South Korea Business Etiquette

South Korea Business Etiquette

One of the known practices of South Koreans is the practice of etiquette whenever they do business with other both foreign and local colleagues. There are certain business etiquette that Koreans practice especially when it comes to business.

Meeting Someone for the First Time

When meeting businessmen from Korea for the first time, it is a form of courtesy that men greet each other with bowing slightly and, sometimes, accompanied by a handshake. It is necessary that your right forearm is supported by you left hand when handshaking. When addressing people, it is a form of respect that you call them with their title or include their family name after the title. You can call people with their first names once you have established a relationship with your colleague. But take note that you should be waiting for your Korean colleague in initiating this informality.

Exchange Business Cards

Another popular etiquette that Korean businessmen do is exchanging of business cards. It is necessary that when a person is travelling for business in South Korea, a vast supply of business cards is available. These are used to exchange with any of your colleagues frequently. You can have the business cards translated in Korean to make it convenient for Korean businessmen.

Whenever you would hand your business card, it is necessary that you will mention you title printed on the card with qualifications. This can help you in conveying your rank. Using both hands when handing it is a sign of respect and just keeping it on the table in front of you would show continued respect. Refrain from putting it on your pocket or writing anything unto it since it may show disrespect to your Korean counterpart.

Giving Gifts

Giving gifts is included in the list of etiquette in Korean business. It is a way of securing favors between the business relationships and can help in building its foundation. A part of the practice is exchanging gifts with your colleague, making it a must to bring something reciprocate the gift once one is given to you. You can choose to place a logo of your business in the case of package or the gift and add some touches of craftsmanship and beauty along with it. Whenever a gift is given, it is necessary that you will offer some resistance unless the giver offers it again for the second time. It is also showing a form of respect if you will not open the gift in front of the giver unless you would ask them if they like you to do so.


One of the most important etiquette in South Korea is punctuality. Make sure that you will go to the meeting right on the time set and if ever you will be late for the meeting, give them a call prior to the time of meeting. It is also necessary that you would book for any meetings in advance like a week or so to ensure that your appointment will be set accordingly.

Whenever you are entering the meeting room, let the senior member enter first and let that member sit in the middle. There are still other etiquette practices that should be done when meeting with Korean businessmen making it important to learn their practices before meeting them.

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