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Open a Joint Stock Company in Costa Rica

Open a Joint Stock Company in Costa Rica

Company formation in Costa Rica is available under several types of structures, among which there is also the joint stock or public limited liability company (referred to as Sociedad Anónima or S.A.). This type of structure has various characteristics that foreign investors may find appealing and which are explained below by our local specialists.

If you decide to set up a joint stock company in Costa Rica, you can rely on us for support pre and post-incorporation.

How to open a joint stock company in Costa Rica

The registration process for a Costa Rican joint stock company will occur the same way as for any other legal structure, namely:

  1. trading name reservation;
  2. Articles of Association creation and legalization;
  3. gathering the details of the shareholders and directors;
  4. filing all the papers with the Company Register;
  5. setting up the bank account for corporate use;
  6. obtaining a tax identification number;
  7. obtaining a VAT number;
  8. registering as an employer.

Considering foreign shareholders are also permitted to, those who want to immigrate to Costa Rica to manage their businesses need to consider applying for residence permits.

Requirements to establish a Costa Rican public company

One of the most important aspects to consider if you decide to set up a joint stock company in Costa Rica is that it is suitable for large operations, which is why its structure should reflect this. As a consequence, in order to register this type of business you will need to secure:

  • that it has at least 2 shareholders;
  • it has a Board of Directors made up of at least 3 directors;
  • it has a 3-tired management structure.

Compared to other countries, however, a Costa Rican S.A. is not subject to substantial share capital requirements.

When it comes to its management structure, it must comprise:

  • the shareholders’ annual general meeting (AGM);
  • the Board of Directors;
  • the Supervisory Board.

You can discuss the legal structure of the joint stock company with one of our local agents.

The public company can also be used to obtain citizenship in Costa Rica.

Residency requirements for company officers

If you want to open a joint stock company in Costa Rica, you need to know that it does not need to have any resident shareholder or director. However, a local representative is required if this is the case.

The local representative must act as a contact point between the company and the authorities in Costa Rica. Our company formation agents offer such a service, in order to ease the business registration procedure, as well as to ensure compliance with the Company Law.

How long does it take to register a Costa Rican public company?

The incorporation with the Companies Register is not lengthy, however, it is the bank account opening procedure that can take the entire registration procedure to a maximum of 4 weeks. Even so, opening a joint stock company in Costa Rica remains quite appealing.

Starting a business in this country is also a great way to secure residency in Costa Rica. For such a service, you can rely on our immigration lawyers in Costa Rica.

Why open a Costa Rican joint stock company?

The main benefit of creating a S.A. company in Costa Rica is that it offers its stockholders limited liability. This means that the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts and obligations, except for the amount of money they contributed to the share capital. This type of company is frequently used in a variety of industries, including tourism, agriculture, and real estate.

Also, in 2021, Costa Rica became a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to set up a joint stock company in Costa Rica.