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In Korea, foreign investors and foreign-capital invested companies receive the same treatment as Korean nationals regarding their business unless otherwise stipulated in laws. However, foreign investment is restricted in certain business categories. A foreigner shall be prohibited from making an investment in any company running concurrently both a category of business in which foreign investment is not permitted and a category of business in which foreign investment is only partially permitted, and where intending to make an investment in any company running at least two categories of business in which foreign investment is only partially permitted, he shall be prohibited from making an investment in the company in excess of the ratio of foreign investment in the category of business in which the ratio of investment permissible to foreigners is the lowest.
 Business categories where foreign investment is restricted
In Korea, foreign investors and foreign-capital invested companies receive the same treatment as Korean nationals regarding their business unless otherwise stipulated in laws. However, foreign investment is restricted in certain business categories. A foreigner shall be prohibited from making an investment in any company running concurrently both a category of business in which foreign investment is not permitted and a category of business in which foreign investment is only partially permitted, and where intending to make an investment in any company running at least two categories of business in which foreign investment is only partially permitted, he shall be prohibited from making an investment in the company in excess of the ratio of foreign investment in the category of business in which the ratio of investment permissible to foreigners is the lowest.
Business categories where foreign investment is not permitted
The business categories not permitted for foreign investment are those of a public nature where it is inappropriate to apply the 「Foreign Investment Promotion Act」. Their examples are indicated below and further details are defined in attached Table 1 of the「Regulations on Foreign Investment and Technology Introduction」.
1. Postal service, central banking, individual mutual aid organizations, pension funds, securities and futures brokerage(business), other financial market management, bill clearing, etc.
2. Legislative administration, other general public service activities, courts, prosecution services, police protection, other justice, public order and safety activities, compulsory social security activities, etc.
3. Pre-primary education, primary schools, junior high schools, general high schools, universities, graduate schools, schools for the handicapped, etc.
4. Independent performing artists, independent non-performing artists, business organizations, professional organizations, labor organizations, various religious organizations, political organizations, etc.
5. Foreign embassies, other extraterritorial organizations and bodies, etc.
Business categories restricted for foreign investment
Business categories where foreign investment is restricted
- The business categories where foreign investment is restricted are those where foreign investment is in principle permitted but certain restrictions are applied, and they are defined in attached Table 2 of the「Regulations on Foreign Investment and Technology Introduction」.