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CINDE Costa Rica

Plaza Roble Los Balcones, 4th Floor.
Escazu, San Jose, Costa Rica


Essential Info

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The final essential INFO will include:

Key information on Costa Ricas education quality and trends, labor pool and regulations, free trade zone and investment incentives, economic indicators, suppliers and vendors, life in Costa Rica and much more.

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We make sure you find

the best investment environment

We provide great incentives
to boost your operations


The most competitive
tax incentives

The Free Trade Zone Regime is the mainstay of Costa Rica‘s export and investment promotion strategy. It is a set of incentives and benefits granted by the Costa Rican government to companies making new investments in the country and it provides tax incentives.

Companies that may apply for the Free Trade Zone System Regime:


50% of services must be exported

research firms

Either companies or organizations

Strategic sectors or companies

Outside the Geater Metropolitan Area


40% of sales to FTZ companies

List of incentives granted:

Costa Rica´s tax incentives and benefits are standardized. They apply to any and all companies according to their operation, so there is no need for negotiation on a per case basis. In addition, entities wishing to set up operations in areas outside the Greater Metropolitan Area (GMA) can enjoy greater benefits. Discover the option according to your needs.

All Sectors:


No expiration period

  • Custom duties on imports/exports
  • Withholding tax on royalties and fees
  • Interest income
  • Sales tax on local purchases of goods/service
  • Stamp duty

10 year period*

  • Property Transfer Taxes

*NOTE: The 10 year period will start after the 3-year grace period is over or when the company starts operations, whichever comes first, but the benefit will be granted immediately upon approval of FZ Regime.


*NOTE: Manufacturing companies with an investment that exceeds US$10 million and 100 employees, established under the Free Trade Zone Regime.
For smaller manufacturing operations, companies will pay a preferential 6% income tax rate for 8 years and 15% for another 4-year period (statutory income tax 30%).

first 8 year period100%INCOME
Following 4 year period50%INCOME

In all cases, multiple additional 8-year renewals periods may be granted if significant reinvestment is made.

Download FTZR document to learn more

All Sectors outside the GMA:


No expiration period

  • Custom duties on imports/exports
  • Withholding tax on royalties and fees
  • Interest income

  • Sales tax on local purchases of goods/service
  • Stamp duty
first 12 year period100%INCOME
Following 6 year period50%INCOME

NOTE: Companies with an investment that exceeds US$10 million and 100 employees, established under the Free Trade Zone Regime. Additional 12-year renewal may be granted if reinvestment is made (statutory income tax 30%)

Download FTZR document to learn more

Industrial Parks and Free Zones in Costa Rica:

The country offers a wide variety of industrial parks and office centers, both within and outside of the Greater Metro Areas, with features that offer the right conditions to your business. These are some of the options available.



City Mall Free Zone

WebsiteVisit website


Lady Lee Corporation is a Central American Developer headquartered in Honduras, with more than 47 years of experience in development through its three main divisions: retail, real estate and food industry.

It has developed over 600.000 m2 (6,458,346 sq ft.) of top-quality facilities among which are 9 shopping centers that cater to 53.4 million visitors per year. It´s current clients include world-renown brands such as Wendy´s for which it holds franchise rights and manages 23 restaurants, Forever 21, Cinemark, Be Fit, Tous, Skechers, Keds, Alex and Ani, Aldo, Zara, Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull and Bear, Columbia, Pandora, American Eagle, Naturalizer, Bath and Body Works, Ovs, Springfield, Womans Secret, Old Navy, Stride Rite, Nike, Under Armour, Puma, Crocs, Speedo, Totto, Parfois, MAC, LOccitane, Ishop, Timberland, Oakley,Levis, Converse, Toms, and much more.

City Mall Costa Rica is an innovative, multi-functional approach to real estate development just 3 minutes from Juan Santamaría International Airport. The shopping mall area opened in Nov. 2015 and also offers 4250.00 meters of ready-to-lease space under free trade zone with basic internal improvements.

The proximity to the Mall offers an ideal solution to cater to your employee needs filled with amenities including gyms, banking services, top retail stores and more. There are 24 foodcourt restaurants such as Macdonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Auntie Annes , we also have casual dining restaurants such as Hooters, Smashburger, Rostipollos, Juan Valdez Coffee. The mall also host one of the American-Costa Rican Cultural Center sites which provides top English training courses.

The space has a private access as well as its own drop off and pick up point for passengers, taxis, ubers and other means of public transportation.

Location: Less than 1 mile from SJO International Airport. Radial Francisco J. Orlich, Alajuela, Costa Rica. 

Alajuela is one of the fastest growing provinces in the country with around 50% of its labor force working in the service sector. It hosts Costa Rica´s Technical University´s main campus as well as some of the best technical high-schools in the country providing a dynamic workforce for services operations to thrive and grow.

Points of interest:

  1. Less than 1 mile from Costa Rica´s Juan Santamaria International Airport.

  2. Located in one of the fastest growing area of the country.

  3. Young and trained labor force in the region

  4. North American-Costa Rican Cultural Center in the mall for English lessons and training, just next to the office space.

  5. There are more than 12 universities nearby, Universidad Santa Lucia Alajuela, Universidad Central, Universidad de Ciencias Empresariales, UNED, Universidad Técnica Nacional (UTN), Universidad de San Jose Campus Alajuela, Universidad Adventista Centroamericana.

Some amenities and characteristics of the free zone are:

  1. Adjacent parking centers for free, maximum of 150 spaces. External and internal

  2. 24 hour surveillance of the space

  3. Easy Access.

  4. The space has its own access to supply areas.

  5. Access to the main transit routes, as well as to the airport.

  6. The space available is adjacent to City Mall Costa Rica.

  7. Full Shopping Center experience with cinemas, financial area, fast fashion stores.

We offer the most attractive and

cost-effective tax incentives in the region



The Academic System in Costa Rica is open to provide the necessary training/programs, working with companies to address their needs and demands. These Academic Collaboration models are established as a formal agreement between the company and the specific institutions involved.

For example, the National Training Institute (INA) offers free technical training in numerous fields, focusing in the areas like: Industry, Graphic Industry, and Trade and Services.

Any company with operations in the country will have access to INA training for their employees at no additional cost, since INA’s courses are funded by the 1.5% of the total payroll that these companies must pay. Thus, INA training programs can be seen as a subsidy from the government, because the costs of training programs are higher than the 1.5% charged to the company for its employees. The INA has 60 facilities nationwide.



In Costa Rica, foreigners have equal rights and obligations; they have no limits to property handling and they can conduct business activities freely, for there is free capital movement without foreign exchange controls.

Multinational companies must comply with the same procedures and regulation as local companies to start operations in the country. However, CINDE offers assistance to foreign investors through a immigration procedure.

Streamlined immigration applications and visa granting, with no limitation on number of foreigners working in companies, are some of the incentives Costa Rica offers.

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