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South Korea

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    SOUTH KOREA CORPORATE BANK ACCOUNT OPENING

    The Bank of Korea is the authority governing the banking sector in Korea. As of 2023, there are approximately 150 licensed banks in South Korea, 59 commercial banks, 12 specialized banks, and at least 79 mutual savings banks. Banks in South Korea are also regulated by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), which is responsible for examining and supervising financial institutions under the broad oversight of the Financial Services Commission (FSC).

    If you need more information or guidance on opening a company bank account in South Korea, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help and provide expert advice on this process.

    LIST OF REPUTABLE BANKS IN SOUTH KOREA:

    Almost all the banks in South Korea will provide internet banking facilities, however, only the selected banks have English internet banking options for business accounts banking. Some of the reputable banks in South Korea are listed below.

    The above banks are considered the best bank for business accounts in South Korea. All of them provide current business accounts in multicurrency.

    South Korea Digital Banking

    There are only a limited number of digital banks in South Korea. Digital banks entered South Korea only in late 2017, presently, there are only two digital banks, mainly K Bank and Kakao Bank. Their convenient and innovative products and services substantially impacted Korea’s banking sector. South Korea bank account opening with digital banks might not support all business activities.

    FOREIGN EXCHANGE CONTROLS IN SOUTH KOREA

    There are several foreign exchange controls in South Korea that businesses may need to consider before opening a business bank account in South Korea. These may include:

    Reporting requirements

    Businesses may be required to report certain foreign exchange transactions to the Bank of Korea or the Financial Services Commission.

    Limits on foreign exchange transactions

    There may be limits on the amount of foreign currency that a business can buy or sell or on the total value of foreign exchange transactions that a business can undertake.

    Restrictions on the use of foreign currency

    Businesses may be prohibited from using foreign currency for certain transactions, such as purchasing real estate or paying dividends to foreign shareholders.

    Approval requirements

    Businesses may require approval from the Bank of Korea or the Financial Services Commission for certain foreign exchange transactions.

    Businesses must comply with these and any other foreign exchange controls that may apply to their operations in South Korea. Noncompliance with foreign exchange controls can result in business penalties and other consequences.

    How Long Will It Take To Open A Corporate Bank Account In South Korea?

    Opening a corporate bank account in South Korea may take several weeks or more.

    The length of time it takes to open a corporate bank account in South Korea can vary depending on the bank and the type of account being opened. 

    DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT OPENING IN SOUTH KOREA

    To open a corporate bank account in South Korea, you will typically need to provide the following documents:

    Certificate of Incorporation / Certificate of court registration

    This is a document issued by the Korean government that confirms the legal existence of your company.

    Articles of Association

    This is a document that outlines the rules and regulations governing the operation of your company.

    Original business registration certificate (사업자등록증) or Certificate of business registration issued from Hometax (사업자등록증명원)

    This is a document issued by the Korean government that confirms that your company is registered and authorized to do business in the country.

    Passports and identification documents for the company’s directors and shareholders 

    You will need to provide copies of the passports and identification documents for all directors and shareholders of the company.

    Other required documents

    Depending on the business, you may also need to provide the following documents if applicable. Seal stamp, seal certificate, Seal certificate issuance card (Blue card), Certificate of VAT Tax Base issued within a month (부가가치세과세표준증명원), Certificate of Tax Payment issued within a month (납세사실증명), E-tax invoice issued or received within a month (세금계산서) if applicable. 

    In addition to these documents, you may also need to provide information about the company’s business activities, financial statements, and other relevant information. It is advisable to allow sufficient time to gather all necessary documents and information before opening a corporate bank account in South Korea.

    CONSIDERATION WHEN OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT IN KOREA

    • Choose a conveniently located bank with extended hours of operation, including on weekends, to meet the needs of your business.
    • Look for a bank that offers an English-language smartphone app for money management and an English-speaking representative to assist with any questions or issues that may arise.
    • Consider the bank’s long-term services, such as credit card options, and whether they are available to foreign customers.
    • Research the bank’s special account options and transfer rates, particularly if you send money to foreign countries for business purposes.
    • Check for the availability of an English website and the presence of additional branches in your home country or countries you may travel to for business.

    FAQs

    Do I have to travel to South Korea to complete the Corporate bank account opening?

    You do not need to travel to South Korea to open a bank account there. Our team of consultants can help your company complete the process remotely as long as you provide the necessary documents. The process of opening a corporate bank account can typically be completed within 5 to 10 business days without the need for physical travel.

    How do I open a corporate bank account in South Korea?

    You can open a bank account in South Korea without traveling to South Korea. You will require the following minimum list of documents before applying.

    • Account opening forms (completed and signed)
    • Certificate of court registration
    • Original business registration (사업자등록증) or Certificate of business registration issued from Hometax (사업자등록증명원)
    • Seal stamp, seal certificate
    • Seal certificate issuance card (Blue card)
    • Articles of incorporation
    • Shareholder list
    • Certificate of VAT Tax Base issued within a month (부가가치세과세표준증명원)
    • Certificate of Tax Payment issued within a month (납세사실증명)
    • E-tax invoice issued or received within a month (세금계산서)

    The bank account can typically be opened in 5 to 10 working days after submission of the above documents.

    Can a foreigner open bank account in Korea?

    Yes, a foreigner can open a bank account for business in South Korea.

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