Navigating Korea’s Business Environment: Doing Business in Korea

I have been working as a USCPA in Korea for over 15 years, primarily assisting foreign companies looking to start businesses in Korea. After assisting with the establishment of their corporations, I provide advisory services and various compliance services, including tax reporting within Korea. I would like to offer some brief advice on a few key points that foreign companies and individuals should be aware of before starting a business in Korea. I hope this information proves helpful.


  1. Cultural Understanding: Korea’s business environment is highly influenced by social dynamics and cultural norms. Building strong relationships, showing mutual respect, and considering the perspectives of others are essential for successful business interactions. Additionally, recognizing the tendency for Koreans to follow decisions made by superiors is crucial in navigating the workplace dynamics.
  2. Business Networking: Networking is a cornerstone of Korean business culture. Actively participating in networking events, industry conferences, and professional groups can significantly contribute to establishing and maintaining valuable business relationships. These connections often lead to collaborative opportunities and business growth.
  3. Contracting and Negotiating: Business negotiations in Korea involve a process of cooperation and compromise. It is crucial to approach negotiations with a focus on finding mutually beneficial solutions. Clearly defining and documenting the terms and conditions in contracts is vital to minimize misunderstandings and ensure smooth business transactions. Maintaining open and effective communication with all stakeholders throughout the negotiation process is key.
  4. Business Language: Korean is the primary language used in Korean business settings. When necessary, it is crucial to find professionals in Korea who are not only experts in their field but also proficient in English. This is particularly important because the Korean government often does not provide English services. Engaging with professionals who can effectively communicate in English will play a vital role in ensuring your success in Korea.
  5. Laws and Regulations: Korea’s business environment is governed by a complex set of laws and regulations. It is imperative to familiarize yourself with the specific legal requirements and regulations relevant to your industry before starting a business in Korea. Seeking professional assistance, such as legal counsel or consulting services, can ensure compliance and mitigate potential risks.

Remember, these insights and considerations provide a general understanding of Korea’s business environment. For further assistance and personalized advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us at We are here to support your business endeavors in Korea.

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