Requirements to Open a Soda in Costa Rica: Requirements, Health Permits and MORE

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The Requirements to Open a Soda in Costa Rica they will be essential when you finally make the decision to establish your business in this country.

Starting your own business is a real challenge, but if you are prepared to face the hard work and some difficulties, we hope to help you with this guide on the Requirements to Open a Soda in Costa Rica.

What are the Health Permits?

To open a SODA (Small restaurant) in Costa Rica, it is necessary to process a series of permits, including health ones.

These permits are granted by the Ministry for Health, either for industries, service companies or commercial premises. This authorization is essential for their activities to start operating.

There is a regulation to manage this process, where the rules and requirements for this purpose are stipulated.

They must be fulfilled by the interested parties and thus specify their activities in the country.

In the General Law for Health It is ruled that all businesses, whatever their activity, must have the operating permit, and give them legal status.

To process the Sanitary Operating Permit, the following steps should be followed:

  • Step N ° 1
    • Enter the portal Web of the Ministry for Health, according to the area to which the production belongs.
    • Check if you have all the requirements to manage the process, there you will find a table to verify the information.
    • The operating permit is divided as follows:
      • A class: Operations related to forestry, livestock, hunting and agriculture.
      • Class B: Fishing.
      • Class C: The exploitation of quarries and mines.
      • Class D: For restaurant and hotels.
      • Class E: Storage and transportation services.
      • Class F: For the manufacturing industry.
      • Class G: The provision of water, gas and electric service.
      • Class H: The construction industry.
      • Class I: Wholesale and retail commercial activities, personal property, repair of motorcycles and automobiles.
      • Class J: Loans through financial entities.
      • Class K: Real estate, industrial and leasing operations.
      • The L-Class: For social security projects necessary.
      • Class M: In the exercise of teaching.
      • Class O: Related operations for social, health, and collective purposes.
  • Step 2
    • Present the required documents, including the form to request the operating permit.
    • Consign the sworn statement or the legal identity card, so that the operating permit can be issued.
    • They can be added with the form. These documents can be requested directly from the Rectory or from the support department.
  • Step 3
    • The required payment can be made in the accounts arranged for this process.
    • Particularly with the document of Customer account for operating permits.
  • Step N ° 4
    • Consign all the documents requested by the Directorate of the Health Governing Area of ​​the Ministry for Health.

Requirements of the Ministry of Health

Within the Requirements to Open a SODA in Costa Rica, there are those detailed below:

  1. Copy of the identification card (the interested party must go personally or the legal representative).
  2. Tax stamps (species) for ¢ 105 and the national file.
  3. Make the declaration of legal persons renewed and in original.
  4. Present the copy of the proof of the rental agreement of the premises.
  5. Certificate as the owner of the premises, in case of being the owner.
  6. Make the corresponding payment for the procedure.

Requirements of the Municipality of Belén

The request for this procedure is made through the Customer Service Unit.

And the following requirements are aimed at people who want to start business operations in the Canton of Bethlehem:

  • Present a copy of the operating permit or authorization.
  • When operations are of a nature Commercial, you have to consign the permission with extension.
  • If the activities are of an Industrial nature, you must consign the permit with an extension at the central offices.

There is a classification for each type of industry according to the Ministry for Health.

The requirements are as follows:

  1. The municipal tax certification, in charge of the interested party and the owner.
  2. Photocopy of the identification card on both sides.
  3. The complete copy of the address, if it is a legal person, you must include the legal identification and photocopy of the identification card of the attorney-in-fact.
  4. If the operations are of an industrial nature, it is necessary:
  • The Environmental Impact analysis.
  • The risk policy issued by the INS (National Insurance Institute).
  • The photocopy of the Cadastral Plan.
  • If the establishment is leased, present a copy of the rental contract.
  • The certificate of being up-to-date with the Employer Worker contributions.

To take into account

If the businesses have already been patented, a sworn certification must be made every year.

This in order to study the stipulation of the contribution for Patent Duties, where the following must be taken into consideration:
As stipulated by the Law 7565, in their articles seven (7) and eight (8), in conjunction with the patent certification, the following documentation must be added:

  • Photocopy of the income statement.
  • The photocopy of the last proof of payment of the form of the CCSS (Costa Rican social security box).
  • Copy of the last proof of payment of Patent Fees.

At Regulation for the Granting of Patents of the Municipality of Belén, in its article 19 The time periods are stipulated to record the Patent Affidavit.

These lapses are the ones mentioned below:

  1. Businesses where their fiscal year ends on December 31, the statements will be received by the Municipality until January 15.
  2. If the businesses were authorized by the General Directorate of Direct Taxation, to consign the return outside the dates stipulated in the Income Tax Law, and may deliver it within five business days.
  3. If for any reason the declaration is not consigned during the stipulated period, a fine will be imposed as indicated in the Article 13 of Law 7565, what does it say:
    1. When the affidavit has not been submitted in the stipulated time, the penalty will be 10% of the total tax on patents paid last year.


It is suggested to request a land use analysis to confirm whether the business to be opened is authorized in that area, before starting the patent procedure.

This is stipulated in the Regulatory Plan of the Canton of Belén.

The processing time for the process is thirty (30) business days.

The form to manage this request can be found here.

What are the Requirements of the Municipality of Escazú?

The main requirement to carry out this procedure is to fill out the Form of the Affidavit of Patent Tax Law 8988.

Said form that belongs to the Municipality of EscazúYou can find it by entering this link.

You can also communicate through these channels:

  • Email address
  • The telephone exchange number 2208-7500.
  • Number Municipal WhatsApp 8455-9084.

How to Obtain an Operating Permit?

To acquire an operating permit to open a SODA In Costa Rica, there are a series of requirements and, in the same way, limitations for it.

Among the requirements are those mentioned below:

  • This management is processed in the Governing Area of ​​Health of the Ministry where the business is operating.
  • The value of the procedure depends on the level or category of the commercial activity carried out by the business.
  • All enter this link you can have information about operating permits. There you will find the following:
    • In the General Regulation for Health Authorizations and Permits of Operation granted by the Ministry of Health, the Decree No. 39472-S.
    • The classification of commercial, service and industrial premises and operations governed by the Ministry of Health, according to the level of environmental and sanitary danger.
    • The form with the instructions to request the sanitary authorization of operation.
    • The Affidavit to manage the Application for Sanitary Operating Permits (renewal or for the first time).
    • The necessary client accounts where payments for the pertinent permits can be made.
    • The anticipated requirements for first and renewal.

How to pay the Operating Permit?

You can make payments at the National Bank of Costa Rica, through the following information:

  1. The legal identity card is: 3-110-728227
  2. Trust 872-03 of the Ministry of Health.
  3. In colones: Checking account N ° 100-01-000-213715-6. The customer account N ° 15100010012137157.
  4. In dollars: In the checking account N ° 100-02-000-617477-5. Customer account N ° 15100010026174771.
  5. IBAN accounts: In colones CR85015100010012137157. In dollars CR76015100010026174771.


It is recommended to enter the official page to check if they have made any changes regarding payments.

If you want to pay by check online, you must have at hand the Legal Identification Number of the business.

Starting your own business can be intimidating, of course it can! And much more when you do not know where to start. That is when doubts and questions arise that can be somewhat difficult, but do not be discouraged!

When you finally see your business succeeding you will know that it will have been worth it.

With this article we hope to give you the necessary push to start looking for the Requirements to Open a Soda in Costa Rica.


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