REAL ESTATE LAW
Unlike many countries, in Costa Rica foreigners have the same rights as citizens to buy and own property. The government operates a public National registry, which records the status of each property including information like the ownership of Costa Rica title to land, any existing liens, annotations and/or mortgages which might exist against the property. This information is important because it allows your lawyer to confirm that there is clear title to your property, as well as to discern if there are any restrictions on the property before the deal is completed.
A person can own property in their own name or in the name of a corporation they own. They do not need a local partner, except in cases of beachfront concession property, where special rules apply. There is nothing to prevent someone from purchasing Costa Rica property in their own name, but the majority of buyers form a corporation with the help of a reputable lawyer and then purchase property through that corporation which has benefits in terms of liability.
Another attractive aspect of buying property in Costa Rica are its very low property taxes which are ¼ of 1% annually. As an example, if you bought a home with an assessed value of $100,000, the property taxes per year would only be $250.
Because a potential buyer wants to be sure that there are no problems with the property they are interested in buying, a qualified lawyer is essential and a lengthy due diligence process is required. This process usually takes 40 (?) days to complete and is for the buyers safety and to spot any issues before the property is purchased. CRTropico specializes in doing due diligence for foreign buyers looking to buy property in Costa Rica and are intimately aware of all the issues that may arise, especially in the Southern Pacific region.
BANKING & FINANCE
Banking and finance law is a huge and diverse area of practice ranging from representing banking and financial institutions, mergers and acquisitions of large corporations, to representing individuals who may have had their bank accounts compromised by financial institutions that fail to follow federal regulations.
At CRTropico we specialize in helping individuals. Many people find they need help with banking and finance law when they are forming a new business. There are specific methods and practices that must be established when starting a business, and it is in these situations that it is helpful to have the advice of a lawyer who specializes in banking and finance law. There are many laws, regulations and contracts that may dictate how a new business spends and accounts for income and investments. This is why many individuals and small businesses feel that they need to hire a lawyer specializing in this area before they form their new business to make sure that they are in compliance with all the legal rules.
CORPORATE & COMMERCIAL
Commercial law, which is also known as business law or corporate law, is the area of law that refers to the rights, relations, and conduct of people and businesses engaged in commerce, merchandising, trade, and sales. It is often considered to be a branch of civil law and deals with issues of both private law and public law.
In Costa Rica, the environment is one of our greatest assets, and conserving and protecting it is very important to everyone who lives in our beautiful country. Environmental law is defined as the laws that regulate the impact of human beings on the environment. Environmental law covers a broad range of activities that affect the air, water, land, plants and animals. Environmental law includes laws that are concerned with:
- Protection of animals and plants
- Planning for the use and development of land
- Mining, exploration and extraction industries
- Land and fire management
- Agriculture and farming
- Waste management
- Climate change and emissions
- Water resource management (lakes, wetlands, rivers and oceans)
- Chemicals and pesticides
- Weeds and invasive species
- Marine life
- Conservation of natural and cultural heritage
At CRTropico, we take these laws very seriously and with every legal decision we make, we always consider the potential impact on the environment. It is very important to us that we keep this country beautiful for our children and many generations to come.
CRTropico provides advice to clients who wish to enter in the Costa Rican and Central American financial system weather it is creating a new business entity, buying or developing land, investing, etc… (get examples)
At CRTropico, we have seen a dramatic increase in people from all over the world relocating to Costa Rica because of its beauty, diversity and business and investment opportunities. Because immigration can be a complex process, we are able to help individuals to more easily move through the different stages of the process and eliminate many of the stresses of relocation and settling into a new culture. Because our team was born and raised in Costa Rica, we can help with every aspect of that relocation and be sure that every newcomer to our country will come to enjoy the “pura vida” attitude that makes Costa Rica such a wonderful place to call home.
LABOR & EMPLOYMENT
Labor law – which is also known as employment law – is responsible for mediating the relationship between workers, employers, trade unions and the government. Collective labor law relates to the three-way relationship between an employee, an employer and a union.
Tax law is the body of law concerned with taxation and governs the rules, policies and laws that oversee the tax process. Taxation is an assessment made by the government that determines property value, transactions, estates of the deceased, licenses granting a right and/or income, and duties on imports from foreign countries. It includes all contributions imposed by the government upon individuals for the services of the state.
WILLS & MARRIAGES
A legal will determines the distribution of real and personal property at death and names a person to administer the estate. Jointly owned property will pass automatically to the surviving owner(s) and will not be affected by your will.
A properly prepared legal will determines how personal property is distributed after a person dies and names a person – known as the executor of the estate – to carry out the wishes of the deceased (the distribution of assets and property). Property that is owned jointly, for example by a husband and wife, passes automatically to the surviving owner and is not affected by your will.
Wills in Costa Rica are governed by the Costa Rican Civil Code. In the form below I have set forth the content of a standard will. This is the English translation of a simple will that complies with Costa Rican Law. This type of Will is known as a Testamento Abierto because the will is done before a Notary Public and the will gets filed in the National Archives (Archivo Nacional) of Costa Rica.
WHERE WE SPECIALIZE IN COSTA RICA