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

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Korea’s Class Action Law Proposed by Moon Administration

Class action lawsuits in South Korea are currently available in two types of civil cases: (1) under the Securities-Related Class Action Act of Korea (derivative/shareholder suits); and (2) in certain limited product liability matters under the Consumer Act of Korea. A bill that seeks to expand the scope of class actions into other areas, aside from the two instances above, has languished for years in the Korean National Assembly. However,

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Filing for a Patent in Korea: Basics of Korean Patent Law

Over the next couple of months, lawyers here at IPG Legal shall provide detailed insight and analysis of the Patent Laws of Korea. The following post details the basics of filing for a patent in South Korea. Individuals or companies can register for patents through the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). The application and registration of patents is governed by the Korean Patent Act (“the Act”). In most cases, patents

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Can Foreigners buy Real Property in Korea? Korean Real Estate Law for Non-Korean Residents and Non-Residents

Unlike some Asian countries that do not allow or strictly limit foreign ownership of real properties, South Korea has a buoyant market that permits foreigners to purchase real estate and even land in Korea.  The major restrictions on ownership of real estate for non-Koreans was lifted during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis based on the advice of the IMF.  The lifting of these restrictions, led, in part, to a commercial

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Calculation of Korean Hourly Wage Rate under the Minimum Wage Act of Korea

Korea’s minimum wage as per the Korean Minimum Wage Act in 2019 is determined by the Minister of Employment & Labor as KRW 8,350 per hour. The latest decisions of the Supreme Court developed a calculation standard/method for determining an hourly wage rate that is not in line with the opinion of the Ministry of Employment & Labor. In many such cases, a Ministry, simply, pushes to amend the law.

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Korean Intestate Succession Law: Inheriting Property from your Korean-National Parents

We assist numerous clients concerning intestate succession issues in Korea. Many of these clients are foreigners who are children of a Korean decedent who passed away without a will. Typically, the clients are in need of an asset scrub and assistance in the transfer of the assets to the name of the client and forwarding of the funds overseas. Please note this present article deals, solely, with Interstate Succession under

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Finding a Korean Lawyer/Law Firm for your Business in Korea

We obtain numerous emails and calls from potential clients in search of a great Korean lawyer for companies doing business in Korea.  The majority of these intakes come from referrals from present clients, referrals from other lawyers and a couple trickle in via this blog. From our contacts, we believe that many businesses in Korea are having a difficult finding attorneys in Korea that have business savvy, the ability to

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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

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Starting a Manufacturing Business in South Korea: Top 14 Things to Know Before you Start a Business in Korea

Korea, in most cases, is a much better choice for the manufacturing of chemical, petroleum, construction equipment, complex crafted metals, specialty steel, automotive parts, semi-conductor, medical and pharmaceutical equipment and goods than China and most nations in Asia, because of Korea’s skilled work force, government incentives and increasingly transparent business practices. In many cases, manufacturing in Korea will not, in the end, be more costly than manufacturing in China, because

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EEOC Complaints in Korea at Yongsan Army Garrison, Camp Humpreys and Area I: EEO Korea Complaints

This law firm’s U.S. lawyers handle EEOC Korean complaints from our office in Korea; Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) appeals from Korea; grievances under the Negotiated Grievance Procedure from Korea; complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); lawsuits in U.S. federal court for federal employees working at Yongsan, Camp Humphreys, Area I and throughout the Korean peninsula.  We, also, on occasion handle matters stateside and throughout other parts of Asia. 

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How Foreign Importers Entering Korea May Prosper from the Korean Middle Class in Korea being Screwed by Inflation: Screwflation

This is an older article we posted nearly eight years ago.  However, we fear the same is occurring today. Inflation may be a serious issue for Korea in the next couple of years.  The Korea Times has reported that stagnant wages and food inflation is leading to “Screwflation” in Korea.  This phenomenon is a potential opportunity for importers with an eagerness to directly access the market.  The term Screwflation was

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Mergers & Acquisition Arbitration Matters under Korean Law at the KCAB

Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As) lead to disputes around the world, many of which are complex and involve money that may change substantially the future of a company, shareholders, employees and other stakeholders. Korea is no different in this respect. Korea witnessed the number of its cross-border transaction disputes explode during the 1997 IMF crisis and continue to steadily increase ever since. Many of these issues ended in arbitration and many

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English-Speaking Criminal Defense Lawyers in Korea: Defense Lawyers to Hire and Not to Hire?

In all cases, in Korea, where you are accused of a crime and you fear that you may be sentenced to time in jail, may be deported or the conviction may harm your future, hire, quickly, an experienced and proactive English-Fluent Korean criminal defense lawyers prior to any interrogations by the Korean police or prosecution.Sadly, few lawyers, in Korea, are useful for criminal matters, since few lawyers are proactive when

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Provisional Attachments of Assets in Pending Litigation in Korea Courts

A party attempting to collect on a debt or potential liability based on breach of contract or torts in Korea may obtain a Provisional Attachment of an Asset. Another useful tool to expedite proceeding in a Korean civil matter is to Obtain a Payment Order from a Korean Court.  A provisional attachment is considered provisional, since the attachment is executed prior to the final judgement. The, facial, purpose of a provisional

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Liquidated Damages v. Penalties in Korean contracts

As a NY attorney, it’s a bit strange for me to read a Korean contract and see how the word “penalty” is used.  In the United States (as well as other common law jurisdictions), when a contract contains a “penalty,” the clause is, often, invalidated. Korea, however, allows some “penalties” in contracts. Cutting to the chase, this is merely an issue of confusing and overlapping terminology.  But since its confusing,

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Jurisdiction and Choice of Law Issues in Agency Agreements

In drafting and negotiating a Korean commercial agency agreement between a principal located in one country and an agent located in another country, proper consideration needs to be given to the choice of law regarding the governing law and jurisdiction of such an agreement. Jurisdiction determines which country’s courts will hear any proceedings that may be brought in relation to the agreement, whilst governing law is the law that shall

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Termination of Commercial Agent/Distribution Agreements in Korea: Korea’s Agent Compensation Rule

In many cases of termination of a distribution/agent agreement in Korea compensation must be paid to the commission agent.  In many cases, the same rules are applied to distributors.  The law on the termination of Commission Agent-type agreement is governed, mainly, by the Commercial Act of Korea and its enforcement decrees.  Korea law does not facially differentiate between termination and expiration of agent/distribution agreements. The following explanation is, only, a brief

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Korea’s Criminal Procedure Act: Pre-Trial Detention in Korea

The Korean Criminal Justice System works, in many aspects, very differently from the American Criminal Justice System. One aspect of the system that leaves many of our clients puzzled is the pre-trial detention system in Korea.  Korea’s Criminal Procedure Act Article 92 details the maximum detention periods while the Korean prosecutor’s investigation is pending.  The following does not apply, in many respects, to those under the SOFA: After being arrested,

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Enforcing Punitive & Liquidated Damages Awards against Korean Companies via Contracts with Foreign Subsidiaries of Korean Companies

A recent amendment of the Korean Civil Procedure Act added Article 217-2.  The Amendment has codified a holding by the Seoul Central District Court and other Korean courts noting, in part, that Korean Courts may refuse to “recognize foreign damage awards that clearly exceed amounts considered reasonable in Korea in violation of good morals and the social order of Korea” (99 KaHap 14496, S. Cent. Distr. Court, 10/20/2000). The Amendment

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Distribution Agreements in Korea: Crawl before you Walk

Prior to going into any relationship with a distributor/agent in Korea, please read my post entitled: Finding a Korean Distributor: The Top 10 Things to Know Before Going to Bed with a Distributor in Korea. Please read that post in combination with this post, prior to engaging a distributor in Korea. We see too many Korean distribution and agency agreements that are mere spun U.S. or European agreements.  Please have your Korean

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