How to Create / Register a Branch Office of a Foreign Company in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is full of business opportunities and one of the best economies for starting businesses in Latin America. With high levels of education leading to high-quality employees and English being widely spoken by the adult population smoothing the intercultural gap, two large challenges of establishing a company abroad are reduced in Costa Rica. However, if you already have your business set up in another country, it may be easier to set up a branch of your company.

What is a registering a ‘branch’ in Costa Rica? 

A branch is a subsidiary of a company that is registered in a different area to the head office, they can be located in or outside the country; they operate under the same policies and execute the same activities as the head office.

The main difference between a branch of a company and a local company is that a branch is not legally responsible and may have less autonomy over financial management; with both these powers normally residing with the main headquarters of the company. Due to the substantial bureaucracy involved in dealing with public institutions, who often show reluctance to working with branches, it is worth considering the complexity of the process before deciding to establish a branch. The following part of this article will outline the said procedure.

Branch Costa Rica
Setting up a branch of a company in Costa Rica can be complicated without expert help

What is the process to register a Branch of a Foreign Company?

Whilst registering a new company in Costa Rica can be achieved quite easily, there are many more documents of proof that you must provide in order to open a branch of a foreign company. As listed by Costa Rica`s National Registry, the requirements are as follows:

  • An indication of the parent company’s legal representative, company address, name, capital, duration, and administrators.
  • Object and capital of the branch.
  • Designation of the branch’s legal representative with their faculties.
  • Waiver of the parent company’s local laws when responding to activities executed in Costa Rica.
  • Proof of the parent company’s registration and the legal representative’s faculties.
  • Acceptance of the branch’s legal representative.
  • An agente residente (lawyer) must be appointed to answer any notifications if the branch’s legal representative does not reside in Costa Rica.

Need Helping Establishing a Branch in Costa Rica?

Opening a branch of a foreign company in Costa Rica can be a little tedious. However, if you want to start a business or move your already established company to Costa Rica, contact the Biz Latin Hub team, a global law with a local perspective with any queries and we will strive to help you with this endeavour.

Check out this video to learn more about the market-entry services we provide to support our clients looking to establish an office in Latin America. 

Market Entry Services - Latin America - Biz Latin Hub

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.

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