It may come as a surprise that the call center industry in Costa Rica is booming. Right now, there are 5 million residents of Costa Rica, and 35,000 of those residents work in call centers.
The Costa Rican government puts a lot of emphasis on training the population to be bilingual as well as offering incentives for foreign investors who want to expand to the Central American country, whose capital, San José, has been nicknamed “Silicon Valley of Latin America.”
Here’s a look inside Costa Rica’s booming call center industries, and 5 reasons why companies choose to expand their business to the country in this market.
More than 150 companies have built call centers in Costa Rica, including some top Fortune 500 companies, with the number growing each month.
Companies that have customer service for inbound and outbound calls, telemarketing, customer support experience, and back-office operations in Costa Rica include:
These companies, among others, have established call center services in Costa Rica to take advantage of the country's highly skilled and educated workforce, favorable business environment, and low employer costs.
Many of these companies provide customer support services for clients in North America and other parts of the world, taking advantage of Costa Rica's geographic and time zone advantages.
Additionally, companies with call centers in Costa Rica have reported high levels of employee satisfaction and low turnover rates, which have contributed to the overall success of the call center industry in Costa Rica.
Companies like Amazon have a wide range of positions available right now in Costa Rica for the following roles:
Trilingual associates that speak Portuguese, Spanish, and English
Other common call center jobs that are available in the country include:
Customer service representatives
Call center agents
Many other tech companies are hiring for call center associates and team leaders in Costa Rica, including:
The tech market in Costa Rica is beginning to expand, and many startups and larger companies especially in the US are setting up nearshore call centers and hiring workers.
Costa Rica has high literacy rates and a well-educated population.
The government has implemented English language education at every level in the curriculum for students in the country and will have a leading generation and bi- and even trilingual speakers. For those who are already out of school but want to learn English, the government offers bonus English language courses at little to no cost.
Costa Rica is located in the Central Time Zone, which makes it an ideal location for companies that need to provide customer support during North American business hours.
The country is also close to the United States and has easy access to major markets in North and South America. For companies based in Asian and European countries, having access to the Central Time Zone will give businesses a wider range of availability to help support their growing customer base.
Companies that sell digital products and services need to have as much time zone coverage as possible in order to answer customer support questions at any time throughout the day. Someone who bought your product in California may need a question answered right away, which can be tricky if your company headquarters is in Paris or London.
The Costa Rican government offers a number of incentives to attract foreign investment, including tax breaks & exemptions, streamlined business processes, and a favorable legal and regulatory environment.
A bill was just recently approved that gives investors the following incentives:
Only needing $150,000 in real estate investments in Costa Rica for temporary residence
20% tax exemption of total tax transfer, if the beneficiary is registered as an owner of real estate.
Tax exemption from import taxes on household goods
Exemption from import, customs and value-added taxes (VAT) for up to 2 land, air, or sea transportation vehicles
Tax exemption for 20% of the total transfer tax, if the beneficiary is registered as the owner of the real estate acquired while the law is in effect
An exemption from import taxes for materials for professional or scientific practice if an individual can demonstrate to the Ministry of Finance that the materials are required to develop the individual's trade or business
There are a number of laws that make setting up businesses in Costa Rica a lot easier than other global countries.
Costa Rica has a long history of political stability and a strong democracy, which makes it an attractive destination for foreign investors who want to minimize political risk.
If you choose to open a call center in Costa Rica, you shouldn’t have to worry about any political distractions in both your business operations and your employees' day-to-day lives.
Right now, setting up a call center in Costa Rica is 40-60% of the price it would cost to establish a similar call center in the United States.
Costa Rica has a lower cost of living and lower labor costs compared to many other countries in North America, which makes it an attractive location for companies that want to reduce their operating expenses while still offering competitive compensation packages and maintaining high-quality customer support.
Historically, Costa Rica has been a meeting point for trade between North and South America, thanks to its geographical proximity to the United States, Canada and other Latin American countries.
Costa Rica’s robust free trade regime has made it a key player in international exports and imports, most notably medical supplies.
A great, low-risk option for testing out the market and hiring full-time employees in Costa Rica is to partner with an EOR service like Via. Your business builds and recruits your team in Costa Rica. Via's EOR solution enables you to start onboarding workers in as little as 1-2 business days.
Via offers end-to-end solutions for businesses who want to establish operations in Costa Rica but want to skip the lengthy process of entity setup.
With our easy-to-use platform and payment tools, Via helps you manage local HR processes for direct employment such as work visas & permits, employee data privacy compliance, benefits, global payroll solutions, background checks, and other legal products. Our team of local labor lawyers and on-the-ground experts ensure that your company remains compliant while expanding abroad. As your employer-of-record/entity abroad, Via assumes responsibility for employment liability, so that you can focus on what matters: recruiting and managing your team.
With Via’s transparent pricing, you can pay full-time employees or contractors across borders with no hidden set-up fees, no foreign exchange or transaction fees, and no minimums–start with 1 employee and scale up at your own pace.
For companies looking to hire 20-100+ workers in one country with the full menu of local features, including best-in-class benefits, Via is the way to go.