Running your Business/ working in it

Hi folks,
as i said in recent posts we are hoping to move to CR and purchase a small business. Perhaps B&B or something similar. Question is how do you afford this when you cant work in your own business hands on.  Could anyone who has dealt with or works with this set up please message me and let me know how you manage this.

How much can a manager do without causing a problem? What happens if staff are off sick or have gone home for the day and your guests need something? These are the types of questions a i am asking myself.

many thanks


Hello. It is certainly something we all ask ourselves. The best way to deal with it as I see it, is to work as "volunteer, with no pay"  if you know what I mean. I know many expats who "volunteer" work on their own businesses. Nothing illegal about that. On the other hand, a B&B is a business that demands lots of work, especially if you have to hire help. Here, workers take their responsibility very lightly and they are prompt to sue their employer. I had my experience with a maid thief who sued me because I fired her after I caught  her red handed. I won the case but it sure was a headache and a waste of time and money probing it. There are other businesses you can do from home which do not involve hiring help.

Hi! first of all, it all depends on where you want to buy your business, but due to my experience, everywhere you go you need to know your neighbours first. Find someone to trust. Make friends. Be a good human being and have people around you who respect you. Here in Costa Rica it's easy to make friends, but it even easier to make enemies. Said this, chose the right place and find the right people to help you, there are a lot of Ticos that are good workers.

Whoever informed you that you can not work in your own business was very wrong.  One ends up doing more then anyother person working!  There is away to make a reason for the Government to grant you residence, even if you are not old enough to retire.  I have lived here for 18 years and I have had several businesses and I was not retired.  My business was the only way to work here in Costa Rica!
I have the Pizzeria for 11 years and it is going well, but one has to work it!  When you come I invite you to visit us in Moravia, just south of the church.  Pizzeria Papitos 2241-1068 :)

When applying for Invertionista status by purchasing an existing business, you must already have the 'business' in your name, provide Immigration with an indepth & very complete business plan detailing how many employees you will hire, at what wages, etc. At that point immigration may say 'yes or no', and if 'no', then you are stuck with the business and be prepared to apply for Residency under a different status.
While salaries are low, the medical benefits package will likely cost more than the wages. If your 'help' is only part-time, unfortunately, you are required to pay full time rates.

Labor laws of Costa Rica

Working in Costa Rica  Note especially where it states in part "Also bear in mind that Article 18 Section 20 of the Immigration Law authorizes the Immigration Police to “enter into any business establishment during working hours to verify passports, residency cards and work permits to determine violations of the law.”  If found out you could be deported or if you employ anyone without having a legal work visa subject to a large fine.

Once a Permanent resident which will take approx4-5 years, you can legally perform 'physical work'

I do recommend you check this out with a lawyer and not rely solely on members of any forum.

I would recommend coming here and spending an extended vacation to determine whether you really want to be here and operate a business.   Try to talk to as many business owners as possible and get a feel for the business climate in the area you're moving to.  If I had a nickel for every business that closed within a year, or is for sale, I'd be rich.  Also, in the Tamarindo area, half the year businesses are empty but still have to pay their employees because a good worker is VERY hard to find in Costa Rica. 

Many people come here looking for paradise, but very few find it.  My only advice would be to know what you're getting into.

The two Canadians with their scary negative comments about owning a business here in Costa Rica even scared me and I have been here 18 years, since I was 49 years old.  The one did make a good suggestion.  Come and get to know the country and the people.  There is alot of poverty and the infastruture needs lots of work.  The weather is great and there are alot of good people here.  One has got to decide, and it is easier then entering the US!  If someone come and decide to buy my business I will help you get residencey and show you all of the pitfuls to watch out for!  Gracias

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