Business in Korean – Vocabulary To Learn Before Starting A Company

One of the reasons people come to Korea is for work, which makes learning business in Korean very essential. In this lesson, we will be learning exactly what you need before you embark on your business plans in Korea.

Four office workers gathered around a table

Below is a free PDF guide for “Business in Korean” that you can download and take with you:

Business culture in South Korea

Apart from the basic Korean vocabulary, another important subject to take note of as you are learning Korean for business is the business etiquette of Koreans. Since this is essential in Korean business, we dedicated a separate article for this topic.

If you would like to learn more about Korean work and business culture, visit our article on the topic. You’ll also want to know Korean business etiquette before doing any business with your Korean business partner.

six vehicles on a highway with tall buildings on the background

Korean business words

Now that we’ve covered that let’s get down to business and learn words and phrases that are helpful in learning business in Korean! Here are some common business vocabulary in Korean.

“Business” in Korean

The words for “business” in Korean are 사업 (saeop) and 상업 (sangeop), and the word 영업 (yeongeop) is also sometimes used. There is little difference between these words, so you may use whichever comes naturally to you.

“Company” in Korean

The word for “company” in Korean is 회사 (hoesa). Regardless of the size or type of company, this is a word you can use to describe it.

Now you know how to say the Korean words for business and company. Let’s now learn Korean through more specific terms or languages revolving around business Korean!

Words for Types of Companies in Korean

A company or a business can come in different types and sizes. Below are their terms in Korean.

business (saeop)
enterprise (gieop)
large enterprise (daegieop)
small and medium-sized companies (jungsogieop)
venture company (bencheogieop)
company (hoesa)
corporation (jusikhoesa)
limited company (yuhanhoesa)
unlimited partnership (habmyeonghoesa)
joint-stock company (habjahoesa)
establishment of a company (changeop)
partnership (jehyu)
corporate entity (beobin)

Job Positions in Korean

These are some job positions that you’ll often encounter when dealing with businesses in Korea. For a more extensive list of job positions in Korean, we have a separate article you can find here.

department head (bujang)
section manager (gwajang)
CEO (choegogyeongyeongja)
deputy (daeri)

“CEO” in Korean

The word for Chief Executive Officer or “CEO” in Korean is 최고경영자 (choegogyeongyeongja).

“Deputy” in Korean

“Deputy” in Korean is called 대리 (daeri). This word can also translate to assistant manager.

Different Types of Business in Korean

Businesses are categorized through the service they provide. Here are some of them in the Korean language.

service business (seobiseueop)
hospitality (sokbageop)
restaurant business (eumsikjeomeop)
wholesale business (domaeeop)
logistics business (mullyueop)
manufacturing industry (jejoeop)

“Hospitality” in Korean

The word for a hospitality business in Korean 숙박업 (sokbageop). Hotels and lodging businesses fall under this business type.

business owner pointing towards a door with an open signage
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Company Departments in Korean

A company or business is comprised of departments that specialize in specific tasks. Here are some of them:

management department (gwallibu)
general affairs department (chongmubu)
planning department (gihoekbu)
human resources (insabu)
accounting department (hoegyebu)
financing department (jaemubu)
sales department(yeongeopbu)
production department (saengsanbu)
logistics department (mullyubu)
IT department(jeonsanbu)
technology department (gisulbu)
research department (yeongubu)

Words Used for Business Meetings in Korean

When it comes to meeting with Korean business partners, it’s also helpful to learn Korean words like the ones below.

meeting (hoeui)
deal (georae)
trade (gyoyeok)
negotiation (hyeopsang)
business trip (chuljang)
contract (gyeyak)
business card (myeongham)

“Meeting” in Korean

The Korean word for “meeting” is 회의 (hoeui). This word also translates to “conference.”

“Negotiation” in Korean

The word for “negotiation” in Korean is 협상 (hyeopsang).

Another word that you can use is 교섭 (gyoseop).

“Contract” in Korean

계약 (gyeyak) is the Korean word for “contract.”

If you and another party agree on something, then you can use the phrase 계약을 맺다 (gyeyageul maetda), which means “to sign a contract with.”

Successful Business Meeting showing a man and a woman shaking hands with officemates around them
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Payment is an essential part of businesses. Here are some terms related to payment, net profit, and taxes in a business.

payment, reward (bosang)
method (bangbeop) 
price (gagyeok)
purchase (gumae)
sale (panmae)
income (sodeuk)
profit (iik)
loss (sonhae)
loss (sonsil)
non-payment (budo)
bill (eoeum)
debt (chaemu)
liabilities (buchae)
invoice (daecha gyejeong)
customs tax (gwanse)
tax (segeum)
surtax (bugase)

“Price” in Korean

The word for “price” in Korean is 가격 (gagyeok).

“Tax” in Korean

The word for “tax” in Korean is 세금 (segeum). If you specifically mean “customs tax,” you can use the word 관세 (gwanse).

While the Korean word for “surtax” is 부가세 (bugase).

“Payment” in Korean

The word for “payment” in Korean is 보상 (bosang). This word can also translate to “reward.”

“Profit” in Korean

The word for “gain” or “profit” in Korean is 이익 (iik).

There are plenty of other business terms in the Korean language, but these are the most common ones you’ll encounter.

stockholder (juju)
transfer (yangdo)
monopoly (dokjeom)
bidding (ipchal)
export (suchul)
import (suip)
management (gyeongyeong)
financial affairs (jaemu)
tax affairs (semu)
supply (gonggeup)
demand (suyo)
capital (jabon)
bond (chaegwon)
property (jasan)
market (sijang)
trademark (sangpyo)
product (sangpum)
item (pummok)
patent, license (teukeo)
deficit (jeokja)
margin (majin)
investment (tuja)
advertisement (gwanggo)
bank note (jipye)
check (supyo)
account (chaemu myeongseseo)
complaint (bulpyeong)
customer (gogaek)
interest (ija)
law (beop)
share (jusik)

“Patent” in Korean

The word for “patent” in Korean is 특허 (teukeo). This can also mean “license” in English.

“Interest” in Korean

The word “interest” in business terms in Korean is called 이자 (ija).

“Share” in Korean

The Korean word for “share” is 주식 (jusik). This refers to shares in the stock market.

“Law” in Korean

There are different types of law, but the general term for “law” in Korean is 법 (beop).

“Investment” in Korean

The Korean word for “investment” is 투자 (tuja). While 투자가 (tujaga) translates to “investor.”

“Bond” in Korean

채권 (chaegwon) is the word for “bond” in Korean.

“Capital” in Korean

The word for capital in Korean in terms of funds is 자본 자본 (jabon).

“Property” in Korean

You can use the word 자산 (jasan) to say “property” or “assets” in Korean.

“Demand” in Korean

The Korean word for “demand” in a business aspect is 수요 (suyo).

Dialogs Conversations
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For the next level, we will be learning Korean phrases related to business Korean. Each phrase will especially be helpful when talking to or meeting with Korean clients.

Nice to meet you. (mannaseo bangapseumnida)
How do you do? (Asked upon meeting for the first time.) (cheoeum boepgetseumnida)
Here's my business card.
(yeogi je myeonghamimnida.)
Will you be at work tomorrow?
(naeil hoesae gyesil geongayo?)
I would like to meet with you tomorrow. (naeil chajaboepgo sipeundeyo.)
What day is good for you? (museun yoiri gwaenchaneuseyo?)
What does your schedule look like? (iljeongi eotteoke doeseyo?)
When do you want to meet?
(eonje mannago sipeuseyo?)
Where do you want to meet?
(eodieseo mannago sipeuseyo?)
That's not a good day for me.
(geu nareun jom an doel geot gatayo.)
Do you have time now? (jigeum sigan jom isseuseyo?)
What did you need to see me about?
(museun illo chajeusyeosseoyo?)
Can we change the date of the meeting to next week?
(hoeuireul daeum juro siganeul byeongyeonghal su isseulkkayo?)
Please be more clear.
(deo jeonghwaki malsseumhaejuseyo)
Can you please say that one more time?
(dasi hanbeon malsseumhaejusigesseoyo?)
I'm sorry, but it doesn't seem possible.
(joesonghajiman andoel geot gatseumnida)
May I speak with X?
(X ssiwa tonghwahal su isseulkkayo?)
May I ask who's calling? (jeonhwajusin bun seonghameul al su isseulkkayo?)
Would you mind calling back later? (ittaga dasi jeonhwahae jusil su isseuseyo?)
I look forward to your kind cooperation.
(jal butakdeurimnida)
Thank you for giving me your time. (sigannaejusyeoseo gamsahamnida)
Thank you for coming.
(wajusyeoseo gamsahamnida)
I will leave first.
(meonjeo deureogabogetseumnida)
I'm afraid I cannot speak Korean well yet. Is it possible to speak in English? (joesonghajiman ajik hangugeoreul jal mothaneundeyo, yeongeoro malhaedo gwaenchaneulkkayo?)
I apologize for making you wait. (gidarisige haeseo jeongmal joesonghamnida)

Should I learn Korean for business?

If you intend to conduct business in South Korea or work for a Korean firm, learning about business in Korea can be very helpful. Not only will it help you understand Korean business culture and even Korean culture better, but it’s also a surefire way to wow all bosses, coworkers, and business partners.

As you learn Korean, learning business Korean will also come in tremendously handy when you may be communicating with someone whose English isn’t as strong or where much of the conversation around you happens in Korean. It will be beneficial to set some time aside for some Korean language learning.

Wrap Up

Well, that’s many words and phrases related to business in Korean that we’ve just learned! Although it may seem like a lot and complicated, this is such an important vocabulary if you want to do business in Korea and learn Korean at the same time.

Through this language learning, building your business relationships will surely take a positive turn. Thankfully, after this lesson, you’re one step closer to doing a great job at it! Who knows, you might be able to put up your own company conducting business in South Korea soon enough! If you want to keep improving your language skills with us, many more Korean lessons are available on our blog.

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