Costa Rica: Bureaucracy and Entrepreneurship

Employers point to the thick web of paperwork that must be traversed in Costa Rica if you want to start a new business.

Friday, March 15, 2013

From a press release issued by the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations in the Private Business Sector (UCCAEP):

Most entrepreneurs, according to the latest data from the Survey "Business Pulse" by the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of Private Business Sector (UCCAEP) indicate that in Costa Rica there are a number of constraints to the initiation of a new business in the country.

89% of employers surveyed said that as a result of the 'process mania' that exists in Costa Rica it is extremely difficult to set up a new business in the country.

In addition data from the UCCAEP survey indicates that 84% of employers believe that in Costa Rica it is very expensive to open a new business on account of the amount of paperwork, licenses, and operating permits required.

This data is consistent with that issued by the World Economic Forum where one of the most problematic factors is the issue of an inefficient bureaucracy.

"As a business sector we feel that despite the regulatory reform announcements made by the government, no breakthrough has been made in reducing the process mania in all of the public administration bodies (municipalities, ministries, etc.), which is asked of those wishing start a new business," said Manuel H. Rodriguez, president of UCCAEP, who also warned that now not only is it slow and expensive but also the climate for investment has decreased because of the planned tax package affecting businesses and families.

More on this topic

Bureaucracy Delays Small Investments

September 2018

28% of the SMEs in Costa Rica stated that obtaining a municipal permit to start operations was the most complex procedure, while another 17% says that the process of registering with the department of Taxation is the most onerous.

According to the III National Survey of MSMEs, prepared by the State University at a Distance (UNED) and the University of Costa Rica (UCR), for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) obtaining a municipal patent for operation and registering as a new taxpayer, are the two procedures that most affect the start up of their operations.

The Worries That Keep Businessmen Awake At Night

February 2018

The high cost of energy and the fiscal deficit are two of the problems that worry companies in Costa Rica, who also face an uncertain political scenario, a few weeks to go before a second round of elections.

With a month and a half to go before a second round of elections, Costa Rican businessmen highlighted a difficult year in terms of job creation and attraction of new investments.

Doing Business in Costa Rica Is Difficult

September 2017

Eight out of ten entrepreneurs claim that an excess of formalities and the high costs of formalization are the main difficulties they face when starting a business in the country.

From a statement issued by theUccaep:

28 September 2017.  Setting up a business in Costa Rica and operating formally and under the protection of the law, is becoming more difficult for entrepreneurs. This was revealed by the Third Quarterly Business Survey "Pulso Empresarial", carried out by the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of the Private Business Sector (UCCAEP).

Barriers to Business in Costa Rica

January 2017

The procedures for obtaining operating permits and municipal licenses are the things that cause the most difficulty for companies who are trying to formalize their operations in the country.

Despite constant complaints by entrepreneurs, excessive bureaucracy remains one of the main obstacles to the formalization of companies in Costa Rica.  According to a business survey developed by Uccaep, the procedures for obtaining operation permits from the Ministry of Health and municipal patents are the most difficult tasks to carry out and those which take the most time.

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