Costa Rica: Los primeros 90 días: lo que necesita saber para comenzar un negocio en Costa Rica

Last Updated: 10 October 2018
Article by TMF Group

Si piensa hacer negocios en Costa Rica, aquí podrá leer todo lo que necesita saber para superar los primeros 90 días.

Costa Rica continúa siendo uno de los países latinoamericanos más atractivos en los cuales hacer negocios, con una economía relativamente estable y un alto crecimiento económico. Sin embargo, ello tiene sus propios desafíos. El proceso de comenzar un negocio en Costa Rica se ha facilitado al utilizar procesos en línea aunque aún resulta complejo.

Preparación

El primer paso para comenzar un negocio es elegir el tipo de entidad: una corporación, una compañía de responsabilidad limitada (LLC, en inglés) o una sucursal.

Para una corporación:

  • debe elegir cuatro miembros para la Junta de Directores (pueden ser individuos extranjeros)
  • también deben asignarse dos accionistas.

Para una compañía de responsabilidad limitada:

  • debe elegir un gerente general (puede ser más de uno)
  • no habrá una Junta de Directores pero son necesarios dos accionistas para constituir la compañía.

Para una sucursal:

  • el representante legal de la compañía controladora (matriz) debe firmar el acta constitutiva redactada y certificada por un Escribano Público de Costa Rica, lo cual hace que el proceso sea más complicado.

El siguiente paso es elegir un nombre para la entidad. Se recomienda contar con tres opciones en caso de que el nombre ya esté registrado o sea rechazado por el Registro. A tal punto, puede elegir un representante legal para la entidad, que puede ser un individuo extranjero. Asimismo, puede designar más de una persona pero se recomienda elegir a alguien local, un residente o ciudadano de Costa Rica que pueda contar con un poder legal para representar a la compañía en el país. Existen requisitos ante algunas agencias gubernamentales, tales como la gestión de la firma digital que no puede conseguir alguien que no sea residente o ciudadano.

Si la compañía no tiene una oficina física en Costa Rica, deberá encontrar una dirección para registrar como domicilio ante el Registro Nacional. Las notificaciones legales se enviaran a dicho domicilio y los libros contables se almacenarán allí.

Registrar una compañía

Luego de completados los primeros pasos, un abogado pueda redactar los documentos de constitución. El abogado brindará poderes de accionistas y cartas para la aceptación de cada posición de directores y representantes legales, que deberán ser firmadas por cada individuo. Cada director y representante legal deberá brindar una copia de su identificación legal y, en caso de ser extranjero, deberá brindar una copia del pasaporte. La compañía debe registrarse en el Registro Comercial y dicho trámite puede realizarse personalmente o en línea, cuyo proceso puede llevar entre 7-10 días laborales.

Impuestos

El segundo proceso es el de establecer los impuestos para su compañía ante la autoridad fiscal. Debe brindar información sobre las actividades de negocios que llevará adelante la compañía dentro del territorio de Costa Rica.

Como parte del proceso de registro impositivo, los libros electrónicos necesitan estar autorizados y se debe obtener la firma digital si el representante legal local no cuenta con ello. La firma digital puede obtenerse a través de su banco. Si el representante legal es un individuo extranjero, el pasaporte debe estar actualizado, y también debe certificarse y apostillarse una carta del representante legal que establezca el país de residencia. Este proceso de registro ante las autoridades fiscales debe realizarse en persona y toma un día. No obstante, puede tomar más tiempo si hay algunas preguntas o la autoridad fiscal rechaza el formulario.

Para presentar impuestos, el representante fiscal o legal que haya elegido será responsable de establecer la cuenta de la Administración Tributaria Virtual (ATV). Las presentaciones de impuestos deben presentarse en línea a través de ese servicio. Desde septiembre de 2018, será obligatoria la facturación electrónica. Ello también deberá establecerse a fin de estar en cumplimiento a nivel local. Los usuarios adicionales de ATV pueden generarse mediante el usuario ATV, pero la persona que presenta la devolución de impuestos es la que tiene la responsabilidad plena ante la ley por el contenido de la devolución.

Para implementar la facturación electrónica en caso de que el representante legal sea extranjero, deberá solicitar una clave criptográfica a la administración impositiva. Solo el representante legal puede generar dicha clave.

Todas las compañías constituidas después de noviembre de 2018 deberán utilizar la facturación electrónica. La administración fiscal ofrece un sistema gratuito, pero resulta lento y poco confiable luego de la 10° factura mensual.

Seguridad Social

Si la compañía contrata empleados deberán registrarse ante Seguridad Social y el Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS), que es similar a la compensación laboral. Estas oficinas requieren la presentación de una copia del contrato del empleado, así también como de la identificación del empleado y del salario mensual. El INS también requiere información de Beneficiario Final Único (UBO, en inglés) al momento de establecer la cuenta para la compañía.

El proceso de registro completo ante Seguridad Social puede tomar alrededor de un mes. Luego de presentar los formularios adecuados y presentarlos personalmente, hay un periodo de verificación en el cual un inspector va a la oficina o domicilio a entrevistar a los empleados. Luego de que se completa la entrevista, puede abrirse la nómina para la compañía.

La compensación laboral es diferente en Costa Rica. El INS determina el costo en base al riesgo que implican las actividades diarias en la compañía. Los pagos son quincenales, semi-anuales o anuales pero el pago es por adelantado y en base a los salarios estimados de los empleados.

Cuenta bancaria

Obtener una cuenta bancaria en Costa Rica es un proceso muy burocrático. Los bancos tienen una entidad supervisora que cuenta con varios requisitos obligatorios. Los formularios de la Ley de Cumplimiento Fiscal de Cuentas Extranjeras (FATCA, en inglés) y del Estándar Común de Reporte (CRS, en inglés) deben completarse e indicar la clasificación de la compañía. Asimismo, el banco necesita información sobre UBO de todos aquellos que tengan un 10% o más de la compañía. Un escribano debe certificar que la información sea correcta. Estos procesos llevan tiempo, y toman un total de entre 4-8 semanas en promedio para abrir una cuenta bancaria.

Idioma

Es importante saber que toda la información suministrada a las agencias gubernamentales debe estar en español. Todos los formularios, contratos y documentos deben estar redactados en español dado que es el idioma oficial de Costa Rica.

TMF Group

TMF Costa Rica tiene experiencia en apoyar todos los aspectos al comenzar y llevar adelante un negocio en Costa Rica. Nuestro equipo de profesionales está capacitado en relación a las leyes y regulaciones locales y asiste a clientes locales e internacionales, brindando servicios financieros, legales, y de nómina y recursos humanos. Para conocer más, contáctenos.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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