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A stock option plan can be beneficial for startups in Korea in several ways:

A stock option plan can be beneficial for startups in Korea in several ways:

  1. Attract and Retain Talent: Stock options can help startups attract and retain talented employees. They offer employees the opportunity to own a part of the company, which can be a powerful incentive.

  2. Align Interests: Stock options align the interests of the employees with those of the company. Employees who own stock options may be more motivated to work towards the company’s success, as they stand to benefit directly from the company’s growth.

  3. Compensation Flexibility: For startups that may not have a lot of cash on hand, stock options provide a way to offer competitive compensation packages to employees.

  4. Tax Implications: In Korea, capital gains from stock options are classified as labor income if you are still employed by the company and other income if you are not. There are typically more tax deductibles within the labor income category.

For more details, please feel free to reach out at or If you would like a consultation with an English-speaking Consultant/Accountant in Korea, please schedule a call at: Schedule a Call with Jz

However, it’s important to note that for stock options in non-listed/non-public companies in Korea to be exercisable by employees, the option must be approved, in most cases, at a general shareholders meeting of the Korean company. Also, employees are required by law to pay capital gains taxes when they exercise the options and later again if/when they liquidate the resulting stock. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult with a tax accountant or lawyer to understand the specific implications.


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