Starting A Business In Korea For A Non-Resident

South Korea may not be the biggest of nations, but with a population of over 50 million, it is ideal for any business. South Korea is filled with opportunities in the business world, making it the ideal place to start a business. As a foreign person or body, you may wonder can foreigners start a business in Korea.

Yes, it is possible for a foreigner to start a business in Korea and it is proving to be a popular choice in the current business world. Not only is it possible for a foreigner to start a business in Korea, but it is an ideal location to do so. Starting a business in Korea is easy once you have the right information. And with PremiaTNC, you are one step to creating desired business in Korea.

Can Foreigners Start a Business in Korea? And Why?

Not only can foreigners start a business in Korea, there are also many reasons for them to do so. Korea is ideally located between two business powerhouses, Japan and China. This makes Korea the perfect location to establish a business, with the potential of expanding into the Asian Market. Additionally, Korea has an exceptional GDP, placing the 10th highest GDP in the world (Source). While Korea is a relatively small country, the business sector is thriving thanks to a healthy foreign presence.

The Korean Government is invested in foreign relations, and as such, has made the economy favorable to foreign businesses. This makes Korea one of the best locations for a foreigner to start a business in the entire world.

Thanks to the business environment, the business growth rate and rewards timeline are faster than almost anywhere else in the world. The Korean business market also features Korean companies, willing to form partnerships with businesses that already have a firm setting in other countries.

What you need to know before starting a business in Korea?

It may be a very rewarding business setting, but that doesn’t mean you can simply jump in and start a business. The most important thing to note is that the business landscape in Korea is different from whatever country you are from. To ensure your business can grow and fully enjoy the benefits of the Korean business landscape, there are a few things you will need to know.

Firstly, the Korean government plays an active role in the business sector, unlike in most other countries. The Government is intent on growing the economy and establishing favorable international relationships, and hence, uses business as a medium. While the government influence may not seem obvious immediately, you are sure to notice it when the paperwork starts piling up.

Secondly, you will need to note that there is already a strong foreign presence in the business sector. Thanks to the favorable nature of the business sector towards foreign companies, Korea is already a destination location for businesses. Companies like Ikea, Costco, and Starbucks have all expanded into the Korean market and noted great success.

One other thing you have to know about the Korean market is that it is largely dependent on the people’s culture. The most obvious effect of culture on the business landscape is Language. By simply speaking the language, you can improve your chances of business success. You will need to learn as much as you can about the culture if you are to succeed. To help you with this, you need to hire someone who understands the language and business landscape.

At PremiaTNC, we are well established in the workings of the Korean Business landscape, as well as knowledgeable about the Culture. By partnering with us, you give your business the edge it needs to thrive in the Korean business market.

Pros And Cons Of Doing Business In Korea

There are a lot of great things about starting a business in Korea as a foreigner. There are, however, a few things that may prove to be deterrents to foreigners.


An Educated Clientele

South Korea has one of the highest literacy rates in the world, making it a business-friendly environment. The only thing you will have to worry about is conveying value or presenting your business in the right way to the public. Thanks the high literacy rate, also mean there are a lot of people earning enough money to patronize your business, once they can see the value in it.

Government involvement

The government is actively interested and invested in growing the foreign business presence in the country. To this end, there are a lot of incentives and rewards programs offered to foreign companies like tax rebates. The government involvement is also an indication that the business landscape will likely remain favorable to foreign businesses for a long time.

Ideally located

Lying between both Japan and China makes Korea strategically placed to get a foothold in the Asian market. Thanks to the population among other things, the Asian market is ideal for growing a business and attaining success. Japan and China may not be ideal locations to start a business, but once you can get a foothold in Korea, you can spread to the rest of the continent.



The government involvement in the business sector may be a good thing, but the amount of paperwork it creates isn’t. If you are unfamiliar with the Korean business landscape, it is easy to miss something or forget to fill out a form, which could prove costly. The best way around this is to hire a business manager familiar with the entire process to help you out like PremiaTNC.

Cultural significance

While the society is filled with intellectuals, there is still a huge reliance on culture. You will need to understand the culture of the people and how to use this knowledge to further your business. The Korean culture is unique, so it may take some getting used to for a foreigner. Hiring someone from Korea can help make the process easier and faster.


Starting a business in Korea is a great idea especially when you are a foreigner. Statistics alone make Korea one of the best places to site an international business. Once you can make the right hires, you will likely find business success in the Korean market.  

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