South Korea client case studies in 2023
NVOCC International Freight Forwarding Company Setup in South Korea
- Our Client is multi-national freight forwarding company headquartered in Houston, Texas with global offices including i) Americas (Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, and Chile), ii) APAC (Singapore, Hong Kong and China), and iii) Europe (Belgium and Spain). As part of their global expansion project, our Client requested Healy Consultants Group for professional assistance to establish a subsidiary in South Korea;
- After an initial phone call discussion re the company incorporation in Korea, our Client settled the total engagement fees with Healy Consultants Group to commence the engagement and supplied complete due diligence documents;
- After detailed discussion with our Client and thorough study of their business profile, Healy Consultants Group drafted a detailed project plan outlining the steps of the engagement and estimated completion timelines to incorporate Korean entity. Because our Client’s business activity and nationality, Healy Consultants Group informed that our Client’s business activity would require a regulatory license from Korean Government and may need to secure Foreign Direct Investment certificate with a high paid up capital;
- Our team drafted a quality business plan detail explaining i) the business activities of the company ii) expected turnover and banking transactions, and iii) management background of the company. Thereafter, proceeded to liaise with multiple i) legal professionals in South Korea, ii) Government Authorities including KOTRA and Seoul Metropolitan Government to confirm if our client’s business activity is required to secure a business license, and requirements for the same;
- As part of Companies Registry requirement, Healy Consultants Group secured a lease agreement for our Client’s Korean company;
- Within 2 weeks, Healy Consultants Group secured multiple confirmation that our Client’s international freight forwarding business activity is subject to regulatory license, and requires to deposit a paid-up capital of KRW300 million prior registration of the Korean entity;
Company registration documents and capital account opening
- Healy Consultants Group provided list of documents to be apostilled / legalized for the incorporation of the Korean company. Our Client provided complete apostilled documents required for the company incorporation for our in-house country experts review prior to couriering the originals to Healy Consultants Group’s accountants in Seoul Korea;
- Our Client opened a capital account with the Korean branch of an international bank in Seoul, injected a paid up capital of KRW300 million to secure certificate of deposit;
- Upon the receipt of the original complete apostilled documents and colour copy of the certificate of deposit, Healy Consultants Group proceeded to company registration with the Supreme Court of Korea; Within 3 weeks Healy Consultants Group secured certificate of company registration and certificate of tax registration for VAT;
Incorporation of Limited Liability Company
- Within 2 weeks from the receipt of the original complete apostilled documents and colour copy of the certificate of deposit, Healy Consultants Group’s incorporation team completed the registration of the subsidiary and supplied our Client with an extract of commercial records as a confirmation of the company registration;
- Within 1 week from the registration of the subsidiary, Healy Consultants Group registered the Korean subsidiary with Korean Tax Authorities;
- Thereafter, our Client to convert the capital account into a trading corporate bank account. Internet banking and cheque books were couriered to Our Client’s preferred address;
International Freight Forwarding business license for NVOCC
- Healy Consultants Group provided detailed summary of business license requirements, relevant law and legislations, and documents checklist listing the required documents for the business license application included, i) certificate of insurance for the freight forwarding business, ii) apostilled documents of company directors, and iii) complete set of corporate documents;
- Healy Consultants Group prepared complete business licence application and submitted the same to Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs;
- Within 1 week from the submission of quality business application form, Healy Consultants Group secure International Freight Forwarding business license for our Client’s business. Following the same, Healy Consultants Group updated the business registry of our Client’s business with freight forwarding business objective;
Healy Consultants Group successfully complete the South Korea company setup and secured international freight forwarding business license within 3 months. Thereafter, we emailed the Client i) a complete Client file; ii) business license details; and iii) a Client feedback survey.
Australian headquartered mineral inspection company establishes a subsidiary in Seoul, South Korea
- Our Client is the UK subsidiary of an Australian listed company specializing in laboratory testing, inspection, certification and verification solutions. With presence in over 80 countries across Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, the Firm now needed to establish their subsidiary in South Korea to be able to service their existing customers directly instead of through third party subcontractors;
- Having found Healy Consultants Group business website through Google, our Client approached Healy Consultants in February 2018 to determine how quickly we could help structure their Korean subsidiary. After a detailed phone call and expert analysis and deliberations with Kunal Fabiani, our South Korea business setup expert, our Client decided to engage Healy Consultants within 48 hours of presenting a formal proposal.
- Our Client promptly provided us with the due diligence documents and Healy Consultants agreed a flexible payment plan allowing our Client to settle our engagement fees in 3 instalments. Thereafter, Healy Consultants Group prepared a detailed engagement project plan mapping out a step by step plan to engagement completion as well as a quality business plan to assist with corporate bank account opening in South Korea.
- Within 1 week, Healy Consultants Group prepared the corporate registration documents, corporate resolutions, power of attorneys and supplied a detailed checklist of documents for our Client’s signature, notarization and apostille in the UK and courier back to Seoul together with the corporate shareholders’ and individual directors’ attested documents;
- Upon receipt of the original attested documents from our Client, Healy Consultants Group submitted the complete quality LLC registration application with the Seoul District Court. Within 2 weeks of submitting the company registration package, Healy Consultants Group obtained the Court Registration Certificate. Within an additional business week the Tax Authority approved and issued the Business Registration Certificate and the company’s ax and VAT number. Kunal immediately emailed our Client a scan copy of the same and applied for the company stamps and digital certificate.
Corporate bank account opening
- Healy Consultants Group approached 2 local Korean banks to secure in writing their interest for our Client’s business activity. Because of their responsiveness, Kunal recommended our Client to proceed with the the second Korean bank and then prepared all the required bank due diligence documents and prefilled the corporate bank account application forms;
- The authorized Korean attorney then scheduled a meeting with the bank officer and signed and submitted a quality corporate bank account application. Within 1 week, the Bank approved the multicurrency corporate bank account and emailed Kunal the bank account numbers and e-banking login codes.
Healy Consultants Group couriered the complete company kit comprising original corporate documents and bank correspondence to our Client in the UK and kept scans of all company secretarial documents at the Seoul registered office.
US Client establishes a company in South Korea
- Our client is a US national that owns a free online radio channel;
- The US company’s revenue is received through i) subscriptions of emerging artist to promote their music through the webpage and ii) provision of advertising space;
- Our client wants to register a South Korean entity to replicate the business model in the country;
- Having found Healy Consultants Group business website through Google, our Client approached Healy Consultants in January 2018 to determine the optimum corporate structure for their business in South Korea.
- Healy Consultants Group prepared and emailed our Client an engagement advancement proposal including a formal invoice, engagement letter and due diligence checklist and a list of our existing and past client for professional reference;
- Our Client promptly provided us with the due diligence documents and settled our fees in full. Thereafter, Healy Consultants Group prepared a detailed engagement project plan mapping out a step by step the engagement process. Healy Consultants also prepared a quality business plan to assist with corporate bank account opening in South Korea.
- Healy Consultants Group firstly confirmed the Clients preferred corporate structure and confirmed with the South Korean Government authorities that our Client did not require a business regulatory license;
- Healy Consultants Group then prepared the required list of documents and templates and emailed the same to our Client for signature, notarization, attestation and courier return to our South Korean affiliate office;
- Upon receipt of the original attested documents from our Client, Healy Consultants Group submitted the complete quality branch registration application;
- Within 3 weeks, Healy Consultants Group obtained the approval of the South Korean authorities, secured the Commercial License of the subsidiary and immediately emailed our Client a scan copy of the same.
Corporate bank account opening
- Healy Consultants Group approached multiple Korean banks to secure in writing their interest for our Client’s business activity;
- Healy Consultants Group then prepared the required bank due diligence, including bank account opening forms and scheduled multiple meetings with Korean banks in accordance with our Client’s preference;
- Upon meeting with the bank officers at Healy Consultants Group Dubai office, our Client decided to proceed with a Korean based international bank. Healy Consultants signed the necessary bank forms on behalf of our Client;
- Within 1 week thereafter, the bank’s compliance department approved the multicurrency corporate bank account. Healy Consultants immediately emailed our Client corporate bank account numbers, followed by courier the internet banking token to our Client’s preferred address.
- To comply with the S. Korean Government statutory requirements, Healy Consultants Group prepared and emailed our Client a draft tax invoice for their convenience;
- Together with the internet banking tokens, Healy Consultants couriered the i) company kit comprising original corporate documents ii) bank correspondence and iii) Client satisfaction survey to our Client’s preferred address in Europe.
European Company establishes a subsidiary in South Korea
Our client is a company founded in Tilburg, Netherlands in 1987 and has approximately 100 employees. The company has fully owned subsidiaries in England, Germany, France, Brazil, Russia, the USA and Canada and now in South Korea;
The company’s end goal is to provide safe drinking water and environmentally friendly waste management solutions. Our Client decided to establish a presence in South Korea to venture into the untapped niche market in the region;
Having found Healy Consultants Group business website through Google, our Client approached Healy Consultants in July 2017 to determine the optimum corporate structure for their business in South Korea.
Healy Consultants Group prepared and emailed our Client an engagement advancement proposal including a formal invoice, engagement letter and due diligence checklist and a list of our existing and past client for professional reference;
Our Client promptly provided us with the due diligence documents and settled our fees in full. Thereafter, Healy Consultants Group prepared a detailed engagement project plan mapping out a step by step the engagement process. Healy Consultants also prepared a quality business plan to assist with corporate bank account opening in South Korea.
Subsidiary LLC registration
Healy Consultants Group firstly confirmed the Clients preferred corporate structure and confirmed with the South Korean Government authorities that our Client did not require a business regulatory license;
Healy Consultants Group then prepared the required list of documents and templates and emailed the same to our Client for signature, notarization, attestation and courier return to our South Korean affiliate office;
Upon receipt of the original attested documents from our Client, Healy Consultants Group submitted the complete quality branch registration application;
Within 3 weeks, Healy Consultants Group obtained the approval of the South Korean authorities, secured the Commercial License of the subsidiary and immediately emailed our Client a scan copy of the same.
Corporate bank account opening
Healy Consultants Group approached multiple Korean banks to secure in writing their interest for our Client’s business activity;
Healy Consultants Group then prepared the required bank due diligence, including bank account opening forms and scheduled multiple meetings with Korean banks in accordance with our Client’s preference;
Upon meeting with the bank officers at Healy Consultants Group Dubai office, our Client decided to proceed with one of the largest local banks in Korea and signed the necessary bank forms;
Within 2 weeks thereafter, the bank’s compliance department approved the multicurrency corporate bank account. Healy Consultants immediately emailed our Client corporate bank account numbers, followed by courier the internet banking token to our Client’s preferred address.
To comply with the S. Korean Government statutory requirements, Healy Consultants Group prepared and emailed our Client a draft tax invoice for their convenience;
Together with the internet banking tokens, Healy Consultants couriered the i) company kit comprising original corporate documents ii) bank correspondence and iii) Client satisfaction survey to our Client’s preferred address in Europe.
International food export business enters South Korea
Mr Sweeney is a UK citizen. He wishes to expand his business to South Korea and approached Healy Consultants to meet his goal. He plans to incorporate a company that primarily engages in buying and selling of soft commodities (such as food products) to and from global companies located in Dubai and Austria primarily. When Mr Sweeney first call in, he emphasized his urgency to obtain this company because the company need to sign an important contract with his Client. Immediately after the call, Healy Consultants emailed Mr Sweeney with the list of documents needed to proceed with company formation.
Knowing Mr Sweeney needs the company urgently, Healy Consultants made several calls to the Korean Government and Korean banks immediate after receiving Mr Sweeney’s phone call, to confirm Mr Sweeney’ proposed business is allowed in Korea and is acceptable for bank account opening. Thereafter, Healy Consultants sent Mr Sweeney a detailed cost proposal to set up the South Korea Company. Following receipt of Mr Sweeney’ due diligence documents and fund transfer, Healy Consultants started to incorporate the company. At this point, our South Korean team, in consultation with our Singapore office, prepared a detailed Engagement Project Plan, outlining the project steps and deliverables from Healy Consultants, as well as likely timeframe to finish the whole engagements.
Healy Consultants began the incorporation process after the corporate structure is agreed by Mr Sweeney. For Global Commodities, Healy Consultants recommended a limited liability company (Yuhan Hoesa), which requires a minimum of two shareholders and one director. Yuhan Hosea is ideal for a small to medium-sized business as it has a simple corporate structure.
Healy Consultants started the incorporation procedure by checking the availability of Mr Sweeney’s preferred company name and within a day obtained a certificate of name availability for Global Commodities. Healy Consultants then filed the application package for incorporation and complete the court registration within three days.
Thereafter Healy Consultants completed the company tax registration in another three days. The whole incorporation process only takes around one week to complete.
Corporate bank account
After company formation, Healy Consultants proceed with the corporate bank account opening for the new company. Healy Consultants approached an international bank in Korea to apply for a corporate bank account for Global Commodities. Healy Consultants prepared a detailed business plan for Mr Sweeney’s company, providing comprehensive information on its activities, products and services, as well as its Clients and suppliers. Along with a completed corporate bank account application form, Healy Consultants visited the bank’s Seoul branch and within the day, the bank approved and issued the bank account numbers together with the passbook and ATM card and internet banking token.
Other support services
To further support Mr Sweeney’s business engagement in Korea, Healy Consultants aids Mr Sweeney in many other related tasks. For example, Healy Consultants provided: i) full recruitment support, including hiring of local staff, advertising, interviews, shortlists, etc. ii) Sourcing for contractors to furnish Mr Sweeney’s office iii) contacts in Korea, e.g. suppliers, export agents iv) an introduction to existing Clients who operate in the same industry. Last but not least, to enable Mr Sweeney to work legally in Korea, Healy Consultants also assists Mr Sweeney and his family to obtain residency and working visa in Korea.
The whole company incorporation and bank account opening process takes approximately three months to complete from start to finish. Mr Sweeney’ timely response and co-operation was highly appreciated during the engagement.
Healy Consultants provides Mr Sweeney with a complete company kit including i) Original certificate of incorporation ii) Original Certificates of Business registration and bank kits (incl internet banking token, ATM card and passbook). For our continuous improvement, Healy Consultants also emailed Mr Sweeney an Engagement Feedback Survey for his completion.
Australian CEO saw potential in South Korea
Our Client Malcolm Davies is the CEO of a Sydney-based robotics technology firm. His Australian company has been carrying out research and development (R&D) of robotic and security systems for Australian firms for more than 20 years, and has an excellent reputation in its field. A strategic review of the company’s operations identified a need for the company to diversify its revenue sources in an increasingly competitive domestic market, and an executive decision was therefore taken to set up an overseas R&D facility.
Preliminary research by the company revealed strong potential in South Korea. Recent media reports have highlighted plans to build ‘Robot Land’, a US$530 million industrial city built specifically for the robotics industry, and which will include facilities for R&D and robot production. This long-term commitment to the industry, as well as the availability of grants and incentives to attract foreign investment in specific Free Economic Zones (FEZs), prompted Mr Davies to look for a corporate service provider who could assist his company effectively and transparently in a potentially ‘alien’ market. He contacted Healy Consultants, having found our website following a Google search, and was impressed with our capabilities. However, from the outset Healy Consultants warned him of complex and expensive South Korean setup procedures, as well as possible language difficulties in business in general.
However, Healy Consultants’ core strength is to provide workaround solutions to any obstacles during an engagement, and with this in mind Mr Davies agreed to commission Healy Consultants to conduct initial research into the ideal company type and location for any new company in South Korea. Mr Davies agreed to settle a retainer fee of US$2,000 for us to carry out the research. Healy Consultants employ qualified accountants with extensive knowledge of corporate and tax law in South Korea.
The focus of the initial research was on the three FEZs in South Korea, at Busan, Incheon and Gwangyang Bay, with the objective being to establish the advantages and disadvantages of each. Healy Consultants contacted the authorities of each FEZ by telephone to describe the intended business of Mr Davies’ company, and to find out if the company would qualify for tax exemptions and grants under South Korea’s foreign investment regulations. Healy Consultants prepared a comparison table of the three FEZs, which was sent by e-mail to Mr Davies in Australia for his perusal. It was quickly apparent that the Incheon FEZ would be an attractive location for Mr Davies’ company, from both a logistical and economic point of view. Located adjacent to Seoul’s Incheon international airport, it offers excellent communications infrastructure, and the Techno Park at the Songdo Intelligent City (within the Incheon FEZ) is being developed into a fully-fledged R&D community.
Having established the location of the company, the next step was to identify the optimum corporate structure. Foreign investment in South Korea is closely monitored by the government, which prefers foreign investment to take the form of a Stock Company (Chusik Hoesa). However, in our Client’s case, Healy Consultants recommended a limited liability company (Yuhan Hoesa), which requires a minimum of two shareholders and which, unlike a Chusik Hoesa, requires no board of directors. The Yuhan Hoesa is ideal for a small to medium-sized business such as Mr Davies’ company, because it is a more simple corporate structure. Having presented a proposal for a Yuhan Hoesa to Mr Davies, he signed our Client Engagement Letter and remitted the required funds (minus the US$2,000 retainer fee) to Healy Consultants’ corporate bank account to begin the process of company incorporation.
With this, Healy Consultants began preparations to form the Yuhan Hoesa in the Incheon FEZ. The first step was to apply for foreign investment approval for the project at the Ministry of Finance and Economy in Seoul. In addition to completing an application form, Healy Consultants prepared a detailed business plan (in the intended name of the company), highlighting its intended activities, information on its Clients and suppliers, as well as financial projections and information on the shareholders and directors. Healy Consultants also arranged translation of the business plan into Korean, a process which took 10 days. Approval was granted within 10 more days, following which Healy Consultants started preparing the memorandum and articles of association, as well as a statement on the amount and form of the proposed initial share capital. These documents were couriered to Mr Davies in Sydney for his signature and return to us. At the same time, Healy Consultants arranged to lodge the minimum capital of US$53,000 (which our Client had included in the engagement fees) at one of the largest Korean banks, who issued a Certificate of Full Payment, which was immediately e-mailed to Mr Davies.
Meanwhile, Healy Consultants received the signed corporate documents from Australia within one week, and filed them at the Commercial Registrar’s Office in the Seoul District Court, who advised that the Certificate of Incorporation would be issued within one month. In practice, Healy Consultants received an e-mailed copy of the Certificate of Incorporation within two weeks. With company incorporation complete, Healy Consultants visited the Incheon FEZ Authority with a view to locating a suitable site for Mr Davies’ R&D facility. Since this was a critical phase, we had recommended that the Client now visit Seoul to meet with the FEZ authority, find a suitable facility and sign a lease/purchase agreement for an R&D centre.
According to a feasibility study commissioned by Mr Davies’ Australian company, as well as in-depth independent market research, it was decided to build a US$5 million R&D facility in the FEZ, and a letter of intent was signed by Mr Davies and the FEZ to this effect. With a suitable site identified, Mr Davies is currently seeking bank finance for the project.
Accounting and tax support
The next phase of the engagement was to register the company for tax at the District Tax Office in Seoul and obtain a tax identification number and business registration certificate. To achieve this, an application was submitted by Healy Consultants by mail, along with a copy of the lease agreement from Incheon FEZ. The certificate and tax identification number were received by Healy Consultants after 10 days.
To complete the current phase of the engagement, Healy Consultants provides a full virtual office for Mr Davies’ Korean operation, and will continue to do so until the R&D facility is completed. As well as a comfortable working base for Mr Davies when he is in the city, the office fields telephone calls and receives mail, forwarding phone messages to Mr Davies on the same day. When the R&D facility is complete, it is likely Mr Davies will require assistance with obtaining visas for foreign employees.
Import/export vehicles and vehicles part firm sets up business in South Korea
Our client is a company specialized in import and export of vehicles (buses, trucks, cars, tractors…), vehicle parts and accessories in Latin America. They contacted Healy Consultants for company incorporation and bank account opening in South Korea.
As usual, the engagement process started with the signing of the engagement letter and the completion of the standard due diligence. The engagement letter contained an attached strategy document in which Healy Consultants states i) our Client expectations, ii) Healy Consultants expectations.
The process of incorporation started lasted for 4 weeks counting from the moment Healy Consultants had all the due diligence from our client.
Incorporation in South Korea is a time consuming task so Healy Consultants sheltered our Client of travelling to South Korea for engagement completion. Healy Consultants prepared incorporation forms that were reviewed and signed by the Client, found suitable office premises and obtained a lease agreement necessary before incorporation. Only after these steps were complete, we could start with company incorporation process and registering the company with all the necessary Public bodies.
For our Client, confidentiality is very important so Healy Consultants acts as the director and shareholder of the company. A specific agreement was signed to ensure our client’s assets are fully protected.
Corporate bank account
Our Client was in a hurry to operate with the bank account. He was expecting a payment from one of his most important clients. A renowned international bank;s branch in Korea was the entity chosen by the Client. Healy Consultants approached our contact in this bank. In general, banks continue to tighten corporate bank account opening procedures and in this case, the bank required our Client to travel for successful corporate bank account opening. Despite the fact that Healy Consultants offered the Client US$500 discount for him to travel, the Client decided, as a short term solution, to open a corporate bank account with a local bank.
Healy Consultants recommended to open a corporate bank account with one of the largest local banks. The corporate bank account was opened within three days and the bank package containing the user name, passwords and general instructions were sent directly to the client.
After these weeks, Healy Consultants successfully finalized the engagement by sending the company kit to the Client through courier which contained all the originals documentation of the incorporation process.