Corporate Registry in Korea

In Korea, all companies (whether it be a local company or a foreign direct invested company, and regardless of types of a company such as joint stock and limited liability) must be registered at the Court’s corporate registry, and all corporate registries are public information.  Anyone can jump on the Supreme Court of Korea’s online website at www.iros.go.kr, and look up any Korean company’s corporate registries for a nominal fee (i.e. KRW 700 – less than USD 1 – for view online, and KRW 1,000 for download).

 

Let us then first see a sample image of corporate registry of a certain joint stock company.

Example of Corporate Registry in Korea (Redacted)

So, the corporate registry basically shows items as follows:

  • Corporate Registry and Registration Numbers
  • Company Name
  • Company’s Registered Address
  • Method of Public Notification
  • Information on Shares and Capital Amount
  • Business Purposes of the Company
  • Particulars on Directors and Auditors (including residential address for a representative director)
  • Date of Incorporation

 

The above exhibit is for a newly incorporated joint stock company with one director and no auditor (i.e. the Commercial Act provides that in cases of a company with total capital of less than KRW 1 billion, the number of directors may be one or two, despite an ordinary requirement of three or more directors, pursuant to Article 383, and no auditor may be appointed pursuant to Article 409(4), respectively), and therefore, the corporate registry seems quite simple, however, as the company is legally obliged to report and register any changes on any of those shown on the corporate registry, the corporate registry naturally becomes much more detailed and also lengthy as time goes by.

 

It is quite often that companies overlook or miss out reporting and registering changes for the corporate registry. For example, one of the most commonly overlooked items is a change of a representative director’s residential address, which must be reported and registered at the court registry within 2 weeks from the date of change. In case of the company’s non-compliance with its various obligations relating to the corporate registry, fines and in some cases, criminal charges may be imposed.

 

We, Chaeum, provide corporate secretarial services to manage our client’s corporate registry and ensure our client’s compliance with laws. Should you require or have any inquiry in relation to your corporate registry in Korea, please contact us at hjk@chlaw.co.kr.