Successfully owning and operating a small business in Costa Rica requires an understanding of the cultureand the language
Anyone owning or operating a small business outside her or his home country knows their can be potential pitfalls. Chief among these are not understanding the culture, the people and/or the language. This is true even in business-friendly Costa Rica. But a few simple steps can help ease the transition.
Costa Rica is not only a tropical paradisewith beaches and mountains within a short drive of each otherbut also a great place to run a small business. This assumes, of course, that you have a cultural understanding of the country and a daring spirit.
Donna Mickley is one such person. Although she had never run a business before, including in the U.S., she decided to purchase a wedding-planning company, Pura Vida Weddings, in Costa Rica.
Sounds like a match made in heaven, helping lovingand primarily American and Canadiancouples get married on white sands while living in an increasingly popular ex-pat community. But she notes several obstacles that have to be overcome to make the dream come true.
For example, If youre not a resident or dont have a work permit, you cant legally work at your business. You can own and oversee it but you cant work it. This means you have to pay someone else to do pretty much everything for you, Mickley says.