Business Etiquette in Costa Rica: The Basics
Contact the Central American Group to establish nearshore manufacturing operations in the Green Park Free Zone.
Following business etiquette in Costa Rica is vital to successful negotiations.
Costa Rica, like many other Latin American countries, has business etiquette rules that are very similar to those of neighboring countries. However, the Costa Rican people are amiable and helpful. Tourism has long been one of the country’s leading industries. For this reason, the nation’s citizens are used to welcoming strangers. They are very kind to the people who visit their country.
Punctuality when doing business in Costa Rica
Punctuality is essential when doing business in Costa Rica. Although this is, for the most part, true, Costa Rican businessmen and women may make you wait on occasion. Take this into account when organizing your agenda. Delays in some appointments can significantly affect the following ones.
The telephone is still an essential tool to make an appointment for a meeting in Costa Rica. However, new media such as email is also supported. The formal letter is also used, although to a lesser extent. It is advisable to adhere to business etiquette in Costa Rica by confirming the appointment a few days before leaving to ensure everything is clear.
Duration of meetings and other gatherings
Meetings and presentations do not usually take too long, except when the parties do not agree. However, don’t be surprised if the session is postponed. Changes in meeting schedules can be more common than in other countries.
The best times to visit Costa Rica
Depending on the country you come from, you have to take certain precautions. For example, the rainiest season is from May to November. Therefore, if you want to avoid this time of abundant rains, the best months to travel to Costa Rica are from February to April and from September to November (spring and autumn, approximately).
Trust: personal knowledge
Relationships with Costa Rican businessmen and women carry a high degree of trust in the other person and personal knowledge of their interlocutor. Given this aspect of business etiquette in Costa Rica, it shouldn’t surprise you if they ask you a few questions the first time you’re introduced and have a conversation that helps them to create a sense of familiarity with you.
Traditional values in business etiquette in Costa Rica
Costa Ricans have quite traditional principles and values. They attach great importance to honesty and trust. The assumption is that business is being conducted between honest people, so you should only offer something you can deliver. A loss of confidence from your potential Costa Rican partners can ruin your business opportunities in the country.
Non-compliance: comply with what was agreed
Punctuality in the agreed deadlines, both for fulfilling obligations and payments, may be delayed occasionally. Typically, for Costa Ricans, these minor breaches are not critical. They are considered to be only minor setbacks.
Clear and entertaining presentations
Making more than one presentation to achieve your objectives may be necessary. The presentation of concise and engaging information is a must.
Business card exchange is part of business etiquette in Costa Rica
Business cards are handed out right after the introductions. They must be handed out on the printed side.
Language: Spanish or English?
Although Spanish is the native language of Costa Rica, most of the nation’s businessmen and women speak English. This means that, as a rule, both languages can be used without a problem.
Conversations: what topics to talk about
During the first encounters, conversations are generally a means of deepening personal knowledge and building trust. Appropriate topics for conversation might be related to Costa Rica, its landscapes, people, natural beauties, etc. Current affairs are also good topics of conversation, as well as soccer and politics.
Dont forget to bring a small detail
Costa Ricans are very hospitable, but they only usually invite guests into their homes once their personal relationships are somewhat closer. Once greater familiarity has been achieved, they may invite you to their home as a part of business etiquette in Costa Rica. Guests should remember to bring a small gift for their hosts.
Business is usually conducted at lunch. Dinners are generally more social gatherings to which the wives or husbands of potential business partners are typically invited. Business etiquette in Costa Rica requires that you only bring up business topics at these gatherings if the hosts do.
Greetings: shake hands
The handshake is the general greeting when you are introduced and when you say goodbye. However, if you are confident with the other person, the greeting can be more effusive (a kiss for women and a hug for men).
Following business etiquette in Costa Rica is essential for establishing positive relationships, building trust, communicating effectively, and maximizing business opportunities in the country. It allows visitors doing business in the country to navigate the cultural nuances and expectations. Paying attention to business etiquette in Costa Rica will lead to successful outcomes.
Please use this form to contact us and we will respond as soon as possible: