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Lenders and SUGEF Registration

Private lenders in Costa Rica are subject to having a SUGEF Registration (Superintendencia General de Entidades Financieras), the financial regulatory agency, to monitor potential money laundering and terrorist financing. It is the primary organization for the Costa Rica financial industry. Its objective is to strive for stability, solidity, and efficient functioning of the national economic system. Banks, savings and credit cooperatives, financial firms, foreign exchange firms, and other financial institutions are fully regulated and monitored by SUGEF.

Other kinds of persons and businesses, such as private lenders, also need to complete a registration with SUGEF and maintain basic due diligence policies and procedures to access local banking services. The role of SUGEF, in this case, is somewhat similar to FinCEN in the United States or Fintrac in Canada.

Individuals or legal representatives will need a digital signature (Firma Digital) to carry out the registration process. In addition, they must maintain exclusively for the activity subject to registration, accounts, products, or financial services with supervised entities.

Unlisted companies or persons may eventually be exposed to the possible closure of their financial institution accounts. Although we recommend you prioritize registration, this does not prevent you from lending money today.

At Gap Investments, we offer lenders assistance in SUGEF Registration and acquiring their Firma Digital (or setting up alternatives if the lender is a non-resident).


-Co-written by Lawsen Parker and Glenn Tellier, Founder of Grupo Gap


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