Today's Invest Guide

Types of Korean Market Entry

Types of Korean Market Entry


1)Foreign corporations or individual foreigners

establishing a local subsidiary

2) individual business (not a foreign-invested company)

3) establishment of local domestic branch office

4) establishment of liaison office

Local subsidiary (foreign-invested company)


Setting up a local subsidiary

(limited/unlimited, corporation, LLC, incorporated company)

through investment by foreigners or foreign corporations

according to the Foreign Investment Promotion Act and commercial law.

Individual business


A foreigner or foreign company must establish a corporation to qualify

for a corporate investment visa. However, residential status (F-2),

overseas Koreans (F-4), permanent residence (F-5) and foreigners with

a Korean spouse (F-6) are exempt from the investment requirement

when registering an individual business; however, these businesses

are not recognized as foreign-invested companies. 

Branch office


A branch office should be established

in accordance with the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act.

It can operate its business activities to make revenue and

the corporate tax rate, which is the same as a local Korean company, is applied.

Liaison office


A liaison office can conduct non-sales related activities

for the head office such as business liaison, market research, and R&D.

It is not allowed to conduct revenue-generating sales activities

in Korea. Therefore domestic source income is not produced.