Costa Rica Jurisdiction

Costa Rica Jurisdiction

Costa Rica is one of few countries that offers an attractive and stable environment in which to establish an online gambling business. Although Costa Rica telecommunications and transportation infrastructure are state controlled and in need of investment they are the best in the region.

The law requires that a branch of a foreign company operating in Costa Rica must appoint a Costa Rican resident as its legal representative with full power of attorney on matters concerning the business of the branch.

Apart from establishing an appropriate corporate form setting up and running a business in Costa Rica will require application for a business license from the local Municipality where the business is to operate, registration with the Costa Rican Revenue Administration, and if there are to be staff, registration of the company as an employer under the Costa Rican Social Security System.

The free trade zone areas offer a range of fiscal incentives which have had the effect of transforming the direction of the national economy However, many of these tax advantages are due to be phased out by 2015, under Costa Rica’s WTO commitments.

The business have a wide choice of structures under which to operate including limited partnerships, limited liability companies and sole proprietorships. Although Costa Rica is a civil code jurisdiction trusts can be created under its Commercial Code.

Costa Rica has traditionally not been party to double taxation treaties. However it has signed an exchange of information treaty with the United States, and DTAs are now under negotiation with several other countries. The banks do not share information with the tax department or with any Government departments other than the central bank. Civil and criminal implications attach to the disclosure of any information received by a lawyer and disclosed without proper authority.

How to open an offhsore company in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica offshore companies have the combined benefits of tax exemption, anonymity, privacy protection and limited liability. It is little wonder that so many business people are choosing to incorporate their companies offshore. All of the companies registered are fully legal and able to conduct their business activities worldwide.

Advantages:

  • Anonymity
  • Nominee services through lawyers
  • Highest level of privacy protection
  • Limited liability without any paid up capital requirement
  • Legal tax exemption
  • No taxation on any kind of income
  • No accounting requirements
  • No reporting requirements
  • No fees for accountants
  • No auditing
  • No requirements on profession or financial standing
  • Business can be conducted internationally

The offshore company formation procedure in Costa Rica typically takes 2-3 weeks. The company will be incorporated using your desired name. The whole incorporation process can be arranged from your desk. Companies incorporated in Costa Rica are exempt from any kind of taxation, are empowered to conduct all types of business and may have clients, contractors, suppliers and employees from any country.

Online Gambling Licesing procedure in Costa Rica

While Costa Rica is home to more than 200 online gambling companies, it does not actually have legislation specifically designed to deal with gambling over the Internet. The Costa Rican government is of the opinion that the act of wagering does not take place at the location of the operator’s gaming servers, so companies residing in the country are able to legally offer Internet wagers to customers all over the world as long as they refuse to accept wagers from individuals located in Costa Rica.

Because of the absence of legislation dealing with online gambling, the businesses and operations of Costa Rica-based gaming companies are not subject to the regulations, monitoring, and testing to which most offshore governments subject their licensees. Most companies are self-regulated. Because there is no official regime to recognize license holders, there is no betting or gaming tax. Instead, companies operate under a “data processing” license.

In September 2007, the Partido Accion Ciudadana introduced a bill that would tax sports books and other electronic betting operations based on the number of employees on their payroll. The annual tax begins at firms with 10 employees with a fee of 10 million colons a year and reaches the top of the scale with a tax of 28.4 million colons for companies with more than 61 employees.

Not long ago government has introduced a new law for obtaining an online gaming license. The new license clearly states “internet gaming” as the licensed business activity. It takes 1-2 months to process the license and have it registered.

The cost for the Costa Rican corporation and license is around $30,000 compared to 60,000 -100,000 Euro to in many other countries. Once you have the license, it is 1000 Euro or $1,500 USD every month to keep it active.

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Alexandru Szilaghi

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