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Navigating the Path: How Foreigners Can Establish a "교습소" (Private Institute) in Korea

Starting a "교습소" (private institute) in Korea as a foreigner presents a unique blend of challenges and opportunities. South Korea's educational landscape is dynamic, and the demand for quality private education is high. In this guide, we'll walk through the critical steps and important insights for foreigners aspiring to start a "교습소" in Korea.

*Chart: Korea Contents Media, there are 40,000 교습소 in Korea.

Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a "교습소" in Korea:

1. Understanding the Korean Market:

Research the Demand: Identify the specific educational services in demand. Whether it's language training, vocational skills, or academic tutoring, understanding your niche is crucial.

Cultural Sensitivity: Familiarize yourself with Korean Kid educational culture and expectations. This knowledge is key to tailor your services effectively.

2. Legal Requirements:

Work Permit: You need a work permit to apply for this business approval(higher than F-2) from a local District Education Center(교육구청) and a Tax Registration(면세사업자등록증: VAT free). So once a year you need to file the "Work Place Status Report: 사업장현황신고서) in Feb., and “Individual Income Tax Return: 종합소득세신고” in May.

Issuing Cash receipts: You need to issue a Cash receipts(현금영수증) for tuition fee for the Year-end deduction of Parents electronically.

3. Location and Infrastructure:

Choosing the Right Location: Consider accessibility, proximity to your target kids, and rental costs. You can use your home(Officetel, Apartment, House).

Prime locations near schools or Hagwon business districts often yield better foot traffic.

Setting Up Facilities: Ensure your facilities meet the legal standards for safety and learning environment quality, so I used to recommend you to buy an Insurance Policy.

4. Curriculum Development and Staffing:

Curriculum Design: Develop a curriculum that aligns with your educational focus and meets the needs of your students.

Hiring Qualified Staff: This is not allowed for "교습소", but you can hire an assistant beside you during the classes in Seoul, but you can't in other area. Hagwon can hire teaching and other staffs.

5. Financial Planning and Management:

Budgeting: Prepare a detailed budget covering start-up costs, operational expenses, and potential revenue streams.

Cash Management: As per JZ Services’ expertise, effective cash management is crucial for maintaining financial health, you need to open a bank account with the "Tax Registration(사업자등록증)" and need a check/credit card for operation cost. You're a sole-proprietorship, so you can LOG-IN Hometax, and register your business bank account as well as your check/credit cards.

6.Marketing and Community Engagement:

Building a Brand: Develop a strong brand identity that resonates with your target Kids.

Community Involvement: Engage with the local community through events, partnerships, and social media, this is very important since all of Moms can be your enemy suddenly.

7.Navigating Cultural and Legal Challenges:

Legal Compliance: Stay informed about changes in educational and business regulations.

Cultural Adaptation: Continuously adapt your teaching methods and business practices to align with cultural trends and expectations.

If you would like a free consultation with an English-speaking Accountant in Korea, please schedule a call at: Schedule a Call with Jz


Q: What are the initial steps for a foreigner to start a business in Korea?

A: Start by researching the market, understanding legal requirements, and setting up your business entity. This involves registrations with the district Education center, tax office, and possibly obtaining specific educational licenses.

Q: How important is location for a "교습소"?

A: Location is crucial. It affects accessibility for students, visibility, and overall operational success. Choose a location that is convenient and prominent.

Q: What are some key financial considerations for starting a "교습소"?

A: Key considerations include budgeting for start-up costs, operational expenses, cash management, and creating a financial plan for sustainability.

Q: How can I effectively market my "교습소" in Korea?

A: Utilize a mix of online and offline marketing strategies, focus on building a strong brand, and engage with the community to raise awareness and credibility.

Q: What are the common challenges faced by foreigners in starting a "교습소"? A: Challenges include navigating legal requirements, cultural adaptation, curriculum development, and hiring qualified staff.


Starting a "교습소" in Korea as a foreigner is a journey filled with learning and growth opportunities. By diligently following these steps and staying adaptable, you can establish a successful educational institute that makes a meaningful impact. Remember, persistence and cultural understanding are your keys to success in Korea's vibrant Kids educational sector.


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