Outsourcing Software Development to Puerto Rico: A Nearshore Paradise

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Fred Monnier
Fred Monnier
Chief Staffing Operations Officer

Table of Contents

Outsourcing software development to Puerto Rico is becoming more popular due to the benefits it has as a nearshoring destination. Learn what the advantages are and how to hire Puerto Rican talent.
Published on
March 28, 2022
Updated on
April 11, 2024

The method of outsourcing tech jobs has become commonplace in today's global economy. Businesses are constantly searching for the most efficient and budget-friendly way to get their work done, and often, that means turning to foreign shores.

But what if we tell you that you don't need to go too far away to get what you need? There's a territory just a short flight away from the US that offers all the benefits you seek in outsourcing.

Being a US territory since 1898, Puerto Rico is an island that follows the same labor laws and federal regulations as the US. It even has the same currency and similar culture. Considering the island has been conducting notable tech advancements and educating a lot of talent recently, outsourcing software development to Puerto Rico makes an excellent choice for US companies.

If you're interested in more details about why you should hire Puerto Rican developers, follow our comprehensive review. We cover everything from reasons to nearshore software development to Puerto Rico to ways you can hire local talent. You'll also learn how the costs of hiring developers from the island compare to doing so in the US.

Benefits of Outsourcing Software Development to Puerto Rico

When you hire Porto Rican developers, you get to enjoy all the positive sides of cost-efficient hiring without sacrificing the quality of work. Having a remote workforce in a close-by territory has many other benefits you may not be aware of immediately. Let's take a closer look at the main advantages of outsourcing software development to Puerto Rico.

Same or Adjacent Time Zone to US Eastern Time

Depending on the time of the year, Puerto Rico is only an hour ahead of US EST or the same time as EDT. As the ET zone covers 23 US states, many US companies can collaborate with Puerto Rican employees in real-time. Those residing in other countries shouldn't worry, though, because there's a time zone overlap between the US and Puerto Rico. In any case, US companies can work with their remote teams in real-time at least in one part of the workday.

Working in the same time zone is very important for remote teams since it ensures swift collaboration. Plus, all workers can start their workday together and do projects as a team. Some benefits of overlapping time zones include:

  • Better Communication: When all employees work simultaneously, communication is seamless. There's also no need for repeated meetings or excessive negotiation about the best time to get on a call.
  • Reduced Latency: A collaboration between distant teams can often cause a delay in communication due to the time difference. With Puerto Rico being in the same time zone as the US, there's no time-caused latency.
  • Reduced Work-Related Stress: If team members constantly have to work, attend meetings, and collaborate with their peers at odd hours, they may become stressed. Working in the same or overlapping time zone prevents this issue.

US Territory

As Puerto Rico is a US territory, you don't have to worry about legal hassles when outsourcing software development to the region. The US courts and laws apply in Puerto Rico, so you'll be able to enjoy all the benefits like working with a US-based team.

First and foremost, Puerto Rico uses the same USD currency. That makes it easy to manage payroll and saves costs on currency conversions. The country also follows the same federal labor laws as the US, so you won't have to go through the hassle of familiarizing yourself with any new requirements.

When outsourcing services to distant countries, in most cases, you need a local legal team familiar with one country's labor code and employment legislation. That's not the case with Puerto Rico, and your existing US legal team will suffice.

It also helps that the Puerto Rican government supports the tech industry development and wants to make the island an attractive destination for foreign investors. The government offers a wide range of tax incentives for companies that set up shops in the country.

IP Protection

When you hire remote workers, intellectual property protection is a pressing concern. If you don't follow proper procedures, you could risk losing your company's trade secrets or copyrighted material. With Puerto Rican employees, you don't have to worry about this. The island abides by US federal laws for intellectual property protection you probably comply with already.

Puerto Rico also has laws to protect the intellectual property of businesses. The Puerto Rico Trademark Act is a prime example. Other IP protection laws include the Moral Rights Act, Trade Secrets Act, and the Right of Publicity Act.

English Speaking

The majority of the Puerto Rican workforce is proficient in English since public schools teach English as a second language. Because of the strong relationship with the US, the island also experiences a strong influence of the English language through media outlets.

Nevertheless, the official language in Puerto Rico is still Spanish, and not every worker is bilingual. Before you hire Puerto Rican developers, make sure they are proficient in English. Otherwise, you may have a language barrier between your teams and experience project delays and unexpected costs.

Geographic Proximity to the US

Puerto Rico is quite close to the US. In fact, you can take a two and a half hour flight from Miami to Puerto Rico. The proximity between both countries is important if you occasionally need to see your remote teams in person.

Similar Culture

Work culture is a significant indicator of your employees' performance and productivity. When people nurture a similar company culture, they often feel better aligned and more comfortable with each other. All of this impacts every company's bottom line, as employee satisfaction plays a substantial role in a team's productivity, performance, and results.

As Puerto Rico is close and tightly connected to the US, it also has a similar culture. Most Puerto Ricans are quite familiar with the work habits and preferences of their US colleagues. They will make your onboarding process and further business operations as easy as they can be.


Outsourcing software development to Puerto Rico is very cost-effective, especially compared to hiring within the US. You can hire Puerto Rican developers with the same skills as their US colleagues at much lower rates. Read more about the pay rates in the following section.

Cost of Hiring Puerto Rican Software Developers

As mentioned earlier, the cost of hiring Puerto Rican software developers is lower than hiring US developers. Let's take a closer look at the salary differences in both countries.

Average Yearly Salary Rates for Puerto Rican Software Engineers

The average yearly salary of Puerto Rican software engineers is $100,312.45. Software engineers with more than ten years of experience can earn up to $125,000.00 per year.

In comparison, software engineers in the US earn $114,768 per year on average. The average salary for U.S. based senior level software engineers with more can be around $140,152.

Cons of Nearshoring Software Development to Puerto Rico

Although outsourcing software development to Puerto Rico has many advantages, there are some disadvantages too. US companies planning to hire Puerto Rican developers must be aware of these downsides of outsourcing tech jobs:

Difficult for US Companies to Reach Local Developers

US companies may find it hard to reach local talent in Puerto Rico, especially if they previously haven't had any particular connections with the country. Although many exceptional developers reside in Puerto Rico, finding the right one for your company can be challenging. You'll have to do thorough research on the local job market and invest a lot of effort and some resources in the candidate recruitment and assessment process. Even then, you can end up without finding the right candidate.

Smaller Talent Pool

In recent years, Puerto Rico has made steps toward enhancing tech education and STEM initiatives. But its talent pool is still relatively small compared to the number of software developers in the US. This can make it difficult for companies to find the best candidates for their project requirements.

Due to the current economic crisis in Puerto Rico, many talented developers are leaving the territory for better job opportunities in other countries. Thus, US companies may struggle to find competent developers who fit the job description.

Navigating Unfamiliar State Laws and Regulations

While it's true that Puerto Rico is a US territory and abides by US federal laws, it also has state laws. When you hire employees from Puerto Rico, you need to comply with these regulations. For example, you must ensure that you're not misclassifying your employees. Misclassification occurs when you incorrectly classify an employee as an independent contractor. Doing so can lead to penalties and fines from the state government.

Besides, you'll need to be familiar with the payroll, tax, and other guidelines as per the Puerto Rican laws. All of this adds some degree of hassle when you nearshore software development to Puerto Rico.

Revelo: We Find, Hire, and Onboard Puerto Rican Developers Compliantly for You

Do you want to minimize your work and keep the recruitment process cost-efficient? Revelo can help. From hiring to onboarding, Revelo takes care of all your remote hiring needs, allowing you to focus on business expansion rather than application vetting and other aspects of recruitment.

Most Revelo users review their first candidate in as little as three days and hire developers in just a month. Since Revelo connects you with pre-vetted software developers in Puerto Rico and other countries with US adjacent time zones, you can streamline and speed up your hiring process without taking on any responsibility yourself.

Furthermore, we handle all the possible issues listed above. Revelo matches you with the best tech talent in Puerto Rico according to your specific needs. We also manage legal requirements for your utter convenience.

Where to Source and Hire Puerto Rican Developers

When it comes to outsourcing software developers to Puerto Rico, locating the best local talent is crucial. As we've already discussed, Puerto Rico has a small talent pool, and finding software developers is difficult due to a scarcity of job boards. Thus, the most suitable options for finding software developers in the country are tech hubs or talent platforms.

Tech Hubs in Puerto Rico

A tech hub is a physical or virtual place where tech entrepreneurs, startups, and investors come together to exchange ideas and build relationships. Essentially, it's a community of people passionate about technology and its application. In Puerto Rico, there are a few tech hubs that serve as excellent resources for finding software developers. San Juan is the most prominent among them.

San Juan

San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico and is often considered the tech hub of the island. The city is home to many accelerators, co-working spaces, and incubators ideal for finding software developers.

One of the best accelerator programs in San Juan is Parallel18. It's a startup accelerator that helps early-stage companies grow their businesses. The five-month program provides business connections and mentorship and grants to help Puerto Rican companies grow.

Additionally, San Juan is home to several colleges, schools, and universities where students are actively enrolling in tech courses and degrees due to the tech-inclined landscape in the country. You can expect to find the right fit for your company in San Juan and neighboring areas.

Tech Talent Services That Specialize in Latin America

If you don't have the time and resources to locate talent in Latin America, you can use a tech talent service. Talent marketplaces partner up with companies to find, vet, and hire software developers suitable for their needs. They can have many benefits for your business:

  • Fill the Skills Gap: By working with a tech talent service, you can fill the skill gaps in your teams or organization as a whole. In today's competitive world, it's essential to take the lead over your competition. You can only achieve this if your teams have the required skills to excel in the industry.
  • Ongoing Support: Tech talent services also provide continuous support to their clients. You can get help whenever you need it. Whether you're looking for someone to work on a specific project or you need someone to fill a long-term position, these services will be there to assist you.
  • Reduced Hiring Costs: One of the biggest benefits of using a tech talent service is the cost savings. When you work with a tech talent platform, you're not only getting access to a large pool of pre-vetted developers, but you're also getting help with the recruiting and vetting process. It can save your company a lot of time and money in the long run.
  • Quick Hiring: On average, it takes companies six to seven weeks to fill an open position. The hiring process is a lengthy procedure in which you need to find, vet, interview, and onboard talent. Meanwhile, a tech talent service like Revelo can help you find and hire your talent in just 30 days.

While there are many tech talent services available these days, you should work with one that provides access to a vast pool of tech talent. Here's the best option for US companies:


Revelo is the one-stop for all your remote hiring needs in Latin America. You can find the right tech talent from the platform in less than a month and onboard them smoothly without wasting any time. All tech professionals on Revelo are pre-vetted and residents of countries with US adjacent time zones.

With Revelo, you don't have to spend extra money or time vetting applicants or onboarding your remote workforce. We pick the best candidates for your needs, and you approve of them after conducting interviews. Afterward, we take over the onboarding process, manage your paperwork, conduct payments, and ensure you stay compliant with local laws.

If you want to try outsourcing software development to Puerto Rico with Revelo, all you need to do is contact us or start your 14-day free trial.

Learn More: Engineers in Mexico: A Remote Tech Talent Opportunity

Key Takeaways

Puerto Rico is one of the best places to hire software developers since it's close to the US geographically and culturally. The tech talent on the island is highly-educated, and you can work with your remote employees in real-time due to the similar time zones.

Although hiring from Puerto Rico does have its disadvantages, these are easy to handle with the right partner. Revelo can help you access the country's limited talent pool and navigate unfamiliar state laws.

If outsourcing software development to Puerto Rico sounds like an appealing option for your business, don't hesitate to reach out. We'll listen to your needs and explain how we can aid you in finding the best tech talent at affordable prices.

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