Getting Started

Exporting to Korea

U.S. embassies are committed to supporting U.S. companies to start exporting or grow their exports to Korea. In this section, you’ll find an quick description of Korea as an export market and some suggestions for getting started.

Getting Started

1.Visit www.export.gov/southkorea to get an overview of economic conditions and opportunities.  Access the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library containing more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by our specialists working in overseas posts.

The Library Includes:

  • Country Commercial Guides (PDF – 654KB)
    (read latest “Doing Business In” guides)
  • Market Updates*
  • Multilateral Development Bank Reports*
  • Best Markets*
  • Industry/Regional Reports*

2.Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for advice and support on exporting to Korea . Contact a Trade Specialist Near You.

3.Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs).  Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration and aims at giving educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

4.Contact in-country business support organizations such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea or the U.S.-Korea Business Council

5.Make use of business matchmaking services

Investing in Korea

This section provides information for current and potential investors in Korea.

Potential investors: Getting Started.

If you are considering investment in Korea, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started:

  • Americans can register with the American Citizen Services of the U.S. Embassy to get on their distribution for notices, etc.  They can be contacted at seoulinfoacs@state.gov.

Current investors: Staying Connected.

If you are a current U.S. investor in Korea, the U.S Embassy wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open:

  • Register with the U.S. Embassy – If you are active in Korea, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses on this page.
  • Add us to your mailing lists – we are always happy to stay informed
  • Subscribe to our embassy Facebook page or Twitter feed
  • Set up a meeting with our economic or commercial team to discuss any issues that arise

Working in Korea

In this section you will find information on business visas, travel advisories, and anti-corruption tools.”

Then have a sub-section on Business visas with the current text from Visas.

Business Visas

Visa Requirements for U.S. Citizens

  • No visa needed for a stay of up to 90 days.
  • A stay of over 90 days requires a visa.

If planning to stay more than 90 days or for any purpose other than tourism or business, U.S.  passport holders must obtain a visa prior to entering Korea.  Americans coming to Korea for activities such as employment, teaching English, or study must obtain a visa at a Korean embassy or consulate abroad.

For more information about Korean visa and entry requirements, please see the Korean Ministry of Justice’s website at http://www.moj.go.kr/HP/ENG/index.do.

For information about visas to Korea, please see the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website at http://www.mofat.go.kr/ENG/visa/application/index.jsp?menu=m_40_10

Travel Advisories

Make sure to check the current State Department travel advisory https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/korea-south.html for Korea

FCPA

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets.  The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business.  These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.

A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue.  Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA.  Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.

Contact Address:

U.S. Commercial Service, Korea
US Embassy in Seoul
188 Sejongdaero, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-710
Tel: 82-2-397-4535
Email: Office.Seoul@trade.gov