Entrepreneurs: Have you thought of South Korea?

Published 2019-07-05 08:55

When you ask foreigners what comes to their mind when they hear the word "South Korea"? Twenty years ago, many would have failed to answer this question with ease. The answers given may have been "Kimchi", "North Korea" or "Taekwondo" at best. Asking the same question nowadays, people would not be hesitant to give answers. It might be the food like Kimchi, Bibimbap or Bulgogi or some will mention titles of K-Drama or names of K-Pop artists. South Korea managed to increase its popularity over the years and today, we want to talk a little bit about what it is like to do business in the country.

Osung Accounting Corporation

Osung Accounting Corporation, an accounting firm headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, specializes in company formation and accounting outsourcing for foreign clients.

Five years ago

Five years ago, South Korea listed the seventh in the global ranking on the ease of doing business surveyed by the World Bank. At the time, local media published articles one after the other describing challenges faced by and how difficult it was for foreigners to start a business in South Korea.

Five years later

Five years later, how do you think the situation changed and is South Korea doing better or worse? South Korea ranked the fifth place out of 190 countries and was followed by New Zealand, Singapore, Denmark and Hong Kong on the ease of doing business in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report. The result indicates that South Korean government’s effort to improve its business environment for foreigners is paying off. The government officials continue to remove redundant and inefficient regulations and are fostering a business-friendly environment for foreigners.

Foreigners who own business in South Korea have different backgrounds. They came to the country as either tourists or students in the beginning and then ended up staying to make a living. Some had jobs but quit and started their own business and others wanted to find jobs but couldn’t so started their own business instead.

Business Setup in South Korea

Supposedly you wish to set up a standardized company (Jusik Hoesa, joint stock company) in South Korea. What you need to do in general is fill out a business registration form, gather required documents, make a company seal, prepare capital (when required) and open a bank account (when required). It takes about 3 business days to process your documents and you will have your business registration three days later if everything goes well. 

If you need more information about starting your own business in South Korea, here are some places you can turn to for help. 

Hosted by


Institute of Startup and Entrepreneurship

Activating Global Start-Up

National IT Industry Promotion Agency

K-Startup Grand Challenge

Seoul Global Center

Foreign Start-Up Incubation

Seoul Global Startup Center

Entrepreneurial Education

Or if you wish to find out what needs to be done quickly to own a business in South Korea, you can contact Osung Accounting Corporation to seek extensive support. Osung provides services including opening/closing business, accounting outsourcing, tax services, payroll administration, audit and assurance and has been serving its foreign clients since 2007. And professionals fluent in English, Chinese and Japanese stand by to answer any inquiries you may have. 

Success Story

Want to hear a success story?  Meet Craig Latouche, the founder of Jobfindr. After graduating from university in Ireland, he came to South Korea to think about his future. While he was studying for his master's degree in Seoul National University, he witnessed many of his foreign friends lacking access to local job postings and leaving the country. Not to mention Craig himself faced a visa issue during the hiring process by a Korean company and was let go at the last minute. To resolve the issue, Craig and his friends created Jobfindr in 2016, a job advertising platform that provides access to credible and safe job opportunities for foreign nationals seeking jobs in their adopted homes.  Started out in Seoul, the platform now covers 9 cities including Tokyo, Shanghai, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai.