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Remote’s guide to employing in

Costa Rica
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Make employment in Costa Rica easy. Let us handle payroll, benefits, taxes, compliance, and even stock options for your team in Costa Rica, all in one easy-to-use platform.

  • Capital City

    San José

  • Currency

    Costa Rican colón (₡, CRC)

  • Languages

    Spanish

  • Population size

    5,094,118

  • Remote-Owned Local Entity

Services available in this country:
Employer of Record ProductContractor Management

Facts & Stats

Costa Rica Map Illustration
  • Capital City

    San José

  • Currency

    Costa Rican colón (₡, CRC)

  • Languages

    Spanish

  • Population size

    5,094,118

  • Ease of doing business

    Easy

  • Cost of living index

    50.64 (2021)

  • Payroll frequency

    Monthly

  • VAT - standard rate

    13%

  • GDP - real growth rate

    2.1 (2019)

The Republic of Costa Rica is a sovereign unitary presidential constitutional republic. The Central American country is recognized within the region for its stable democracy, press freedom, and high per capita income. Costa Rica also registers a strong rating on the human development index compared with Latin American neighbours.

Costa Rica’s economy has witnessed significant strides driven by an educated population, diversification from agriculture, and investment and tax incentives that have earned it the colloquial tag of Switzerland of Central America.

Grow your team in Costa Rica with Remote

Looking to employ workers in Costa Rica? Companies hiring in Costa Rica must either own a legal entity in the country or work with a global employment solutions provider, usually one that provides employer of record services.

Remote can employ your team in Costa Rica on your behalf through our local legal entity in the country and handle payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance for your Costa Rica team. You can also pay contractors now in Costa Rica with Remote.

Risks of misclassification

Costa Rica, like many other countries, treats self-employed individuals or contractors and full-time employees differently. Misclassification of contractors in Costa Rica may lead to fines and penalties for the offending company.

Employing in Costa Rica

The Costa Rican Labor Code (Código de Trabajo) is the preeminent statute guiding employment relations and spells out provisions for employee protections and workers’ rights. Employees in Costa Rica enjoy protections against discrimination based on age, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, and race.

Common questions that could come up during the hiring process include the minimum wage, overtime rates, and guaranteed paid time off. Remote can help you offer a complete, competitive, and compliant benefits package to your employees in Costa Rica.

Minimum Wage

In Costa Rica, the monthly minimum wage ranges from CRC 352,165 to non-skilled workers, CRC 415,200 for technician employees, CRC 627,000 for undergraduate employees, and CRC 753,000 for graduated employees.

Payroll Cycle

For customers of Remote, all employee payments will be made in equal monthly installments on or before the last working day of each calendar month, payable in arrears.

13th Month Salary

Note that a 13th salary or 13th month salary payment in Costa Rica is mandated by law. The 13th salary must be paid by the 20th of December and will be equal to one month’s pay. The payment is commonly known in Costa Rica as Aguinaldo Salary.

Onboarding Time

We can help you get a new employee started in the Costa Rica fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 4 working days.

Our team ensures your employees are onboarded and paid as quickly as possible while keeping your business compliant with all local employment legislation. The minimum onboarding time begins after the employee submits all required information onto the Remote platform. The onboarding timeline is also dependent upon registration with local authorities.

For all non-nationals of the country of employment, the Right to Work assessment (if applicable) will add three extra days to the total time to onboard. There may be extra time required if we need to follow-up on the right to work assessment. Please note, payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote has a payroll cut-off date of the 10th of the month unless otherwise specified.

9 Public holidays

Jan
Monday, January 1, 20241New Year's Day (Año Nuevo)
Mar
Thursday, March 28, 20242Maundy Thursday (Jueves Santo)
Friday, March 29, 20243Good Friday (Viernes Santo)
Apr
Monday, April 15, 20244Battle of Rivas (Batalla de rivas)
May
Wednesday, May 1, 20245Labor Day (Día del Trabajador)
Jul
Monday, July 29, 20246Annexation of Guanacaste (Anexión de Guanacaste)
Aug
Thursday, August 15, 20247Mother's Day (Día de la Madre)
Sep
Sunday, September 15, 20248Independence Day (Día de la Independencia)
Dec
Wednesday, December 25, 20249Christmas Day (Navidad)

Want to see and manage all holidays? Sign up for our free HRIS!

Effortless HR in Costa Rica: Take the Tour

Seamlessly Manage Your Workforce, from First Hire to Final Paycheck

Competitive benefits package in Costa Rica

At Remote, we’re obsessed with helping you craft the best possible employee experience for your team. We are leading the way in practicing “fair equity,” which means making sure employees everywhere have access to both the required and supplemental benefits they need to thrive (and that will allow you to attract the best local talent).

Our benefits packages in Costa Rica are tailored to fulfill the local needs of your employees. Typically, our packages contain some or all of the following benefits:

  • Health Insurance

  • Dental Insurance

  • Vision Insurance

  • Mental Health Support

  • Pension or 401(K)

  • Life and Disability Insurance

Taxes in Costa Rica

Learn how employment taxes and statutory fees affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Costa Rica.

  • 30%

    Corporate tax rate

  • 9.25%

    Health & Maternity

  • 5.25%

    Basic Pension Scheme

  • 0.25%

    Banco Popular Employer Fee

  • 5.0%

    Family Assignations

  • 0.5%

    Social Aid: (IMAS)

  • 1.5%

    INA

  • 0.25%

    Contribution from Banco Popular Employer

  • 3%

    Labor Capitalization Fund

  • 0.5%

    Complementary Pension Fund

  • 1%

    National Insurance Institute

Types of leave

Employees are entitled to two weeks of paid vacation annually once they have worked with an employer for an entire year. Many Costa Rican employers increase the number of allotted days off per year as a benefit for the employee.

Employment termination

Termination process

Employee contracts can be terminated if a just cause is established, such as dishonesty, negligence, fraud, redundance, or any other tangible reasons, with notice provided in advance and stipulated below.

Notice period

Notice periods required under Costa Rican law depend on an employee’s tenure, ranging between 1 week and a month.

  • 0 – 3 months: No notice period

  • 3 – 6 months: 1 week

  • 6 – 12 months: 15 days

  • 1+ year: 1 month

Severance pay

Severance pay entitlements are issued based on an employee’s tenure with the employer.

  • 3 – 6 months: 7 days pay

  • 6 – <12 months: 14 days’ pay

  • 1 year: 19.5 days’ pay

  • 2 years: 20 days’ pay

  • 3 years: 20.5 days’ pay

  • 4 years: 21 days’ pay

  • 5 years: 21.24 days’ pay

  • 6 years: 21.5 days’ pay

  • 7 – 9 years: 22 days’ pay

  • 10 years: 21.5 days’ pay

  • 11 years: 21 days’ pay

  • 12 years: 20.5 days’ pay

  • 13 years: 20 days’ pay

Probation periods

The Probation Period is maximum of 3 months. It is common to apply the maximum probation period to senior roles.

Fair Pricing in Costa Rica

Employer of Record

Hire and pay your global team

Starting at $599/month

Top features

  • Satisfaction guaranteed

  • No deposits or hidden fees

  • Zero onboarding or offboarding fees

  • Compliant equity incentives support including withholding and reporting

  • Built-in security and compliance

  • Fast onboarding (average 2-3 days)

  • Flexible, localized benefits

Contractor Management

Compliantly onboard and pay contractors

$29

per contractor/month

Start free trial

Top features

  • Only pay for contractors you actively work with

  • Work with contractors in 200+ countries

  • Create, edit, and sign tailored, localized contracts

  • Approve contractor invoices with one click or auto-pay

  • Transparent payments with complete visibility

Global Payroll

Consolidate your multi-country payroll

$50

per employee/month

Top features

  • Reduce costs by centralizing payroll management

  • Ensure local compliance for every country

  • Direct support from in-house local payroll experts

  • Accurate, on-time, compliant payroll to level-up your employee experience

  • Tax and labor authority reporting handled for you

HRIS

Manage all of your employees in one place

Free
Sign up

Top features

  • Guided onboarding and offboarding

  • Employee profile and document management

  • Time and attendance (time off and tracking)

  • Expense management and reimbursement

  • Employee self-serve on the platform and mobile app