Hire employees in Costa Rica. No entity needed.
Usually, to hire in Costa Rica, your business needs an entity. That means a local office, an address registered as a subsidiary, and an account with a local bank. All of this, plus navigating regional benefits, payroll, tax, and HR laws, can take months.
Costa Rica also treats contractors differently than full-time employees, so misclassifying a contractor could lead to fines. Deel lets you hire employees in Costa Rica quickly, easily, and compliantly. We even automate tax document collection, payroll, benefits, and more.
All the necessary benefits for Costa Rica
built right in
Deel allows you to provide localized benefits for employees in Costa Rica within minutes. All in one manageable online dashboard.
- Work Accident Compensation Insurance
- Private Healthcare - Unisure (optional)
Our quickstart guide to hiring in Costa Rica
Navigate the tabs below to learn everything you need to know about hiring an employee in Costa Rica
Minimum Wage Requirements
The minimum wage depends on the occupation and education of the worker:
- Worker in specialized occupation: CRC 13,914.32
- Worker in higher education CRC 21,593.60
- Higher Education Technician CRC 464,335.77
- University Bachelor CRC 568,819.96
- University Degree CRC 682,607.23
Individual Income Tax
The individual income tax ranges from 0% to 25%. Income tax is calculated according to progressive rates.
|Gross Annual Income (CRC)||Tax Rate (%)|
|863,000 - 1,267,000||10%|
|1,267,000 - 2,223,000||15%|
|2,223,000 - 4,445,000||20%|
The employer cost is generally estimated at 27.04% of the employee salary.
- Social Security (CCSS) - 26.67%
- Workman Compensation - 0.37%
- Vacation Pay - 4.16%
- Preaviso - 8.33%
- Cessentia - 5.50%
- 13th Month Salary Accrual (Aguinaldo) - 8.33%
Overtime Pay & Maximum Hours
Pregnant employees, who have worked for a minimum of 90 days, are entitled to 120 days of paid leave. 30 days must be taken before the child's birth. 90 days must be taken after the child's birth.
The employee will receive 100% of the salary during this period, where 50% of the salary is covered by the employer, and the remaining 50% of the salary is covered by CCSS.
In the case of illness caused by pregnancy or childbirth, the employee can extend leave up to 6 months.
Only employees working in the public sector are entitled to 1 month of paid paternity leave. There is no statutory paternity leave for employees in the private sector.
There is no maximum limit for employees to take sick leave.
The employee gets 100% of their salary on the first 3 days of the sick leave, this cost is covered by the employer. From the 4th day onwards, until the end of the disability, the CCSS pays 60% of the salary.
During this time, the employer is still obligated to pay the CCSS premium for the employee during the disability.
Terminations must respect complex rules and the rules of an employee’s employment country. The off-boarding is always handled by the Employer with the primary stakeholders. It may include ad-hoc fees as well as required or recommended steps on specific termination cases.
Terminations in Costa Rica can be complex. There is no at-will termination in Costa Rica for employers, outside the probation period, and termination must be done for just cause.
Compliant terminations include:
- As agreed on in the Employment Agreement
- Dismissal by the employer
- Mutual agreement
- For serious breach of the obligations by the employee
The minimum notice period is 1 week and will be increased according to the length of the employment.
- Less than 3 months of employment or Probation period - no obligation
- Between 3 to 6 months of employment - 1 week of notice
- Between 6 to 12 months of employment - 2 weeks of notice
- Above 12 months of employment - 1 month of notice
Severance for Employees
All employees who quit for cause, or who are terminated without cause by the employer, are entitled to severance pay. Severance pay is based on the length of employment and the amount of the salary.
Severance is based on the average salaries earned and paid over the past 6 months or 12 months depending on the situation.
|Length of employment||Amount of severance pay|
|Between 3 to 6 months||7 days|
|Between 6 to 12 months||14 days|
|1 year||19.5 days|
|2 years||20 days|
|3 years||20.5 days|
|4 years||21 days|
|7 - 13 years||22 days|
|13 or more years||20 days|
In all cases, the employee must be paid any accrued vacation and earned bonuses.
To protect you from unforeseen financial risks arising from terminations, Deel applies a Severance Accrual to all employment agreements in this country. Deel has extensive expertise in managing litigation risk globally and our Severance Accrual calculation is based on the prevailing common-law or statutory entitlements and local best practices. In the event your employee resigns or is not entitled to severance, all unused amounts will be returned to you.
Paid Time Off
Costa Rica celebrates 10 national holidays. National public holidays include:
- New Year's Day
- Semana Santa (2 days)
- Juan Santamaria Day
- Labor Day
- Annexation of Nicoya
- Virgen de los Ángeles
- Mother's Day
- Independence Day
- Military Abolition Day
- Christmas Day
Employment Contract Details
Contracts must be in Spanish and can be bilingual. They must be in writing and signed by both parties.
A contract must include:
- Hours of work
- Duties and responsibilities
- Termination conditions
Hiring in Costa Rica, hassle-free
With Deel, your business can easily hire employees in Costa Rica. No more worrying about local laws, complex tax systems, or managing
international payroll. Deel takes care of everything in 150+ countries.
Estimate Employer Cost
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Want to learn the cost of hiring an employee in Costa Rica?View our Employee Cost Calculator