Companies should consider their own resources, previous business experience abroad, and long-term business strategy before entering the Costa Rican market. American products and services enjoy an excellent reputation and Costa Rica is an attractive market for many U.S. companies. One of the most common market entry options is finding a local agent or distributor. Other approaches include licensing, franchising, and identifying local partners with market knowledge and contacts.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) offers customized solutions to help U.S. companies, including small- and medium-sized enterprises, succeed in Costa Rica. Given the regional nature of the market, this will often include consideration of market opportunities in other Central America countries as well. USFCS stands ready to help U.S. companies develop comprehensive market entry or expansion plans, learn about export- and customs-related requirements, obtain export financing, and identify potential partners, agents, and distributors through business matchmaking programs, trade shows, and trade missions led by senior U.S. government officials. For U.S. companies that purchase our Gold Key Service, USFCS can facilitate one-on-one meetings with pre-screened buyers, potential customers or end-users, experienced professional services providers, and key government officials. Furthermore, by engaging USFCS, U.S. companies can learn how to leverage high-level bilateral policy discussions. With these tools, explained in greater detail in this Country Commercial Guide, U.S. companies will be better positioned to take advantage of opportunities in Costa Rica and throughout Central America.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) provides equivalent-level trade services at no cost for U.S. companies interested in exporting agricultural, fishery, and forestry products through their office in Embassy San José. FAS works with USDA agencies and other U.S. food safety regulators (including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) to identify and resolve sanitary, phytosanitary, and technical barriers to trade, such as procedures at ports of entry or acquiring, translating, and coordinating the U.S. response to draft regulations that could affect U.S. exports.