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Costa Rica Employment Guide

Your quick guide on talent and labor compliance norms in Costa Rica


San José


Costa Rican colón (CRC)



Payroll Frequency


GDP per Capita


Employer Tax


Talent Overview

Costa Rica holds the rank for second in Latin America and 15th in the world for retaining local talent. With progressive industrialization and economy, Costa Rica has developed better opportunities for its people.

Major economic hubs:

San José, Puerto Limón, Alajuela, Heredia

Skills in demand:

Finance Manager, Human Resource Manager, Data Analysts, Machine learning

Costa Rica Map

Local Universities

The top local universities in Costa Rica are as follows:

Costa Rica Uni1

Universidad de Costa Rica


Local: 1

World: 413

Costa Rica Uni2

Universidad Nacional


Local: 2

World: 1308

Costa Rica Uni3

Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica


Local: 3

World: 2122

Costa Rica Uni4 1

Universidad Latina de Costa Rica


Local: 4

World: 4270

Costa Rica Uni5 1

Universidad EARTH


Local: 5

World: 4775

Salary Data

Average salary data of some job titles in Costa Rica:

Job Title Average Monthly Salary (CRC) Average Monthly Salary (USD)
Financial Manager 4,690,000 CRC 7119.08 USD
General Manager 4,260,000 CRC 5661.87 USD
Business Development Manager 3,670,000 CRC 5570.79 USD
Financial Analyst 3,060,000 CRC 4250.20 USD
Business Analyst 2,800,000 CRC 3992.15 USD
Project Manager 2,630,000 CRC 3339.44 USD
Costa Rica Talentsource

Talent Sourcing Tips

Top Local Job Boards

Indeed, Craiglist, LinkedIn

Number of LinkedIn users


Top Recruitment Agencies

MRI Caricam, Doris Peters & Asociados, DyN

Employing in Costa Rica

While onboarding any individual from Costa Rica, the employer should know about the employment terms, Labor laws, deductions, and benefits. This section has all the necessary information that employers can use.

Employee Contract

According to the Costa Rica Labor Laws, an Employment contract is necessary and should be in Spanish or English mentioning all the terms and conditions of the employer. The contract has to be provided within one month of commencement.

Probation period

The probation period in Costa Rica is 90 days.

Public and Provincial Holidays 2023

Date Name Type
1 Jan New Year’s Day National holiday
6 Apr Maundy Thursday National holiday, Christian
7 Apr Good Friday National holiday, Christian
10 Apr Battle of Rivas National holiday
1 May Labor Day / May Day National holiday
24 Jul Annexation of Guanacaste National holiday
2 Aug Our Lady of Los Ángeles Non-Compulsory Payment Holiday
14 Aug Mother’s Day National holiday
3 Sep Day of the Black Person and Afro-Costa Rican Culture Non-Compulsory Payment Holiday
15 Sep Independence Day National holiday
1 Dec Day of Abolition of the Army Non-Compulsory Payment Holiday
25 Dec Christmas Day National holiday, Christian

Employee Leaves

Type of Leave Time Period Mandatory
Annual Leave 14 days Yes
Sick Leave First 3 days by the employer with 50% of the regular salary, next is compensated by Social Security Contribution Yes
Maternity Leave 112 days Yes


Payroll 1

Payroll Cycle

The payroll cycle is Monthly in Costa Rica.

Payroll 2

Minimum Wage

In Costa Rica, the minimum wage varies from CRC10,875.11 to CRC696,873.72 per day for Unskilled workers to Technical Workers (University graduates), respectively.

Payroll 3

Overtime Pay

The standard working hours in Costa Rica are 8 hours a day and 48 hours a week. Overtime in the country is termed as exceptional, and an individual is allowed to extend working hours only on high necessity. The overtime pay is generally 50% of the regular daily wage. However, overtime on a holiday must be compensated at twice the regular wage.


13th Month Pay

The 13th-month pay in Costa Rica is mandatory.

Employee Benefit

  • Health Insurances
  • Pension Scheme
  • Bonuses
  • Leaves
  • Allowances


Employer Payroll Tax

Type of Contribution Contribution
Health and Maternity 9.25%
Basic Pension Scheme 5.25%
Banco Popular Employer Fee 0.25%
Family Assignations 5.0%
Social Aid (IMAS) 0.5%
INA 1.5%
Contribution from Banco Popular Employer 0.25%
Labor Capitalization Fund 3.00%
Complementary Pension Fund 0.5%
National Insurance Institute (INS) 1.0%

Employee Payroll Tax

Category Contribution
Medical and Maternity 5.5%
Disability, Old age and Death Benefits 4%
Workmans Savings 1%

Employee Income Tax

Annual Income (CRC*) Tax Rate
Ranges from 0 to 3,836,000 CRC 0%
Ranges from 3,836,000 to 5,729,000 CRC 10%
Ranges from 5,729,000 to 9,555,000 CRC 15%
Ranges from 9,555,000 to 19,150,000 CRC 20%
19,150,000 and above CRC 25%

*CRC is Costa Rica Colones.


Standard rate of VAT in Costa Rica is 13%.

Offboarding & Termination

In Costa Rica, either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment contract without any responsibility.

The notice period in Costa Rica is 14 days.

The severance pay is the average earning of the individual in the last six months of service in Costa Rica.

Visa and Immigration

In order to stay and work in Costa Rica, individuals have to get a “Special Category Permit”. This permit allows the individual to stay and work in Costa Rica under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Costa Rica Visa
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Minimum Wage

Overtime Pay

Visa & Immigration

Special Category Permit includes the following;

  1. Costa Rica works permit for transfrontier workers.
  2. Costa Rica works permit for Artists, Athletes, and Entertainers.
  3. Costa Rica works permit for temporary workers.
  4. Costa Rica works permit for Professional and Technical guests.
  5. Costa Rica works permit for self-employed individuals in a well-established company
  6. Costa Rica works permit for Transferee Staff.
  7. Costa Rica works permit for self-employed individuals in the agriculture, construction, and services sectors.
  8. Costa Rica works permit for Preventive Maintenance Services and Corrective Post Sales Management.
  9. Costa Rica works permit for working in a specific occupation with a company (legal entity).
  10. Costa Rica works permit for working in a specific occupation as a domestic worker.
  11. Costa Rica works permit for working in a specific occupation.