Costa RicaCosta Rica

trade types partners
 - Costa Rica

Types of Trade Partners

Types of Trade Partners

A foreign company can have its own foreign representative fly to Costa Rica and distribute the product directly to the Costa Rican market. The foreign company representative must have three documents in order to do business in Costa Rica:

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1. A business certification written in Spanish issued by a Consul of Costa Rica - not an Honorary Consul - at the foreign company's nearest Consulate of Costa Rica. The certification must state: the city, state/province, and country where the foreign company is registered and doing business; the time in years and months that the company has been in business in that country; the number of offices worldwide; and the foreign company's tax identification number, business license number, and its current assets. The Consul of Costa Rica will require documents that proof the certification's statements at his/her own discretion.

2. A power of attorney written or translated into Spanish, duly authenticated by a Consulate of Costa Rica, stating that the foreign representative can act on behalf of the foreign company as its local representative in Costa Rica.

3. A local representative agreement written or translated into Spanish that states the terms and conditions between the future local representative and the foreign company. To ensure agreement abidance by Costa Rican law, it is recommended that a Notary Public notarize the agreement in Costa Rica.

Upon arrival in Costa Rica, the foreign company representative will acquire the same legal responsibilities as a regular local representative and must register as a local representative in Costa Rica at the Public Registry (Registro Publico Seccion de Registro Mercantil.) The Public Registry will require the above-mentioned documents to issue a local representative license. It takes about four weeks to get the license.

Once a foreign representative acquires local representative status, he or she may become a Costa Rican legal permanent resident - if desired - by filing a petition for Resident Status without Conditions (Residencia sin Condiciones) at the Immigration Department in Costa Rica.   

Local Representative:

Local representatives in Costa Rica (Representantes de Casas Extrajeras) act as agents and distributors of a non-Costa Rican product. They can either buy the foreign company's products and market these products under their own company name; supply a collection of technology, machines, tools, raw materials, competitive pricing and financing; or promote your product at their own expense, covering the cost of infrastructure, personnel, domestic tax installments, phone, telex and fax bills.

Local representatives can either be foreigners who live in Costa Rica or Costa Rican citizens or Costa Rican companies. Costa Rica is a small country, with a population of about 4 million. Thus, you probably will find that one local representative can effectively distribute your products throughout Costa Rica.

Become a Local Representative of a Foreign Company:

1. A business certification written in Spanish issued by a Consul of Costa Rica - not an Honorary Consul - at the foreign company's nearest Consulate of Costa Rica. The certification must state: the city, state/province, and country where the foreign company is registered and doing business: the time in years and months that the company has been in business in that country; the number of offices worldwide; and the foreign company tax identification number, business license number, and its current assets. The Consul of Costa Rica will require documents that proof the certification's statements at his/her own discretion.

2. A power of attorney written or translated into Spanish, duly authenticated by a Consulate of Costa Rica, stating that the foreign representative can act on behalf of the foreign company as its local representative in Costa Rica.

3. A local representative agreement written or translated into Spanish that states the terms and conditions between the local representative and the foreign company. To ensure agreement abidance by Costa Rican law, it is recommended that a Notary Public notarize the agreement in Costa Rica.

The local representative must do the following in order to start distributing or selling the products of the foreign company: 

1. Register in the Public Registry (Registro Publico Seccion de Registro Mercantil) as a local representative (the business certification, the power of attorney and the local representative agreement will be required).

2. Get a local representative license (Licencia de Representante de Casa Extranjera) issued by the Department of Commerce in Costa Rica, published in the Official Gazette (La Gaceta), and recorded  in the Public Registry at the Office of the Mercantile Registry (Registro Público Sección de Registro Mercantil).

Once a representative's license has been duly registered in the Public Registry at the Office of the Mercantile Registry and it is annotated in the corresponding Journal, The Commerce Department of Costa Rica shall keep the license.

It takes approximately four weeks to become a Local Representative of a Foreign Company in Costa Rica.

Representatives of foreign companies shall act on behalf of the company they represent, conducting themselves in a moral and ethical manner, and shall not be responsible for negligence of the companies.

A representative's license may be canceled if, by virtue of an accusation, the Costa Rican Commerce Department proves that the representative has acted in bad faith, fraudulently, or against commercial ethics.

Concessionaires:

A foreign company may grant a concession to a person to exclusively distribute the product it produces. There is no clear difference between a local representative of foreign companies and a concessionaire; therefore, they are considered the same in this web site.