  • The number of founders depends on the GFC and field of activity
  • Registered local address
  • Minimum one director (no residency requirements)
  • Filing of financial statements once a year
  • Annual founders meeting (possible remotely)
Company registration in South Korea

Company registration in South Korea

South Korea is a country that is renowned not only for its outstanding history and cultural heritage but also for its advanced technology and high level economic. Innovation, scientific progress and rapid industrialisation have made it one of the most dynamic and competitive countries in the world. By opening a company in South Korea, a foreigner has a unique opportunity to cooperate with talented professionals, available sources of financing and modern infrastructure.

In addition, a favourable business climate and government support make South Korea an attractive place for start-ups and new entrepreneurial ideas. By opening a company here, a foreigner can count on simplified registration procedures, tax benefits and support in bringing a product to the international market. So, we will look at the various aspects of starting a company in South Korea and explore the advantages for foreign entrepreneurship.

Advantages of doing business in Korea

Below is a list of the benefits of doing business in South Korea for a quick reference:

  • High economical level: The Republic of Korea is the 4th largest economy in Asia and the 13th largest in the world.
  • High technological level: South Korea is known for its cutting-edge technology and innovative industry, which provides great potential for the development of technology start-ups.
  • Favourable business climate: The government actively supports the business community through simplified registration procedures and tax incentives for start-ups.
  • Support for foreign entrepreneurs: Foreigners receive special benefits and support for business projects, which helps to reduce start-up costs.
  • Strong infrastructure: Developed transport and information infrastructure ensures easy communication and distribution of goods.
  • Strategic location: Geographical location provides easy access to key markets in Asia and the Pacific.
  • High level of education: A skilled labour force provides access to talented professionals.
  • Innovative spirit: A culture that encourages innovation and the development of new technologies helps start-ups to revolutionise the way things are done.
  • Overall quality of life: A high living standard and access to a variety of services make South Korea attractive to foreigners.
  • Competitiveness: The efficiency and flexibility of the business environment put up to the competitiveness of companies.
  • International influence: International cooperation and cultural exchange make the country a platform for global business.
  • Free trade with other countries: To date, agreements have been signed with Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

These advantages make South Korea an exciting destination for foreign entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses and innovate internationally.

Various types of business structures in South Korea: How to choose the best option

In this country, there are a number of different types of business structures, each with its own characteristics and suitable for a particular type of activity. Choosing the type is an important step for a startup or entrepreneur, as it can affect taxation, liability and management.

Joint Stock Company (Chushik Hoesa)

The joint-stock company is a popular form of business organisation in South Korea, especially for large enterprises. It allows you to raise capital through the sale of shares and share ownership and management among shareholders. This structure type is usually suitable for businesses with a significant amount of investment and a need for joint ownership.

Limited liability company (Yuhan Hoesa)

That’s a popular choice for small and medium-sized businesses. It provides more management flexibility and reduces risks for the members. In this structure type, the members are liable for the company's obligations to the extent of their contribution.

General partnership (Hapmyeong Hoesa)

This type of structure is suitable for joint ventures where the partners are actively involved in the management and are liable for the company's obligations. The general partnership includes joint liability and joint decision-making.

Hapja Hoesa

This type of business structure involves at least one shareholder, but the members' obligations are limited to their contributions.

Limited liability company (Hapja Johap)

A limited liability company combines the features of a joint stock company and a limited liability company, allowing for more flexibility in the distribution of profits and ownership.

Branch and liaison office

These structures are used to separate the operation of a company in South Korea from its parent company abroad. A branch office can carry out full operations, while a liaison office is limited to a representative function.

The best business structure depends on the specific needs, goals and scale of your business. By choosing the right option, you will be able to ensure the efficient organisation and development of your company in the dynamic business environment of South Korea. Therefore, you should consider consulting business experts at this stage.

Step-by-step instructions

Company registration in South Korea involves several steps and procedures. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  1. Choosing the company type. Determine which type of business structure suits your needs and plans. The choice will affect the taxation, ownership and management of the company.
  2. Choosing a company name. Make sure that the company name you choose complies with South Korean law and does not infringe on the rights of other companies.
  3. Registration with the Business Administration Board. Obtain a certificate of registration from the Business Administration Office or the Business Registration Portal. You will need your tax identification number and other required documents.
  4. Registration with the Ministry of Finance and the Pension Fund. Receive confirmation and obtain a corporation identification number.
  5. Opening a bank account. Make sure that you have specified the bank of your choice when registering the company.
  6. Registration for taxation. Register with the tax office to obtain a tax identification number. Pay property tax and other taxes that apply to your business.
  7. Employee registration. Register your insurance programmes and provide information about your employees to the Pension Fund.
  8. Obtaining licences and permits. If your business requires additional documents, apply for and obtain them from the relevant authorities.

After obtaining all the necessary documents, licences and permits, you are ready to start your business in South Korea. Please keep in mind that procedures and requirements are subject to change, so it is recommended to refer to official sources and consult with legal advisors before starting the company registration process.

Documents required

To open a company in South Korea, foreigners need to keep some mandatory documents. As the rules and requirements are subject to change, it is also recommended to consult official sources or legal advisors before starting the incorporation process. Here is a general list of papers:

  • Application for company registration: This contains information about the company name, type of business and other details.
  • Copies of passport and identification number: Proof of identity and citizenship is required.
  • Business plan: A detailed description of your business, its goals, strategy and action plan.
  • Documents confirming your legal status: If you are representing a legal entity, you may need to provide proof of company registration in South Korea and the status of the organisation.
  • Investment details: If you are investing money or have plans to invest in a company, you will need information about the sources of funds.
  • Bank statement: This is a confirmation of your financial solvency, as well as the availability of start-up capital.
  • Lease or ownership agreement: A document confirming the location of your company.

It is worth noting that translations of documents into Korean may also be a requirement, and the governing bodies may require notarization or apostille. By collecting all the necessary documents and following the official requirements, you will be able to successfully register a company in South Korea.

Taxes for Korean companies

The taxation system in South Korea distinguishes between different types of taxes for companies. Here are some of the main ones:

  1. Corporate Income Tax: This is the main tax, where the rate is 10-25%, depending on the amount of profit. There are certain exemptions for new companies and those investing in certain regions or industries.
  2. Value Added Tax (VAT): The standard VAT rate in South Korea is 10%, but some goods and services may be exempt or taxed at a reduced rate.
  3. Property Tax: This percentage is levied on property owners and can vary from location to location.
  4. Real Estate Tax: This tax is levied on property owners and is usually based on the assessed value of the property.
  5. Special Excise Tax: It applies to certain goods such as alcohol, tobacco, cars, etc.

Regarding benefits for foreign companies:

  • New companies: Certain categories may be exempted from or receive a reduced rate of corporate tax for some time.
  • Foreign investors: Some regions or industries may provide incentives for investors who choose to locate their business in South Korea.
  • Tax treaties: South Korea has tax treaties with other countries, which helps to avoid double taxation.

Financial side

Financial reports are a key part of business management, providing entrepreneurs and investors with the necessary insight into a company's financial position and performance. These reports help to assess the profitability, solvency and growth of an organisation. The most important financial statements include the balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in equity, solvency, cash flows and notes with additional information.


Establishing a company in South Korea by foreigners requires some mandatory steps and the submission of relevant documents. The country offers a promising entrepreneurial atmosphere and opportunities for foreign businesses due to its developed infrastructure, favourable investment conditions and wide markets.

It is important to prepare thoroughly and, above all, to define your goals. If you do each thing correctly, you will have no problems with company registration in South Korea and the process will go quickly and without errors. We recommend that you get professional advice to plan your start-up properly.

What documents are required to register a company by foreigners?

You will need a name registration certificate, copies of a business licence, a lease agreement, and documents confirming the nationality/citizenship of the company's shareholders.

What are the opportunities for non-residents to receive financial support?

There are various programmes and opportunities for foreigners to receive financial support or investment. Government and private funds can provide funding for start-ups and innovative projects. There are also special investment visas for foreign entrepreneurs who plan to develop businesses in South Korea.

Are there opportunities for business expansion in South Korea?
Yes, the country is one of the world's leading innovators and technology leaders, which creates the potential for cooperation in the fields of information technology, biotechnology, robotics and others. South Korea's large and diverse consumer base also provides opportunities to explore new markets and expand sales.
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