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Can Foreigners Own Land in Costa Rica?

Foreigners can own land or any other property in Costa Rica. There is no restriction on property ownership by foreigners. 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 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 new owner’s name.

The Costs Associated with Property Transfers

The various fees associated with 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 the 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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