Korea Due Diligence for Joint Ventures, Licensing, OEMs and Buying a Korean Company

Intending to execute a joint venture agreement with a Korean company? Buying a Korean company? Licensing technology to a Korean company? OEM with a Korean supplier? Selling to a Korean company?Before going to bed with a Korean company (or individual) do a little due diligence.  The motivation for this article is an article by my friends over at the China Law Blog.

Due diligence in Korea is not much different than due diligence in China.  However, don’t forget what is said below: “get someone who truly knows what he or she is doing” to assist with the due diligence.  We see too many Korean lawyers and Korean business professionals with a lot of ego, but little on-the-ground high-level Korean experience or an inability to think strategically and proactively.  The few great due diligence professionals in Korea are, typically, not found easily at the ubiquitous Korean Law Firms, because of issues of the over-delegation of tasks to subordinates and, sometimes, issues related to conflicts.

The China Law Blog notes, in part, that after doing a basic search on the internet a company should:

“Then do your due diligence the old fashioned way.  Ask your potential Chinese counter-party for relevant documents showing its various registrations and financial condition.  In particular, get its tax returns.

And if your potential counter-party will not turn over what you reasonably seek? Seriously consider walking away.  In our experience, legitimate Chinese companies do not balk at providing documents that reinforce that they are who they say they are.

And if your potential counter-party does turn over the documents you reasonably seek?  Then get someone who truly knows what he or she is doing to thoroughly review those documents.”  It is that simple.”

I wrote a few more articles on this issue that may be of interest to the reader:

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