Sunday 19 September 2021

BLOG: Checking-Out Your Costa Rica Attorney

Paying the bills


Athleta women’s brand opened its first store outside North America in Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA - Gap Inc.'s Athleta brand announced the opening...

Carlos Alvarado: Vaccine retention ‘delays global solution and increases risk of new virus variables’

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado showed his...

Top 8 Ways To Make Money in 2021

There are many legal ways to make money in...

Otto Guevara compares Daniel Salas with a dictator for sanitary measures

QCOSTARICA - The vehicle restriction of odds and evens...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction September 19: “EVEN” ending plates CANNOT circulate

QCOSTARICA - For today, September 19, vehicles with EVEN...

What are we celebrating?

QCOSTARICA - From the gallows humor department is the...
Paying the bills


As an expat considering Costa Rica for more than just a brief vacation, one of the most important considerations that you will undertake, is choosing the correct Attorney to represent your interests in purchasing real estate, entering into a lease agreement for commercial, or residential property, incorporating a company, obtaining Residency, and the like.

As Costa Rica, is a Civil Law (Napoleonic Law), rather than an English Common Law jurisdiction (Canada and the U.S.), as an expat seeking the services of an Attorney, there are two inquiries that you should undertake, one inquiry as to the Attorney’s licensing status with the Costa Rica College of Lawyers and the second inquiry as to the Attorney’s Notary Public licensing status with the Costa Rica National Direction of Notaries.

In Costa Rica, all Notaries are Attorneys, but not all Attorneys are Notaries.

- Advertisement -

The Notary Public requires additional legal training and qualification over that of an Attorney in a Civil Law jurisdiction, and they will be the party who most expats will require the services of, rather than those of an Attorney only. Only a Notary Public is qualified to transfer the title to a property, or vehicle, or incorporate a company in the National Registry. There are many more formal functions that only a Notary Public can perform in Costa Rica.

In order to determine if the Attorney you are inquiring about is properly licensed and authorized to discharge their legal functions by the two governing legal bodies, there are two web sites that ought be consulted: 1. The Costa Rica College of Lawyers (Colegio de Abogados) with web site:  and 2. The National Direction of Notaries (Direccion Nacional de Notariado) at web site:

In the case of the College of Lawyers, the Home page will display a menu on the left with the selection: Consultar Agremiados. By clicking on this selection, a menu will be displayed where you can either enter the Attorneys registration number, or name and receive his, or her registration particulars. On clicking on the registration particulars, a further screen will appear indicating whether the particular Attorney is active, or suspended from practice.

If no particulars for an Attorney appear, the party is not licensed to practice law in Costa Rica. In the case of the National Direction of Notaries, the Home page will display a menu where the particular Notary’s name, or incorporation number can be inserted to determine their status, being either active, inactive, or suspended. If no information is displayed, the party is not licensed to act as a Notary Public in Costa Rica.

This is not a time-consuming process and it may well be the best inquiry that you make before hiring your Costa Rica Attorney.

To contact Attorney Rick Philps about hiring him as your Costa Rican Attorney, please use the following information: Lic. Rick Philps – Attorney at Law, Petersen & Philps, San Jose, Costa Rica Tel: 506-2288-4381, Ext. 102; Email: Website: 

- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -
Paying the bills
Richard Philps
Attorney Richard (Rick) Philps is a Canadian citizen, naturalized as a citizen of Costa Rica. Rick practiced law in Victoria, B.C., Canada as a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, for fourteen years, prior to moving to Costa Rica in 1998. Rick then earned his Bachelor of Laws and Licensing Degrees (Civil Law), with Honours, and a Post-Graduate Degree in Notary and Registry Law, from the Metropolitana Castro Carazo and Escuela Libre de Derecho Universities, in San Jose. Rick is a member of the Costa Rica College of Lawyers, and practices law in Costa Rica in the areas of real estate and development, corporate, commercial, contract, immigration, and banking. To contact Attorney Rick Philps about hiring him as your Costa Rican Attorney; Email:, Website:

Related Articles

[BLOG] Costa Rican Electric Company – General Maintenance Procedures

During my fifteen plus years of living in Costa Rica, I...

Heliport, Money and Weapons in Costa Rica

Following reports by residents of Las Asturias de Pococí about flyovers...

Subscribe to our stories

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.