Features of doing business in South Korea


South Korea has a high-tech industrial economy focused on foreign markets. The country has well-known corporations around the world, for example, Samsung, Hyundai Motor Company, SK Group, Korea Electric Power Corporation, LG Electronics, and many others. Universities in South Korea provide quality education and train qualified professionals who not only occupy vacancies in the local labor market, but also open a successful business.

Wages in South Korea in many industries exceed the European average. The state has excellent infrastructure, transparent laws, and optimal conditions for entrepreneurs, including from abroad. Business in South Korea for foreigners is an opportunity to enter major Asian markets and increase the competitiveness of their products. In fact, the law “On the encouragement of foreign investments” has been in force in the country for 20 years and local authorities are taking all necessary measures to attract foreign businessmen to their country.

Today, thousands of migrant workers seek jobs in South Korea, and some foreigners are interested in starting their own businesses. Of course, without the help of local experts (lawyers, accountants, auditors) it is not easy to do. One of the main difficulties is the language barrier, business culture and mental differences of South Korean citizens. The process of adaptation is quite difficult and long.

Moreover, for the sake of objectivity, the welfare of the Republic of Korea should not be overly idealized. There are plenty of problems in the country. For example, the domestic political crisis of recent years, strained relations with some neighboring countries, aging population, inflexible labor market, youth unemployment, monopoly of large corporations and high dependence on exports, which accounts for about 40% of GDP.

Despite all the socio-economic and political difficulties, South Korea maintains a comfortable business environment that attracts hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world. This fact is partly confirmed by the well-known rating of the Agency Doing Business, in which as of 2019, South Korea ranks 5th out of 190 countries in terms of the availability of starting a business. This is the best result among all Asian countries after Singapore.

Business immigration to South Korea usually involves the re-opening of a special d-8 visa at the Korean diplomatic office. A foreigner’s registration card must be issued within 90 days of arrival in South Korea. The minimum investment for a visa is 100 million won, which is equivalent to 89 thousand dollars. Depending on the type of business with a D-8 visa is allowed to be in South Korea from 2 to 5 years. In the future, you can obtain permanent resident status (f-5 visa).

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