Appearance is important in Korea as in many other Asian countries and it is important that you look your smartest at all times – both for formal and informal gatherings.

The conservative convention of dark suit, shirt and tie are still very much the norm in Korea with smart business suits or dresses being favoured by women. (Trousers tend not to be worn by women in business situations but are acceptable in informal, social settings.)

Good quality accessories are very much valued – so long as they are not overly ostentatious.

The winters are very cold in Korea, so be sure to take suitable coats, scarves, gloves and hats. Summers are hot and therefore lightweight suits are needed.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in South Korea

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton



This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in South Korea. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in South Korea and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips