South Korea company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN SOUTH KOREA IN 2022

pay fee by instalmentsbusiness setup without travel

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has been efficiently and effectively assisting our Clients with i) South Korea business registration ii) business licensing iii) South Korea business banking solutions iv) visa options and staff recruitment strategies and v) workspace rental solutions.

Compare different South Korea entitiesLLCFTZ companyBranch OfficeRep OfficeLLP
Entity locally known asYuhan HoesaFree Economic Zone CompanyBranch officeROHapja Hoesa
Best use of company?SMEsInternational TradingBank branchesMarketingProfessional Services
Legally tax exempt if properly structured?NoYes (for 3 years)NoYesNo
Corporate bank account location?Woori BankCitibankKEB Hana BankSCB KoreaWoori Bank
Client must travel to Korea?NoNoNoNoNo
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesNoNo
Limited liability entity?YesYesNoNoYes
GST payable on sales to local customers10%10%10%No10%
Withholding tax on payments to overseas shareholders?22%NoNoNo22%
Average total engagement costs?US$13,343US$13,943US$13,693US$12,333US$9,953
Average total engagement period?4 weeks4 weeks5 weeks5 weeks4 weeks

See full table

Accounting and tax considerationsLLCFTZ companyBranch OfficeRep OfficeLLP
Statutory corporation tax payable?20%0% (for 3 years)20%0%0%
Must file an annual Korea tax return?YesYesYesNoNo
Effective corporation tax rate on net profits of US$250,00013%0% (for 3 years)13%0%0%
Must file annual financial statements?YesYesYesNoNo
Investment income is legally tax exempt in Korea?NoYes (for 3 years)NoNoNo
Access to double taxation treaties?YesYesYesNoNo
This entity enjoys Government incentives?YesYesYesNoNo
Monthly GST reporting to the Government?NoNoNoNoNo
Legally tax exempt entity?NoYes (for 3 years)NoYesYes (if no services are provided in Korea)
Dividends received are legally tax exempt?NoNoNoNoNo
Company registrationLLCFTZ companyBranch OfficeRep OfficeLLP
Korea resident director\partner\manager required?NoNoYesYesNo
Minimum number of shareholders\partners?11Parent CompanyParent Company2
Minimum number of directors/managers?11111
Minimum paid up share capital?US$1US$90,000US$1US$1US$1
Shelf companies available?YesNoNoNoNo
Time to incorporate a new entity?2 weeks2 weeks3 weeks3 weeks2 weeks
Can easily convert to a local PLC?YesYesNoNoNo
Can have preference shareholders?NoNoNoNoNo
Business considerationsLLCFTZ companyBranch OfficeRep OfficeLLP
Can invoice local customers?YesYesYesNoYes
Can hire local staff?YesYesYesYesYes
Can rent local office space?YesYesYesYesYes
This entity can secure a residence visa for business owner?YesYesYesNoNo
Good entity for trademark registration?YesYesYesNoNo

Korea has signed free trade agreements?Yes
This country is a member of WIPO and TRIPS?Yes
The country is a member of the ICSID?Yes
Average customs duties suffered?8%

 LLCFTZ companyBranch OfficeRep OfficeLLP
Government foreign investment approval is required?NoYesNoNoNo

Average monthly office rental? (US$ per sq m)US$24
Minimum statutory annual salary?US$11,294
Average monthly US$ salary for local employees?US$3,180
Korea Won deposit interest rate? (1 year average)2%
US$ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)0.34%
Overseas remittance currency controls?No
Public register of shareholders and directors?Yes
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available?Yes
Corporate visa debit cards available?Yes
Quality of e-banking platform?Good
Crowd funding available in this country?Yes

  • Case study

    Setting up a South Korean LLC for crypto trading

    In April 2021, our Client, a USA based company approached Healy Consultants Group PLC to assist with setting up a South Korean LLC for crypto trading.

    Our Client provided all the due diligence documents required for company registration, signed the engagement letter and paid the first installment of our fees.

    • Engagement planning

      • Our Client travelled to South Korea and was in quarantine for 2 weeks.
      • Meanwhile, Healy Consultants Group PLC reserved our Client’s preferred business name with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.
      • Healy Consultants Group PLC simultaneously prepared the registration forms to be signed by the Client
      • Following completion of quarantine, we arranged for our client to meet with our Korean partner for signature of the registration documents.
    • Company incorporation

      • Our Client met with our Korean partner at his office and signed all the registration documents.
      • Thereafter, we submitted them to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance to proceed with company registration.
      • Two weeks thereafter, Healy Consultants Group PLC obtained the Certificate of Incorporation and Certificate of Business Tax registration documents.
    • Post company incorporation

      • Healy Consultants Group then translated the company documents collated all corporate documents including certificate of incorporation, Certificate of Business Tax registration and company seal and handed them over to the Client at our Korea partner’s office.
      • Our Client could now proceed with bank account opening sign contracts, issue invoices, receive funds and pay suppliers through their newly-opened corporate bank account;
      • Our Client asked Healy Consultants Group PLC to timely accurately and completely discharge their monthly and quarterly and annual legal, accounting, audit and tax obligations;
      • Healy Consultants Group PLC asked our Client for a professional reference;

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Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in South Korea, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Lee Wen Bin, directly:
Consultant at HC - Wen Bin
  • Ms. Lee Wen Bin
  • Client Engagements Department, Deputy Director
  • Contact me!