Offshore incorporation in Costa Rica - key to tax free trade

Costa Rica is one of the safest and business friendly countries for foreign investment in Latin America. The World Bank has announced the country as possessing "one of the most stable and robust" democracies in Latin America and praised the Costa Rica's "healthy economic growth rate" and "some of the best social indicators" on the continent. While Costa Rica is not an offshore jurisdiction, a company incorporated in Costa Rica can be used as an offshore trading vehicle.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country that is reputed to be the safest and most business friendly of tax havens in Latin America for new businesses, offshore investments and offshore incorporation. Costa Ricatreats onshore and offshore businesses in the same manner. The basis of taxation is territorial, with both residents and non-residents paying tax on Costa Rican income, while foreign-source income is not taxed.

Costa Rica is located in the centre of the American Continent and lies just above Panama. The capital and financial centre is San Jose. Costa Rica is one of the most discreet offshore centers in the world and enjoys economic and political stability making it a popular tax haven. Its legal system is based on the Spanish Civil Law.

Features and advantages of offshore incorporation in Costa Rica

Territorial taxation
Provided that the offshore company activities are carried on outside of Costa Rica, the offshore company will not be subject to any income taxes therein. There is no double tax treaties, thus no information exchange regarding the goods and services transferred. There is no reporting or accounting requirements for offshore company in this tax haven.
Note. A new tax of US$ 300 has been introduced in 2012. New companies incorporated should pay it on incorporation.
Tax free trading with the US
The recently approved Central America Free Trade Agreement with the United States will enable any Costa Rican company to trade with the US markets tax free, which opens to any company one of the biggest markets in the world. Similar Agreements were signed with Canada, Mexico, Chile. The Agreements with China and EC are being discussed.
Name Restrictions
Offshore companies names can be in Spanish and English and must end with S.A., to denote limited liability.
Trading Restriction
A Costa Rican company is not permitted to carry out banking, insurance, mutual fund management, public investment management or any associated activity.
Gaming Activities. Gambling license
In Costa Rica there is no specific gambling license for gaming activities or Casinos online. Corporation that execute online gambling or online casino activities work under a "data processing license". To obtain this license the corporation must have a physical location in Costa Rica. Please ask for more information on how to obtain a "data processing license" if you are interested in gaming or gambling.


  • Incorporation of offshore company in Costa Rica US$ 1 480. This amount includes the corporate package of documents in Spanish with notarized translation of main documents in English; services of registered agent and registered office for the first year of the offshore company existence and registering the company at the Revenue Office as an "inactive company".
  • The cost of the company renewal is US$ 900 (registered agent, registered office included). This amount is to be paid every year to maintain the offshore company good standing.
  • Shipment of the corporate documents by DHL is to be paid extra.

The following information will be required for the incorporation:

  • 1. Three alternative company names.
  • 2. Full name and address of the manager(s), certified passport copy and proof of address.
  • 3. Full name, address, and phone number to ship the corporate documents by a courier (DHL and FedEx).

We can offer a variety of additional services related to the incorporation. Listed briefly they look as follows:

  • assistance with opening an offshore bank account (funds can be controlled remotely via Internet. Credit cards are available);
  • provision of mail forwarding address in Europe, USA. Mail is collected and forwarded (such an address may be necessary to receive sensitive business and private mail, e.g. bank correspondence, etc.

Provision of space on a web server - offshore WWW hosting. For active Internet users we can offer anonymity in their Internet activities: sending email messages, browsing the Internet, electronic banking. All these activities can be conducted in complete privacy using advanced technology.

Please advise if you wish to proceed with offshore incorporation in Costa Rica tax haven. We will send you an invoice with wire transfer instructions. Incorporation takes about 20 - 40 days after the fees are received.


Links to the income tax law of Costa Rica (in Spanish):
The Income Tax Law [Ley del Impuesto Sobre La Renta # 7092]
The Regulations to the Tax Law [Reglamento Decreto 18455-H]