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Can Foreigners Hold Land In Costa Rica?

Can Foreigners Hold Land in Costa Rica?

Can Foreigners Hold Land in Costa Rica?

There is no restriction to property ownership by foreigners in Costa Rica. Properties are transferred between entities by executing a transfer or conveyance deed (escritura de traspaso) through a notary public.

In Costa Rica, all public notaries must be attorneys, and they are responsible for preparing, supervising the execution and recording of all publicly registered documents. A property cannot be transferred to another entity (individual or company) if the land does not have a registered survey. This survey must be referenced in the deed of transfer.

The National Registry of Costa Rica reviews the deed and then registers the property in the name of the new owner.

The Costs Associated to Property Transfers

The various fees associated to property transfers are as follows:

  • Transfer Taxes
  • Fees for Document Stamps
  • Public Notary Fees

Transfer taxes and document stamps are approximately 2.5% of the registered purchase price and law sets notary fees at 1.25% of the registered purchase price.

If you are a foreigner, it is recommended that you form a Costa Rican corporation (aka Sociedad Anonima). The property title will be transferred to your corporation.  There is greater flexibility in estate and tax planning, liability and overall property management when a property title is held in the name of a registered corporation.

We recommend that you obtain the assistance of an attorney, experienced in corporation setup and, to form a corporation.

Grupo Gap can put you in contact with attorneys that have experience in corporation setup and property transfers.




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