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ACT ON SUPPORT FOR FEMALE-OWNED BUSINESSES

Act No. 5818, Feb. 5, 1999

Amended by Act No. 6415, Feb. 30, 2001

Act No. 6675, Mar. 25, 2002

Act No. 7557, May 31, 2005

Act No. 8086, Dec. 26, 2006

Act No. 8361, Apr. 11, 2007

Act No. 8362, Apr. 11, 2007

Act No. 9684, May 21, 2009

Act No. 9685, May 21, 2009

Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009

Act No. 11967, Jul. 30, 2013

Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016

Act No. 14122, Mar. 29, 2016

Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017

Act No. 15688, jun. 12, 2018

 Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to seek actual gender equality in the economic realm by actively supporting the activities of female-owned businesses and women's establishment of business and to contribute to the development of the national economy by facilitating women's economic activities and elevating the status of businesswomen.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 2 (Definitions)
The terms used in this Act shall be defined as follows: <Amended by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016>
1. The term "female-owned business" means a business owned and managed by a woman, which meets the criteria determined by Presidential Decree;
2. The term "businesswoman" means a female executive officer of a company who participates in making final decisions of the relevant company;
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 3 (Responsibility of the State and Local Governments)
The State and local governments shall, in order to facilitate women's establishment of business and business activities of female-owned businesses, endeavor to guarantee equality in business opportunities and comprehensive support in the fields of financing, manpower, information, technology, market development, etc.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 4 (Correction of Discriminatory Practices)
(1) The Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups may, when a public institution implements an irrational and discriminatory practice or system on female-owned businesses, request such public institution to correct the same. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(2) Any public institution that is requested to make a correction under paragraph (1) shall make such correction, unless there is a compelling reason not to do so.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 5 (Basic Plans for Facilitating Activities of Female-Owned Businesses)
(1) The Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups shall develop and promote a basic plan to facilitate the activities of female-owned businesses (hereinafter referred to as "basic plan") each year as prescribed by Presidential Decree. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(2) A basic plan shall contain the matters in each of the following:
1. Basic goals for facilitating the activities of female-owned businesses and the direction of the promotion thereof;
2. Matters to support women in establishing business;
3. Matters concerning support to female-owned businesses in terms of financing, information, technology, manpower, market development, etc;
4. Matters necessary to facilitate the activities of female-owned businesses and businesswomen, other than those described in subparagraphs 1 through 3.
(3) The Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups may, when deemed necessary for developing a basic plan, request relevant administrative agencies, and institutions or organizations relevant to support of female-owned businesses to submit necessary materials, opinions, etc. In such cases, the relevant administrative agencies and institutions or organizations relevant to support of female-owned businesses that have received such request shall comply therewith, unless any special circumstances exist. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 6 (Establishment of Balanced Growth Promotion Committee)
(1) A Balanced Growth Promotion Committee (hereinafter referred to as the "Committee") shall be established under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups to deliberate on a basic plan and important matters necessary for the promotion of balanced growth between businesses. <Amended by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016; Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(2) The Committee may establish subcommittees by area. <Newly Inserted by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016>
(3) Matters necessary for the organization, management, etc. of the Committee and subcommittees shall be determined by Presidential Decree. <Amended by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016>
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 7 (Investigation of Actual Conditions)
(1) The Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups shall, in order to ascertain the current and actual conditions of activities of female-owned businesses, conduct an investigation of actual conditions every two years and make public the results thereof. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(2) The Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups may entrust the investigation of actual conditions under paragraph (1) to the Korean Women Entrepreneurs Association under Article 13 or to small and medium business-related institutions or organizations. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(3) Public institutions, female-owned businesses or women's associations may be requested to submit materials, statements of opinions, etc. when necessary to conduct the investigation of actual conditions under paragraph (1), and the public institutions, female-owned businesses or women's associations so requested shall cooperate therewith.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 8 (Special Cases of Support for Women in Establishing Businesses)
(1) The Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups shall include a plan for facilitating women's establishment of businesses in the plan for supporting the establishment of small and medium enterprises under Article 4 (1) of the Support for Small and Medium Enterprise Establishment Act. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(2) The Government may, when supporting those who establish businesses and those who engage in the business of supporting business start-ups pursuant to Article 4 (2) of the Support for Small and Medium Enterprise Establishment Act, give preferential treatment to female establishers of businesses and start-up business supporting business entities with outstanding records in supporting women establishing businesses.
(3) The Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups may, when designating the proprietor of a start-up business support center under Article 6 (1) of the Support for Small and Medium Enterprise Establishment Act, preferentially designate the proprietor of a start-up business support center for women in order to facilitate women establishing businesses. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 9 (Preferential Purchase by Public Institutions)
(1) The heads of public institutions shall facilitate the purchase of products, services, or construction projects that female-owned businesses (limited to small and medium businesses prescribed in Article 2 of the Framework Act on Small and Medium Enterprises; hereafter in this Article, the same shall apply) manufacture, provide, or perform (hereafter in this Article, referred to as "female-owned business-manufactured products"). <Amended by Act No. 15688, Jun. 12, 2018>
(2) Purchase plans formulated by the heads of public institutions pursuant to Article 5 (1) of the Act on Facilitation of Purchase of Small and Medium Enterprise-Manufactured Products and Support for Development of Their Markets shall include sectionalized plans for purchasing female-owned business-manufactured products.
(3) Plans for purchasing female-owned business-manufactured products in paragraph (2) shall include a goal for purchasing products with at least the percentage determined by Presidential Decree of such products; and the heads of public institutions shall implement the relevant purchase plan. <Amended by Act. No. 11967, Jul. 30, 2013>
(4) With respect to matters deemed to be improved as a result of checking purchase plans in paragraph (3), the Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups may advise the head of the relevant public institution to make improvements thereto. In such cases, the head of the relevant public institution shall reflect them in purchase plans, except in extenuating circumstances. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(5) Article 5 (4) of the Act on Facilitation of Purchase of Small and Medium Enterprise-Manufactured Products and Support for Development of Their Markets shall apply mutatis mutandis to matters necessary for notification of purchase plans and records in paragraphs (2) through (4). <Amended by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016>
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 10 (Preferential Treatment in Financial Support)
(1) The State and local governments shall, when providing funds to companies, give preferential treatment to female-owned businesses in order to facilitate the activities and establishment of female-owned businesses.
(2) The Government may request the Korea Credit Guarantee Fund prescribed in the Credit Guarantee Fund Act, the Korea Technology Finance Corporation prescribed in the Korea Technology Finance Corporation Act, and the credit guarantee foundations established under Article 9 of the Regional Credit Guarantee Foundation Act to establish and operate guarantee systems for female-owned businesses. <Newly Inserted by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016; Act No. 14122, Mar. 29, 2016>
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 11 (Support for Improvement of Business Management Capability)
The Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups may provide training, guidance programs, etc. to businesswomen and employees of female-owned businesses for the improvement of their business management capabilities and their levels of technology. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 12 (Support for Design Development)
The Korea Institute of Design Promotion under Article 11 of the Industrial Design Promotion Act shall endeavor to facilitate the development of design by female-owned businesses.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 13 (Establishment of Korean Women Entrepreneurs Association)
(1) A Korean Women Entrepreneurs Association (hereinafter referred to as the "Association") shall be established to advance the public interest and sound development of businesswomen and to efficiently carry out the duties of facilitating women's business activities.
(2) The Association shall be a legal entity.
(3) When it is intended to establish the Association, the representative concerned shall obtain approval for the establishment thereof, by submitting the articles of association and other necessary documents to the Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups as prescribed by Presidential Decree. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(4) The Association shall be established by completing registration of incorporation at the seat of its principal office.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 14 (Duties of Association)
The Association shall conduct each of the duties listed in the following: <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
1. Training of businesswomen and fostering of professional businesswomen;
2. Provision of information to female-owned businesses;
3. Activities to support and facilitate women's establishment of business;
4. Support for joint purchase and sales businesses;
5. Support for the development of overseas markets and attraction of foreigners' investments by female-owned businesses;
6. Cooperation with foreign businesswomen's groups;
7. Projects entrusted by the Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups to facilitate the activities of female-owned businesses and women's establishment of business;
8. Works to facilitate women's business activities, other than those described in subparagraphs 1 through 7.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 15 (Establishment of Integrated Support Center for Female-Owned Businesses)
(1) The Association may establish an Integrated Support Center for Female-Owned Businesses (hereinafter referred to as the "Support Center") capable of providing various kinds of information and services, such as education, training, research study and counselling, in order to actively facilitate women's establishment of business and activities of female-owned businesses.
(2) The State and local governments may provide financial support, etc. necessary for the establishment and management of the Support Center. <Amended by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016>
(3) Matters necessary for the establishment and management of the Support Center shall be determined by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 16 (Lending of National and Public Property without Compensation)
The State or local governments may, when necessary for the businesses of the Association, lend national and public property to the Association without compensation, notwithstanding the provisions of the State Property Act or the provisions of the Public Property and Commodity Management Act.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 17 (Tax Benefits)
The Government may offer tax benefits to the Association and the major businesses thereof as prescribed by the Restriction of Special Taxation Act.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 18 (Prohibition of Use of Similar Name)
No person other than the Association under this Act shall be allowed to use the name “Korean Women Entrepreneurs Association” or any other name similar thereto.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 19 (Application Mutatis Mutandis of the Civil Act)
Except as otherwise provided for in this Act, the provisions of the Civil Act, which pertain to incorporated associations, shall apply mutatis mutandis to the Association.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 20 (Guidance and Supervision)
(1) The Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups may guide and supervise the affairs of the Association. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(2) The Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups may, when deemed necessary for the guidance and supervision under paragraph (1), request the Association to submit necessary documents, etc. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
 Article 20-2 (Verification of Female-Owned Businesses)
(1) A person who intends to obtain support prescribed in this Act may apply for verification to the Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups about whether the relevant business constitutes a female-owned business. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(2) Upon receipt of an application filed under paragraph (1), the Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups shall investigate and examine whether the relevant business constitutes a female-owned business, and if it does, he/she shall verify such fact (hereinafter referred to as “verification of a female-owned business”). In such cases, he/she may issue a certificate stating a valid period with verification. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(3) In any of the following cases, no person shall file an application prescribed in paragraph (1) for a period of up to one year, which is prescribed by Presidential Decree:
1. Where it is found that his/her business is not a female-owned business according to the outcomes of the investigation and examination conducted under paragraph (2);
2. Where the verification of a female-owned business is cancelled as he/she falls under Article 20-3 (1) 1.
(4) Other matters necessary for the verification of female businesses, including the procedures for the verification of female-owned businesses, a valid period and issuance of certificates, shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016]
 Article 20-3 (Revoking Verification of Female-Owned Business)
(1) Where a person who has obtained the verification of a female-owned business falls under any of the following subparagraphs, the Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups may cancel his/her confirmation: Provided, That in cases falling under subparagraph 1, his/her verification shall be cancelled: <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
1. Where he/she obtained the verification of a female-owned business by fraud or other improper means;
2. Where he/she fails to meet the criteria referred to in subparagraph 1 of Article 2;
3. Where he/she ceases to conduct business activities due to dishonor, closedown, etc.
(2) To cancel the verification of a female-owned business pursuant to paragraph (1), the Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups shall hold a hearing. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
[This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016]
 Article 20-4 (Reporting and Inspection)
(1) If necessary for checking whether a person who obtained the verification of a female-owned business falls under any ground for cancellation of such verification prescribed in Article 20-3 (1), the Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups may require the relevant business to submit related materials or to report thereon or may order public officials under his/her control to access the place of business, office, etc. of the relevant business and inspect related matters. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(2) A public official who conducts inspection prescribed in paragraph (1) shall carry an identification certificate indicating his/her authority and present it to interested persons.
[This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016]
 Article 20-5 (Delegation and Entrustment of Authority)
(1) Part of the authority of the Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups prescribed in this Act may be delegated to the head of an institution under his/her control or the Mayor/Do Governor or entrusted to the head of another administrative agency, as prescribed by Presidential Decree. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(2) Part of the business affairs of the Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups prescribed in the provisions of Articles 20-2 through 20-4 may be entrusted to the Association, as prescribed by Presidential Decree. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(3) The executive officers and employees of the Association who perform the business affairs entrusted by the Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups pursuant paragraph (2) shall be deemed public officials in applying Articles 129 through 132 of the Criminal Act. <Amended by Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
[This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016]
 Article 20-6 (Penalty Provisions)
Any person, other than a female-owned business, who has received support prescribed in this Act by fraud or other unlawful means shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not more than three years or by a fine not exceeding 30 million won.
[This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016]
 Article 20-7 (Joint Penalty Provisions)
Where the representative of a corporation or an agent or employee of, or any other person employed by, the corporation or an individual commits any violations prescribed in Article 20-6 in conducting the business affairs of the corporation or individual, the corporation or individual shall, in addition to punishing the violators accordingly, be subject to a fine prescribed in the relevant provisions: Provided, That this shall not apply where such corporation or individual has not been negligent in giving due attention and supervision concerning the relevant business affairs.
[This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016]
 Article 21 (Administrative Fines)
(1) Any person who fails to submit materials prescribed in Article 20-4 (1) or submits false materials, fails to report or files a false report, or refuses, obstructs or evades an inspection shall be subject to an administrative fine of not more than three million won. <Newly Inserted by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016>
(2) Any person who uses the name “'Korean Women Entrepreneurs Association” or any other name similar thereto in violation of Article 18 shall be subject to an administrative fine of not exceeding one million won.
(3) Administrative fines prescribed in paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be imposed and collected by the Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups. <Amended by Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016; Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009]
ADDENDUM
This Act shall enter into force on June 1, 1999.
ADDENDA <Act No. 6415, Feb. 3, 2001>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on April 1, 2001.
Articles 2 and 3 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 6675, Mar. 25, 2002>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.
Articles 2 through 7 Omitted.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 7557, May 31, 2005>
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDA <Act No. 8086, Dec. 26, 2006>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.
Articles 2 through 4 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 8361, Apr. 11, 2007>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 through 10 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 8362, Apr. 11, 2007>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 through 10 Omitted.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 9684, May 21, 2009>
This Act shall enter into force on the date prescribed by Presidential Decree, not exceeding six months after the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDA <Act No. 9685, May 21, 2009>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation.
Articles 2 through 8 Omitted.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 9892, Dec. 30, 2009>
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 11967, Jul. 30, 2013>
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 2014.
ADDENDA <Act No. 13853, Jan. 27, 2016>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation.
Article 2 (Transitional Measures concerning Verification of Female-Owned Business)
A person who obtained the verification of a female-owned business prescribed in the previous provisions as at the time this Act enters into force shall be deemed verified under the amended provisions of Article 20-2 until the valid period of the verification expires.
ADDENDA <Act No. 14122, Mar. 29, 2016>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation.
Articles 2 through 5 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
(1) This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation: Provided, That the amendments to the statutes to be amended pursuant to Article 5 of the Addenda, which were promulgated before this Act enters into force but the enforcement dates of which have yet to arrive, shall enter into force on the enforcement date of the relevant statute.
Articles 2 through 6 Omitted.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 15688, Jun. 12, 2018>
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation.