GSL / Offshore and International Law / Offshore zones / North & South America / Costa Rica / Legislation of Costa Rica

Legislation of Costa Rica

Service packages Legislation Tax System

List of laws and regulations

Act name
Scope of law
Tax Norms and Procedure Code (Codigo de Normas y Procedimientos Tributarios)
https://ministeriopublico.poder-judicial.go.cr/normativa/nacional/03-delitos%20economicos/10.pdf
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Tax treaties entered

Germany
Mexico
Spain

Tax Exchange Information Agreement (TEIA)

Argentina
Australia
Canada
Denmark
Ecuador
El Salvador
Faroe Islands
Finland
France
Greenland
Guatemala
Guernsey
Holland
Honduras
Iceland
Mexico
Nicaragua
Norway
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
and Sweden.

List of state regulatory authorities

Commission for the Promotion of Competition
Central Bank of Costa Rica
Ministry of Justice
Judicial Authorities of Costa Rica
Ministry of Finance

Corporate info

Legal system
based on Spanish Civil Law
Types of entity
Stock Corporation (Sociedad Anónima); Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada); Public Limited Company (Sociedad Anónima Abierta; S.A.A.); Limited Partnership (Sociedad en Comandita Simple); General Partnership (Sociedad en Nombre Colectivo).
Shelf companies permitted
Yes
Incorporation timescale for a new company
2-3 days
Company suffix
Sociedad Anónima (S.A.)
Sensitive words
“Bank”, “Finance”, “Building Society”, “Chamber of Commerce”, “Chartered”, “Cooperative”, “Imperial”, “Insurance”, “Municipal”, “Royal”, ‘Trust Company”, “Trustee Company” or related words
Cyrillic alphabet permitted in company name
No
Local registered office
Yes
Local registered agent
Yes
Information to be kept at the registered office
copy of the entire charter of incorporation, register of directors, powers of attorney and legal representation, capital stock of the company
Seal required, type of seal
not required
Redomiciliation (to, from) permitted
permitted

Director and secretary

Minimum number of directors
3 (President, Secretary and Treasurer)
Residency requirements for directors
No
Corporate directors permitted
No
Directors’ meetings/frequency/location
Yes / according to articles
Disclosure to local agent
No
Disclosure to public
No
Company secretary required
Yes
Residency requirements for a secretary
No
Qualified secretary required
No
Corporate secretary permitted
No

Shareholder and beneficiary

Minimum number of shareholders
2
Residency requirements for shareholders
No
Corporate shareholder permitted
Yes
Meetings/frequency/location
Yes / annually / no requirements
Disclosure to local agent
No
Disclosure to public
No
Beneficiary info disclosure to
No

Shares and share capital

Minimum authorized share capital
No requirements
Minimum issued share capital
No requirements
Minimum paid share capital
25%
Authorized capital payment deadlines
No requirements
Issued capital payment deadlines
Upon incorporation
Standard currency
CRC
Standard authorized share capital
50500
Standard par value of shares
1
Shares with no par value permitted
No
Bearer shares permitted
No

Taxes

Personal tax
0-25%
Min. rate for corporate tax
30%
Corporate tax (in detail)
Income tax is levied at the rate of 30%. However, for companies with gross income up to CRC 109.337.000, a progressive taxation scale is established from 5% to 20%.
Capital gains tax
15%
Capital gains tax. Details
Tax on gains from the sale of assets is levied at the rate of 15%.
VAT
13%
VAT. Details
The standard VAT rate is 13%. Reduced rates of 4%, 2% and 1% apply to some goods and services.
Withholding tax
15%/15%/25%
Other taxes
Social contributions, Property taxes, Real estate tax
Exchange control
No
Government fee
Stamp duty
5 CRC for every thousand of the contract value in relation to various transactions

Accounts

Requirement to prepare accounts
No
Requirement to file accounts
No
Publicly accessible accounts
No
Requirement to file Annual Return
No if the company has no activity in Costa-Rica
Publicly accessible Annual Return
No
Audit required
No

General information shortly

Location
Central America
Total area
51,100 sq. km
Population
4.953.199 (2018)
Capital
San Jose
National currency
Costa Rican colon
Conditional reduction of currency
CRC
Against USD
0.0015
Climate, average max and min t°
Tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands; avg. maximum temperature (January) +33°; avg. minimum temperature (August) +23°
Time difference from Moscow
- 9 hours
Dialing code
+506
State language
Spanish
Ethnic groups
White 65.8%, mestizo 13.65%, mulatto 6,72%, Indian 2,4%, black 1,03%, Asian 0,21%, etc.
Literacy rate
96%
History
Costa-Rica was discovered in 1502 by Christopher Columbus during his fourth voyage to America. Originally these territories were inhabited by the Indians. Spanish colonization started in 1530. Lack of natural resources and climate of the country became the reason why it was mainly poor immigrants from Spain who inhabited Costa Rica. This caused growth of small and medium households in the country. Costa-Rica declared itself an independent state in 1821 and before long it founded the Federal Republic of Central America with Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Salvador. In 1844 the first Constitution was adopted. In the following periods of the history of Costa-Rica several presidents came to power. In 2010 Laura Chinchilla won at the presidential elections and became the first woman president in the history of Costa-Rica.
Credit rating
B
Government type
democratic republic
Executive branch
President and the Cabinet
Legislative branch
unicameral Legislative Assembly (57 seats)
Judicial branch
Supreme Court;appellate courts; district courts
Unemployment
20% (2020)
GDP per capita rank
62 (2019)
Corruption perceptions index rank
47 (2018)

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