How to start a business in Korea

The Republic of Korea offers many opportunities to budding entrepreneurs. It’s not an impossible task to start a business. It takes about two weeks from start to finish for your business to run in Korea. Foreigners who want to do business must prove their ability to invest a considerable amount in the country. Very specific steps and the right documents must be submitted to get the right documentation for your business.

Travel to Korea, or check with your local Korean Embassy to see if the citizens of your country need a travel visa to enter Korea.

Use the time on arrival to look for business opportunities that may interest you. You can not earn money or work six months upon arrival in Korea.

Open a Korean bank account. This shows your ability to invest in Korea. Your passport is the only documentation required. Set a value of 50 million won (about $ 40,900) transferred from a foreign account to your account to the Korean bank account you opened on your behalf. The down payment must be made in a lump sum and is called “for investment purposes only”. Use an online currency conversion chart to calculate the amount in your currency. Receive documentation from your Korean bank after making your deposit to start working on your business.

Check with your local district office to see if your business needs permission to open. There are 16 district offices in South Korea, one in each major province. If necessary, ask permission.
Find a location for your business Make sure the property for the type of business you want to run is zoned. Before signing the contract, ask if you can live and work on the same property.

Fill in the documents to record the name of your company. Bring your bank account documents and real estate leases to your local district office. Trade names should be registered in Hangeul, the Korean alphabet. If you are unfamiliar with Hangeul, hire a local representative to help you with your documents. It could be a high school student learning English or a professional translator. Submit your documents and application with the fees required for processing. The treatment can be done the same day or you can return for your records. Make sure you have your original documents.

Request a tax registration receipt. Copies of this certificate will accompany any business you do. The local district office issues the certificate when you present your passport, the registration of the company name and the bank documents.
Name a tax accountant for your business. The agent assumes financial responsibility for your business and ensures that your taxes are paid when you are not abroad. This is usually a role given to a Korean accountant who will give you the documentation for your next and final step.

Apply for your D-8 visa. This visa allows you to live and earn money in Korea. Existing copies of your visa application or a valid visa, your passport, your registration certificate, your tax certificate, the documents of your accountant, the written confirmation of your bank of origin, your lease and your bank book. The D-8 visa is valid for six months and is extended with proof that your taxes are up to date and that documents such as receipts and invoices show that your business is prosperous.