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How to organize your business in Korea?

Generally speaking, foreign corporation can consider the following three types of business presence in Korea:

  Liaison (or representative) office
  Branch office
  Joint venture

The concept of "Liaison office" as stipulated in the Korean tax laws is different from it generally understood by foreigners. Under Korean tax laws, liaison office means the business place in Korea which is utilized solely for non-income-producing liaison activities such as (1) purchase goods, (2)storing or displaying goods not for sale,(3)market research or other similar activities of preliminary or auxiliary nature.

However, if the intended scope of activities in Korea exceed the liaison activities as described above, you should establish a branch office instead of a liaison office. For example,if you sell goods or services through office in Korea, you need to establish a branch in Korea.

Joint venture which is incorporated by Korean laws, it will be deemed Korean company for tax purpose. It must be established in accordance with the regulations under the Korean commercial law. There are the following four types of joint venture according to the scope (limited or unlimited) or the type (direct or indirect) of the liabilities borne by the investors:

  Limited Partnership
  Corporation (Stock Company)
  Limited Liability Company