[CRINET Costa Rica Information Network]

Guidelines for Banking in Costa Rica

MONEY & CURRENCY:

In 1948 the banking system was nationalized. For many years, the only banks allowed to hold bank accounts were those owned by the Costa Rican Government.   In the past decades, however, banking policies have opened up to modern business and commercial needs and the country has consistently pursued a program for economic liberalization.  

Costa Rica's monetary unit is the colon, which was valued at about 560 to the dollar in early 2010. Bank notes are divided into 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 colons. Coins come in units of  50, 100, and 500 colons.  

Bank services offer internet banking, debit and credit cards, and automatic bank tellers where bills can be paid and deposits or withdrawals made during non-banking hours. 

There are three Government owned banks and a couple dozen private commercial banks that handle savings and checking accounts in US dollars, euros and colones.  A broad market of Investment funds, certificates of deposit, and financial instruments is also available.  Government owned banks are the safest options as they have the State’s backup and guaranty.  In any case, all banks, including private commercial banks, are registered and monitored by the SUGEF, a Government Comptroller Office of Financial Institutions and are subject to the policies dictated by the Banco Central de Costa Rica.
 

PERSONAL & COMMERCIAL BANKING

Since Costa Rican law does not allow for the execution of commercial activities by foreign individuals, the formation of a legally registered company is highly recommended for this purpose. For individuals who want to invest, transact money, or initiate other commercial type activities in Costa Rica forming. a company according to the country's legal guidelines is the best option for doing business and accomplishing money transactions. Generally, bank accounts cannot be opened under foreign corporate or individual names. Thus, foreign individuals should have a Costa Rican company or a residency status to operate in most banks.
 

Crinet and its associated law firm, Tacsan & Umaña, will be glad to provide you further information and advice on these and other legal matters. Please feel free to contact us by phone or by fax at the following numbers: Phone: (506) 2-223-6140 and Fax:  (506) 2-233-5804, e-mail: tacuma@racsa.co.cr

Guidelines for buying real estate

Guidelines for starting a Costa Rican corporation

Getting Married in Costa Rica

A company specializing in Costa Rica beach properties

A recommended real estate company

  Back to home page


 Crinet and its associated law firm, Tacsan & Umaña, will be glad to provide you further information and advice on these and other legal matters. Please feel free to contact us by phone or by fax at the following numbers: Phone: (506) 2-223-6140 and Fax:  (506) 2-233-5804, e-mail: Tacsan & Umaña

Mail from the United States or Canada: SJO 1933, P.O. Box 025216, Miami, FL 33102-5216