San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Decree reduces bureaucracy for Costa Rican business owners

Starting up a new company in Costa Rica will soon take days instead of months thanks to a decree signed by President Laura Chinchilla Wednesday morning.

The new measures revampan existing law that protects citizens from excessive bureaucracy.

The government’s Council for Competitiveness and Innovation also will implement a centralized digital platform called “Crear Empresa” (“Start a Business”) that will allow entrepreneurs to start a new business within 20 days.Currently this process takes more than 100 days.

This new platform will incorporate all the necessary steps into a single online form and one payment.

In addition to the new platform, the government has been offering national businesses other advantages. Among them:

-The reduction from more than three months to one month in response times for review of construction plans, through a digital platform linked to the Federated Association of Engineers and Architects.

-Simplification of the procedure for issuing health permits.

-The creation and development of a digital platform for improved registration of exporters at the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry.

-The elimination of export and import certificates for agricultural products.

-The reduction in waiting time from 90 to 10 days for availability of water and sewage services from the Costa Rican Water and Sewer Institute (AyA).

-Establishment of a “unique window” system for pesticide registration.

Chinchilla added that over the past 18 months, her administration has taken steps to improve the investment climate in the country, which meant first analyzing existing rules governing the opening of new businesses – many are duplicated and obsolete – as well as promoting“a change in the mindset of public officials, promoting transparency in governance and fighting corruption,” the president said.

Chinchilla urged business owners to monitor and report any obstruction of the reform measures.

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