SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) -- The number of newly established companies in South Korea climbed more than 15 percent to a new high in 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Wednesday.
A total of 1.48 million new businesses were set up last year, up 15.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Ministry of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups.
The ministry attributed the surge to a sharp increase in the number of real estate firms in the wake of a requirement for the registration of rental business operators.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of "untact" business companies increased, but that of firms engaging in in-person business areas shrank.
A total of 390,055 retailers and wholesalers were newly established last year, up 17 percent from a year earlier, with the number of new tech firms gaining 3.8 percent to 228,950.
In contrast, the number of restaurants and other hospitality firms sank 10 percent on-year to some 166,500, with that of individual service firms falling 4.7 percent to about 54,000.
The number of one-man operations came to nearly 1.36 million last year, up 15.8 percent from a year earlier and accounting for 91.6 percent of the total, according to the data.