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Costa Rica - "the Switzerland of the Americas" and Panama’s close neighbor -
has always created favorable tax conditions for offshore operations, but has
mostly remained a well-kept secret as far as offshore planning is concerned.
Costa Rican corporations provide a low profile alternative because many high
tax countries like the U.S.A. do not consider them as offshore companies! In
Costa Rica information about normal banking operations is not passed on to
any government agencies and information given to local attorneys/notaries is
protected by professional secrecy. Costa Rica
Like Panama, Costa Rica's corporate laws allow any person or entity to control
a company without the name actually appearing in the public records. Just as
with Panama corporations our Costa Rican law office can set up the
corporation without the real owner's name ever appearing in the record.
Although there is a legal President, Vice-president, Secretary and Treasurer
(nominees are usually provided), the actual ownership of the corporation is
secret. Bearer shares are not permitted but actual ownership of a Costa Rican
corporation is invested in whoever physically has the stock certificates in their
possession since the shares can be endorsed over to that person. Companies
here are structured as what are known as joint stock companies which means
there have to be at least two shareholders.
A Costa Rican S.A. is free to engage in many types of business activities, both
in Costa Rica and in other countries and it pays nothing on what it earns
outside of Costa Rica. Local laws require that a yearly tax report must be filed
which we arrange to have done when the annual fees are paid. If there is no
domestic income to report, there are no tax consequences.
Please note that corporate name choices can only be in Spanish and carry the
S.A. suffix at the end. Also the standard authorised share capital is only CR Colones 10,000 (around USD$30) and a minimum of four officers are
required. These are usually provided by our law firm unless you request otherwise.