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Doing Business in Costa Rica

Situated in the heart of Central America, Costa Rica has seen an economic metamorphosis from a predominantly agriculture-centric economy to one that thrives on services, manufacturing, and tourism sectors. This transformation is rooted in the nation’s robust political stability, high education levels, and a strategic location that bridges the continents of North and South America. Moreover, Costa Rica has a commitment to environmental sustainability, which has nurtured a thriving ecotourism industry.

Costa Rica Business Guides

Statistics About the Economy

To gain a granular understanding of Costa Rica’s economic canvas, we delve into a detailed statistical analysis. According to data from the World Bank, Costa Rica enjoyed a GDP growth rate that oscillated between 2% and 3% in the years leading up to 2019. Furthermore, the nation has succeeded in maintaining a low inflation rate, which stood at 2.03% in 2019, fostering a conducive environment for business and investments.

Why Doing Business in Costa Rica

Entrepreneurs and businesses might view Costa Rica as a gold mine of opportunities, owing to its political stability and skilled workforce. Costa Rica has signed numerous free trade agreements which facilitate business operations globally. Moreover, the government encourages investments and business establishments through various incentives, including lucrative tax breaks and establishing free trade zones which have been pivotal in attracting foreign investments.

Business Culture in Costa Rica

Delving deeper into the business culture in Costa Rica, one finds a landscape that values relationships highly. Costa Ricans prefer face-to-face meetings where they can foster personal connections. It is a society that respects hierarchy; decisions are usually made by the senior executives in a company. Spanish being the dominant language, a basic understanding of it could facilitate smoother business negotiations and relationship building. The Tico business community appreciates a respectful and patient approach to business negotiations.

Networking in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, networking often transcends the formal boundaries of corporate meeting rooms. It spills over into social gatherings, family meetings, and even casual settings. Building a robust network involves nurturing relationships, and understanding the social fabric of the Costa Rican society. Networking events organized by business chambers and social clubs offer excellent platforms to build connections.

How to Hire in Costa Rica

The hiring landscape in Costa Rica offers a rich reservoir of skilled professionals, thanks to the country’s investment in education. The recruitment process might entail leveraging local job portals, recruitment agencies, and social media platforms to tap into the talented pool. When hiring, it is essential to be well-versed with the country’s labor laws, which encompass guidelines on working hours, overtime payments, and termination rules, ensuring a fair and respectful treatment of employees.

Introducing Employer of Record (EOR) and PEO Solutions

For businesses eyeing a foray into the Costa Rican market without the commitment of a full-fledged legal entity, the EOR and PEO solutions come as a boon. These facilitate a hassle-free business operation, shouldering the responsibilities of employee management, payroll processing, and adhering to legal compliances, offering a seamless route to establish and run a business in Costa Rica.

How to Get a Work Visa

Securing a work visa is a structured yet intricate process involving a thorough documentation procedure. The different categories of visas, such as temporary resident visas and specialized visas for technicians and directors, offer various avenues for professionals to work in Costa Rica. Engaging a legal expert to steer through the legal intricacies would ensure a smooth visa procurement process.

How to Register a Company

Registering a company in Costa Rica is a step-by-step process that demands meticulous attention to legal nuances. This involves selecting an appropriate business structure, be it a corporation or a limited liability company, followed by obtaining approvals for the company name and registering it in the Costa Rican National Registry. The regulatory environment also mandates a series of legal compliances including tax registrations and acquiring necessary business licenses to commence operations.

How to Acquire Real Estate for Business

Acquiring real estate for business necessitates a careful selection of location in sync with the business demands. Costa Rica offers a range of locales ranging from bustling city centers to tranquil coastal areas. The acquisition process is safeguarded by laws which ensure the transaction is transparent and free from legal entanglements. Real estate experts and legal advisors can aid in maneuvering through the real estate acquisition journey effectively.


Embarking on a business journey in Costa Rica requires a deep-seated understanding of the socio-economic landscape and a strategic approach in navigating the diverse opportunities it offers. By aligning business strategies with the Costa Rican business ethos and leveraging the support systems in place, entrepreneurs can envision a trajectory of growth and success in this dynamic and promising land.

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Article By

Travis Kliever

Travis is a global business development advisor. He has spent the last 14 years supporting business establishment and development in North America, Southeast Asia, and throughout the world. With multiple degrees from the University of Oregon, Travis currently splits his time between the US, and Bali, Indonesia. At RemotePad, Travis writes about remote work, hiring internationally and PEO/EOR business models.

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