Korea Market Entry Guide: An Introduction

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Korea has a developed eCommerce market and attracts more attention from overseas sellers. Having a healthy population growth and a promising economic outlook, the Korean population shows an increased appetite for foreign brands.

Doing business in Korea is transparent, even if some complain about bureaucratic red tape.

Having said that, the market is also competitive and it’s crucial that you perform market analysis beforehand. In this article, I cover the main topics and review what you should consider if you plan for a Korean market entry.

Topics covered:

  • Market Entry Strategy
  • Korea Market Entry Obstacles
  • Market Entry Research
  • Incorporation

Market Entry Strategy

Entering a new market requires thorough research and sometimes initial branding activities are needed.

Besides, the sales channels you choose affect the market entry strategy. As a result, market entry strategies can be divided into different segments, depending on your goals and level of commitment. Continue reading Korea Market Entry Guide: An Introduction

Japan Market Entry Guide: An Introduction

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Japan is the most developed Asian country and offers plenty of growth opportunities for eCommerce companies that wish to enter the market.

The eCommerce market is the third-biggest in the world, ahead of the UK and just behind China and the US. In 2020 alone, it grew by as much as 26%.

The same as for the US, Amazon is a major marketplace but there are also a handful of other options available. In this article, I explain the most important information for foreigners who wish to enter the Japanese eCommerce market.

Topics covered:

  • Market Entry Strategy
  • Japan Market Entry Obstacles
  • Market Entry Research
  • Incorporation

Market Entry Strategy

Entering a market can mean different things and highly depends on your level of involvement. Continue reading Japan Market Entry Guide: An Introduction

How to Export to Korea: The Ultimate Guide

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Korea has experienced a remarkable transformation in the past decades from having a similar GDP per capita as the Philippines to become one of the most prosperous countries in the world.

The introduction of land reformations, support from the US, and having a leadership that forced companies to export goods to international markets propelled Korea to what it is today.

The eCommerce market is one of the fastest-growing in the world and increasingly more foreigners now want to penetrate the Korean market, getting access to its high-earning population.

In this article, I explain the basics you need to know when exporting to Korea as a foreign company.

Topics covered:

  • Korean Trade Fairs
  • Getting a Visa for Korea
  • Finding Korean Distributors
  • Trademark Registration
  • KC – The Korean Product Certification Mark
  • eCommerce Websites in Korea

Korean Trade Fairs

Under normal circumstances, you can find plenty of trade fairs that are held in Korea annually or biannually.

As it would be impossible for me to explain all the fairs, I’ve listed a few below for your general understanding of what kinds of fairs are held.

KIMES – Medical Equipment

KIMES (Korea International Medical and Hospital Equipment Show) is the biggest trade fair for medical equipment in Korea. The fair is held annually and visited by tens of thousands of people. Most of the visitors come from the following industries: Continue reading How to Export to Korea: The Ultimate Guide

How to Apply for the JIS Mark in Japan: The Ultimate Guide

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Product compliance becomes increasingly important as cross-border eCommerce and global trade increase rapidly.

Unions and countries typically have administrative marking for electronics and safety products, including the CE mark in the EU and the CCC mark in China.

It’s crucial that you apply for and make sure that you have relevant certifications before selling into a foreign market. If not, your goods might be seized and you can be subject to hefty fines, for example.

As you probably know by now, Japan’s quality certification mark is called the JIS mark and something that I will cover in greater detail in this article.

Topics covered:

  • What is the JIS-mark?
  • Products That Need the JIS Mark
  • The Application Process
  • Costs to Apply for the JIS Mark
  • FAQ

What is the JIS-mark?

As mentioned, the JIS-mark is a Japanese quality certification mark and needed for many different kinds of products. JIS is an acronym for “Japan International Standards” and the mark is managed by the committee with the same name, JISC (Japan International Standards Committee). Continue reading How to Apply for the JIS Mark in Japan: The Ultimate Guide

Exporting Wine to Korea – A Complete Guide

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Korea has one of the fastest-growing eCommerce markets in the world and its population gets an increased appetite for foreign products.

As a result, the imports of wine has skyrocketed since 2000 and the trend won’t change for a long time to come it seems like.

With that said, selling wine in Korea requires that you do due diligence first, learning about the market, trade fairs available, and more. In this article, I cover a wide range of topics about how you can sell wine in Korea as a foreigner.

Topics covered:

  • South Korea’s Wine Market
  • Trade fairs for Wines
  • Shipping and packaging of wines to Korea
  • Import Taxes and tariffs
  • Labeling of wine bottles

South Korea’s Wine Market

Wine imports increase with double digits on an annual basis in Korea and red wine is dominating the imports with a market share of (just over 71%). With that said, white-and sparkling wine gets increasingly popular as well.

Thus, producers of red, white, or sparkling wine all have great export opportunities and to enter the Korean market. Continue reading Exporting Wine to Korea – A Complete Guide

Exporting to Japan: A Complete Guide

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Japan is a highly developed country with a population of around 130 million people. With a strong purchasing power, it’s also comparatively digitized with a strong credit card and smartphone penetration.

This makes Japan one of the most interesting Asian countries for cross-border eCommerce sales.

Still, a majority of small European and American business owners merely focus on local markets and don’t grasp the opportunities to export to countries like Japan.

In this article, we review the following topics:

  • How to find Japanese customers
  • Trade fairs
  • Do I need a visa to visit Japan prior to exports?
  • Finding a Japanese distributor
  • Registering your trademark in Japan
  • Japanese certification standards
  • Shipping products to Japan
  • What are the biggest eCommerce platforms in Japan?

Continue reading Exporting to Japan: A Complete Guide

Top 5 eCommerce Websites in Japan: An Overview

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Japan’s retail industry changes quickly as more and more shoppers switch from bricks & mortar stores to eCommerce options.

There are plenty of benefits of being an online seller here. The country has a small land area which makes deliveries swift and at a low cost.

Besides, it has some of the most developed distribution channels globally with a large population that has a strong purchasing power.

Even if Amazon is one of the most popular eCommerce marketplaces in Japan, there are several other websites that foreigners have barely heard of.

In this article, we list the biggest eCommerce platforms in Japan, explain their history, and what makes them unique. Let’s get started with the biggest one.

1. Amazon Japan

This company needs no further introduction as it’s the biggest eCommerce platform in the world and the third most valuable company, right after Microsoft and Apple. The company made revenues worth around USD 281 in 2020 and with a market value of around USD 1.69 trillion.

Amazon can be found in dozens of countries all over the world and is not limited to a few markets like Rakuten, Lazada, or Tmall, for example.

Even if Amazon has seen great success in Western countries, it’s not as big in Asian countries like Vietnam, China, Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, and Singapore.

In fact, the company pulled out of the Chinese market due to fierce competition from local marketplaces. Continue reading Top 5 eCommerce Websites in Japan: An Overview

List of Korea Company Formation Agents: Top 5 Picks

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In this article, we list some of the most popular company formation agents, including a presentation about the companies and their management, services, and countries of operation. The list consists of companies that are both Korean and foreign-owned.

At the end of the article, you’ll also find a useful FAQ with questions that are frequently asked by readers. Let’s get started.

1. Osungac

Osungac was established in 2008 and an experienced accounting firm that serves to foreign and local clients. Their staff speaks English and are specialized in incorporations, bookkeeping, tax declarations, commercial law reporting and clearing, and more.

The company has a strong network in Korea and offers a one-stop total service, to minimize the hurdles of dealing with several service providers. Some of their partners include Cekindo, 3E Accounting, VCA Accountants, and more.

They are continuously researching and developing new services for customer satisfaction.

Services

  • Incorporation
  • Outsourcing Services in Accounting
  • Tax Services
  • Payroll Outsourcing & Social Insurance
  • Audit and Assurance
  • Others

Countries & Regions

  • Korea (Seoul)

Office Address:

D, 9F, 109 Teheran-Ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

2. Pearson & Partners

Pearson & Partners is a renowned law and accounting firm that provides customization for business networks in Korea, Singapore, and other countries. They provide customized solutions for business owners with services that are tailored for each business type. Continue reading List of Korea Company Formation Agents: Top 5 Picks

List of Japan Company Formation Agents: Top 6 Picks

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In this article, we list some of the most popular and leading company formation agents in Japan and primarily in Tokyo. We start with a short introduction about each service provider, list their services, in which cities they are located, and finally their office address.

You’ll also find a useful FAQ at the end of the article where we reply to frequently asked questions among readers.

1. ProWorks Group

ProWorks Group was founded in 2007 and consists of international expansion specialists. They don’t only have offices in Japan, but in the US and have built up an extensive portfolio over the years.

The team consists of around 13 professionals, including both Japanese nationals and foreigners, that have catered to locals and foreign clients alike. The company offers various services and multiple options, not a single line of services.

Services

  • Incorporation
  • Market Entry
  • Accounting & Tax
  • HR
  • Payroll Services
  • Professionals On-Demand
  • Business Consulting
  • Others

Countries & Regions

  • The US (Honolulu, Hawaii)
  • Japan (Tokyo)

Office Address: Daiwa Akasaka Bldg 4F, 2-14-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0052, Japan

2. Healy Consultants

Aidan Healy founded Healy Consultants in 2003 and it has become a major player in the incorporation industry since. Being an Irish Chartered Accountant, Aidan has spent decades overseas and managed to accumulate a great deal of experience prior to establishing Healy Consultants. Continue reading List of Japan Company Formation Agents: Top 6 Picks

Shipping to Japan – The short guide that presents the best freight option for your products

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To initiate exports to Japan is not always an easy task for small business owners who long for increased sales in the far East. If you plan for exports to Japan, I recommend you to read this short guide. I guide you through the benefits of using different freight options and present the import procedure to Japan. Let’s start with the latter one.

Export/import procedures to Japan

The Japanese Customs provides valuable information on their website. You can find information regarding certification, application procedures when exporting/importing goods, FAQ and lists that show goods with prohibition. Continue reading Shipping to Japan – The short guide that presents the best freight option for your products