The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Starting A Business in Mexico

In light of financial instability and uncertainty, many prospective entrepreneurs are taking their new businesses to Mexico.  There are plenty of reasons this may be a viable option for you as well, including Mexico’s healthy bank system, a favorable exchange rate of roughly 13 Mexican pesos to the American dollar, not to mention their perpetually warm weather and beaches that draw crowds of the self-employed.  If you’re still on the fence with some unresolved issues, here are the most frequently asked questions of prospective business owners to give you some perspective.

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What sort of business will be successful?  If you’re looking to start a business, any business, just so long as it will get you to Mexico, you can’t go wrong with a Bed and Breakfast.  Mexico’s tourism industry, especially along its expat beaches, is booming.  Otherwise, if you have any experience in freelance industries, such as writing, editing, or photography, you could always set yourself up as a consultant for other English-speakers in these areas.

How expensive is real estate in Mexico?  It’s relatively inexpensive, but as with anything, that depends on where you go and where the market is.  You will have to make a decision: is cheap land far from the expat community really the best value, or is it better to pay a little extra for higher returns?  Either way, keep in mind that if you purchase land through a corporation, you must use a “fideicomiso,” or land trust, or you will pay more in your yearly corporate tax filings.

How helpful will a lawyers be?  A lawyer of your own – don’t trust any local lawyers, who may very well be double-dealing – is indispensable in navigating the Mexican bureaucracy and various contracts with various parties.  Be sure to hire someone trustworthy and ethical to help you.

What preliminary steps should I take?  To make sure your product or service is marketable in Mexico, you should conduct a marketing survey of your possible consumer base.  Luckily, Mexico is used to a flood of American products, so they will most likely find it easy to accept yours.

Image 13What cultural differences should I prepare for?  Things move slower south of the border.  For example, most businesses close down for a few hours in the afternoon, and then reopen when the temperature is cooler.  Similarly, contracts that you may expect to return to you in a few business days might take weeks; try to be patient with this different way of doing things.

How can I find employees?  Try looking in regular job forums and classifieds, and don’t underestimate the use of social media sites such as LinkedIn.  But keep in mind that Mexican law is very accommodating to its employees, and if you want to fire anyone without paying them three months of salary, you will have to prove without a doubt that they deserved it.

One of the best things you can do to test the waters of starting a business in Mexico would be to move down there for a few weeks, scout out land, and see how you like the environment.  Get started with Spanish lessons as soon as possible; send us an enquiry, or try our free online Spanish language level test.