If you are interested in doing business in Costa Rica, or already active in this prosperous Central American market, you need to be able to count on the support of a good legal firm. Because, while the country is friendly to business and investment, its regulatory regime still includes some particularities that your lawyer in Costa Rica will need to help you navigate in the most efficient manner possible.
An experienced corporate lawyer in Costa Rica will also be able to offer valuable advice on key decisions and make a major contribution in terms of guaranteeing that you remain compliant with all norms, avoiding legal inconveniences and financial penalties in the process.
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Costa Rica is a popular destination for foreign investors and visitors alike, thanks to its long standing political and economic stability, high quality of life, and low levels of violent crime by regional standards.
Costa Rica’s gross national income (GNI) per capita – a key marker of prosperity – was registered at $11,530 per capita in 2020 (all figures in USD), placing it at the top end of the “upper-middle income” band under classifications established by the World Bank, even after the global pandemic had caused a slight decline compared to the previous year.
The country also has one of the highest levels of English proficiency in the region, making it particularly attractive for companies and travelers from English-speaking countries, and also meaning that you should expect your attorney in Costa Rica to have strong English skills.
For Costa Rica, foreign direct investment (FDI) represents a significant contribution to the economy, reportedly accounting for 7.8% of GDP prior to the pandemic. While the global health emergency caused FDI to recede to less than half of that percentage in 2020, the Costa Rican government has implemented a series of measures to encourage foreign visitors and capital back to the country.
Among those have been a move to lower investment barriers by cutting the minimum investment required for residency, introduction of a so-called “digital nomads visa” to attract remote workers, and efforts to develop closer economic ties with other countries in the Central American and Caribbean region.
What to expect from your lawyer in Costa Rica
A knowledgeable and experienced attorney in Costa Rica will be able to guide you through the administrative hurdles and official processes that you will encounter during market entry and ongoing operations in the country, helping to guarantee your compliance along the way.
As such, your chosen lawyer in Costa Rica will have considerable influence over your performance and standing in the market.
Among the many duties they will undertake, your attorney in Costa Rica will take on time-consuming tasks, including drawing up and completing legal documents, making in-person applications, and attending official appointments on your behalf.
That could involve them engaging with local officials, partners, suppliers, and a range of other stakeholders, meaning that they will have considerable influence over your professional relationships.
They will also be a source of significant and useful advice, including what type of entity to set up in Costa Rica, locations for establishing your operations, and recommended providers for the likes of bank accounts.
Benefits a good corporate legal firm in Costa Rica will offer
A good corporate lawyer in Costa Rica should be able to provide you with the following benefits:
Local connections: Being well-established in the local market, your laywer in Costa Rica should have a wealth of local contacts that could be of use to you or your business, be that service providers, officials, or other stakeholders.
IP protection: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to register a trademark, brand, product, or other type of intellectual property (IP), which an experienced corporate lawyer in Costa Rica will have previous experience of doing.
Specialist knowledge: Beyond standard aspects of corporate law, if you are planning on entering a sector that is governed by its own set of regulations, such as mining or international trade, you will need to find a legal firm in Costa Rica that has lawyers on staff with the appropriate knowledge.
Additional services: In the event you are looking for more professional support than just legal services, you may find that your best option when choosing a legal firm in Costa Rica is to pick a back office services provider that can assist you with legal matters as part of a broader package that may also include the likes of accounting or recruitment.
What to look for in a corporate lawyer
When seeking a corporate lawyer in Costa Rica, it is worth taking the following into consideration:
Experience: If you are doing business in Costa Rica for the first time, you will ideally find a legal firm that has a background of assisting similar clients, both in terms of working with foreign investors, and in terms of having some understanding of the industry in which you operate.
Reputation: A good lawyer will have a good reputation and history of leaving clients satisfied. You will be able to get a good impression of the quality of service you can expect from a law firm by seeking out comments and feedback posted online.
Language: Unless you have a firm grasp of Spanish, the official language in Costa Rica, you will need to make sure that the lawyer in Costa Rica supporting you has a high level of English, or any other language you are comfortable communicating in.
Communication: If you are not intending to relocate to Costa Rica, or will be spending extended periods outside the country, you will likely need to secure the services of a lawyer or legal firm in Costa Rica that is comfortable using online management and reporting tools, so that you can easily keep track of their work.
Biz Latin Hub can support you in Costa Rica
At Biz Latin Hub, we offer corporate legal services throughout Latin America, and have a lawyer in Costa Rica ready to assist you.
We are a professional services provider with a comprehensive portfolio of back-office services that also includes company formation, accounting & taxation, hiring & PEO, and visa processing, meaning we can tailor a services agreement to suit any need.
As well as in Costa Rica’s capital San José, we have teams in 16 other key cities around Latin America and the Caribbean, and trusted partners in many others, meaning that we are ideally placed to support multi-jurisdiction market entries and cross-border operations.
Contact us today to find out more about how we can assist you.
If you found this article on finding a good legal firm in Costa Rica of interest, check out the rest of our coverage of this prosperous Central American country.
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