Costa Rica: Number of Microenterprises Up 10%

It is estimated that by 2019 there were 396,796 microenterprises operating from homes in the country, 10% more than the 361,404 reported at the end of 2018.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

On average, each microenterprise has 13 years to develop its economic activity, but there are differences by sector: in the agricultural sector, the average is 20 years, in the industry sector is 14 years, in the trade sector is 12 years and in the service sector microenterprises have on average 11 years developing their economic activity, reported the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC).

According to the National Survey of Household Microenterprises 2019, "... another aspect that characterizes the microenterprises, is that in 93.8% of economic activities, the producer works individually, with their partners or with people who help occasionally or unpaid (own account), the remaining 6.2%, are owners who employ people on a paid and permanent (employers), whether in their own home or another.

By sector of economic activity in 2019, of the 396,796 microenterprises, the service sector accounted for 43.2%, with the highest concentration. In addition, industry accounts for 21.7%, commerce for 21.1% and agriculture for 14.1% of household microenterprises.

Regarding service activities, the highest percentage of businesses are: transportation, food services, gardeners, beauty treatments, shrimp. In commerce, retail sales in establishments, at home and in the street prevail, as well as the maintenance and repair of motor vehicles; in industry, construction, the manufacture of bakery products and the production of dairy products predominate. In the agricultural activities, coffee and banana crops, cattle raising and pig farming are the most important. These are some examples of greater relative importance within a great diversity of activities developed by this sector of household enterprises.

See full document (in Spanish).

More on this topic

Fewer Microenterprises in Costa Rica

January 2019

During 2017, there were 361,000 microenterprises operating from households in the country, 14% less than those reported in 2017.

The National Household Microenterprise Survey (Enameh) 2018 details that this type of companies generated 600,444 jobs in 2018, including the owner of the activity.

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.

Guatemala: Services and Industry Contract

May 2018

In the first quarter of 2018, the manufacturing and services sectors recorded falls of 4,000 and 7,000, respectively, in the monthly average number of affiliates to the social insurance scheme compared to 2017.

One example of the contraction observed in industrial activity is what occured in free zones. The Association of Private Free Zones of Guatemala explained that due to the closure of more than one hundred companies, some 1,500 jobs have been lost.   

Micro-Enterprises in Costa Rica

February 2018

In 2017, microenterprises in Costa Rican households generated 768 thousand jobs, and increased their activity by almost 13% compared to 2015.

According to the "National Survey of Household Microenterprises 2017", in "... household microenterprises, service activities prevail, such as food services, beauty treatments, transportation, gardening, "chambas" (odd jobs), among others (42.2%), followed by retail sales, at home and on the street (22.6%), then follows industry, with clothing, bakery, construction and others (20.9% ), and finally agricultural micro-enterprises that cultivate coffee, bananas, beans, livestock, artisanal fisheries, among others (14.3%)."

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