Escape Corporate America – Start a Business in Costa Rica

location independent businesses

location independent businessesWork in Paradise

You love the Costa Rican laid back lifestyle. You never want to go home to the 9-5 corporate drone. So Don’t! Stay in Costa Rica and start a business, live in paradise and go to work in your swimsuit.  Every year entrepreneurs are trading in their suits and ties for sandals and shorts and starting successful businesses in Costa Rica.

Entrepreneur Advantages

  • Strong Regional Economic Growth Rate – Latin America is one of the largest emerging economies in the world and Costa Rica is its most developed nation.
  • Positive Ease of Doing Business Ratings– The World Bank’s site Doing Business measures business regulation by countries. Costa Rica has improved its ease of doing business by 12% since 2012 and is continuing to rise steadily. It is twice as business friendly as its Latin American cousin Guatemala.
  • Micro Entrepreneur Support – Many homegrown programs, complete with grant monies and technical assistance, exist in Costa Rica presently. International business people are finding profits in all types of companies from small business to multi-national service franchises.

costa rica business growthAbove chart courtesy of Doing Business, The World Bank

Disadvantages for New Businesses

  • Central America faces issues of inequality, poverty, and corruption – All these could thwart your entrepreneurial efforts and increase your business expenses.
  • A lower percentage of college graduates – Can mean experienced and educated management-types are harder to hire.
  • Conservative Culture – Created by uncertain futures and generations of poverty, the people tend to be conservative and risk adverse to new ventures.


Examples of Entrepreneurial Businesses Started in Costa Rica

Two Expats get Juice – Chain of tropical juice bars started by two Americans

Story of Banana Bread Steve – A Hawaiian with a good recipe lives the good life in Costa Rica

banana bread business in costa rica


Recent Post: Business Idea Generator

By Marsha Kelly Business Blogger – Serial entrepreneur, after doing Time in corporate America, who has learned about what products and services really work well in business today. You can learn from my experience and my associates as we shop from the internet for tools, supplies, and information to build our businesses and improve the lives of our family and ourselves on our site

My strongest belief is that the safest, most secure and most lucrative job you can have is owning your own business. I learned this valuable lesson the hard way by investing time, energy and emotion into a corporate career only to be fired unceremoniously –when I dared think creatively outside the box. My entrepreneurial journey to starting my own business was first by necessity but then turned into a great blessing of prosperity and freedom. Graduating from the school of business hard knocks and learning how to start, manage, and then sell my business for over $1,000,000. Learned more about real life business this way that I learned in my four years at the NYU School of Business.

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  1. Hi there! We are a couple with a 8 year old girl that fell in love with costa rica and want to start a business that would profit us as well as the beautiful local people here! What is the process and is it possible to live here and work here? Do we need certain permits and can we stay for a while? Open bank accounts etc?

    1. Hi Stefan,

      You can certainly open bank accounts. It’s not as easy as the USA but very doable.

      You will get 90 days to stay, but if you apply to be resident you can get that waived. Many American’s are serial tourists, leaving for a weekend every 90 days. I know that’s not ideal, but it’s reality.

      As far as starting a local business, it’s very, very hard. There are many reasons for this, but know that if you looking to make money like you did elsewhere, it’s very hard. An online business is ideal and feasible, however.

      Here’s a good article on relocating to Costa Rica.

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