The following was extracted from a recent interview with me about how to build a business in a Korean company.
"Why do you think non-Koreans have challenges doing business in Korea with Koreans?"
"There are a lot of reasons for that, and as you’ve mentioned, language and culture are the most obvious. But other factors also conspire to make things difficult.
For example, not all Korean computer systems are set up for non-Korean ID numbers, which can be a problem when handling paperwork.
Also, finding affordable accounting and tax prep resources, legal advice and other professional and consulting services in Korea that are knowledgeable about international business matters and speak English often requires a little extra effort.
Pre-established business networks among Koreans can be difficult to penetrate, which leads to both marketing and supply challenges.
Even things like foreign-investment friendly regulations may be tricky to sort through, not to mention the regulations that aren’t foreigner-friendly and are only accessible in Korean. I recently interviewed a government official about business visas for non-Koreans in Korea and amazingly, he explained to me that the business visa laws are not readily available in English, nor is there an English-language document anywhere that explains them in easy terms in one place. This makes the information I put together for KBC members after that interview all the more valuable."