Set up a Costa Rica Start-Up

Starting a Business in Costa Rica

Doing Business in Costa Rica

Starting up in Costa Rica isn’t much different from elsewhere!

GLC International is the best legal advisor for your business needs, for any type of business that you are interested in developing in and from Costa Rica, we have assisted hundreds of successful entrepreneurs in the last 25 years.

Business Set-Up: Checklist for a Costa Rica Business StartUp

Starting a business in Costa Rica is not that different than any other place in the world. After setting up your Costa Rica Corporation, and getting your Costa Rica business license you are set to go, and that is why we are here, to help you through the process of starting a business opportunity in Costa Rica.

Our expert Business Attorneys will provide the best Costa Rica legal advice for your business needs. Contact Us today and ask for more information regarding GLC Costa Rica Business Experts in Costa Rica Incorporation.

Costa Rica Start Up Setup

The Rules: Decide on The Type of Legal Entity

General Explanation: The Costa Rican Code of Commerce in its article 8 establishes, “foreigners will be allowed to conduct business once they have obtained a residency status for more than ten years.” Having said that, it is common knowledge that thousands of foreigners are currently involved in starting a business in Costa Rica, the way to do it is very easy just to incorporate a Costa Rican company and conduct business through it with all the advantages of a limited liability corporation (LLC).

The 2 main choices of corporations for a Costa Rica business Startup:

Sociedad Anónima (S.A.): The most commonly used limited liability corporation in Costa Rica Business Start-Up. It is normally formed by a Board of Directors made by: President, Secretary, and Auditor, with a Treasurer outside of it.

Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (S.R.L): With the advantages of a limited liability corporation but designed perhaps for a smaller less formal  Costa Rica Business StartUp, presents advantages of a “one-man” Board of Directors which facilitates formalities and could be formed in such a way in which all the shareholders would have to approve the admission of a new shareholder.

The Costa Rica Business License for your Start-Up

General Explanation: Once the corporation in Costa Rica is formed, any business activity that has an “open office” in Costa Rica requires applying before the Municipalidad (local government), where the business will be located, for a Patente Municipal (Business License).


The main steps involved are:

zone regulations costa rica

Step 1

Before you sign any Lease or Property Purchase Agreement, make sure that the specific zoning regulations allow the desired activity.

Lease or Property Purchase Agreement costa rica

Step 2

Sign a Lease or Property Purchase Agreement in order to initiate the application process before the authorities.

corporation registration costa rica

Step 3

Register the corporation before the Tax Authority.

Costa Rica Work Risk Insurance

Step 4

Acquire Work Risk Insurance for Employees before the INS (local insurance agency)

CCSS Social Security Institution

Step 5

Register the corporation as an employer in the CCSS (Social Security Institution)
Health Permit Costa Rica

Step 6

After the Zoning Permit is approved, the corporation can now apply for the Health Permit before the Ministry of Health

Business Permit Costa Rica

Step 7

Finally, apply for the Business License once the Health Permit is issued

how to start business costa rica corporate taxes

Corporate Taxes

General Explanation: As it was mentioned before the Costa Rica Corporation has to be registered as a contributor before the Dirección General de Tributación Directa (Tax Authority) as a specific business.

The Corporate Tax will range from 10% to 30% on profit, depending on the volume of total revenue.

Costa Rica Business Office Set-Up

General Explanation: The idea is to find an ideal location that will be cost-effective and at the same time consider its convenience for the desired target segment of customers and provide easy access, parking space, ambiance, etc. For more Costa Rica Business Office info, please contact us.


Miscellaneous Procedures

  • Local and offshore Bank Accounts
  • Trademarks
  • Insurance
  • Cell Phone Lines
  • Moving and storage

Looking forward to Starting a Business in Costa Rica?


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