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Company Formation Costa Rica

Create a Company in Costa Rica

Updated on Tuesday 22nd January 2013

Even though is not a traditional offshore jurisdiction, Costa Rica offers great incentives for the foreign companies who whished to open companies here.

For example if the activities of the offshore company are carried outside Costa Rica, no taxes on income or profits are charged. The activities of the company are not subject to the exchange of information between Costa Rica and other countries, since it didn’t sign any double tax treaties.


There are some restrictions regarding the area of activity of the offshore company in the following sectors: public investment management, banking, mutual fund management insurance, alcohol distilleries, petroleum refining, telecommunication, electricity, television broadcasting. For the activities not totally forbidden is required that the foreign company be part of a joint venture where the majority is owned by the residents of Costa Rica.


The name of an offshore company must be in Spanish. If it is written in another language, an official Spanish translation must accompany it.


Every year, an annual tax of 300 USD must be paid, and also a registration fee of 300 USD is required.


In the free zones, the offshore companies created in Costa Rica benefits from a large number of benefits such as the fact that the income tax on profits and the customs duties on equipment, materials and machinery are fully exempt for a period of 12 years , followed by a exemption of 50 % for the next 6 years. Also the VAT and the selective consumption tax are not payable for a period of 12 years and then only 50 % payable for a period of maximum 6 years. The payments to non residents are not subject of the withholding taxes.


The offshore companies opened in Costa Rica may take many forms of business but the most advantageous one is the SA (stock company).


A stock company is incorporated by at least two founders and is managed by a Board of Directors, composed by the president, one treasures and a secretary. Another requirement is that each offshore must have a resident agent (a lawyer) and a registered office in Costa Rica.

The liability of the members is limited in extend of its contribution to the company’s capital. There are no requirements for a minimum share capital and the provided capital is divided into transferable shares.


The general meetings require a 50% presence of the members and the decisions of the Board of Directors are approved by at least 50 % of its members. If the company doesn’t operate in Costa Rica, there is no need to keep general meeting every year.


If a company doesn’t perform any commercial activity in Costa Rica is not necessary to fill the financial statements.

Meet us in San Jose

Call us now at +44 203 287 0408 to set up an appointment with our lawyers in San Jose, Costa Rica. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Costa Rica.

As a BridgeWest client, you will beneficiate from the joint expertize of local lawyers and international consultants. Together we will be able to offer you the specialized help you require for your business start-up in Costa Rica.

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