Legal articles and legal news, Costa Rica

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16 October, 2018

Law for the Promotion of the Personal Autonomy of People with Disabilities.

On August 30th, 2016, Law number 9379, entitled “Law for the Promotion of Personal Autonomy of People with Disabilities”, was published in the Official newspaper. This law was put into effect to replace the process known as “insanity” and aims to promote and ensure for people with disabilities, the full exercise of the right to […]

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10 July, 2018

The early conciliation hearings in the alimony process

When we talk about alimony, many people think that it is an amount imposed by a third party (Judge) and that it simply must be paid, without any objection. A few years ago, the corresponding Courts received the request for alimony and the judges established a provisional alimony quota, considering only what the person filing […]

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14 June, 2018

Temporary Suspension of Work and Employment Contracts by the Employer

In Costa Rica, there is the possibility that, under certain circumstances, work may be suspended and because of this, the labor contract may be due to the worker’s own situations or the employer’s. There are situations in companies that prevent the production or provision of services, and that is why Costa Rican legislation provides the […]

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13 June, 2018

The Affectation of Family Patrimony in Costa Rica

Article 51 of the Political Constitution of Costa Rica mentions that “family, as a natural and fundamental element of society, is entitled to the special protection of the State.” Additionally, Article 65 of the same law also states, “the State shall promote the construction of popular housing and create the worker’s family assets”. This means […]

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15 February, 2018

Suspension of the worker without salary as a substitute for dismissal without employer liability

The disciplinary suspension without salary is contained in article 68 clause e) of the Labor Code, in which it establishes the following: “Article 68.- The work regulations may include the technical and administrative rules necessary for the correct operation of the company; those related to hygiene and safety of work, as indications to prevent professional risks and […]

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15 February, 2018

New prohibitions of discrimination in the workplace

The Labor Procedural Reform that came into force recently, introduced important changes to the Labor Code, among them, the prohibition to discriminate against workers in any of the stages of the employee-employer relationship (pre-contractual, contractual or post-contractual). Previously, only four discrimination causes were considered: for reasons of age, ethnicity, gender or religion; causes that had been expanded by different guidelines of […]

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9 February, 2018

The payment of the tax to corporations for the 2018 period

This past January 31st, the deadline for the payment of the tax on corporations expired, amount that is updated every year according to the base salary established by decree annually, which for this year is four hundred thirty one thousand colones (₡431,000.00). It is important to remember that companies that are inactive, must pay a […]

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8 February, 2018

The reasons for the enactment of the Minority Investor Protection Law

On August 4, 2016, the Costa Rican Congress approved the Minority Investor Protection Act, Law No. 9392 that came into force on October of that same year,  filling an important legal vacuum within corporations in Costa Rica and that also places our country at the levels of best practice and standards of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and […]

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7 February, 2018

New modifications to the Traffic Law

The Traffic Law, object of multiple critics by a large sector of the Costa Rican citizenship, was reformed in 2017, and the changes entered into force on July 17th. This new reform of the law establishes provisions, prohibitions and fines not previously contemplated by said Law. What are the most important modifications to the Law? Within these modifications there are […]

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1 February, 2018

Alimony obligation with children of legal age

Child support is a day-to-day issue in many families; however, there is an observation to be made regarding the alimony which is not normally discussed, and is that of alimony in favor of children of legal age. It is common to think that, once they turn 18, they lose the right to receive an amount for child support; however, this is […]

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18 January, 2018

Family interrelation regime: the new concept of visiting regimes.

When separation occurs between two parents, or if there was never a coexisting relationship at all, there is always the question or doubt about which parent will have the custody of the underage children. The ideal, always, is to reach an agreement between both parents when the separation is going to take place, since the friction generated by […]

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6 December, 2017

Law of Improper Relations entered into force from January 13th, 2017

Law 9406, known as the Law of Improper Relations, entered into force on January 13th. With this law, Costa Rica strengthens the actions taken for the protection of minors, as it will punish with three years in prison for those who have sex or any kind of sexual relation with people under 15 years of age, if the difference […]

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24 November, 2017

Reform to the Regulation of the Law for the Protection of Personal improves the defense of personal information

In December 2016 the Diario Oficial La Gaceta of Costa Rica published an amendment to the Regulation of the Protection Law for the People Regarding the Treatment of their Personal Data, whose objective is to improve the protection of information and the citizen’s rights before an improper use of its personal data. This law applies to personal information stored in automated or manual databases of […]

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3 November, 2017

Mobbing or labor harassment: What it is and how to manage it in your company

Carlos is a worker of a well-known company, who has more than four years working for the same and recently has been victim of harassment from some colleagues, including his supervisor. Carlos still does not know that he is being the victim of harassment at work, and even less that he has a way to defend […]

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12 October, 2017

Divorce by mutual consent: application and benefits

When someone speaks of divorce, people automatically think of time-consuming judicial processes, re-victimization and friction between the spouses. In most cases, that is often the case; however, there is a “peaceful” and more expeditious solution to the complicated moment, which is the divorce by mutual consent. Application of the Costa Rican Family Code Article 48 of the […]

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28 September, 2017

Aspects on Law of Tax to Corporations and Liquidation of Dissolved Companies with Assets

On August 31 of this year, the National Registry issued the guideline 0007-2017, which purpose is to provide some rules on the application to be made by the different Registries in Costa Rica: Real Estate, Movable Property, Corporations, Copyrights, Industrial Property and Registry Services, of the provisions contained in the Law on the Tax on Legal […]

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20 September, 2017

Basic regulations that every employer must comply with

Being an employer carries a great responsibility to your workers, so at ERP Lawyers we want you to know the basic regulations of the Labor Code that as an employer you shall accomplish in order to avoid any legal consequences regarding this matter. Employers’ rights and responsibilities As expressed in Articles 2 and 3 of the Labor Code: Article 2: The employer is any physical […]

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7 September, 2017

Once again the tax on corporations enters into force

On September first, 2017, once again, a new Law that imposes a tax on Costa Rican corporationsentered into force; a tax that is not new, because between 2012 and 2015 (until the declaration of unconstitutionality of the law), a similar tax existed. The collection of the tax applies to all types of Costa Rican corporations (sociedades anónimas, limited liability, collective, etc.) For […]

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20 July, 2017

Do you have a corporation? Get to know the percentages for the payment of taxes that are defined by the new law

The new law 9428 that establishes the new taxes on corporations is already into force. This law defines the tax amounts that the corporations must pay per year. With this new law, the percentages of collection change; with the previous version there were only two types of fees: 25% of the montly base salary of a clerk for the inactive corporations and 50% of […]

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26 April, 2017

Overview regarding the Data Protection Law in Costa Rica

The right to self-determination or right to data protection allows anyone to control the flow of their personal information and decide how they want it to be used, for what purposes, who can access it and how it can be shared. This is not a new right in Costa Rica, the Constitutional Court had recognized […]

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5 April, 2017

The Testamentary Trust

The Costa Rican Commerce Code is one of the most evolved regulations in our Civil Law. For this reason, trade in Costa Rica has received a large amount of foreign investment through contracts equivalent to its foreign versions in other legal systems. A clear example is the trust, which shares the structure and objectives of a USA […]

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24 January, 2017

The trust: a matter of confidence

When investing money, when looking for financing, and even, when you want to safeguard your heritage or own assets for the benefit of your loved ones, there is a word that describes and motivates a person from the thoughts to the actions; that word is: trust. If you do not have confidence, the option of saving money under […]

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24 January, 2017

Articles of the Civil Code of Costa Rica applied to the factoring

Factoring -also known as assignment of invoices or discount of invoices– is one of the most widely used financial tools in Costa Rica. This type of financing has been practiced for many years in the country and it´s frequently used by companies that need to improve their liquidity promptly and to continue their company with normality. What is factoring? Factoring in Costa […]

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3 November, 2016

The importance of the last will: a document that should not be left to chance

Most of us get up every day with many things in mind: work, family, responsibilities, studies, all kinds of plans, concerns, joys, good or bad memories, or they simply get up to exercise, eat breakfast, and do what we have to do each day. But, in very few instances we think of something inevitable and […]

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5 August, 2016

The cancellation of taxes on corporations and how this affects them

In 2015 and after a long process of debating around the subject, Costa Rican Constitutional Court declared illegal the tax on corporations (by a majority and for reasons such as considering that the constitutional principles of taxable capacity and the principle of advertising were violated). This ruling affected the Law of Taxes on Corporations No. 9024 valid from December 23th, […]

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19 July, 2016

The semi-annual increases in the private sector: Check the new guidelines

Each year, for the second quarter, there is a major government discussion related to the increases in wages that should be given to the public and private sector. In the case of the private sector wages, a ruling has already been given. Effective from July 1st and already published in La Gaceta (official newspaper), the Executive Decree No. 39776-MTSS sets […]

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28 June, 2016

Learn about the new regulation for house rent increases

For those people who are looking to rent a house, some significant legal changes were made regarding ​​house renting, which may benefit future tenants. The new rules for the annual price adjustment of house renting may have a very positive impact when end users make payments. The house rent increases will be made according to the annual inflation rate rather than the 15% fixed […]

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13 May, 2016

Register a company in Costa Rica: a quick and efficient procedure with “CrearEmpresa”

Since 2012 when the platform CrearEmpresa (crearempresa.go.cr) was developed by the Secretaría Técnica de Gobierno Digital of Costa Rica, more than 7.000 corporations or limited liability companieshave been registered electronically to the Registro Nacional. This “single window” procedure to register a corporation is agile and fast -actually the registration can be completed in less than 24 hours- and is made through a firm of […]

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7 April, 2016

Merger of companies in Costa Rica: get to know its characteristics

In Costa Rica and the rest of the world the merger of companies or corporations is very common, it constitutes an agreement reached by two or more companies to unify into a new one or absorb other companies. Corporate mergers occur mostly because of market expansion, strategy of companies, or financial crisis. According to the statistics handled, in the first half of 2015 […]

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26 February, 2016

ERP Lawyers receives the Country Brand Essential Costa Rica and the Sello PYME Básico

With great pride, the firm ERP Lawyers received the Country Brand essential Costa Rica, granted by the Promotora del Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica (PROCOMER). ERP got the license to use the Country Brand essential Costa Rica because of its high performance in the five values of the brand​​: Excellence Sustainability Social progress Innovation Costa Rican origin. The core message of the country brand is that Costa […]

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22 January, 2016

Drivers involved in a minor traffic accident can now conciliate without having to call a traffic officer

From January 7, 2016 the drivers who use the roads of Costa Rica have the option to conciliate between them when they are involved in a minor traffic accident, that is, only when the car suffers materials damage, and always when these can move normally without the need of a crane. Thanks to Decree No. 39146-MOPT, published on September 9, 2015 in the […]

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25 November, 2015

7 advantages of buying a franchise in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has become an excellent choice to establish and acquire franchises, a business modelthat works to exploit a brand or service, and that in a short time has managed to successfully expand: today, 278 franchises operate in Costa Rica. Let´s remember that a franchise is a model of business expansion, where the owner of a brand or business (franchisor) grants another party (franchisee) the right to commercially exploit a brand(PYME.go.cr). Franchises represent […]

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28 October, 2015

Franchises in Costa Rica: what are they and what is their function?

In recent years the term franchise has acquired an important meaning in Costa Rica, because every day there are more large, small and medium-sized entrepeneurs who decide to turn their business into a franchise. Only in Costa Rica, the 278 franchises currently existing employ more than 28 thousand people. 78% of all Costa Rican franchises have an international origin, while the remaining 22% are Costa Rican […]

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7 October, 2015

Efficient residence procedures for new companies starting operations in Costa Rica

Our country has been dynamically inserted in the global economy for several years now, becoming commonplace for companies and industries of different types to start operations in Costa Rica, with economic and cultural benefits for Costa Rican citizens, foreign investors and workers who build such enterprises in our domestic market. As recent examples, it was announced the creation […]

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24 September, 2015

Minor car crashes: Drivers will be able to conciliate without the presence of traffic officers

As of January 7, 2016 the presence of a traffic officer in minor car accidents (material damages only; no people injured) will not be required, thanks to a decree of the Presidency of the Republic that wants the drivers involved in a car accident, to conciliate between them, to avoid unnecessary congestions on theroads of Costa Rica. For the Presidency, this new disposition seeks that drivers who face a collision with […]

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2 September, 2015

New rates for the collection of notaries and lawyers’ fees

On August 13, 2015 went into effect the Executive Order No. 39078-JP: Tariff of Fees for Professional Services of Advocacy and Notaries, which introduces an overall increase of 10% in minimum rates for legal services. The Board of the Bar Association of Costa Rica proposed, analyzed and approved the increase, which is mandatory for lawyers and notaries, individuals in […]

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11 August, 2015

Movable Property Guarantees Law facilitates the grant of credits to entrepreneurs and SMEs

On Wednesday May 20, 2015 came into force in Costa Rica the Movable Property Guarantees Law (N° 9246), whose purpose is that entrepreneurs and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) obtain credits more easily. The Law expanded the number of goods that can be used as a backup to opt for loans, i.e., now are admitted as guarantees, besides accounts receivable: Crops Livestock […]

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18 June, 2015

Factoring in Costa Rica: quick cash for your company

There is a flexible tool to turn to when a company requires a short-term liquidity to operate normally. Factoring (also known as discount of invoices) is a figure that is used in Costa Rica to get financing, without the need to go to a bank to process a loan. It consists to convert into cash, accounts receivable: Invoices, bills of exchange, promissory notes, […]

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18 May, 2015

Judicial Collection in Costa Rica: Law 8624 calls for expeditious judicial collections

The Judicial Collection Law (# 8624), effective in Costa Rica since May 20th, 2008, completely changed the way the judicial collection files were processed, and put in order those people who failed to comply with the payment of debts, regardless the amount. Let´s recall that the judicial collection applies to those who have debts with public or private entities: Banks: credit cards or loans […]

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13 April, 2015

Costa Rica, a country where foreign and local companies see how their business flourish

Everyday more and more foreign companies invest money to consolidate in Costa Rica, because it is a country with financial stability that offers them high quality professionals and an ideal location for business. It is the Foreign Direct Investment sector which generates more direct jobs in the country: 50 thousand, a number that would rise to 60 thousand by […]

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24 February, 2015

Unconstitutionality of the Tax Law on Legal Corporations

Violation of the principle of advertising in the Tax Law on Legal Corporations The Constitutional Court of Costa Rica, through vote number 2015-1241, declared the unconstitutionality of the Tax Law on Legal Corporations, due to the infraction committed by the Congress to the basic principle of Advertising, during the processing of the bill. The breach happened when […]

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11 February, 2015

Dollar in Costa Rica: managed floating system substitutes the exchange rate band

The Central Bank of Costa Rica (Banco Central de Costa Rica – BCCR) decided to migrate to a managed floating exchange scheme, just over eight years (October 17, 2006) after the exchange rate bandbegun operating to control the price of the dollar in Costa Rica (floor and ceiling). With the new managed floating model, the price of the dollar will be set accordingly to the laws of […]

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12 December, 2014

Increment in the contribution percentages to the social health regime of Costa Rica

According to Article 33 and the XI Transitory from the Reglamento del Seguro de Invalidez, Vejez y Muerte (IVM), on January 1st, 2015 comes into force an increase in the pension contribution percentages that employees, employers and the State pay each month to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS). The total contribution of the three parts corresponds to the 8% of […]

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11 December, 2014

On 2015 comes into force the updated manual to establish the luxury houses tax

On Thursday, January 1st, 2015 will take effect the updated Manual de Valores Base Unitario por Tipología Constructiva (MVBUTC in Spanish), which helps to establish the tax value of real estate properties that cost ¢121 million or more, including luxury houses, and that must pay the Solidarity Tax to the Strengthen of Housing Programs (Law 8683). As clarified by Tributación […]

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9 October, 2014

Pledge, leasing and renting: 3 options to rent or buy movable properties

There’re several types of commercial figures for the purchase or rental of movable properties in Costa Rica, in other words, those which can be moved from one place to another: Vehicles, machinery, aircrafts, technological equipment, ships, etc. In this article of our blog we’ll explain you the three most used options, which are the pledges, the leasingand the renting. Pledges: a guarantee over the movable […]

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25 September, 2014

Credit options for the acquisition of real estate properties

Investing in a real estate project is possible, even if you don´t have the necessary capital, considering the different credit options that exist in the market. Whether you have in mind to buy a lot, house or apartment, ERP Lawyers & Associates, your legal advisor in Costa Rica, explain you the different types of loans you can get and their main characteristics. Direct […]

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11 September, 2014

Monitorio Arrendaticio Law: the solution to simplify an eviction

On this occasion we want to remind you that there is a tool to confront those tenants who persist on not paying the rent over a real estate property: the Monitorio Arrendaticio Law which was created in order to streamline the process of eviction. The 9160 Law was approved by the Asamblea Legislativa on August 13, 2013 and came into force on […]

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28 August, 2014

ERP Lawyers advices on how to successfully develop a real estate project

To receive a highly professional legal advice based on experience in Real Estate will be vital to make sure that the land you want to purchase for starting a real estate project (horizontal or vertical condominiums, houses, gated communities or commercial) is ideal and doesn’t have any kind of building restrictions. At ERP Lawyers & Associates we perform a service called ‘Due Diligence’, by […]

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14 August, 2014

Private sector employers who fail to pay salary increase are exposed to sanctions

On July 1st came into force in Costa Rica, a salary increase for the private sector, of 2,35%, applicable for the second half of 2014 (The Decree No. 38520-MTSS was published in La Gaceta on July 15th). The salary increase was set by the Consejo Nacional de Salarios (National Wage Board) in favor of employees with minimum wages that work in private […]

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28 July, 2014

Parameters to request the granting of a concession in a maritime zone

If a private person or a legal corporation wants to purchase a property at the beaches of Costa Rica, whether it is to build a house, hotel, resort or business, first it should be informed about the requirements to obtain a concession in the maritime zone. To have a concession means that the person doesn’t acquire the property, but obtains a permit […]

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24 July, 2014

Guidelines to submit a property to the Condominium Regime

The need to submit a real estate property to the Condominium Regime must take into account a number of requirements and procedures before the Registro  Nacional and the Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y Arquitectos, among other Costa Rican institutions. A condominium, according to the Ley Reguladora de la Propiedad en Condominio (No. 7933, published in La Gaceta on November 25 […]

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17 July, 2014

Trends of the real estate market in the Grand Metropolitan Area of Costa Rica

In recent years Costa Rica has been experiencing a peak in the real estate market, strongly associated with the development of a large number of vertical housing projects or apartment buildings. On the Grand Metropolitan Area (GAM) a subject that surprise and concern is the oversupply of vertical initiatives, in particular, the fact that real estate developers have continued to build. “A clear […]

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4 July, 2014

Particularities of the Real Estate Transfer Tax Law – Costa Rica

This week’s article is dedicated to the tax that applies to direct and indirect transfers of real estate properties, and the way it is calculated, among other important issues. According to Article 2 of the Real Estate Transfer Tax Law, a transfer is any legal business that transfers, directly or indirectly, a property, based on the legal nature of the respective […]

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2 July, 2014

Electronic bill and tax collection in Costa Rica

Nowadays the Ministry of Finances and the General Directorate of Taxation of Costa Rica are conducting tests for the mandatory implementation of the electronic bill, “a commercial document with tax effects, generated, expressed and transmitted in an electronic format”, that must comply with legal requirementsapplicable to traditional bills. The purpose of the electronic bill is to streamline sales and collections, […]

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28 May, 2014

If you plan on buying or selling properties, ERP offers a wide range of real estate services

Due to the financial crisis in the United States of America in 2008, Costa Rica was seriously affected in the real estate field, because most of the people that were buying properties in Costa Rica, mainly in the Pacific and Caribbean area, were coming from the U.S.A. and some other foreign countries. However, since 2012 Costa Rica […]

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21 May, 2014

Requirements to register a company in Costa Rica

In this document we will resume the incorporation of the “Sociedades Anónimas” (S.A.), also known as Corporations, and the“Sociedades de Responsabilidad Limitada” (S.R.L.) or Limited Liability Companies, by explaining the legal information and requirements to submit and registered them into the Costa Rican National Registry. Number of members required to incorporate. For both Corporations and Limited liability companies, at least two founding partners are required; but once the company is established, one […]

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7 May, 2014

Differences between constitution of different types of companies

In Costa Rica there are four types of Legal Corporations to develop commercial activities or investments, and on this blog we will talk about the features and differences between the two most commonly used: the “Sociedad Anónima” (S.A. or Corporation) and the “Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada” (S.R.L., LTDA or Limited Liability Company). Both are ideal to protect at a 100 percent, the […]

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9 April, 2014

Information about the Tax on Legal Corporations

January 31st of 2014 was the deadline for paying the Tax on Legal Corporations without any penalty, tax which came into force on April 2012 and applies to all legal entities that are duly registered in the Costa Rican Public Registry (e.g. “S.A.”, “LTDA”, among others), as well for those corporations  that are in the process of being registered or that will be registered […]

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9 March, 2014

2014 Solidarity Tax

January 15th of 2014 was the deadline for payment without surcharge of the Solidarity Tax (also known as Luxury Houses tax). This tax is imposed on residential property whose construction value amounts to ¢121,000,000.00 (one hundred twenty-one million colones) which is approximately $239.605,00 1 (two hundred thirty nine thousand six hundred five dollars). This tax came into effect in october 2009 to raise funds for strengthening […]

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11 October, 2013

Marriage in Costa Rica

The celebration of a marriage in Costa Rica has to comply with all necessary requirements, formalities and procedures. For this reason we offer our high quality services. Marriage is granted before a Notary Public and we offer this service anywhere in Costa Rica and abroad, if necessary. The legal requirements are: The Bride’s and Groom’s […]

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11 October, 2013

Diplomatic Visit: Agreements and Cooperation with the Republic of China

The President of the People´s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, along with his wife Peng Liyuan, recently conducted a three-day visit to our country, which also coincided with the sixth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, re-established on June 1st of 2007. This is the second official visit by a […]

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11 October, 2013
Ley de protección de datos personales y su reglamento en Costa Rica

Law for the Protection of Personal Data and its Rulings

Law number 8968, “Protección de la Persona Frente al Tratamiento de sus Datos Personales”, was enacted and entered into force on September 5th, 2011. According to the first article, this law aims to “(…) guarantee to every person, regardless of nationality, residence or domicile, respect to their fundamental rights, specifically, the right to informational self-determination, […]

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10 October, 2013

Mandatory Change of Vehicle License Plates

The National Registry Board approved the schedule for the mandatory change of vehicle license plate, which includes a safety device, starting next July 15th. It is mandatory for all vehicles, except for those purchased from January 2012, date when the new security measures, such as the third plate (the windshield sticker), were implemented. Requirements and […]

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10 October, 2013

Legal Residence in Costa Rica

Requirements for obtaining a legal residence in Costa Rica ERP Lawyers & Associates provides immigration services for our clients, specifically to obtain Legal Residencies, depending on the category of the applicant. There are general immigration requirements, which apply to all the different categories established in our legislation. These requirements are: a) The residency applications may be submitted directly in […]

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10 October, 2013

Legal Corporations

There are various types of corporations In Costa Rica but the two most common are the “Sociedad Anónima” (S.A.), which is very similar to a “corporation”, and the “Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada” (S.R.L.), which is comparable to a limited liability company, “LLC”. In order to incorporate and register them, a minimum of two partners must […]

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10 October, 2013

Tax on Legal Corporations

Corporation taxes came into force on April 2012, which applies to all legal entities that are duly registered in the Costa Rican Public Registry (e.g. “S.A.”, “LTDA”, among others), as well for those corporations that are in the process of being registered or that will be registered in the future. There is a difference in […]

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