Costa Rica

Costa Rica Company - Offshore company - Overview

Costa Rica is a reputed jurisdiction for offshore investments and offshore incorporation of offshore companies since it treats onshore and offshore businesses in the same manner. The basis of taxation is territorial; therefore foreign source income is not taxed.
Costa Rica is a country situated in Central America and its legal system function based on the Spanish Civil and enjoys economic and political stability, being one of the most discreet offshore centers in the world. Costa Rica jurisdiction is seen as the best country in all of central and South America in which to do business due to is true democracy with powerful institutions to ensure the rule of law.

Costa Rica has free trading with US according with recently approved Central America Free Trade Agreement with United States which will enable any Costa Rican company to trade with US markets tax free. Costa Rica has similar agreements signed with Canada, Mexico and Chile and other discussion with China and EC.

In Costa Rica, law recognizes a wide range of organizations types: general and limited partnerships, capital stock corporations, and individual enterprises of limited liability, trusts, foundations, civil associations and cooperatives. All these entities are recorded under the Mercantile Registry Section of the Public Registry of Costa Rica and the articles of incorporation have to be signed by the founding members/shareholders and notarized by a Costa Rican notary public in the protocol book. When incorporate an offshore company is Costa Rica a Constitutive Charter must be submitted, document which contains the laws which will regulate the day to day operations of the offshore company or the by-laws of the company - the documents must be signed by the directors and shareholders of the offshore company. Before the submission of the documents there must be published and advertisement in the official newspaper of the country ‘La Gaceta' in order to announce the formation of the offshore company in the tax haven, procedure that takes between 10-15 days.

Foreign companies may operate legally through local branches, joint-ventures, wholly-owned subsidiaries and other dissimilarities on the known organizations.
Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada or LTDA. (Limited Liability Company "LLC") is one of the most used types of company. This company has characteristics of a corporation and of a limited partnership. Therefore the liability of the company members is limited to the sum of quotas that they subscribe.
Taking into consideration that offshore company activities are carried on outside of Costa Rica, the offshore company will not be subject to any income taxes therein. Also the jurisdiction has no Double tax treaties signed, thus no information exchange regarding the goods and services transferred and no reporting or accounting requirements for a Costa Rica offshore company.

Also Costa Rica jurisdiction is very well known for online casinos business that had choose Costa Rica as registration country because of the fact that there are no direct prohibition on gambling business and no necessity to receive a special license, just to activate the gambling activity on company profile.
Costa Rica jurisdiction is not a member of Hague Convention and therefore this complicates the legalization of the corporate documents if the company plans opening bank accounts or representative offices outside Costa Rica. The cost to legalize the company documents depends on the specific countries Consulates rates.
A Costa Rica offshore company is exempt from any kind of taxation and is empowered to conduct all types of business and may have clients, contractors, suppliers and employees from any country.

Costa Rica

General Information

Type of entity

S.A or S.R.L

Governing corporate legislation

Companies in Costa Rica are regulated under the Commercial Code of Costa Rica. The Costa Rica National Registry is the governing authority.

Time-frame to establish a new company

3-4 weeks

Corporate taxation

No taxes should be paid if no incomes are generated in Costa Rica.

Double Taxation Treaty Access


Language of name


Company name

S.A or S.R.L to  denote limited liability (according with company type)

Information published relating to company officers

The names of company officers appear on public record. Nominee officers can be used to avoid the client's name to appear. The names of shareholders do not appear.

Accounting requirement

Annual Tax Filing must be presented each year to the administration even if the corporation has no income.

Standard Currency



Very stable jurisdiction with excellent reputation.

Basis of legal System

Under Civil Law.

Time zone

Convenient time zone (GMT-6).

Secretary required


Bearer shares

Bearer Shares are not permitted.

Share capital or equivalent

Permitted currencies


Paid up capital requirement

Minimum share capital : $20.


Minimum number

For the Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada S.R.L. (limited liability) the company can be administered by only one person in the position of Manager and Representative.

Local required

Not required

Location of meetings


Government Register of Directors


Costa Rica Incorporation Costs

Company registration

1.500  Euro

Bank account

490  Euro

Annual Tax( from 2nd year)

990  Euro

Optional/Additional costs

2 Nominee Director/year

1.200 Euro

Nominee Shareholder/year

 400 Euro

Certificate of Good Standing

 200 Euro

Power of Attorney

 150 Euro


 200 Euro

Courier Delivery

 80 Euro