Not only does Costa Rica have world famous landscapes, friendly people and a mild climate, but this small Central American nation has a variety of commercial benefits for companies looking to expand their operations. Costa Rica has an advantageous geographical location, positioned as a bridge between North and South America, which has provided the nation with opportunities to form strategic commercial relationships around the globe. On top of this, Costa Rica has a diversified economy and highly-educated labor force. For these reasons plus more, Costa Rica remains an attractive commercial jurisdiction and subsequently, the region is seeing an increase in FDI. There are exciting and varied opportunities for foreign business in Costa Rica. 

As mentioned by The Economist, Costa Rica is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America and has one of the most established democracies globally. This allows the small country to enjoy an attractive business climate, enriched by political and economic stability. 

In an effort to become a competitive nation on a global scale, the Costa Rican government began digitizing its services some years ago. Nowadays, companies are incorporated online and many services, products, and permits are acquired by digital means. In this article, we provide guidance on one of the most useful tools all Costa Rican entrepreneurs should have – a digital signature.  

What is a digital signature?

Digital Signature Costa Rica

The digital signature in Costa Rica has been effective in cutting through frustrating bureaucracy.  

A digital signature is a procedure that assures that the contents of a file, message or document have not been altered in transit. A digital signature is a way of linking the identity of a citizen with a digital document that uses cryptographic tools to ensure its integrity. 

Costa Rica’s Law of Digital Signatures, Certificates, and Electronic Documents were passed in 2005, however, it has taken years for the general public to take advantage of this legislation’s benefits. The legislation, which applies to both public and private sectors, authorizes public entities to employ digital certificates, electronic documents, and digital signatures. 

The digital signature in Costa Rica has been effective in cutting through frustrating bureaucracy. 

What are the benefits of a digital signature?

The implementation of a digital signature has many benefits, including: 

  • Security: Cryptography makes digital signatures more secure than regular signatures. 
  • Accessibility: A digital signature can be used from any computer, allowing you to use it at any time and place. 
  • Savings: Having a digital signature will bring you time and financial savings. 

What can a digital signature be used for?

As mentioned above, the Costa Rican government has currently opted to innovate its service provision and move to the digital era. Some of the processes that can now be performed with a digital signature include:

  • Incorporation of companies: These are carried out through the web platform Crear Empresa with a digital signature. This is very advantageous as it reduces the incorporation processing time from weeks to a matter of hours. Obtaining the legal books for your company can also be done with a digital signature. 
  • Municipal permits: This service is open to all citizens in the affiliated municipalities. The option of using a digital signature is a great advantage over the physical processing of permissions and permits. Obtaining a municipal permit is often a long process, however, the digital signature simplifies the process. 
  • Trade registrations: To start an international trade business, you must first register as an import/export company. This registration can be streamlined by using a digital signature. 
  • Sanitary permits: To enter the Costa Rican food market, it is necessary to have a sanitary permit for your products. In this case, the application process can be performed through the digital platform, using a digital signature. 
  • Contracts: The digital signature can be used to sign contracts between parties that are remote; either in different cities or countries. 

In summary, there are many advantages of using a digital signature for company operations. All companies looking to do business in Costa Rica should consider obtaining their digital signature to facilitate their operations. 

Need local support? 

The best way to navigate through the institutional bureaucracy in Costa Rica is through partnering with a trusted group. Biz Latin Hub has been operating globally since 2014 and has all the tools and resources to enable your business operations abroad. Contact our team of experts at [email protected] We are ready to support you and your commercial operations in Costa Rica.