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Contractors in KrSouth Korea.






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Korean Republic won (₩) (KRW)

As your company takes on specialized projects, you may need to hire independent contractors to provide additional support and expertise. Fortunately, significant job market growth in South Korea has given rise to a promising pool of candidates. Keep these best practices in mind to stay compliant as you hire independent contractors.

Hiring independent contractors in South Korea

As you look for the right contractor to tackle your company’s projects, you should understand a few key details about worker classification.

Independent contractors vs. employees

The primary differentiator for contractors is that they work for themselves and not under the control and supervision of an employer or company. Unlike employees, independent contractors are self-employed professionals and are not part of the company, meaning they have the freedom to make their own decisions regarding schedule, working style, and service terms.

Hiring an independent contractor is a business-to-business transaction. Companies typically do not need to provide benefits coverage or withhold taxes from contractors’ pay.

Penalties for misclassification

South Korea’s labor laws offer rigorous protection for employees, so companies must meet all labor standards and worker designations.

If you misclassify an employee as an independent contractor, your company could face fines, legal fees, and retroactive payments for all benefits the worker earned over the duration of service.

How to hire independent contractors in South Korea

Whether you need a contractor to work on-site or remotely, approaching the hiring process strategically can help uphold your company’s performance standards. Keep these 3 steps in mind.

1. Carefully conduct interviews.

Employees contribute to company culture, so their interviews tend to have a more personal focus. In contrast, contractor interviews are business transactions regarding a service your company needs. Discussions during the interview process should center on the contractor’s skill sets, available services, and project-specific experience.

2. Create a service agreement.

To help establish a smooth working relationship, companies should negotiate terms of service with the potential contractor. While employers are not responsible for benefits, the following details should be addressed in the service agreement:

  1. Pay rates and arrangements
  2. Services
  3. Length of the contract
  4. Termination conditions

3. Introduce necessities.

Equipping the contractor for projects may entail providing brief introductions to the workplace and key team members; however, it’s best to avoid extensive training as it may come off as overly supervisory. Instead, focus on essential company tools, workflows, and programs.

How to pay independent contractors in South Korea

Companies must pay contractors separately from employee payroll. Be aware of any international payment restrictions and discuss whether you’ll use the South Korean won or another currency.

Generally speaking, your company should not be responsible for covering taxes or benefits; however, you will need to meet any payment schedules and other conditions outlined in the service agreement.

Terminating independent contractors

Independent contractors typically work for set periods or on a project-by-project basis, making termination of service simple. Labor laws do not address terms for ending an agreement with a contractor, so companies are free to set their own protocols, contingent upon mutual agreement with the contractor.

The best practice is to establish termination conditions clearly in your service agreement to facilitate peaceful resolution if you must suddenly terminate services.

Turn to G-P when hiring independent contractors in South Korea.

As a part of our #1 suite of global employment products, G-P Meridian Contractor™ allows companies to hire and pay global contractors faster, with self-service workflows and a wide set of flexible payment options. Whether you’re hiring employees or contractors, our platform streamlines the process with a single solution for your global workforce.

Contact us to learn more.


THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s). G-P does not provide legal or tax advice. The information is general and not tailored to a specific company or workforce and does not reflect G-P’s product delivery in any given jurisdiction. G-P makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of this information and shall have no liability arising out of or in connection with it, including any loss caused by use of, or reliance on, the information.

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