Monday 20 September 2021

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

Paying the bills


Today’s Vehicle Restriction September 20: Plates ending in “1 & 2” CANNOT circulate

QCOSTARICA - For today, Monday, September 20, despite being...

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 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 -
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.