In places like Playa Tamarindo, Playa Grande or el Coco Beach, is very common for investors to purchase existing commercial establishments like restaurants, souvenir stores, clothing stores and others.
My first advice it to always run a Due Diligence of the business. Are you purchasing a property or a lease over a property? In case it is a lease, what are the terms? what is the timeframe of the lease and the monthly rent? Can you get a return on your investment during that time frame.
Hire an accountan to review the tax declarations and the accounting books, and an attorney to review the legal situation of the establishment. Review that there are no contigencies with the labor ministry or the tax minsitry.
My second advice is to follow the proper procedure for the purchase of a commercial establishment including the publication of 3 notifications in the newspaper. In some cases people use different ways to purchase a commercial establishment for example, a purchase of shares contract or a transfer of a lease contract. However, it is important to know that the Costarican legal frameworks has an specific procedure for the purchase of commercial estbalishment, that has specific rules to protect the Buyer. Request your attorney to explain this procedure to you prior to signing any contract, so you are clear on the possible timeframes and way of payments to close on your transaction.