Opening a Bank Account in Costa Rica


National Banks

Government-owned banks - most branches, most ATMs, usually gives you the better exchange rate

  • Banco National
  • Bank of Costa Rica
  • Banco Popular – credit union bank

For each authorized person on the account, you will need:

  • Passport or Cedula - 2 Copy of pages with stamps along with you photo
  • Two reference letters from current customers of the bank you are opening an account at (I can be one of those references)
  • Two letters of recommendations from your present bank to the bank your applying to
  • Copies of the last six months of your current bank statements
  • Copies of the previous three years of your tax filing – Federal Form 1040 US Individual Income Tax Return – just the first two pages, you do not need everything, to show your income, deductions and what tax you paid.
  • Current copy of your water, electric or phone bill showing your location here in Costa Rica
  • Letter from your CPA stating the source of funds that will be deposited in the account
  • Bring a copy of your lease to prove that you are residing here
  • If you own property, bring a copy of your property tax bill
  • All banks will ask you to fill out a “Know Your Customer” form which tells the bank where your funds are coming from – will ask the source of funds, the purpose of the accent, etc.

Opening a Corporate Account within a Corporation

You can open a bank account within a corporation. If you are a corporation, you can do a wire transfer.

Same documents needed as above, plus:

  • Copy of constitution act from the Corporation
  • Certification notarized of legal representative including shareholders list up to personal owners and power of substitution. Additional if the owners of the Costa Rican corporation are an LLC from the US, we need a shareholders distribution from that LLC; a US Notary must notarize this certification. Then the notary’s signature must be certified (Apostille). With the “Apostille,” the document is entitled to recognition in Costa Rica.

Private Banks

  • Scotia Banks
  • Banco BCT
  • Two photo ids (Passport, driving license, residency, or other document with photo).
  • Proof of current address (Utility bill with current physical address) or rental agreement.
  • Salaried applicants: salary certification issued by the employer, addressed to the bank
  • Self-employed: a letter from a notary public explaining the nature of the business.
  • Non Resident: Copy of last Income Tax Return. Or W2.
  • Two bank references addressed to the bank.