Kimberly is a graduated Lawyer from the Universidad Latina of Costa Rica. Obtaining her law degree in 2019, she joined the Costa Rican Bar Association in 2021 and is currently studying a Specialty in Notarial and Registry Law at the Universitad San Isidro Labrador International.
Our Costa Rican legal team covers various fields of law. All partners and associates have extensive backgrounds, and excellent reputations, in their respective fields.
Costa Rica World Leader in Response to Covid-19
Costa Rica has been a world leader in its government’s response to the novel coronavirus known as Covid-19. Although the fight is far from over, as of this date, August 5, 2020, Costa Rica still has only suffered 191 deaths from Covid-19, out of a total of about 20,000 cases. And our county Osa, in the Province of Puntarenas, has had 28 cases so far, with no deaths.
How to Get Residency in Costa Rica
No one can tell where or how this coronavirus crisis is going to end. But we at Pacific Coast Law can say this: we are ready to help our clients with all their legal needs, even as these seem to be changing with every new medical update from the authorities.
One big new deal is Costa Rican residency. It seems like everyone and their grandmother is looking to buy a piece of Costa Rica as a safety valve, and even more are talking about re-locating permanently to Osa Peninsula, where we are, or to Guanacaste, further north up the Pacific Coast. We at Pacific Coast Law are experts at getting official Costa Rican residency status for our clients. Please click here for an informative article on how to get your Costa Rica residency, published by Pacific Coast Law on our website: http://www.pacificcoastlawcostarica.com/articles/getting-your-local-residency/
Get Residency Leading to Citizenship for an Investment of $200,000
While we try to help everyone who is looking for Costa Rican residency, we tend to work mostly with those using the option of investing $200,000 or more in a local business or home. That’s because the other possible paths carved out by law — namely, proving a monthly pension of $1,000 or more; or your ability to receive $2500 income for two years based on a local bank deposit – are straightforward and can be done with local non-legal assistance. Or if your Spanish is Ok, you can do it yourself. However, we find that the folks who need our services to guide them are chiefly those going through the process of buying a house, or business – or starting a business of their own.
The good news is that residency can be achieved for a couple who purchase a home here, through the option described above, for a total legal and government fee starting at $1750. But the bummer is that Immigration is gummed up and Costa Rica residency is taking a long time to come through, up to two years at the current snail’s pace. All the more reason to get started now! .
What Can We Do To Help During These Times of Covid-19?
Meanwhile, we ask ourselves every day, what can we at Pacific Coast Law do to help during this ongoing coronavirus crisis? First, we are giving back what we can to the local community. It’s super important that there be enough food and medicine for everybody during this time. The government has done an incredible job so far of providing emergency food, medicine, and even money to hundreds of thousands of families in need. See here for a good link to all the government has done.
Second, it’s important that those in private enterprise, who can step up to the plate and assist others in the fight against Covid-19, do so now. We at Pacific Coast Law are fortunate in that we do not rely directly upon tourism, as so many others do in our area and in Costa Rica at large. In some areas we are seeing more clients now than ever. Businesses like ours who are able to help are doing so directly.
Interest in Costa Rica Real Estate Rising Due to Coronavirus Pandemic
We are seeing a definite increase in interest from many parts of the world in arable Costa Rican farmland with good potable water. We are getting many reports from brokers about clients bidding on and buying houses sight unseen, and many more offers are building in the pipelines. Moreover, the brokers have reported that they have never seen it so busy for real estate, not after 9/11 and not even just before the crash of 2008.
And that’s where we can definitely help our friends and clients, both current and new.
Send Us Details About Your Possible Relocation or Investment in Costa Rica
If you are thinking about acquiring property in Costa Rica, or maybe making a move here, please send us an email telling us about yourself, and what you are looking for. The more details you provide, the better equipped we will be to give you a good reply . We will also be glad to tell you what to expect and run you through some of the legal requirements for getting Costa Rica residency. We can also help regarding corporations, including helping you start your own, be it an SA or an SRL. See here for a good article about the differences between the types of corporations in Costa Rica: http://www.pacificcoastlawcostarica.com/articles/costa-rica-corporations/
Elaborado por: Dra. Lindsay Ryan Valerio, Abogada especialista en Derecho Ambiental
Economía circular es sinónimo de modelos de negocios inclusivos, resilientes y adaptables a la realidad cambiante en la que vivimos actualmente.
Es convertir un sistema abierto y lineal de gestión de recursos, bienes y servicios a un sistema cerrado y circular. En el primer sistema todos los productos acaban convirtiéndose en residuos ya que están enfocados en consumo de corto plazo, y para que eso suceda, se requieren recursos naturales que cada vez son más limitados. Mientras que el sistema cerrado y circular pretende conseguir que los productos, sus componentes y los recursos en general mantengan su utilidad y valor en todo momento.
De esta manera, el enfoque de la economía circular implica la transformación del business as usual como del modelo “tomar, utilizar y desechar”, hacia un modelo en el cual los residuos son vistos como materia prima, maximizando así la eficiencia en los recursos naturales.
Este tipo de economía ofrece grandes oportunidades para un mayor crecimiento económico, creación de empleo, innovación y sobretodo la reducción de los impactos ambientales y sociales.
Así se puede afirmar que, es la respuesta más razonable y lógica a una situación de crisis multidimensional que cuestiona los principios del crecimiento económico basado en el uso intensivo de materia y energía, y que hace frente a la grave situación de pérdida de biodiversidad, la generación desmedida de residuos, agotamiento de los recursos naturales y elevada contaminación del aire, el suelo y los océanos, sin olvidar una de sus causas más dañinas: el incremento de la emisión de gases de efecto invernadero y la aceleración de los efectos del cambio climático.
Elaborado por: Dra. Lindsay Ryan Valerio, Abogada especialista en Derecho Ambiental
El ecosistema marino cubre aproximadamente el 71% de la superficie terrestre y, en general, los océanos representan el 97% del agua de la Tierra.
Estos suministran el 15% de las necesidades proteicas de la humanidad, ayudan a frenar el cambio climático al absorber el 30% de las emisiones de dióxido de carbono y son la vía para transportar el 90% de los productos comercializados internacionalmente. Son un depósito de minerales, proteínas, bacterias y sustancias de interés para distintas industrias, según investigaciones en bioprospección y biotecnología. Así como la fuente de cientos de millones de empleos en pesca, acuicultura, transporte marítimo, turismo, producción de energía y otros sectores.
Se puede decir entonces, que los mares y océanos proveen una importante cantidad de servicios ecosistémicos, definidos desde un punto de vista económico como las contribuciones del mundo natural que generan a la sociedad bienes y servicios sociales, ecológicos, económicos y culturales.
Sin embargo, aún el riesgo de la degradación absoluta del medio marino es un problema latente considerando los usos actuales y potenciales, que generan una serie de amenazas concretas derivadas de la sobreexplotación y contaminación por distintas fuentes como: el desarrollo residencial e industrial costero desmedido, el aumento del transporte marítimo, la fragmentación y destrucción de especies marinas y sus hábitats, la pesca indiscrimida y la escasa aplicación del enfoque ecosistémico.
A nivel internacional existe normativa que nos sirve de marco y guía para la toma de decisiones, asi como a nivel nacional suficiente dispociones legales y marcos institucionales que nos permitan gestionar y utilizar las costas, mares y sus recursos, de forma ética y sostenible.
No obstante, se requiere la cooperación y el diálogo entre el Gobierno, el sector productivo, Universidades, ONG´s y el involucramiento de la ciudadania. El costo de una inadecuada gestión en las costas, mares y sus recursos, será la desaparición de la humanidad, por cuanto cada acción hacia un océano sano, productivo, seguro, protegido y resiliente, cuenta.
by Tammy Hansen Snell and Rosario Araya Arroyo
In the interest of being seen as a global partner in fighting tax fraud and money laundering, Costa Rica is implementing required registration for corporate shareholders and final beneficiaries. The information required to be reported includes who controls the corporation/association, who has the power to change who controls the entity, who has the right to vote and in what proportion, and how shares or other types of participation are divided.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Failure to comply with this required registration would mean that the Public Registry would reject requests for obtaining a copy of the corporation’s current personería, would not register any new property documents, and may fine the corporation an amount of money equal to 3 to 100 times the amount of the annual base salary. (In early 2019, the base salary is the equivalent of approximately US$740.)
If you’d like to read about the law in the original Spanish, try these links:
One page briefing:
If you primarily want to know what this means you have to do and how to get it done, here are the basics:
- Costa Rican corporations, associations, and all branches of foreign corporations operating in Costa Rica, are required to register the names, identification numbers, addresses, and amount of voting shares of their shareholders by entering them into a database* held by Costa Rica’s Central Bank. If any shareholder is a foreign entity or a trust, then information on the final beneficiaries of those foreign entities or trusts must be submitted. Any documents obtained outside of Costa Rica for such reports must be authenticated via an apostille or a consular authentication. *https://www.centraldirecto.fi.cr/Sitio/CentralDirecto/Inicio/PaginaPrincipal
- This registration of shareholders must be carried out by specific legal representatives of the corporation/association, or by a person granted special power of attorney by that legal representative to perform the registration on behalf of the entity. For corporations classified as a “Sociedad Anónima” the designated person is the president. For corporations classified as a “Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada” the designated person is the manager or sub-manager. For those classified as an “Asociación” the designated person is an administrator with full power of attorney.
- Only a person with a “firma digital” (digital signature) can enter the information on the Central Bank’s website, and only native Costa Ricans or foreigners with residency can obtain a digital signature. Those who are not eligible for a digital signature must give power of attorney to someone else via an official document drawn up by a Public Notary. Once the power of attorney has been granted to someone with a digital signature and has been officially registered, then that person will go online at the Central Bank’s site and enter the required information. If you are eligible to apply for a digital signature, it would be wise to do so promptly because of the expected large increase in applications.
- The initial registrations must take place in the appropriate month of 2019 or 2020 based on the final digit of the entity’s identification number (see chart below). Each year the registration must be renewed AND the registration must be updated any time there is a change in 15% or more of the corporation’s share capital.
|Last number of
|Month in 2019 or 2020 to do the registration|
|0 or 1||September 2019|
|2 or 3||October 2019|
|4 or 5||November 2019|
|6 or 7||December 2019|
|8 or 9||January 2020|
by Tammy Hansen Snell and Rosario Araya Arroyo
Tip: Put a reminder on your calendar for each January going forward that if the annual corporate tax is not paid prior to 31 January, fees/interest will accumulate until it is paid.
UPDATE: January 2019
The tax on corporations for 2019 is due by the end of January 2019. Payments made after that date will be subject to interest charges and fees. The amount in colones for this year is 66,930 colones for each inactive corporation, and is best paid in person at any Costa Rican bank. Give your corporation’s identification number to the bank teller and let them know you want to pay the annual tax on corporations. (Amounts for active corporations vary depending on the corporation’s income.)
UPDATE: January 2018
The tax on corporations for 2018 is due by the end of January 2018. Payments made after that date will be subject to interest charges and fees. The amount is approximately $116 (approximately 64,000 colones) for inactive corporations, and is best paid in person at any Costa Rican bank.
HOW DO I PAY?
Paying in person at any of the Costa Rican banks is recommended. Take your corporation’s I.D. number with you and tell the bank employee that you want to pay the annual corporate tax. It is also expected that people will be able to pay via the online banking systems for any of the various Costa Rican banks. Check for options relating to payments for Tributación or Hacienda.
WHAT IS THIS I HEAR ABOUT A REQUIRED FORM?
In addition to the tax, all inactive* corporations which want to remain inactive will need to fill out a D-140 form stating that they wish to remain inactive. (*Inactive in this case means the corporation is not in a business which requires ongoing income reports and payment of income taxes.)
The law states that this D-140 form must be signed by a representative of the corporation, the signature of the representative must be authenticated by a notary or a lawyer, and in our Central Pacific Coast region it must be turned in at the office for Tributación in San Isidro.
Those corporate officers unable to sign the form in Costa Rica can work with an attorney who is also a Public Notary in order to name a proxy to act on behalf of their corporation.
Due to the enormous amount of corporations in Costa Rica, the government is asking that corporations file their D-140 form in a specific month in order to spread out the impact on the Tributación office. The “deadline month” depends on the last number of the corporate I.D.:
For corporate I.D. numbers ending in 1 or 2 which existed prior to October 2017, the form was to be done prior to the end of the month of October 2017.
For corporate I.D. numbers ending in 1 or 2 which came into existence AFTER October 2017, the form must be done in February 2018.
Filing the D-140 form in the appropriate month is important. A fine equal to $400 per month will be charged for each month late a corporation’s form is, up to a maximum fine of $2400.
All new corporations being created will need to complete the D-140 form after their corporation has been inscribed and given an I.D. number. Newly created corporations will pay a pro-rated amount of the annual corporate tax.
WHEN DID THE CORPORATE TAX COME BACK?
Beginning in September 2017, corporations in Costa Rica began to again be required to pay an annual tax. After certain articles in the previous corporate tax law were declared unconstitutional in 2015, the presumption was that it would be rewritten, which it was. The new version, Law #9428, was passed into law 22 March 2017, and went into effect 1 September 2017. If you’d like to read more about this law and its “reglamento” in Spanish, you can find a .pdf of the law here, and a document put together by the Ministerio de Hacienda here.
WHO HAS TO PAY?
All corporations – whether active or inactive – will be required to pay this corporate tax, but the amount of tax paid will be lower for inactive corporations. As a general rule, active corporations are those running a business and which are required pay taxes in addition to the annual corporate tax. Inactive corporations are those which exist to be the owner of property such as a real estate asset or a vehicle.
WHEN DO I PAY?
Each year the annual tax on corporations will be payable as of 1 January, and due by the end of January.
Didania graduated from the Universidad Latina in Costa Rica in 2012, joining the Costa Rican Bar Association the same year. She has worked in several law firms in the area…,
When Law 9024 went into effect on December 23, 2011, it established a tax for commercial companies, branches of foreign companies or their representatives, corporations, and individual corporations with limited liability which were inscribed in the National Registry. This tax had two rates: one for entities which were registered as active before the Tax Authority, meaning the Ministry of Finance, and another for those who did not carry out commercial activities and were registered as inactive. The exact amount of the taxes varied slightly, but for example in 2015 this tax came to about $380 annually for active corps, and $190 for inactives, assuming of course prompt payment with no penalties or interest. It had to be paid each year in one of the nationwide branch offices of Banco de Costa Rica within the 30 calendar days following the 1st of January; which is to say no later than the 31st of January.
The proceeds from the collection of this tax were destined to finance the following items:
- 5% to the Ministry of Justice and Peace to finance the proper administration, management, oversight and collection of the tax by the National Registry and to support the financing of the General Directorate of Social Adaptation.
- 95% to the Ministry of Public Security for investing in its public safety programs and to fight against crime.
Lindsey graduated from the University Escuela Libre de Derecho in 2007, earned her Master of Rovira i Virgili University (URV) in Tarragona, Spain. She just got her Masters and PhD in Environmental Law as well. Lindsey has more than seven years of experience as a consultant on environmental and legal issues for different public institutions, private and NGOs nationally and internationally, located in Costa Rica, Spain and Germany.