Costa Rica ranks ninth in the world in regards to commercial freedom and protections for private businesses, according to a Chilean Research Institute. Foreigners can start their own businesses and invest in Costa Rica with very few restrictions. The tourism industry is rife with investment opportunities. Additionally, successful businesses often cater to the large foreign resident population.
Within the past decade, Costa Rica's economy has transformed substantially, moving away from its longtime dependence on agriculture to one based on technology and microprocessor production. Costa Rica has been dubbed the “Silicon Valley of Latin America" and has attracted commercial giants such as Microsoft, GE, Abbot Laboratories, Continental Airways and Intel Corporation.
Potential business opportunities in Costa Rica:
- Real estate
- Turnkey eco-lodges and bed and breakfasts
- Import-export businesses
- Computer services and support
- U.S. franchises
- Specialty bookstores
- Restaurants and bars
- Consulting firms
- Specialty shops catering to North Americans and wealthy Costa Ricans
- Online gambling businesses