Tips for Start-up Success in Korea: Korean Business Basics

Despite the economic challenges presented by the COVID pandemic, there are still plenty of opportunities for start-up companies in South Korea. Many of the long-term foreign attorneys in Korea shall advise that South Korea remains a perfect testbed for foreign companies in the East Asian marketplace. Local and national governments remain committed to fostering long-term partnerships with foreign start-ups within Korea. The attorneys at IPG Legal have put together a list of their top tips to help your start-up succeed in Korea.

Korean Start-up Law.

Take advantage of start-up programs in Korea

The Korean start-up ecosystem has developed in leaps and bounds over the last decade. As a first-time entrepreneur or seasoned pro, it’s important to take advantage of the multiple programs that are available to foreign start-ups. There are several co-working spaces, accelerator programs, and incubators, all designed to give you a leg-up in South Korea. For a full list of some of the opportunities available, we recommend checking out an in-depth list from

Have a Korean-Centric Business Plan

No matter where you do business a great business plan is a cornerstone for your success in Korea. Studies have found that entrepreneurs who invest the time to create a great business plan have a 90% chance of success rate of seeing their idea executed. Some of the nuances in the start-up space that differ in Korea include having an MVP of your product and practicing your pitch in Korean. These are things that will resonate with local investment teams in South Korea.

Invest in a Great English-speaking Accountant

Take the time to invest in a good English-speaking accountant in Korea. Accountants that are familiar with the Korean system of business can open-up multiple opportunities for foreign start-ups. For example, some accountants are familiar with programs from the local chamber of commerce that can help with the expense of paying the salaries of local staff. For recommendations on accountants speak to one of our attorneys in the international business team at IPG Legal.

Networking is Essential to Success in your Korean Business

Networking remains the key to business success in Korea and this will include having an active online presence across multiple social media channels. While Koreans are not as prolific at some Western channels such as Linkedin, the majority of the foreign business community will use this as a contact point in Korea. While keeping your digital presence active, also look to take advantage of several international chambers of commerce networking opportunities.

Read, Study and Read Some More About Doing Business in Korea

While market research should be your starting point, you should also consider taxation, corporate structures, shareholder agreements, and the basics of running and organizing a business. In most cases, a lawyer and a business consultant are advisable if you are not familiar with running a business in Korea.

Also, take a look around this blog we have some articles on most of the major areas of business law in Korea.

Have the Right visa to Legally Do Business in Korea

The D-8 (Foreign-Invested-Company) visa is a visa that is dependent on the amount of investment transferred from overseas to within Korea – other visas are available for certain tech companies and families of Koreans.

For a consultation with a top-rated international business lawyer, please Schedule a Call with an Attorney.

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