Korean Tax Incentives for Start-up Businesses in Korea

Our friends at the Korean Tax Blog drafted a post on Korean Start-up Business Tax Incentives. We, at IPG Legal, have written other articles on other incentives, grants, and Korean free trade zones that can be found with a search of this blog, however, we have regrettably neglected many tax incentives. With the increasing cost of doing business in Korea, the Korean government is stepping up and offering incentives for some startup businesses., mature businesses and also businesses wishing to

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Squeezing-out Minority Shareholders under Korean Corporate Law

The amended Commercial Code of Korea provides for “squeeze-out” rights for shareholders holding 95% or more of the shares of a company. This Korean law was promulgated in April of 2012. The law also provides for a right of minority shareholders of Korean companies to demand a “sell-out.” It seems possible, under the very vague wording of the amended clauses, for a sell-out to take place at the same time as a squeeze-out with the potential of conflicting appraisals and

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Top 100 Korean Lawyers & Legal Consultants in Korea

Sean Hayes, head of the Top Korean Dispute Resolution Law Firm of the Year was rated by LawAsia, one of the leading peer-reviewed publications in Asia, as a Top 100 Lawyer in Korea. Sean Hayes is one of the only non-Korean attorneys on this Korean Lawyer “A-list” and the only non-Korean that was on the list each year the list was published. Sean Hayes is the first non-Korean attorney to have worked for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of

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Exercising Korean Stock Options in Companies in Korea under the Korean Commercial Code

Stock options, in Korea, are often provided to senior foreign and domestic employees of companies in Korea. For stock options, in non-listed/non-public companies in Korea, to be exercisable by employees in Korea (thus a valid option) the option must be approved, in most cases, at a general shareholders meeting of the Korean company. Another article that may be of interest can be found at: Granting & Exercising Stock Options in Korea.   The articles of incorporation of the Korean stock granting

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Valid and Enforceable Contracts in Korea: Korean Contract Law Basics

In Korea, contracts are agreements that are legally binding and enforceable under the law. They can be created for a wide range of purposes, such as employment, real estate, intellectual property, and commercial transactions. A contract, in Korea, is an agreement between two or more parties to create, modify, or terminate obligations that are legally enforceable. To constitute a legally enforceable contract in Korea, there must be: It is important to highlight that certain contracts in Korea require specific formalities

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Dual-Class Shareholdings in Korea: Korean Corporate Law Updates

Prior to the recent amendment to the Special Measures for the Promotion of Venture Businesses Act, Korea was an outlier in the developed world with regard to Dual-Class Shareholdings. Most developed economies allow Dual- Class Shares for IPOs and for unlisted countries. Korea prohibited Dual-Class Shareholding for both listed and unlisted companies. Korean Commercial Code Art. 369(1) The Korean Commercial Code mandates that a shareholder may, only, receive one vote for each share. This so called “One-Share One-Vote Principle” was

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Occupational Safety in Korea: Serious Accidents Punishment Act

The Serious Accident Punishment Act (“SAPA”) was passed by the Korean National Assembly and came into effect on January 27, 2022. With the implementation and recent expansion of the SAPA, we encourage all employers to do a comprehensive compliance audit. Some law firms, including this one, have attorneys and staff that can assist your team in doing a comprehensive audit. SAPA has greatly expanded the list of accidents that are applicable and significantly increased the penalties for breaking the law.

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Acquiring Shares in Closed Korean Corporations in Exchange for Products at Discount: Don’t Forget the Due Diligence in Korea

I just received a phone call from a prospective client with a wonderful product that has been offered a sweetheart deal.  Whenever I hear that someone has received a no risk or sweetheart deal in Korea, a red flag immediately goes up in my head and I immediately request the client to let me do a couple of weeks of due diligence. One of the many, ubiquitous, sweetheart deals is ownership of shares in company in exchange for some benefit

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Is a Non-Registered Company Director in Korea an Employee under Korean Labor Law

Many non-Korean workers for Korean and international companies doing business in Korea are hired under the title Director. Many of these workers are, in reality, executive employees working as executive-level managers. Many of these workers are “employees” under the Korean Labor Standards with all of the protections afforded employees. For an article on the dismissal of Foreign Executives in Korea please see: Unfair Dismissal of Foreign Executives under Korean Term Contracts and Dismissal of Employees in Korea. Korean Labor Standards

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The “2023 Proposal” to the Korean Electronic Financial Transactions Act

On May 11, 2023, the National Policy Committee of the Korean National Assembly passed a bill known as the “2023 Proposal” on the Act on the Protection of Virtual Asset Investors (“Act”). The 2023 Proposal, which focuses on enhancing the protection of virtual asset investors, shall be finalized in the plenary session of the Korean National Assembly. The 2023 Proposal introduces the following key points to enhance investor protection: During the approval process, the Korean National Policy Committee also adopted

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