How to pay workers in Costa Rica

Expanding to Costa Rica? Learn about legalities, bonus payments, and popular options for paying workers in Costa Rica.
How to pay workers in Costa Rica
Written by
Ontop Team

Are you considering expanding your business to Costa Rica? One of the key aspects to consider when setting up operations in a new country is how to pay your workers effectively and efficiently. In this guide, we will explore the legalities, bonus payments, and popular options for paying workers in Costa Rica, ensuring on-time payments and keeping your employees happy.

Legal Framework

Before diving into the specifics of payroll in Costa Rica, it is crucial to understand the legal framework surrounding labor and employment in the country. The Labor Code of Costa Rica governs all matters related to employment, including wages, working hours, and employee rights.

Minimum Wage

Costa Rica has a minimum wage that is set by the government and varies depending on the industry and the region. It is important to ensure that you are paying your employees at least the minimum wage to comply with labor laws.5

Bonus Payments

In Costa Rica, bonus payments are common and are often required by law. The most common bonus is the Aguinaldo, which is a mandatory end-of-year bonus equivalent to one month's salary. It is important to factor in bonus payments when calculating your payroll expenses.

Popular Payroll Options

When it comes to paying your workers in Costa Rica, there are several popular options to consider. Some companies choose to outsource their payroll to a local provider who is familiar with the intricacies of Costa Rican labor laws. This can help ensure compliance and accuracy in payroll processing.

Others opt for using payroll software that is specifically designed for the Costa Rican market. These software solutions can streamline the payroll process, calculate taxes and deductions accurately, and generate reports for compliance purposes.


Mastering the art of paying workers in Costa Rica is essential for any business looking to establish a presence in the country. By understanding the legalities, bonus payments, and popular payroll options, you can ensure that your employees are paid on time and accurately, leading to a happy and productive workforce.