The Costa Rica legal system may not appear to be, but the legal system is relatively simple.

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Anyone that wishes to live in this very big, little country called Costa Rica should know the fundamental requirements with regards to Costa Rica corporation laws and taxes.

Many foreigners come to Costa Rica and buy a company, usually a Sociedad Anonima (S.A.) corporation) and they use that corporation to purchase cars, houses, land or even a business in the corporation rather than in their own name.

When your Costa Rican lawyer gives you the corporate documents, he should give the following:

  1. Constitution Letter
  2. Legal Identification
  3. Six legal books for records
  4. All Certified shares
  5. Inscription Form, in the Department of Taxes (D-140)

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If you change the company’s name when you bought it, then please make sure you have followed these steps:

  1. Inscription in the National Registration
  2. Identification Emission with the new name
  3. Inscription in the department of taxes with the new name.
  4. Take the legal books to the department of taxes for the name change.
  5. To Modify All Certified of shares

When the company exists only for the acquisition of an asset (property or car), it should be inscribed in the Department of Taxes, as ‘inactive’. This means that it will not conduct regular business activities. In the next edition, we will discuss more about ‘active’ corporations.

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Written by Denis Rocha Gómez who is a Costa Rican CPA

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