Northeast Asia companies in 2023

Summary at a GlanceKoreaJapanChinaTaiwanHong Kong
Total company set up costsUS$13,093US$18,560US$18,085US$17,690US$10,105
Subsequent annual costs (incl audit and tax)US$9,000US$12,270US$5,500US$12,730US$11,020
How long to set the company up?2 weeks6 weeks12 weeks1 week1 weeks
How long to open company bank account?2 weeks3 weeks6 weeks3 weeks4 weeks
Issued share capital requiredUS$1US$1US$15,000US$1US$1
Corporate bank account locationCitibank SeoulShinkei TokyoHSBC ShanghaiSCB TaipeiHSBC HK
Tenancy agreement required before incorporation?YesYesYesYesNo
Do you travel for company incorporation?NoNoNoYesNo
Resident director required?NoNoNoNoNo
Legal considerations
Resident shareholder required?NoNoNoNoNo
Minimum number of directors11111
Minimum number of shareholders11111
Resident company secretary required?NoNoNoNoYes
Individual shareholders allowedYesYesYesYesYes
Corporate shareholders allowedYesYesYesYesYes
Corporate director(s) allowedNoNoNoNoYes
Public register of shareholders and directorsYesYesYesYesYes
Tax and accounting considerations
Corporate tax payable %25%23.2%25%20%16.5%
Statutory audit requiredYesNoYesNoYes
Annual tax return to be submittedYesYesYesYesYes
Access to how many double tax treaties85641002731
Tax exempt free zones availableIncheon
Resident company for local tax purposesYesYesYesYesYes
Withholding tax payable on dividends 22%20%10%20%0%
How long to get work permit approved3 months3 months3 months3 months3 months
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in the country?YesYesYesYesYes
Logistics considerations
Allowed to sign sales contracts with local clientsYesYesYesYesYes
Allowed to invoice local clientsYesYesYesYesYes
Average monthly salary of skilled labourUS$3,000US$4,000US$1,000US$3,500US$4,000
Average monthly salary of unskilled labourUS$1200US$1400US$450US$950US$1000
English spoken by what % of the people10%15%1%15%46%
Literacy rate %98%99%92%98%93%
Computer literacy rate %90%90%50%85%80%
Office city rental per square meter per monthUS$18US$22US$12US$18US$30
Warehouse rental per square meter per monthUS$10US$20US$6US$10US$25
Internet connectivity ratingExcellentExcellentPoorVery GoodExcellent
GDP per capita (US$)25,97738,6336,80731,90038,124
Government liberal or controlling of daily businessLiberalModerateStrictStrictLiberal
Tertiary enrollment rate97%61%30%84%67%
Ease of doing business global ranking (lower the better)43484115
Population50 million127 million1.357 billion23 million7.1 million
Unemployment rate2.9%3.9%6.4%4%3.3%
Inflation rate0.6%1.6%0.8%0.31%2.9%
GDP US$1.31 trillion4.92 trillion9.24 trillion474 billion274bn
Average annual growth3.0%1.6%7.7%0.05%2.9%
Estimate of engagement costsUS$US$US$US$US$
Healy Consultants engagement fees3,5005,9506,4006,6403,350
Legal registered office fees3,5001,20003,6001,550
Government fees350570550550255
Tax registration fees9409409501,9500
Healy Consultants Project management fees003,85000
Corporate bank account opening4,9505,9504,9504,9504,950
Estimate of total outgoings in Year 113,09318,56018,08517,69010,105
Draft sales invoice attachedView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDF

Contact us

For additional information on our incorporation services, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi