Employer Of Record in South Korea

We make it easy and painless to expand your business into South Korea. Forget about dealing with local regulations, confusing tax laws and international payroll management. We take care of all that so you don't have to.

Accelerate your growth into South Korea Compliantly and hassle-free

At Serviap Global we handle all employee onboarding, payroll, compliance, risk, mitigation and benefits, so you can focus on what matters most – your business.

How we can help you expand in South Korea

As your EOR in South Korea we’d help you expand by hiring employees and running their payroll without establishing a local branch office or subsidiary. 

Your candidate is hired by a PEO in South Korea provider in accordance with local labor laws and can be onboarded in days instead of the months it typically takes. Shortly after, your new employee will be working for you, just like any other member of your team. 

Expand to South Korea with Serviap Global

Through our PEO and EOR services, you can hire qualified talent in your industry without the trouble of opening your own legal entity. 

In just a few days, you can easily and safely build a presence in South Korea being sure that your staff will be hired in compliance with labor and tax regulations

Table of Contents

Quick Facts

South Korean Won (KRW)


Payroll Cycle:


South Korea Country Facts

A beautiful country, South Korea sometimes has heavy rains in the summer and cold winters. The most notable part of South Korea’s terrain is how mountainous the country is. It is located between Japan and China and it also boasts a highly educated and technologically savvy population.

The Economy

South Korea’s economy is high-tech and industrialized. The first couple of months in 2021 saw South Korea become one of the first OECD countries to have recovered to pre-pandemic levels. South Korea maintains a focus on prioritizing high-technology industries, such as automobile and electronics production, as well as information technology.

The Importance of Small and Medium-sized Companies

Korea’s big businesses form the backbone of the economy – Samsung alone provides 20% of Korea’s exports. But small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) provide over 80% of the country’s jobs.

Population Characteristics

South Koreans have the highest education level in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. 98% of the population completes secondary education and 63% earn a college education. The literacy rate is 98%.

Economic Opportunities

South Korea is trying to ease excessive regulations to make the market more accessible for both foreign and local companies. After achieving this it has become one of the top 10 business-friendly economies in the world.

South Korea is a sophisticated market with growing levels of disposable income. With its hi-tech economy this country helps lead the world in electronics manufacturing, flat-screen TVs, semiconductor chips, and mobile phones.

Key Sectors of the National Economy

Main industries include:

  • Aerospace
  • Creative industries (Design) ICT – Communications, Industrial Electronics, Consumer Electronics
  • Electronics
  • Telecommunications
  • Auto production
  • Shipbuilding
  • Chemical production 5

The biggest companies in South Korea are the likes of Hyundai, LG and Samsung.

Human Talent
Korean is the official language, but they teach English widely in the country’s schools. South Koreans are
highly educated and are known for being hardworking.

Prominent Cities for Business

  • Seoul
    Seoul is the capital of South Korea on the River Han. Seoul is the largest trade, finance, and business
    hub of South Korea.
  • Busan
    Busan is the second largest city of South Korea, with the largest commercial port in the country and it serves as the educational, cultural, and business center of the south-east. The city is famous for its shipbuilding, machinery and fashion.
  • Incheon
    Incheon is known for its commerce and trade, as well as its emerging biotech industry.
  • Daegu
    Daegu is best known for its electronics and textiles industries, as well as its agriculture, which mainly
    grows apples.

Technological Ecosystem

South Korea boasts a worldwide high internet accessibility of around 82% (closer to 98% among the 18-24-year- old range) and about 78% of citizens use smartphones. Which is why South Korea is the perfect place for tech startups to launch their product or service.

Facilities for Foreign Investment

South Korea could hardly make foreign businesses feel more welcome. The Invest Korea Plaza (IKP) is Korea’s center aimed at growing businesses and providing investment support for foreign investors. South Korea can boast a robust shipping and air cargo infrastructure known as both a market destination for U.S. products and services, but also a hub for expansion into other world markets.

Business Culture in South Korea

Boozy After-Hours Business
In South Korea, it is still common for bosses to drag their team members out for (probably way too many) rounds of soju/beer/whiskey “bombs.” Do not opt out of this tradition, as they will not see you in a good light.
Relationships Matter
It is important to establish a good working relationship and build trust with South Koreans. Sports,  families and hobbies are all suitable topics of conversation to make that happen.
Get off on the Right Foot
Always remove your shoes and remember to point them towards the front door. Whether invited out to dinner in a restaurant or, occasionally, to someone’s home, they consider it a great honor.

South Korea Gastronomy: regional and traditional cuisines

South Koreans are a healthy bunch, not only due to their diet but also non-alcoholic drinks such as green and ginseng tea which are full of antioxidants while drinks containing barley like Shik-Hye and Barley tea, help the digestive system.

South Korea’s most famous side dish. Kimchi is fermented vegetables.

Bulgogi (marinated beef barbecue)
A juicy, savory dish of grilled marinated beef. It is often grilled with garlic and sliced onions to add flavor to the meat. Which is then wrapped in lettuce and eaten with ssamjang (a thick, red spicy paste).

Bibimbap (mixed rice)
This is basically a bowl of ingredients, which of course include rice, but also seasoned and sauteed vegetables, beef, soy sauce, chili pepper paste and a fried egg. This varies by region.

General Highlights

CountrySouth Korea/Republic of Korea
Num. States / Province9
Principal CitiesSeoul, Busan, Incheon, Daegu
Local CurrencySouth Korean won (KRW)
Major ReligionChristian & Buddhist
Date Formatyyyy/mm/dd
Thousands Separator Format99,999,999.99
Country Dial Code+82


Time Zone

Korea time zone is typically 11-12 hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time (EST), New York time.
Population52 million
Border CountriesChina, Japan, North Korea
Continental surface100,370.00 km2
Fiscal YearJanuary 1 – December 31
VAT %10%
Minimum Wage9,160 won/day (approximately $7.91 USD)
Taxpayer Identification Number Name in the countryTIN
Current PresidentMoon Jae-in

What you need to know about employing personal in South Korea:

LawsBrief Description
Korean Labor Standards Act and Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act


These laws govern trade and labor.


National Pension System (NPS)

The NPS is a single national pension system and covers most employees and self-employed persons aged 18-59 in Korea. It also provides for voluntary coverage for older people aged 60-64 and coverage for the unemployed. The general coverage criteria for the NPS are age and residence.

Key Tax and Labor Authorities

National Tax services (NTS)This is the center for tax.
Ministry of FinanceThis handles the economy and Treasury department in India.

Labor Contracts

Contracts must be in writingA foreign employee must have a work permit issued through the Employment Center which lasts for one year. The employer must prove that a Ukrainian citizen cannot fill the role in the foreign employee’s place.

Employment Contracts

The Labor Standards Act dictates contracts must contain:

•       Name and address of both the company and the employee

•       Salary

•       The amount of time an employee can take off for sick leave

•       Working hours

•       Details of holiday entitlement and paid annual leave

•       General working conditions

•       Location of work

•       Job description

The Federation of Korean Trade UnionsIndia is a member.
Work Hours8 hour days, 40 hour weeks


Minimum Wage9,160 won/day (approximately $7.91 USD)
OvertimeAn employee may work up to 12 hours of overtime per week. For each hour of overtime work, 150% of the usual wage should be paid

13th Salary

There is no legislation for 13th-month payments in South Korea.

However, it’s common for Korean companies to pay performance-based bonuses.

Occupational Safety and Health ActKorea Occupational Safety & Health Agency is a body in South Korea, which serves to protect the health and safety of Korean workers.

Vacations or PTO

Companies with full-time salaried employees are legally required to provide 15 days of paid annual leave after one year of service with the company.

An additional vacation day is paid for each two years of service thereafter. The statutory vacation days earned per year are capped at 25 days.

Leaves of Absence

Employees have the right to paid absences for the following things:

•       Maternity leave

Female employees are entitled to 90 days leave. The parent is entitled to 40% of his/her monthly income from Employment Insurance

•       Sick Leave

Employers do not legally have to provide leave to employees for non-work related illnesses or injuries. However, companies often provide paid sick leave anyway.

Employers Contribution or Labor Cost

Annual Taxable Income

Over this amountNot over this amountTax % on Excess
 up to 12 million KRW6.60%
12 million46 million KRW16%
46 million88 million KRW26.4%
88 million150 million KRW38.5%
150 million300 million KRW44%
500 million1 billion KRW46.2%
 1 billion KRW and up49.5%

Corporate Tax Rates

Taxable Gross IncomeTax Rate
Flat rate25%


In South Korea, there is an Employment Promotion Law for Persons with Disabilities. This law ensures that employers who have more than 300 employees must hire those with a disability at a rate of at least 2%.

Public Holidays

In addition to vacation days, employees are entitled to the 1st of May (Labor Day) as a mandatory paid holiday in Korea. Private employers are also obligated to provide workers with paid holidays on public holidays.


Holiday Name

31 December – 2 January

New Years’ holidays (Lunar calendar)

1 Mar

Independence Day

5 May

Children’s Day

8 Apr

Buddha’s Birthday

6 Jun

Memorial Day

15th Day of the eight lunar month

Harvest Festival

3 October

National Foundation Day

9 October

Hangul Day

25 December

Christmas Day


Rules for termination of an employment contract

Type of Termination

Brief Description

Justified Dismissal

The Korean Labor Standards Act insists that the employer must prove why

the termination was justifiable.

Things such as theft, not coming to work, violating laws and so forth, are

deemed sufficient reasons.

Unjustified Dismissal

Once the ministry of officials who are handling the case of unjustified dismissal decide the employee was unfairly dismissed, they may be reinstated or receive compensation.

Voluntary Resignation

The authority to accept a voluntary resignation is under the employer unless the employment rules note otherwise.

Other forms of compensation upon termination include:
Under Employee Retirement Benefit Security Act regular full-time employee in South Korea shall receive a severance pay within 14 days from termination of employment.

Length of Employment

Severance Amount

For each year of consecutive service

The amount of severance pay is equal to the employee’s one month salary.

Your one-stop global hiring solution. Secure, reliable, compliant

Premium Support

No matter how big or small, we are ready to answer all your questions- anytime, anywhere.

Regional expertise

Our team of in-country experts help you navigate new markets and cultural nuances

Top-tier Benefits Packages

Great talent deserves great benefits. We offer a competitive range of benefits so that you only attract top-tier talent worldwide.

You remain 0% liable

Shift the worry from your shoulders to ours! We stay on top of regulations so you’re always 100% complaint with local laws

Contact us and start your business expansion today

Fill out the form and one of our team members will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Get Started