The Best Profitable Small Business Ideas in South Korea

If you want to start a successful online store, then starting one in South Korea or the Republic of Korea would be an excellent idea. It is a developed nation that will provide you with plenty of opportunities for success.

According to the Human Development Index, South Korea ranks seventh out of the Asian nations. This is an advantage if you want to start your business in this region.

Because of its high economic status, South Korea has an easy time starting and growing its own businesses.

The transportation and communications infrastructure of the country is extremely well developed. Hence you will benefit from having a good presence there.

South Korea has different types of businesses that are suitable for people who want to start their own businesses. You can choose any type of these businesses depending on your interest, ability, or preferences.

Here are some small business ideas in Seoul that locals and foreigners alike might enjoy.

The Best Profitable Small Business Ideas in South Korea

Online Shop

Ecommerce is a growing industry that is gaining popularity every day. With the right tools and knowledge, anyone can open an eCommerce website and begin selling goods online. A great idea would be to create an online marketplace where people can buy and sell unique items.

An example of such a site is However, if you’re just starting out, you should think about creating a simple blog instead. Blogs are very easy to set up and they allow visitors to leave comments and feedback. People love reading blogs because they provide information and entertainment. So, why not combine both?

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App Development

South Korea has one of the fastest internet connections in the world and a high appetite for new applications. If you know how to code, you could begin the process of developing mobile phone software. There are lots of types of applications including eCommerce, hotel booking, other service booking applications, etc.

You can create an application for businesses or public utilities. You require a site and advertising platform to grow your company of app creation.

Online English Teaching

Knowledge of English is growing in South Korea. So, if you know good Korean as well as English, you can start your own English learning website. You can teach people how to study overseas or improve their job skills through your website. Online marketing is very important for any kind of e-commerce site.

Translation Service

Translation services are growing rapidly in South Korea because many Koreans do not speak English fluently. A lot of government officials, as well as academics, require translations between Korean and English. If you are fluent in both languages, you can begin your own translation company.

It will provide you with a good income, especially if you work for foreign customers. You should create a professional site and make contact with potential customers through social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

Real Estate Agency

You can open a real estate company with very little money. All you need is a website and a good contact list. Connect the buyers with sellers and you will make money. The more people you sign up with, the more money you will earn.

Head Hunting Agency

Many manufacturing units and factories in South Korea need workers regularly on a project-based contract. Many of such workers come from remote areas and are unable to contact them. You can set up an employment agency where you will contact the workers and offer them the contacts of the employers.

This job has a good income as you will be getting money from the employers.

Trade Information Services

South Korea is a developing economy many foreign investors, along with foreign traders, come to the country to make money. They need authentic trade data about their transactions or investments. If you know how to trade and do business in South Korea, you can begin your own business of trade information.

You’ll earn commissions from both the locals and the foreign clients who hire you.


Drop-shopping is a popular eCommerce concept in South Korea. You do not need to maintain a stock of products you are going to sell; instead, you purchase the items from a supplier against orders placed by customers. This is a lucrative online commerce venture.

Sauces and condiments

Sauces and condiment manufacturers can start a business here. They can produce sauces and condiments and sell them to retailers, restaurants, and grocery shops. Good market research should be done before starting the business.

Old Age Care

Old age is a very important aspect of any business. You can start a home health agency for elderly people who require constant assistance. Assisted living centers for seniors are also popular businesses. They are known to provide quality services to the aged population.

But starting such a business requires a huge amount of capital and effort. So, if you wish to get started with a new venture, then you must make sure that you invest wisely.

Accounting Service

Accounting firms have a high demand in South Korea. You could start an accounting business if you’re skilled and qualified in accountancy. Besides bookkeeping and tax preparation, you will be expected to offer financial advice and guidance.


Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) is an excellent business idea for those who live in South Korea. Start a KPO firm and provide services such as data analysis, data entry, data processing, customer service support, etc. These types of services can be provided by local firms or overseas companies.

To succeed in this type of business, you must have good network connections and effective online marketing strategies.

Vending Machine

Vending machine technology is an effective business idea for you in India. You can set up your own vending machine store at any location where people gather such as shopping centers, supermarkets, schools, offices, hospitals, restaurants, hotels, gas stations, airports, railway stations, bus stops, movie theaters, department stores, banks, government buildings, sports stadiums, and so forth.

People buy various items from the vending machine store including beverages, snacks, newspapers, magazines, tobacco products, candy, cosmetics, perfumes, stationery, cleaning supplies, toys, clothing, electronic gadgets, books, CDs, DVDs, mobile phones, airtime cards, prepaid recharge cards, lottery tickets, and so forth.

If you want to start a beauty salon business, here’s everything

Beauty salons are one of the best businesses to open in South Korea. They offer great opportunities for women who wish to work independently. A good location is essential for any successful beauty parlor. Good marketing tools and attractive decor will help draw customers into your shop.

Make sure you have enough space for clients to sit comfortably and enjoy their service.

Beauty Products Shop

Beauty care has a very good demand in South Korea. You can start a skincare business in South Korea and make good money. Choose a good location for your skincare business and organize your goods in an orderly fashion so that the clients can find their items easily and quickly.

You can also choose to stock only international skincare brands. Or you can mix international and local brands.

Open a Clothing Boutique

Designers in South Korea are very much in demand. They can start their own boutique businesses and earn handsome profits. To study the latest fashions, they should visit various markets and malls. Use their imagination and create new styles.

Also, try to introduce something unique into the market. Good marketing skills and good public relations will definitely increase your sales.

Solar Panel Manufacturing

South Korea is one of the world’s leading producers of solar energy systems. With around 30% of households installed solar panels, the country is also an important market for solar equipment manufacturers. Start your own solar panel manufacturing company in South Korea today!

Selling Wind Turbines

In order to increase the number of renewable energy sources in South Korea, the government is planning to build new power plants. The construction of these facilities requires large amounts of labor, materials, and money. Therefore, if you wish to invest your money into this industry, you should consider starting a small business.

For example, you can buy used equipment and then resell it to others who wish to purchase it. Alternatively, you could set up an online store where people can purchase products made from renewable resources.

Open a Pharmacy

A pharmacist is an essential part of every health care system. They provide medication advice and prescription services to patients. Pharmacists also work closely with doctors to ensure medications prescribed by them are safe, effective, and affordable.

In addition, they educate people about the proper usage of medicines and advise them about possible side effects.

Food Delivery Services

The Korean government has recently announced a new policy to encourage foreign entrepreneurs to set up businesses in South Korea. Foreigners who wish to open a restaurant in Seoul must obtain a license from the local authorities.

In order to apply for such a license, one needs to meet certain criteria, including having an income of KRW 1 million (USD 940) per year and having minimum capital investment of KRW 10 million (USD 890). A foreigner may not own any land in Seoul; however, he/she may lease some land if they do not have enough funds to buy it outright.

To get started, one must register his/her name with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. One must then submit a detailed application, complete with financial statements, tax returns, and proof of

Mobile Game Development

Mobile Game Developers are in high demand in South Korea. If your skills include programming, design, and online marketing, then you could make money developing mobile apps.

You should also consider whether you would rather develop for Android devices or iOS devices. In addition, if you plan to market your app internationally, you may wish to learn Korean.

Open a restaurant in South Korea

Restaurants are a great way to earn money. You can start a small eatery in an urban location, preferably in the Seoul region. Good food and a good atmosphere are key to a successful business.

You can offer local cuisine, international dishes, or go multi-cultural. You must spend money on advertising and marketing to attract more customers.

Waste Disposal Company

In order to make money, you must know what kinds of things people throw out and how they dispose of them. For example, if you live near an airport, you might find yourself doing some work for the airlines. Or maybe you’re living next door to a landfill.

Either way, you’ll probably end up having to deal with trash. To get started, you’ll need to decide where you want to do your dumpster diving. Some places require permits, so check with local authorities before you start digging.

Martial Art Training

Martial arts are increasingly popular in South Korea. Therefore you may open a martial arts school in this country. Choose qualified and experienced instructors for your school. Training children, as well as adult learners, will benefit you more. Besides that, you should advertise your school well through proper media channels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there any way I can get funding for my startup in South Korea?

It’s difficult to raise funds for small companies in this country. However, if you have an idea that is beneficial for the country, then you can get funding for it.

What are the top industry sectors in South Korea?

South Korea is the largest producer of semiconductors in terms of both quantity and value. The top five industries of South Korea are electronic equipment, steel production, clothing, automobile manufacturing, and shipbuilding.

A foreign citizen can’t run a business in South Korea without permission from the government.

Yes. Foreigners may start a company in South Korea. In fact, the South Korean Government promotes foreign investors to set up companies here. You can visit to find out more about starting a company in this country.

Which are the best cities in south Korea for starting a business?

Seoul (capital), Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon

  • Seoul
  • Busan
  • Daegu
  • Incheon
  • Daejeon

Do I need to learn Korean to start my business in Seoul?

You don’t need to learn Spanish; however, it would be good if you could learn the language. It would be convenient for you.

One of the most important advantages of South Korea is its strong economic base and focus on various industries. These factors will create lots of new marketplaces for startups and small businesses.

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About Faheem Rafique

The author is an entrepreneur and business writer with over ten years of experience in the field of small business ideas, marketing and branding. Let's connect if you have anything to discuss!