Hello Korea Business Central,
I'm an American teacher of English on an E2 visa living in Seoul. My friend and prospective partner is a British citizen who also has an E2. We have an ambition. We'd like to go into business as an online service that offers English teaching through Skype. Korean learners call it "Phone English" (전화영어).
Our site is already up: http://www.evoenglish.com
It's under heavy construction, and only in Korean at the moment.
Our current plan to carry out our activities legally (and also be able to have access to merchant accounts) was to register an LLC in the US, and then somehow try to "transfer" to Korea.
I've read a lot of information, but there's so much of it, and I would like to seek advice while proceeding. I don't have 50-100+ million won, and if at all possible I'd prefer not to try to raise that capital or take on any debt of that amount. But obvious information on how to get around that hurdle seems hard to find, even here on KBC. Looking through information from the Gangnam Global Business Center, it looks like I could try and seek out the setting up of a Korean "branch" to our business.
I'm not sure if this is the best way to proceed. I have considered other alternatives, such as finding a partner company and having them handle online merchant transactions, sending us the bulk of the money for transactions and keeping a commission for themselves. But I'm not sure if this is entirely legal either.
Any insight would be appreciated. I still feel fairly lost.
I'm often amazed at the up-front investments just to open a small restaurant or other low-capital business in Korea. My wife was looking into a small clothing shop near our apartment recently and the previous tenant was asking for W35 million just for goodwill; rental deposit, inventory, etc. would have sent the costs up even higher. W50-100 million is pocket change for many business start-ups and it may be hard to compete in a competitive market without funding.
You might need to pay for the professional services of an attorney and/or an accountant to get definitive answers to your specific situation and looking for ways to work around the system may not pay off in the end.