Gordon Dudley sheds light on the nuts and bolts of setting up a business in Korea.
As much as it has improved in the 11 years that he has been in Korea, setting up a business in Korea is not easy. Gordon successfully launched RDI Worldwide in 2016 and is now passing on what he learned.
If you are coming in directly, as a Foreign Direct Investment which would have required 100 (now 300) million won in incoming capital. Gordon was able to go a much less capital-intensive route, he set up a sales-office as a subsidiary of a foreign company, which avoided the capital requirement, but still allows him to operate.
Gordon then discusses the challenge of finding the right business partners, either inside the company as directors, or outside the company as client feeders. The client feeder model may sound enticing, but Gordon’s experience left him questioning the decision.
However, there are some partners, you must have in starting a business, Gordon goes through these must-haves and what to look for in them. He also recommends shopping around and driving hard for a price level that you can afford.
For new businesses, Gordon recommends looking at the shared office space, for simplicity and again avoiding the large upfront capital requirements. The shared office options in Korea are continuing to improve, no longer the domain of large companies such as WeWork, there are smaller options able to tailor to a young business’ needs.
Alex and Gordon wrap up their conversation by reflecting on the missteps that Gordon has taken in starting his own business and how he overcame them.
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