Start a Business in Korea

How to start your new business?

According to the relevant Korean laws and regulations including Commercial Act and Foreign Exchange Transaction Act, we need to follow the procedure below and submit documents notarized and apostilled for each process.

Please note that most of the documents to be signed by the representative of the shareholder or the directors are required to get notarization and apostille.

We will prepare the documents to be prepared by the shareholder or the directors residing overseas for their issuance, notarization and apostille process.

Investment and Incorporation Process

Establishment of a company owned by a foreign individual or entity will be completed through the following processes:

1. Foreign investment notification 

2. Remittance of investment funds

3. Registration of company 

4. Notification of incorporation and business registration

5. Remittance of investment funds

6. Foreign-invested company notification

Joint Stock Corporation (Corporation) and Limited Liability Company (LLC) 

Corporation and LLC are two common types of a company in Korea as both can benefit a corporate shield.

Most of the companies have a form of corporation (although LLC is the most common form in many other countries including USA) but, recently, many companies have been established in a form of LLC.

The following table compares key features of Corporation and LLC under the Korean law.

Investigation report requirement at the time of incorporationRequiredNo
Public OfferingAvailableNot available
DirectorThree or more
(but one or two in case the total capital is less than KRW 1billion)
One or more
(but in case of sole director, not applicable)
Not required
(but optional in case the total capital is less than KRW 1billion)
Capital increase
Through resoluion of BODThrough resolution of a meeting of members
Bond issueAvailableNot available
Voting right1 voting right per share1 voting right per unit of investment (interest)

As you can see, it is easier for initial investors (incorporators) to set up an LLC because of simple fewer formalities compared to a corporation. And LLC can be an option for restricting the transfer of the share because such transfer is required a consent of other members of LLC.

However, to attract investors, a corporation is suitable because most of investors request shares (bond, or other benefits which a corporation may provide) in consideration of their investment. And only a corporation can be listed.

With Whale & Dale and our partner Law Firm and financial / tax experts, you can design the best business structure for your business.



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Addr. 2nd Floor, 331 Dogok-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea

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