Glossary of Self-Employment Terminology

Having written my PhD dissertation on the Korean self-employment sector, I am somewhat of an expert on the terminology. The following covers many of the main terms and concepts.

Resources on Korean self-employment

The Korean self-employment sector…

Include my previous papers, including my summary from 2017-2018 in English on my Nojeok blog.

Key concepts

자영업 (self-employment)

영세자영업 (weak self-employment)

Business types

자영업체 (self-employed business)

사업체, 기업체 (business entity)

법인사업체 (corporate entity)

프랜차이즈 가맹점 (franchise store)

극소기업, 극소사업, 극소사업체 (micro-business, micro-company, micro-firm)

소규모 사업체 (small-size business entity)


자영업자, 자영업주 (self-employed)

임금근로자 (wage/salary worker)

비임근로자 (non-wage/salary worker)

소상공인 (small business owner, micro-business owner, microbusiness, microenterprise)

고용원이 있는 자영업자 (employer), Also: 고용주, 사용자

고용원이 없는 자영업자 (own-account worker, own-account self-employed worker, own-account entrepreneur, solo entrepreneur) Also: 자영자, 순수 자영업자, 1인 자영업자

정규직근로자, 상용근로자 (regular employed worker) Also: 정규직, 상용직 (regular employment position)

비정규직근로자, 비상용근로자 (non-regular employed worker) Also: 비정규직, 비상용직 (non-regular employment position)

실직자, 실업자 (unemployed)

단독 자영업자 (independent self-employed)

프랜차이즈 가맹자 (franchisee)

비경제활동자 (person not in the labor force)

구직자 (job seeker)

무업자 (jobless person)

취업자 (job holder)

개인사업체 (sole proprietorship)

개인사업자 (sole proprietor)

봉급생괄자 (salaried worker)

재택근무 자영업자 (self-employed working from home)

노점상 (street vendor)

소매상 (retailer)

임금노동자, 임노동자 (wage laborer)

종사자, 근로자 (worker)

일일종사자, 일용근로자 (day worker)

임시근로자 (temporary worker)

단시간 근로자 (short-term worker)

상시 근로자 (full-time worker)

가족종사자 (family worker), also: 무급가족종사자 (unpaid family worker)

사업가, 사업자 (commercialist, business person)

피용자, 직원, 고용원 (employee)

생계형 자영업자 (self-employed person doing business to earn a living)

한계 자영업자 (marginal self-employed person)

업자 (trader, dealer)

하청업자 (subcontractor)

프리랜서 (freelancer)

한시근로자 (contingent worker)

가짜 자영업자, 특수고용인, 특수고용노동자, 특수형태근로종사자 (false self-employed person)

창업자 (business founder)

기업가 (entrepreneur)

용역 근로자 (subcontract worker)

파견근로자 (temp-agency worker)


The following are all types of taxes and deductions mentioned in the 12/16 Plan that relate to the buying, holding (보유; or “owning”, I translate this word differently depending on context), and sale of real estate (mainly referring to apartments in the current context).

self-employment rate (자영업률)

The English names of all translated Korean laws can be looked up at the Korean Law Translation Center. All of the acts below are official names and were referred to at one point or another in the 12/16 Korean Housing Market Plan.

Gross Real Estate Tax Act (종합부동산세법)

Government organizations

Each of the capitalized government ministries and services are official English names. Most of them have both English and Korean abbreviations.

Small Enterprise and Market Service (소상공인시장진흥공단)

Major data sources