Costa Rica has gone up seven places in the newest Doing Business 2014 report by the World Bank and its International Finance Corp.. The country now ranks 102 out of 189 economies, the bank said. The index estimates the ease of doing business in each economy with 10 categories.
Costa Rica’s better score can be attributed to new systems for getting construction permits and for starting a business.
The government created a one-stop system for new businesses where an entrepreneur could obtain a health permit, register as a taxpayer, register with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, get a patente or business license and other needed documents online in San José. Construction permits also have been consigned to the Internet where even building plans are digitized.
Costa Rica went up 24 places for starting a business and up 37 places for construction permits. There also was a seven-place rise in handling insolvencies, said the World Bank.
There were few changes in other categories. Under the topic of enforcing contracts, the ranking dropped from 129 to 130.
Despite the electronic system, the bank said that anyone starting a limited liability business in Costa Rica needs to complete nine procedures, about average for the Caribbean, and should expect to spend 24 days. That is about twice the time as in the average First World country, the bank said.
One reason for the lack of speed is that a lawyer has to draw up incorporation papers. In many U.S. states a business can be formed online with a credit card in less than 30 minutes. No lawyer is needed.
The ranking put Costa Rica three places below Vietnam at 99 and above Malta at 102 and Kuwait at 104. Singapore headed the list, followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United States
A summary of the Costa Rican data is HERE!
The rankings by country are HERE!