THE FREE TRADE ZONE
Companies located in free trade zones operate largely tax and duty free. No more than 25% of production maybe sold on the local market. Taxes and duties apply on any amounts sold within the country. Government regulations require a minimum investment of US$150,000 in fixed assets for companies located inside of the free zone areas and UN$2,000,000 for companies located outside of the free zone areas.
Tax exemptions include import duties, capital gains tax exemption for 10 years, 100% income tax exemption for 8 years and 50% for the next 4 years, as well as exemptions on sales tax, export tax, selective consumption tax, property tax, real estate transfer tax, and withholding tax on payments made outside of Costa Rica. Income tax exemptions of up to 12 years are available if the company is located in an area of “lesser relative economic growth.”
This allows temporary duty free admission of goods to be processed in Costa Rica for export to countries outside of Central America and Mexico. There are tax benefits and streamlined customs procedures.
CINDE - This is a private, non-profit organization that promotes social and economic development in Costa Rica through private investment. It was originally funded by AID, the foreign development organization, but is now funded locally.
PROCOMER - This is a government funded organization which assists manufacturers and other companies relocate to Costa Rica.
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