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Costa Rica


(January 2007)





































We are pleased to provide you with low cost effective Costa Rican corporation:
First Year fees: $1399

Time frame: a normal company incorporation takes about 11 weeks, we have ready-made companies available to avoid this inconvenience.

Our fee for incorporation, registered agent, registered office, government taxes, ALL Original Documents & Notarized, Certified English Translations:


US$ Cost


Check the company name



A Notary Public drafts and notarizes a public deeds



Send the notice of the constitution for publication



Deposit 25% of paid-in capital



Register with Commercial Register



Register for tax



Legalize the company books



Apply for the business license



Register as employer with social security institution



CCSS conducts an inspection



Register for labor risk insurance






Provision of Four Directors/Administrators/Shareholders $300 /year
Bank account setup $500
Notarized Power of Attorney: $250 
Legalization of  incorporation documents at your country consulate in Costa Rica is possible, the cost varies from state to state
Mailing Address, Mail and Fax Receiving/Forwarding services: 
  USD400.00 per annum, plus a USD 50 deposit to cover outgoing charges. 

Annual fees from 2nd Year and Thereafter
  Registered Agent Fee $350.00
  Government Taxes and Filing Annual Tax Report $150.00
Total: $500 + fees for Nominee Directors/Administrators/Shareholders $300.00 (optional)


Corporation Name

The name of the corporation can be in any language but must include the suffix of "Sociedad Anonima", or “anonymous society”, so corporation names are appended with “S.A.”.

Ready Made Corporations

Usually takes 2 weeks to a month to create a Corporation, but we have already made ones to avoid this inconvenient.

Authorized Capital

There is a minimum of 2,000°° “colones” authorized capital. The shares of the corporation are common and represent by equal parts the authorized capital. However, usually we make companies with 10,000°° "colones" capital, about US$20°°, divided in one hundred shares. To start a company at least two stock holders are needed, after that the stocks can be endorsed in blank to a single owner.

Must be at least four officers: President, Fiscal, Secretary and Treasurer. There are no restrictions in respect of the domicile, nationality or residence of directors. We can provide the nominee directors and officers.

Resident Agent

Costa Rican legislation requires that each corporation has a lawyer as a Resident Agent in Costa Rica and registered office.

Information which is Recorded in the Public Registry

Articles of Incorporation or Charter, names and addresses of the founding partners, names of the Directors and Resident Agent. To keep confidentially the person who physically has the endorsed stocks doesn’t need to be registered.

Authorized Books

The company must have a Minutes of General Assembly Book, a Minutes of Board of Directors Book, a Shareholders Registry Book, and the three accounting books. These documents must be authorized by a competent Taxing Authority, and can be stored in any part of the world, but we prefer to keep the books in our custody for any change needed.

Filing of Financial Statements

Corporations that do not have economical operations in Costa Rica, are not required to file a Financial Statement before any National Authority. However pays annual government fee and needs to fill annual form tax report.

Corporations that do not have operations in the Costa Rica are not requiring to hold any annual meeting.

Taxing Treatment

Costa Rican tax law is territorial. Since no commercial income is generated in Costa Rica, no tax is paid. This provides a very attractive setting for international business owners who are seeking a completely tax free haven and confidential arena.

Banking and Bank Services in Costa Rica

The Costa Rican banks will not open an account for you without at least one recommendation letter.

There are government banks and also many private banks many of which are affiliated with international banks. In the last few years there have been a trend towards privatization, so now private banks can offer many of the same services the state banks do.

Regarding the latter, you should make sure that the bank you choose works with a U.S. correspondent bank to avoid untimely delays in cashing checks. There are dollar accounts, certificates of deposit, and an ATM cards.

All banks have different requirements for opening accounts or obtaining credit cards, possibly entailing banking or personal references, identification and most certainly minimum deposits. Requirements will vary slightly from bank to bank.

Permanent and non-residents may open a savings account in state and private banks. All that is needed is a minimum deposit, in some cases a letter of reference and a passport or cédula. To open a local checking account you have to be a resident and may be asked to provide a Costa Rican ID card or passport as a means of identification.

You may be asked to show your water, telephone and electric bills in your name to prove you live here. If you can’t provide these documents you’ll need two references from banks in the U.S. or from two account holders in the same bank where you wish to open your account. If opening a checking account in local currency you’ll need an initial deposit. A local dollar checking account may require an initial deposit too.

If you have a Costa Rican Corporation you may also opening a local corporate checking account, or Cuenta Corriente Empresarial. You’ll have to provide the following: Passport or cédula (Costa Rican ID), the name of the corporation or Personería Jurídica, proof that it is active, a letter from person who has general power of attorney of your corporation authorizing those people who can sign on the account along with their ID numbers and an initial deposit.


More details about Costa Rica:

Costa Rica - "the Switzerland of the Americas" - has always created favorable tax conditions for offshore operations, but the country's popularity as such, has only caught on over the last few years.
Banks are required by law to maintain absolute secrecy regarding the operations of their clients. Information about normal banking operations is not passed on to any government agency - including the Tax Department. Information given to local attorneys/notaries is protected by professional secrecy.

Under Costa Rican law there is still no particular requirement to get any licence to operate an online casino or gambling website.

An interesting angle of financial secrecy is the use of Costa Rican "offshore" corporations. Like bank accounts, these corporations can be started by anyone - citizen, resident, or tourist - and are supposed to be totally secret. Since there's no way of knowing just whose names are on the corporation books, it's almost impossible to discover who actually controls any of these corporations. In fact, the legal name is "sociedad anonima" or "anonymous society". That's why corporation names are appended with "S.A." instead of "Inc." or "Ltd."

Costa Rica's corporate structure allows any person (Costa Rican or not) to control a company without his or her name appearing in the public records. Our Costa Rican law office can set up your corporation without the real owner's name ever appearing in the record. Although there is a legal president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer (our nominees), the actual ownership of the corporation is invested in whoever physically has the stock certificates in his/her pocket or safe-deposit box.

A Costa Rican S.A. is free to engage in many types of business activities, both in Costa Rica and in other countries and it pays nothing on what it earns outside of Costa Rica! Local laws require that a yearly tax report must be filed (we do the job); should there be no income to report, there are no tax consequences. Last but not least, Costa Rican corporations are now one of the best offshore vehicles because many of high-tax rated countries like the U.S.A. do not consider them as offshore companies!!!

Please note that the Standard Authorized Share Capital is only CR Colones 10,000 (something like US$30). Bearer Shares are not permitted here but actual ownership of a Costa Rican corporation is invested in whoever physically has the stock certificates in his/her pocket (Shares can be endorsed) or safe-deposit box (We do provide such service locally).

Time frame to incorporate: about 2 weeks

Corporate Nominee Directors are simply corporations who undertake by way of a signed legal agreement with the owner of a company to act as a director of that company on their behalf.

The over-riding advantage of this is that the nominee's name will show up in all (if any) government or public records relating to the company, thus giving the company owner or manager a further degree of protection and privacy should records be searched. Frequently the nominee director is itself another offshore company, thus giving yet further protection from invasion into the true owner's privacy.

Here at
OffshoreSimple we (or one or other associated companies) act as a nominee for a good many client companies and, in addition to protecting the privacy of the company managers, carry out the statutory duties on their behalf. Where we (or our associate companies) act as a nominee, a Form of Indemnity has to be signed by the Beneficial Owner(s) of the company, both protecting us from any financial or other liabilities of that company and giving back power of day to day management to the beneficial owner. A separate Power of Attorney will also be provided on a regular basis.


Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the details contained herein are correct and up-to-date, it does not constitute legal or other professional advice. We do not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for any errors or omissions.

Please go to our Uses of offshore Companies Page where you will find interesting information on the benefits of using offshore companies and trusts for business and personal use, links to information on other locations and details of our products and services.



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