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In this page: Accounting Rules | Tax Rates | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework | Standards | Business Practices


Accounting Rules

Tax Year
From January 1st to December 31st.
Accounting Standards
Statement of Korea Accounting Standards.
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Accounting Reports
Accounting structures includes Balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows, explanatory notes.
Publication Requirements
1) Companies listed at the stock-exchange and KOSDAQ market have to follow the disclosure regulation:
- Periodic disclosure : the business reports after the end of a fiscal year, semi-annual reports, and quarterly reports.
- Timely disclosure : major business details as outlined in the Securities Exchange Act and the Disclosure Regulations of the KRX-Stock Market
- Special disclosure : merger, ·spin-off, reports of business takeover & transfer, reports of acquisition & disposal of treasury stocks, etc.

2) External Auditing companies are required to disclose Audiiting report.

3) Corporations issuing securities are required to disclose public securities registration statements, business prospectuses, records of securities issuances, etc.
More information on Korea exchange website.

Professional Accountancy Bodies
KICPA (en inglés) , Korean Institute of Certified Accountants
KACPTA , Korean Association of Certified Public Tax Accountants (in Korean)
Certification and Auditing
Companies have to seek a statutory auditor to conduct an annual audit of the financial health of their organization. You can contact an external auditor: Ernst and Young Global, Deloitte Touche Tohmasu, KPMG International, Price Waterhouse Coopers.
Accounting News
Korea Accounting Institute

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
Value Added Tax (VAT)
Tax Rate
Reduced Tax Rate
A 0% rate apply for exports.
Other Consumption Taxes
Special Excise Tax, Liquor, Tobacco Tax, Stamp, Energy, Environment, Transportation, Auto Tax, etc.

Learn more about Service Providers in South Korea on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
11% (up to KRW 200 million) 
22% (from KRW 200 million to KRW 20 billion)
24.2% (Over KRW 20 billion)
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
Taxation is based on the annual business income. Since most of the foreign investors are corporations and thus liable to pay it, corporate tax makes up the largest portion of the total taxes related to foreign investment. Under the tax agreement, only the income from the permanent establishment of a foreign company is taxable. Permanent establishments here refer to branches, warehouses, stores, or other establishments for installment or construction projects. A company which has a right to sign a contract or which conducts its business and trade through an agent who on behalf of the company buys or sells its stocks is also subject to tax. More information on Invest Korea website.
Capital Gains Taxation
The capital gains tax applies to the income coming from the transfer of certain assets by an individual in a given year. A corporation is not subject to capital gains tax, and is instead taxed on income generated from this transfer in a form of corporate tax.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Tax deduction or exemption for farming cooperatives, fisheries cooperatives, forestry development income, small start-up businesses, start-up companies, foreign investment, disaster loss, Investment, R&D, etc.
Other Corporate Taxes
Urban Planning Tax, Business Place Tax, Community Facility Tax, Local Education Tax, etc.
Other Domestic Resources
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  South Korea OECD United States Germany
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 10.0 12.0 11.0 9.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 207.0 176.0 175.0 207.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 29.8 42.7 46.7 46.8

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Up to KRW 12 million 6.6%
From KRW 12  to 46 million 16.5%
From KRW 46 to 88 million 26.4%
From KRW 88 to 150 million 38.5%
Over KRW 150 million 41.8%
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Deductions for all taxpayers include: Insurance; Medical expenses ; Charitable donations ; Education expenses...
Special Expatriate Tax Regime
Expatriate have a special tax regime. A flat tax rate applies on individual income for foreigners: the rate is 18.7%.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
See the list of Korea's International Tax Treaty
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 20% ; Interest: 20% ; Royalties: 20%

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Sources of Fiscal Information

Tax Authorities
National Tax Service
Other Domestic Resources
Fiscal guide from Seoul City

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Learn more about Taxes and Accounting in South Korea on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

Intellectual Property

National Organizations
Korea Industrial Property Office (KIPO)
Korea Institute of Patent Information (KIPI)
International Intellectual Property Training Institute (IIPTI)
Korea Copyright Commission
Korea Patent Attorneys Association (KPAA)
Regional Organizations
Intellectual Property Rights Experts Group (IPEG)
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patent Law
20 years Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Trademark Law
10 years renewable every 10 years Trademark Law Treaty
Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
Design Law
15 years  
Copyright Law
50 years after the death of the author (It will be 70 years from the end of 2009 or 2010) Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models
Utility Model Law
10 years  

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
The Language of Justice
Recourse to an Interpreter
Yes. With the rapid increase of the crime committed by the foreigners, the Korean courts are trying to staff up more necessary interpreters.
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The system is modeled on European systems with Anglo-American influences like Japan.
Checking National Laws Online
Total Korean law service of Supreme Court
Total Korean law service (in Korean)
Ministry of Government Legislation (MOLEG)
Korea Legislation research Institute (KLRI)

Learn more about Lawyers and Legal in South Korea on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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National Standards Organizations
Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS)
Integration in the International Standards Network
International Level: The International Standard organization (ISO); The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).


Asia-Pacific Level: The APEC/SCSC; The ASEM/TFAP/SCA, Trade Facilitation Action Plan/Standards and Conformity Assessment of the Asia-European meeting; The Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC).

Classification of Standards
KS consists of 16 categories from General to Information Industry and is divided into three parts. More information available on The Korean standards website.
Online Consultation of Standards
Korean Standards Service Network
Certification Organizations
Korean Standards Association (KSA)

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Business Practices

General Information
Blog of Korean Business Culture
Doing Business in Korea
Soft Landing Korea
Opening Hours and Days
Public office and lots of private offices are closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Banks: from 9.30 to 16.30, Monday to Friday, from 9.30 to 13.30 on Saturdays.

Public Holidays

New Year's Day January 1st
Lunar New Year's Day February
Independance Movement Day March 1st
Labor Day May 1st
Children's Day May 5
Buddha's Birthday May
Memorial Day June 6
Constitution Day July 17
Liberation Day August 15
Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day) September
Nation Foundation Day October 3
Christmas December 25

Periods When Companies Usually Close

Lunar New Year's Day Season January 1st of Lunar calendar
Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day) August 15 of Lunar calendar
Summer vacation season July or Aug according to companies
Winter vacation season According to companies, between Christmas and New Year's day

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Last Updates: October 2014