Saturday 12 June 2021

BLOG: One Misconception Made By Expat Canadians and Americans About Costa Rica

As an expat Canadian lawyer living in Costa Rica for fifteen years and practicing law as a Costa Rican lawyer for ten of those years (it took five years to re-qualify in Costa Rica), I have had a very good opportunity to observe, particularly expat Canadians and Americans, who form the majority of my client base, as to the manner in which they approach business transactions in Costa Rica.

It goes without saying, that business transactions in both Canada and the U.S., particularly as they relate to real estate matters, are heavily regulated by a plethora of Government Agencies, which tend to exert, in an effective and efficient manner, an onerous set of reporting and other compliance requirements on businesses such as Developers, Contractors and Realtors.

In short, in Canada, or the U.S., a Developer, Contractor, or Realtor would not be able to carry-on business in a particular manner, related to the development and sale of land, because if it were illegal, some Government Agency would have intervened and shut the business down.

- Advertisement -

The misconception by expats is that this notion holds true in Costa Rica. Essentially, such matters of business in Costa Rica, particularly as related to the development and sale of land remain largely unregulated as to consumer protection issues. There is no similar group of Government Agencies which exists in Costa Rica to protect your rights as a consumer. Many expats have run-a-foul of unscrupulous Developers, Contractors, and Realtors, who have exploited this common misconception to their personal benefit and to the detriment of the expat.

I would strongly advise all expats to engage a competent Costa Rican lawyer to conduct the appropriate legal due diligence, prior to embarking on any business transaction in Costa Rica.

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 -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

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...


The Best Bingo Halls in Costa Rica

The small Central American country of Costa Rica is known to be one of the top locations to retire, but it is also known...

Figueres wins the PLN presidential nomination

QCOSTARICA - Former president, José María Figueres Olsen (1994-1998), on Sunday, became this Sunday the presidential candidate of the Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN) for...

The U.S. and Democracy in Nicaragua

Q REPORTS (Council on Foreign Affairs) Democracy is being destroyed in Nicaragua. This has been the long-term project of Daniel Ortega, the country’s dictator,...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction: June 6, “ODDS”

Today, Sunday, June 6, only ODDS can circulate. The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save for those under...

Opinion: Peru’s electoral drama is damaging democracy

Q REPORTS (DW) In Peru, the left-wing village school teacher Pedro Castillo has in all probability been elected the new president. The fact that...

Today’s Covid News: Contagion rate in Costa Rica remains unchanged in the last week

QCOSTARICA - The contagion rate of covid-19 in Costa Rica in the last week did not change, a fact that is seen for the...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction: June 11, “EVENS”

Today, Friday, June 11, only EVENS can circulate. The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save for those under the...

Costa Rica will have a system to reduce marine pollution

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica will have a system called "Interceptor" that will eliminate floating and suspended waste from the upper layer of its waters,...

5.7 Quake jolts Costa Rica

2021-06-10 17:27:0.5, Magnitude: 5.76, Depth 10.0 km, Epicenter: 95.5 km Southwest Malpais de Puntarenas. The jolt was felt also in the Central Valley. No reports...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

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.