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  • asiaman
  • Adventurer

    • 58

    • June 19, 2016, 09:07:39 am
buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« on: June 19, 2016, 09:34:15 am »
Hi is it possible to buy and run a Hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa? or do you need a different visa to conduct a business in Korea?


  • z80
  • Expert Waygook

    • 659

    • August 24, 2014, 07:34:50 pm
Re: buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2016, 09:43:24 pm »
If you need to ask such a question on a forum like this, then you shouldn't be buying a hagwon.



  • asiaman
  • Adventurer

    • 58

    • June 19, 2016, 09:07:39 am
Re: buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2016, 10:22:58 pm »
why not? seriously dude, stop wasting my reading time. Go and hog someone else's thread.


  • KimDuHan
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1245

    • January 15, 2015, 11:48:59 am
    • Seoul
Re: buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2016, 10:33:21 pm »
Hi is it possible to buy and run a Hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa? or do you need a different visa to conduct a business in Korea?

Money talks; you got the money? Then the hagwon is yours.

You'll need a Korean translator and signer too.


  • Tony Teacher
  • Veteran

    • 170

    • April 26, 2012, 10:10:52 am
    • Seoul
    more
Re: buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2016, 10:54:27 pm »
Technically, E2 visas are sponsored by the employer, so if you buy a hagwon you will need to put it under someone's name who has an F series visa or a D8 visa, which is a corporate investor visa.

I don't think buying it is going to be a problem, but you will have to consider how you will obtain the hagwon license under a name you trust as well as your tax certificate. I would advise not buying a hagwon without having a visa that allows you to put the business under your name.

What I would do if I were you is check with the office of education and the tax office in the area the hagwon is located in and ask them if it is possible for you to buy the hagwon and find out what options you have available.
Business Consultant and Coach at www.entrepreneurkorea.com and www.hagwonstart.com


  • asiaman
  • Adventurer

    • 58

    • June 19, 2016, 09:07:39 am
Re: buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2016, 11:19:43 pm »
Ok I will check them out. I'll definitely want the hagwon under my name. I'm in talks with my nephew whose got a few quid and we can go 50/50 on one. He'll just be a silent investor though.


  • z80
  • Expert Waygook

    • 659

    • August 24, 2014, 07:34:50 pm
Re: buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2016, 09:43:18 am »
why not? seriously dude, stop wasting my reading time. Go and hog someone else's thread.

I'm not wasting your time.

If you need to come to a forum populated mostly by English teachers, and not business people then you are simply not ready to run a small business even in your own country.

Korean business is even more complex with strict rules on foreign ownership, and legislation that is changed at the whim of who ever is in power at the time. Also corruption is a major factor in any business in Korea and if you don't understand how this works then you won't last to long, unless you can keep it small enough to fly under the radar of your nearest Korean owned competitor.




  • akplmn
  • Veteran

    • 113

    • October 19, 2015, 01:52:10 pm
    • South Korea
Re: buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2016, 02:15:46 pm »
Very likely not.  A tourist visa is a visa which permits touring - you can't just visit another country and open a business there.  Meanwhile, an E2 Visa is a temporary work visa, specifically sponsored by your employer for English instruction only.  Even an additional part-time job requires you to obtain permission from your employer and inform immigration.  I would be shocked if you could own and operate a business on an E2 visa.  It's possible for non-citizens to own and operate a business in Korea, but I think you'll need a different kind of visa.

In that respect, although some of the responses you've received have been a bit harshly worded, it's true that you should not be looking for this information on waygook.org - this is not the way to learn of appropriate visa requirements.  I would look at government websites, and contact your local immigration office with questions about the appropriate visa and steps to be taken for opening a business.

Additionally, you need to be aware that it's not as simple as just meeting immigration requirements.  A hagwon is a small business, so you need to know about Korean business law.  How can you incorporate, should you incorporate, etc.  You'll need to familiarize yourself with Korean taxation requirements - both income taxation, and corporate taxation.  You're also going to want to be aware of any additional taxation that might arise in the event you want to transfer the business's income abroad.  This might come from Korea, or it may come from your home country.

I would also recommend researching Korean employment and contract law, since you will likely have both domestic and foreign employees at your hagwon.  For instance - how much do you need to pay into the national health care plan for your employees?  Pension?  What are the laws around maternity leave?  Do you collect your employees' taxes, and if so, how much and where to send it?  What about hiring and firing?  How do you sponsor foreign employees to come to Korea?  These are all things you're going to need to be aware of.

You're also going to want to look into advertising laws and limitations before you start promoting your hagwon, as well as trademark and copyright laws.  These seem more lax in Korea than they are in the west, but you want to make sure you're not doing anything that might get you sued.

I imagine you can learn a fair bit on your own, but you should probably consider hiring a lawyer to make sure you don't accidentally end up operating a business illegally.  The last thing you want is to get deported after sinking your money into a hagwon in Korea.

Good luck!!


  • asiaman
  • Adventurer

    • 58

    • June 19, 2016, 09:07:39 am
Re: buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2016, 02:29:07 pm »
I ran a limited company in the UK for about 5 years so I have a bit of business experience like doing accounts and paying teachers, Different in Korea I know. No I wouldn't want to be deported after sinking my money into a hagwon or other business. I think you need a business visa to trade in Korea unless you're married to a Korean. I will check with immi or a business agent in Korea. yeh lots of stuff to learn like you say doing business in korea.


  • JahMoo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 639

    • May 11, 2016, 12:55:18 pm
    • Gyeonggi-do, ROK
Re: buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2016, 02:36:27 pm »
If I'm not mistaken I believe you also need to prove a certain level of fluency by taking the TOPIK exam in order to get a business-type visa. Or a certain level of fluency earns you points toward the visa.


  • amgoalng
  • Expert Waygook

    • 720

    • August 31, 2012, 08:00:20 am
    • Gobuk, near Seosan, closer to Haemi
Re: buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2016, 02:49:44 pm »
I was also told that there are certain business connections you need.  I was thinking about doing this with my wife and I talked to a guy who is a Korean-American who does this with math.  Apparently, there is a business mafia type thing that you need to find out if the area has or not and get their permission.  I think he might even have to pay dues to them, or something.  If you don't, they will sabotage you and try to sabotage your buisness.

If I were you, I would talk to a hogwon owner, reassure them that you have no plans on starting a hogwon in their city, and get more details about how to start one.

Don't forget, you need to get students which means getting permission to go to or around schools to advertise.  You will also need to buy books, make contracts, convince parents why your school is the best, and has to be all done in Korean.

Your best bet would find a fellow foreigner who is married to a Korean and trying to start a hogwon with them.



  • Tony Teacher
  • Veteran

    • 170

    • April 26, 2012, 10:10:52 am
    • Seoul
    more
Re: buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2016, 05:30:35 pm »
As someone who has started my own hagwon with 0 students in an area I was relatively unknown, I'll tell you that it isn't as difficult to start or operate a hagwon as many of the responses on this thread make it out to be.

Yes, there are some laws you should know about, but the laws change every single year, so it's nearly impossible to be aware of all of them. I don't know one hagwon owner who knows all of the laws, and honestly, the laws aren't effectively enforced. That's just how it is in Korea in the small/medium business world. So, as long as you can find out what the minimum requirements are for your district, and you pass the initial inspection, you really don't have to worry about the laws so much after that. 

Also, taxes, yes, you will need someone who knows Korean, but it's not all that complicated, since you can hire an accountant to take care of all of your taxes for probably a fee of 100,000won a year when taxes are due (Depending on how big you are). If you are big or making more than 75 million won, then you will need to hire an accountant to take care of all of the books and revenue for probably 50,000won a month.

But, if you are starting off small, all you need to do is make sure you take care of the books, meaning you keep track of what you buy for your business, how much money you make through tuitions, and all your expenses. Basically, a simple spreadsheet and a binder with your receipts organized into expenses and tuition should be enough for starting off.

Knowing the laws is one thing, but the hardest part of a hagwon business is actually running it and making it a place that children want to attend and parents want to send their kids to.

You should check out one of the blogs I've written and my podcast episodes at http://www.hagwonstart.com and join the Hagwon Startup Facebook group to get more information and support from like minded individuals.

Business Consultant and Coach at www.entrepreneurkorea.com and www.hagwonstart.com


  • asiaman
  • Adventurer

    • 58

    • June 19, 2016, 09:07:39 am
Re: buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2016, 08:47:03 pm »
Ok I will check that blog out. Yeah, I thought it wouldn't be as complicated as some people were making out. But how much did you need to start you Hagwon from scratch? Did you need to show proof of funds to open up the business account? And what visa were you on to open up a business account?


Re: buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2016, 03:48:47 am »
Business mafia?  I know a lot of folks running businesses seem to collude in a way that would be illegal back home with regards to being overpriced or having equally shitty service.  But, I thought that was just the Asian Us vs Them mindset culture or something.  Back home if a lot of businesses had terrible service, someone would try to start a business and have great service and try to pick off their customers.  Folks don't seem to compete here like they do back home.  Is there a criminal hidden agenda behind the scenes more than we've been led to believe? 


  • Tony Teacher
  • Veteran

    • 170

    • April 26, 2012, 10:10:52 am
    • Seoul
    more
Re: buying a hagwon on a tourist or E2 visa
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2016, 01:30:17 pm »
I was on an F4 visa, so I didn't have to show any proof of funds. However, if you get the D series visa and become a foreign investor, I think you need to have about 50 million or 100 million in your bank account before you can even get that visa. But, you should check your local immigration office, as this information changes every year.

There are startup visas as well, which were created like a year ago, so there's a lot more ways to setup a business now. But, you'll have to do some research. You might want to visit the Seoul Global center in Yeouido.

If you start up a Gongbubang in your house, you can start your own small school with a table and a few chairs. Pay maybe 100,000won for the document processing fees and you are set to go. But, I started a Gyosoopso, which is a small hagwon in a commercial building, and I invested less than $40,000 US at the start, with $15,000 going to my deposit, which I'll get back. And you could even start one for a lot less.

Business Consultant and Coach at www.entrepreneurkorea.com and www.hagwonstart.com