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Seoul: Business Info for Expats

If working in Seoul sounds appealing to you, why not become an expat there? Seoul, home of many international companies, offers many exciting opportunities for expats. We give you insights into the economy, the expat job market, visas, and everything else you need to know about working in Seoul.
Gangnam is Seoul's most affluent area and an important business district.

Paying Taxes in Seoul

In South Korea, all residents are subject to taxation on global income, both derived from domestic and foreign sources. If you live in Korea for 90 days or more, you will have to declare your residency and will then be taxed on your income. While working in Seoul, you will soon find out that South Korea’s personal income tax rates are not that high, compared to its neighbors. This is especially true for high-income executives.

The tax rates on personal income can range from 6% to 38% and are based on individual income instead of joint household income. Your employer will automatically handle your taxes by way of monthly withholding and year-end adjustment cycles. However, there are special rules which apply to foreign employees and executives of multinational companies. For instance, expatriate managers can ask to be taxed at a 17% flat rate on their Korea-sourced income. Under this flat rate, they are not subject to complex income tax regulations.

Digital Media City

Seoul’s Digital Media City was planned and built to give a home to Seoul’s advanced IT, digital media, and entertainment industries. On 570,000 m2 in the northwest of Seoul, you can find modern architecture side-by-side with green spaces. The project was launched in 2002. Aside from apartments and office buildings, Seoul’s Digital Media City is home to various international media and technology companies such as LG Telecom or Pantech.

Digital Media City is connected to other parts of Seoul via various subway lines. If your job does not lead you to this part of the city, you should still consider stopping by for a tour. The modern architecture is not the only reason for a visit. The Korea Cultural Content Center and Digital Media City Gallery showcase art installations and artifacts of Korean film. Apart from its cultural side, Seoul’s Digital Media City is an important spot for those who want to work in Korea’s media or IT sector.

Gangnam-gu

Gangnam is considered to be one of the most affluent districts in Seoul. While it is popular for its fashion districts and shopping opportunities, it also houses quite a few business facilities. Thus, you can find the Korea International Trade Association here as well as COEX, which offers space for meetings, conferences, and conventions.

Within Gangnam, it is especially Teheranno which should attract business people’s and expatriate’s attention. Teheranno, also known as Tehran Boulevard or Teheran Valley, is home to numerous significant IT and telecommunication companies. Aside from Yahoo, Samsung, and their competitors, various financial institutions are also located here. Additionally, this part of Gangnam does not only boast the tallest skyscrapers in the city, it is also known for its high real estate prices.

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

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