A corporation having its head office or principal office in Korea is a resident corporation. A corporation with a place of effective management in Korea is also treated as a resident corporation.
Permanent establishment (PE)
A non-resident corporation is generally deemed to have a tax presence (i.e. PE) in Korea in the following cases, among others:
- It has any fixed place of business in Korea, where the business of the entity is wholly or partly carried on.
- It is represented by a dependent agent in Korea, (i) who has the authority to conclude contracts on its behalf and who has repeatedly exercised that authority; (ii) who, even if having no such authority, repeatedly performs a principal role in the course of concluding contracts.
- Its employee(s) provides services in Korea for more than six months within 12 consecutive months.
- Its employee(s) continuously or repeatedly renders similar services in Korea for two or more years, even if each service visit is for less than six months within 12 consecutive months.
Exceptions to a PE in Korea for a non-resident corporation are limited to specific fixed places of business used only for preparatory or auxiliary nature, and such fixed places include purchasing or storage of goods, advertising, publicity, collecting or furnishing of information, etc. To be regarded as a fixed place of business solely for the purpose of preparatory or auxiliary activities, the fixed place of business must carry on activities separately and independently, even if the non-resident corporation maintains another fixed place of business in Korea.