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Owning Your Own Business in Costa Rica

Mar 12, 2013

Owning Your Own Business in Costa Rica

Imagine that you enjoy waking up early. Perhaps you don’t even need an alarm clock thanks to the howler monkeys in the trees outside your window. You enjoy your coffee as the morning sun casts it’s warm glow over the trees and hillsides and bedazzles the Pacific Ocean. This doesn’t have to be a far-off pipe dream. You may be surprised to learn that it’s actually quite simple. 

Being a business owner, and your own boss, is an appealing endeavor to many people. Similarly, living in a hot and sunny foreign destination is also incredibly appealing. So, it seems a logical and ideal fit to start your own business in a tropical paradise.

In fact, the trickiest part of this equation, may be deciding what you’d like to do. Of course, it makes sense to stick with what you know, but maybe you’re up for something completely different. Take, for example, one of our readers James. He’d just retired from a life-long career in the government and being in his mid-fifties, wasn’t ready to stop ‘living’. He and his wife had visited Costa Rica on vacation in the past, and always thoroughly enjoyed it. They made the decision to start looking for a place to live first, with the thought of possibly starting a business once they got settled.

As it turned out, they ended up falling in love with a 35 acre coffee farm that had seen better days. Neither James nor his wife, Cathy, knew anything about coffee beyond it being a necessity to starting their day, but that wasn’t enough to deter them. The lush rolling hills, the birds eye views of towns and volcanoes and the distant shimmer of the ocean was enough to reel them in.

Today, with their daughter, they operate a successful organic coffee farm with 3 boutique guestrooms, gorgeous manicured gardens and, upon request, a personal tour of their plantation.

Costa Rica is a lush, vibrant, tropical country that has a lot to offer to expatriates from around the world. Not only to live, but also to start a business. It’s extremely easy to get to from North America – flights range from 2 hours to 8 hours, depending on the location you’re travelling from, and there are no restrictions on foreigners owning their own business. In fact, you don’t even require residency in Costa Rica to start your own business. A standard 90-day tourist visa is enough for you to either purchase an existing business or start your own.

All you need is a sense of adventure, the desire to change your lifestyle and the willingness to take a risk. Let’s face it, no matter where you live – it could be your hometown – starting your own business is risky. Having an adventurous streak and craving a healthy and rewarding way of life can sometimes be all it takes. And imagine if you had experience on top of that! Perhaps you currently work in the hospitality industry… what’s stopping you from moving to a tropical paradise and opening your own B&B? Or maybe you love to cook… why not open a gourmet food shop with specialty homemade goods? The possibilities are endless! Your only limitation is your imagination.

Costa Rica offers a unique opportunity for expats looking to start or continue their life in a foreign locale. It has extremely varied terrain and climates throughout the country and includes everything from large, metropolis areas to small, off-the-beaten-path regions and everything in between. And the great part is, there are communities of both locals and other expats in all of these places. If you have an idea for a business that’s either unique or non-existent in one of these areas, there’s a better chance then not that you’ll be successful. Notwithstanding basic business sense of course…

The bottom line is basically this; if you’re not ready to retire, but feel like it’s time to take a step back from the rat race and live and work out your days surrounded by sunshine and a year-round abundance of flora and fauna, then perhaps starting a business in Costa Rica is right up your alley…

If you’re considering a home purchase in Costa Rica, and want to be immersed in the culture for a couple of days, head down on a Discovery Weekend. We can offer two very different areas of the country: 

To visit Costa Rica’s Southern Nicoya Peninsula, go HERE now

To visit Costa Rica’s Southern Zone, go HERE now

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We’re taught from an early age to accept that we can’t have everything we want… that we have to share or compromise. Thankfully, now that you’re an adult, and you’re considering a property purchase abroad, these ‘rules’ don’t apply.
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Where International exists to recommend a variety of International real estate options. Where International requires developers to meet stringent criteria before offering them to you. Conversely, any inspections we conduct on projects or individuals should not be misinterpreted as a guarantee by Where International. International real estate is not immune to the ups and downs that occur in North American real estate; property values are never guaranteed to increase.

Where International is not accountable for the orchestration or deliverance of Discovery Weekends. We provide them to you on behalf of our developer partners. We recommend that you purchase travel insurance, as you would with any trip out of your home country. In addition, we advise you complete your own due diligence, purchase title insurance and always use a local attorney to assist with all transactions. In the event that a reader purchases a property from a recommended developer, Where International receives a sum from the developer.