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Before Doing Business

Before Doing Business

The following are resources for researching business opportunities in Costa Rica.

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U.S. Department of Commerce 

U.S. individuals or business firms can contact the Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica. The embassy’s Commercial Attache (an employee of the U.S. Department of Commerce) or his/her staff can help make contacts between U.S. companies and Costa Rican companies who wish to act as agents and/or distributors for U.S. products. The Commercial Office also offers the following services - for U. S. manufactured products only - through the U.S. Department of Commerce: 

Gold Key Service 

The Gold Key Service introduces U.S. businesses to potential business partners/representatives in Costa Rica. The Commercial Attache, pre-screens reliable local companies, schedules appointments for the U.S. citizen or firm with these companies, arranges for an interpreter to attend these meetings, and provides a personal market briefing before beginning these meetings. This helps you compress the time frame for identifying local business partners in the Costa Rican market.  

International Partner Search

The US Commerce Department's Agent/Distributor Service is designed for people who do not want to travel immediately to Costa Rica. The U.S. citizen or firm pays a fee to the Commerce Department, which then identifies up to five Costa Rican businesses that are potential local representatives and that have expressed interest in communicating further with the U.S. business based on a review of the U.S. company's product.
Cost: $690 per day
Delivery Time: 30 working days

International Company Profile Service (ICP)

An ICP is a confidential report on a foreign company including commercial and financial profiles, and business and financial references. Cost: $710 per company
Delivery Time:15 working days

Customized Market Analysis Service

The Customized Market Analysis Service is a report that provides information about sales potential, competitors, distribution channels, competitive price strategies, potential buyers, marketing venues, quotas, duties and regulations, and licensing or joint venture interest. Cost: $1,000 per country
Delivery: To be negotiated

National Trade Data Bank Service

The National Trade Data Bank Service is a report based on a collection of more than 190,000 international trade documents - market research reports, trade leads, statistical information and country reports - researched by U.S. Federal Agencies. 

U.S. Export Assistance Center

Call 1-800-USA-TRAD and request specific information about the Costa Rican market. They can help you identify the most promising markets for a given product or service, and will work with your company to develop a marketing strategy that meets your company's objectives.

Locating Potential Costa Rican Partners

One way to research a potential trade partner is to request a confidential business and financial report on a Costa Rican company, including business and financial references. Currently, there are no Costa Rican companies that can provide you with a complete profile.

The Internet

Use the Internet to locate other sources of information about Costa Rica and Costa Rican Business. Don't hesitate to send e-mail to someone at the site if you don’t find the information you want.

Import/Export Firms

If you are interested in researching an import export company, you can contact the Costa Rican Commerce Marketing Company (Promotora del Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica, or PROCOMER) and/or the Costa Rican Customs. They keep track of all imports and exports that a Costa Rican company does. For a fee, they can provide data about how much a company imports and/or exports.

Businesses in the Costa Rican Tourism Industry 

The Costa Rican Tourist Board at the Office of Licenses (Direccion Juridica del ICT) will be able to verify if the company is authorized to do business in the tourism industry.

A few tips to help your research:     

  • Check to see the information you are receiving is current. Websites sometimes feature a statement along the lines of "Information on this site last revised on (a date)." 

  • Verify the accuracy of information by locating more than one source.

  • Don’t overlook the tried and true research sources in your local library. Research librarians can be excellent resources for locating information.

  • Search for government agencies, non-profit organizations and trade organizations that may have the information you need. 

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