What is an SME?

According to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade (hereinafter the “MEIC”), and in accordance with article 3 of the Law for the Strengthening of Small and Medium Enterprises (Act No. 8262), small and medium enterprises (hereinafter “SME”) is the term used to refer to “any permanent productive unit that has human resources, that manages and operates them, under the figures of natural person or legal entity, in industrial, commercial, service or agricultural activities that carry out organic agriculture activities.”

Registration and condition of an SME

In accordance with Article 12 of the Regulations to the Law for the Strengthening of Small and Medium Enterprises, Law No. 8262 (Decree No. 39295-MEIC), and its reforms, the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade shall grant the category of SME to those productive units that meet the conditions and requirements laid down in Law No. 8262 and Articles 13, 14 and 15 of this Regulation, specifically:

a) The productive activity they carry out is within the following: business activities such as industrial, commercial, services and agriculture, or others included by administrative resolution published in the Official Diary La Gaceta.

b) Whether it is a natural person or legal entity.

c) That the size of the enterprise is within the defined range of the parameter “P” set out in Article 17 of this Regulation shown as follows:

d) Compliance with social burdens, tax obligations or employment obligations.

Process of creating an SME

The process of forming an SME entails a number of requirements, which are detailed below:

a) Constitution of a Legal Entity (optional).

b) Land use.

c) Registration as taxpayer before the Ministry of Finance.

d) Registration before the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (C.C.S.S.).

e) Operating License issued by the Ministry of Health or in the particular case, by the National Animal Health Service (SENASA).

f) Health Registration of all the product issued by the Ministry of Health.

g) Insurance policy issued by the National Insurance Institute.

h) Municipal Patent.

i) Trademark Registration.

j) SME Registration.

Registration requirements

In order to carry out the SME registration, the interested party must comply with two of the following requirements, stating in an affidavit that they are up to date or in a procedure of payment settlement:

1. Work risk policy up to date.

2. Tax burdens up to date. For this purpose, the registration before the Ministry of Finance is required, in either of the two tax regimes: Traditional Regime or Simplified Regime.

3. Social charges up to date or in a procedure of payment settlement.

It is the duty of the DIGEPYME, the entity in charge of the Small and Medium Enterprises of the MEIC, to coordinate, promote and evaluate programs to promote and support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as trolling, the subsequent verification of the data entered in the affidavit, which will take internal control measures, in order to ensure effective compliance with what is indicated in the affidavit. Once revised, the addition of SMEs, which is valid for one year from the notification, will be rejected or granted.

The applicant may carry out free of charge the management of his procedure only by the following two means:

1. Personally before the offices of DIGEPYME and CREAPYME.

2. Online through the website www.siec.go.cr, in accordance with the manual of the site.

Benefits of registering a SME in Costa Rica

As part of the benefits stipulated under Title III of the Regulations to the Law for the Strengthening of Small and Medium Enterprises, Law No. 8262 (Decree No. 39295-MEIC), and its reforms, there are the followings:

a) Access to the benefits that as a provider of the State are established in the current Administrative Procurement Regulations.

b) Participation in Business Wheels.

c) Participation in conferences, workshops and trainings.

d) Advice, mentoring, technical and business assistance.

e) Preferential rate in the annual revalidation of companies before the Federated College of Engineers and Architects.

f) Differentiated rate of $5 to waste managers, micro and small. Article 1-49 Decree No. 41526-S-MINAE-H.

g) Preferential rates: PYMExpress and Exportafacil.

h) Exemption of the corporate tax: micro and small businesses.

i) VAT exemption micro and small business rental, less than Ȼ669,000.

j) Staggered payment for employers to CCSS for new microenterprises up to 5 employees.

k) Micro-enterprise operating health permit: $20 one-time fee.

l) Preferential rate in health registration for micro-enterprises (20% of the current rate).

m) Grace period in the first three years for the certification of drones before the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

n) Staggered exemption for micro and small business in the payment of income tax, first three years of operations (Law 9635 Ministry of Finance).

o) Access to Funds: PROPYME, FODEMIPYME, Funds of the Development Banking System and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications (MICITT).

p) Access to the services of SME Support NETWORK institutions.

If you have any inquiries regarding the above, you can contact us at the following email address: comunicacioncr@lexincorp.com.

Written by: Lucía Hueckmann.

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