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Central America

Costa Rica

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Employer of Record (EOR) in Costa Rica

What you'll learn

  • Country Introduction
  • Tax Breakdown for Employers
  • Statutory Leave Laws
  • Minimum Wage and Working Hours
  • Termination Process
  • Additional Information
Costa Rica Introduction

Costa Rica is a country in Central America bordered by Nicaragua, the Caribbean Sea, Panama, and the Pacific Ocean. It has a long-standing democracy with a highly educated workforce and has been rated as one of the world’s top 15 happiest countries for several years. Many companies based in other countries operate in Costa Rica's Free Trade Zones (FTZ) where they are able to benefit from tax incentives.

Paid Leave and Statutory Leave

Parental Leave

Pregnant employees are entitled to 4 months of paid maternity leave, which usually starts 1 month before the due date and is paid 50/50 by the employer and social security. There is no provision for paternity leave for the private sector in Costa Rica — public sector employees get 8 days of paid paternity leave.

Sick Leave

Employees in Costa Rica are entitled to sick leave if they’ve made contributions to social security. In the first 3 days of sick leave the employee receives full wages paid 50/50 by the employer and social security, and from day 4 onwards the employee receives 60% of their wages from social security (the employer does not pay).

Paid Leave

There are 9 public holidays in Costa Rica, and employees are able to take time off for their religious holidays (such as Yom Kippur, Eid-el-Fitr, etc). If an employee is required to work on a public holiday, the employer must provide another day off within 15 days.

Employees are also entitled to a minimum of 2 weeks of paid time off each year, after completing 1 year of service with their employer. Most employers offer more paid days off as an added benefit to their employees. Employees can also receive bereavement leave.

Wage Requirements and Working Hours

Costa Rica does not have a national minimum wage, so wages must be agreed upon through collective bargaining agreements or employment contracts. For the most part, the minimum average is CRC 10,875.11 per day for “unskilled” employees to CRC 14,205.12 per day for “specialized” employees.

Standard work hours are 48 hours per week on Monday-Saturday (36 hours for nighttime workers), and any work done past that is considered overtime with a maximum of 4 hours per day. Overtime is paid at 150% of the salary, with work on holidays paid at 200%.

Termination Process

Process

Employment contracts can be terminated with just cause, such as misconduct, negligence, fraud, redundancy, or other tangible reasons, as long as is notice provided in advance.

Notice Period

Notice periods in Costa Rica depend on the employee’s length of time at the company:

  • 0 – 3 months = No notice period
  • 3 – 6 months = 1 week
  • 6 – 12 months = 15 days
  • 1+ year = 1 month

Severance Pay

Severance pay for dismissals are based on the employee’s length of time at the company, and ranges from 7-14 days for less than 1 year, to 20-22 days for 1+ year.

Additional Information

A 13th month salary payment is mandated by law in Costa Rica is mandated by law. This “aguinaldo” is a bonus equal to one month’s pay that is due on December 20th each year.

OVERVIEW
Language(s):
Spanish
Currency:
Costa Rica Colón (CRC)
Capital City:
San José
Population:
5.1 Million
Cost of Living Rank:
61st
VAT (Valued Added Tax):
13%
Employer TaxES
26.5%
(estimated)

★  9.25% - Health & Maternity

★  5.75% - Pension Fund

★  0.5% - Banco Popular Employer Fees

★  5% - Family Assignations

★  0.5% - Social Aid

★  1.5% - INA

★  3% - Labor Capitalization Fund

★  1% - National Insurance Institute

Simplified Global HR and Payroll.
Let’s work on it together.

We've made the process really simple
with only 3 steps.

1

Remote candidate

You've sourced a full-time employee or contractor located in a country where your company is not incorporated.

2

Cost Calculation

Pass us the details of your candidate and we will let you know exactly what it costs to employ your candidate in that country.

3

Onboarding & Admin

Sit back and relax as we onboard your new team member and take care of all the local compliances and admin work.

Same-day onboarding
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Available in 150+ countries
How Remofirst employs in Costa Rica

It can be prohibitively expensive to establish an entity in every country you want to hire talent in, so Remofirst will hire and pay your employee on your behalf while you manage their daily duties. Remofirst will handle formal HR procedures and employment contracts that adhere to local laws, so that you can simply approve invoices via our platform. When you work with an Employer of Record (EOR) you can compliantly hire the best employees around the world.

How employees in Costa Rica get paid
Your employee's hours, time off, holidays, bonuses, and commissions are automatically calculated into payroll. Remofirst will invoice you in either US Dollars (USD), Euros (EUR), British Pounds (GBP), Canadian Dollars (CAD), or Singapore Dollars (SGD) around the 15th of each month to make sure your employees in Costa Rica are paid on time in Costa Rica Colón (CRC). To make it even easier, you can summarize your entire global team's salaries to aggregate them into one payment (instead of many individual payments).
Full-time Employees vs Global Contractors

Unlike full-time employees, contractors work on projects with multiple companies at a given time and are technically self-employed. Full-time employees are solely focused on their employer and usually receive benefits (such as health insurance, equity or stock options, and time off) as an additional form of compensation. While it can be cheaper to work with international contractors instead of paying benefits to a full-time employee, you run the risk of misclassification. It's recommended to work with an EOR for contractor onboarding and payments, so you can know that your international contractors are paid compliantly and on time.

Dependable support for employees
Whenever the employee or employer has a question about benefits, Visas, or anything else related to international employment in Costa Rica, they can use our platform's chat function to get answers from our team of experts. Every client of Remofirst also receives a dedicated account manager that will serve as a point of contact for global HR support.