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Starting a Business in Mexico

By Yucatan Expatriate Services on June 13, 2010

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We are frequently asked how to find a job in Mexico. The simple answer is that it’s difficult for a foreigner to find employment in Mexico unless they are relocated by their company or have special qualifications that would favor them over a Mexican citizen. Special qualifications include jobs that require specific managerial, technical or language skills. For example, a resort in Cancun may offer employment to a foreigner who is bilingual and has international training in hospitality management.

In truth, the best way to find a job in Mexico is to do what many Mexicans do, which is to start your own business. The majority of Mexicans are self-employed in some enterprise, either formally or informally.

factoryMany foreigners have moved to Mexico and started successful businesses. Some are multinational corporations, such as Wal-Mart or General Motors.  Foreign manufacturers have moved some of their operations to Mexican factories, called maquiladoras.  Individual entrepreneurs start various kinds of businesses, such as opening a small hotel, managing a real estate agency, operating a tour company or simply renting their vacation home. Others work for foreign employers, using the Internet to telecommute to the office.

Regardless of the business you conduct in Mexico, however, any income earned while physically in Mexico is subject to Mexican taxation, whether the income is from a foreign or domestic source. For this reason, it’s important to know the laws and requirements for operating a business legally in Mexico.  Not that long ago, the laws were rarely enforced and foreigners were tempted to ignore them. Those who do so today are taking the unnecessary risk of losing their business investment.

Business Activity
There are some business activities in which foreigners are not allowed to participate. Only the Mexican Government can operate a business involved with oil exploration, extraction or distribution. This well-known government-owned company is called Petróleos de México or PEMEX.  Another government-owned energy company is the Comisión Federal de Electricidad or CFE, which is Mexico’s electric company.

Some business activities require that all or some of the stock holders or members of the company be Mexican citizens. The mining and transportation industries are among these. But most business activities pursued by foreigners are not restricted. If you are unsure if your proposed business activity is restricted, contact us for clarification.

Work Visa
The first step in starting a business in Mexico is to obtain the correct visa. Resident visas with provisions that allow the visa holder to earn income in Mexico are mandatory. The requirements for obtaining one of these visas are straightforward, and if the requirements are satisfied, approval is routine. To learn how to apply for a resident visa, read our article: FM3 and FM2 Visas. For comprehensive information about immigration laws and procedures, download our Immigration Guide.

Note: If you form a company in Mexico, actions taken by a foreigner as an officer of the company without proper visa status will have no legal effect. While the process of obtaining proper visa status is pending, major acts or transactions may be conducted on behalf of the company by a special delegate appointed specifically for such purposes by a member meeting in the case of a Limited Liability Company or by a shareholders meeting in the case of a corporation.

Tax Identity
<em>Cedula de Indentificación Fiscal</em>There are two types of tax identities in Mexico. A persona fisica is an individual taxpayer. A persona moral is a business entity, such as a corporation. If you work as an individual and earn income directly from clients, or if you work for a Mexican company and receive income or dividends, you are required to pay taxes as a persona fisica using your personal tax identification number. If you establish a Mexican corporation or Limited Liability Company, the business entity is required to pay income taxes as a persona moral using its tax identification number.

The Mexican tax authority is called Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público (SHCP) or simply “Hacienda” for short. The administrative division of the SHCP for tax collection is called Servicio de Administración Tributaria or SAT. They issue a Cédula de Identificación Fiscal, which is a certificate bearing the Registro Federal de Contribuyente or RFC. The RFC is the tax ID number.

Business Structure
The business structure you choose will depend on your business activity, level of expected income, type of capital equipment, number of employees, legal liabilities and many other factors.

Independent Contractor
If you are an individual providing your services to clients and are willing to accept personal liability, then you can probably conduct business and pay taxes as a persona fisica and not establish a Mexican business entity.  This kind of worker is generally referred to as an independent contractor. These jobs include lawyers, doctors, translators, photographers, massage therapists and consultants, to name a few. As an independent contractor, you can issue formal invoices called facturas to clients that require them, and these clients will withhold and pay your taxes. Income received from these clients is called honorarios. If you receive income that is not reported by your clients, you are personally liable for the withholding taxes and they must be paid by you through a Mexican tax accountant.

Note: Foreigners who want to perform certain activities, such as legal or medical services, will need to validate their credentials according to Mexican legal criteria for their specific field.

Sole-Ownership Corporation
There is technically no such thing as a “sole proprietorship” in Mexican business law. However, there is a sole-ownership form of company called Actividad Empresarial. There can be only one shareholder and the individual is liable for any and all aspects and activities of the business, and his personal assets are at risk. Neither can the corporation own real assets. But it can employ others, issue facturas and pay taxes as a business entity.

Note: Independent contractors and small businesses, such as the above, may receive a tax designation from SAT called Pequenos Contribuyente, or small contributor. If the business earns less than $1.5 million pesos per year (roughly $120,000 dollars), then it can pay a reduced flat tax with simplified tax filing. Foreigners must hold a working visa to qualify.

Limited Liability Company
A Mexican LLC is called a Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (S. de R.L.) or if funded with variable capital, the title is appended with de C.V. This business entity is similar in most respects to Limited Liability Companies in other countries. The Members of a Mexican S. de R.L. are liable only for the amount of their investment and may or may not receive income, depending on their role. This business entity can issue facturas and own real property. Taxes are paid on a monthly and annual basis. These are the requirements and conditions for starting this kind of company:

  • Minimum capital requirement: $3,000 MXN (~$240 USD)
  • Minimum of two members
  • Members make an initial investment that establishes their percentage of ownership
  • One membership per investor. Votes are determined by investment. (For example, if one member invests $2,900 pesos, and the second member invests $100 pesos, Member #1 has 29 votes and Member #2 has 1 vote.)
  • Decisions must be approved by a majority of member votes, representing more than 51% of the capital, unless the company bylaws require a higher majority percentage
  • The company can be managed by a single manager or be board managed
  • Management can be members of the LLC or a third party appointed for that purpose
  • The highest authority for this company resides with the Members Meeting

Corporation
A Mexican corporation is called a Sociedad Anonima (S.A.) or if funded with variable capital, the title is appended with de C.V. This business entity is similar in most respects to corporations in other countries. Shareholders are not personally liable other than for the actions taken by them as members of the management of the company. The company can issue facturas, hold real property and pays taxes on a monthly and annual basis. The following should be considered when establishing a Mexican corporation:

  • Minimum capital requirement: $50,000 MXN (~$4,000 USD)
  • Minimum of two shareholders
  • A shareholder’s investment establishes their percentage of ownership
  • In order to establish the corporation, initial stockholders must deposit at least 20% of the total share value into a bank account in the name of the corporation. The remaining 80% must deposited into the same account according to a schedule established by the shareholders.
  • The company may be managed by a single individual (Administrador Unico) or a board of directors (Consejo de Administración) (who may or may not be shareholders). Directors are appointed by a meeting of shareholders for a specified period of time and are subject to dismissal.
  • The supreme authority of the company is the Shareholder’s Meeting
  • Ordinary shareholder meetings are held at least annually to appoint or release directors, establish compensation and approve the company’s financial statement. Extraordinary meetings can be held as required to modify company bylaws or for any other reason.
  • Decisions in ordinary shareholder meetings must be approved by at least 51% of the votes. In extraordinary meetings, decisions must be approved by at least 75% of the votes.

These business entities are established through a legal document called a Constitutiva. From a legal, accounting and business administration perspective, there are no meaningful differences between a Mexican corporation and a Limited Liability Company. The only significant differences are those related to the formation and management of the company, as indicated above.

According to the Ley de Inversion Extranjera (Foreign Investment Law), in becoming a member or shareholder of a Mexican business entity,  you agree to act and be treated like a Mexican citizen in the context of property ownership and business operations. Any attempt to seek protection from your country of origin can result in forfeiture of your shares or membership in that business entity.

One of the advantages of establishing a Mexican business entity is the ability to hire employees. Foreigners need to be aware that Mexico’s laws and traditions generally favor the employee over the employer in any dispute. For this reason, it is important to learn what constitutes fair treatment of workers in Mexico and how to protect your business interests in the event of a conflict. We strongly recommend that foreigners intending to hire employees in Mexico download and study our Employment Guide.

Other Business Structures
There are several other types of business entities in Mexico that don’t often apply to foreigners starting a business here. These include non-profit organizations called Associación Civil (A.C.), which are mostly charitable groups, and professional organizations called Sociedad Civil (S.C.), which are generally comprised of accountants, lawyers, teachers, engineers and others with shared disciplines. If you have an interest in starting one of these types of business entities, please contact us for more information.

Business Opportunities in Mexico
Mexico’s modernized economy is more vibrant than is generally recognized and offers a unique opportunity to foreigners thinking of starting a business.  Over the past ten years, Mexico’s stock market has outperformed the S&P 500 by 400%. Economists estimate that Mexico’s Gross National Product (GDP) will grow more than twice as fast as the United States’ in the coming year. Surprisingly,  job growth in Mexico exceeded that of the United States over the past two years. In the last ten years, the public and private sector have invested millions in new or improved infrastructure, including highways, airports, broadband Internet, schools, health care facilities and shopping malls.

mexbol-chart

If you are looking for a new career, see a fresh opportunity or have special skills that are needed in Mexico, it’s never been easier to start your own business “south of the border”. Yucatan Expatriate Services is here to help. We offer a full range of consulting, accounting and legal services to ensure that your business startup is done right the first time.

Disclaimer: This article represents the opinions of the writers and does not constitute legal or accounting advice. It is recommended that before taking any action, you should consult with your own accountant or lawyer who is familiar with the laws and customs in Yucatan and in Mexico, and the circumstances surrounding your particular situation.

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This article represents the opinions of the writers and does not constitute legal or accounting advice. It is recommended that before taking any action, you should consult with your own accountant or lawyer who is familiar with the laws and customs in Yucatan and in Mexico, and the circumstances surrounding your situation.
 

159 Responses to “ Starting a Business in Mexico ”

  • Bill said on June 14th, 2010 11:44 am

    Thank you very much for the business info.
    Will be sure to contact you later.
    Bill

  • Marieke Baumgartner said on June 14th, 2010 12:55 pm

    Interesting article as all your publications are. Many thanks for sharing this information with us. Best regards, Marieke

  • brian said on July 21st, 2010 10:24 pm

    I was wondering if Mexico offers money to people coming into the country to start their own businesses or do you have to come into Mexico with your own money?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on July 22nd, 2010 7:54 am

    Brian, as far as we know, there are no government programs to give money to foreigners to start businesses. You must come with your own money.

  • Linda said on November 1st, 2010 6:48 am

    I’m artistically inclined and hold a bachelor’s degree in art. That was not my career in the states; I was a psychologist. I am wondering if I am permitted to sell my various works of art along side other vendors? If I’m the only one in the “business” do I still need permission or permits and if so what?

  • Adriana Cruz said on November 4th, 2010 1:43 pm

    Linda, if you will be having a store you have to comply with some city hall permits, as well as to determine if you will be having this business as an individual or as a corporation, in order to file taxes. Also, if your current visa is only to live here for nonprofit purposes, you will have to modify that in order to get a working visa. Please contact me for further assistance: adriana@yucatanyes.com

  • Kirk said on December 2nd, 2010 3:43 am

    I am interested in starting/doing business in mexico. I have a corporation in the USA and was wondering if I can do business as a foreign corp. I’ve heard that you can and you pay taxes just like a Mexican Corp. Where can I find this info ? I would have no employees in Mexico and the business is in Finance. Thanks

  • Adriana said on December 3rd, 2010 7:36 pm

    Kirk, yes you could do it as “branch” but it is not recommendable, since it has more requirements and expenses than incorporating a new one, and all US assets of the US entity are on risk, as opposed to incorporating a new one here, limiting liability to the contributed capital. For further information, please contact me at adriana@yucatanyes.com

  • Dave Withee said on January 2nd, 2011 5:09 am

    I have over 25 years experiance in residential and light commercial water conditioning including Desalinization. I see one company in Merida and wondered if there might be more. I have tried to contact them but got no reply. I would like to be of service to the Canadian and American “snow birds” as well as those who live there full time. I would like to have a small bussiness with a small yet exclusive clientel. Do you think this may be a benifite to the area around greater Progresso??

  • Adriana said on January 19th, 2011 1:57 pm

    Dave, I think it is just great that you are trying to come to Mexico and try to open a business of your own. What I can tell you is that the expat community in Progreso and nearby areas is growing and the offer of services is not as large as in Merida, so starting from that you already have an advantage. I wrote you an e-mail a couple of days ago to set up an appointment here at YES as per your request; i think during your visit to Yucatan you´ll be able to investigate further about the market and also in our meeting we can provide you with extra information.

  • Lynn said on February 16th, 2011 3:37 pm

    I have a cupcake business here in the US. My husband and I want to re-locate to Merida, Yucatan. Is there a need for this type of business there and would it be hard to get started?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on March 1st, 2011 4:22 pm

    Please don’t take this wrong, but we can’t resist: Is there ever a NEED for a cupcake business? There are bakeries here, and some companies that sell cookies. We have not yet seen a cupcake store like there is in the States. Something like that might work in a highly-attended tourist area like Cancun or Playa del Carmen.

  • WilliamLawson said on March 1st, 2011 8:28 pm

    There was no need for cookies until a local entrepeneur opened a shop; now she has 4 locations in Merida alone. A cupcake business was opened recently in a local mall but it has now closed for lack of sales.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on March 3rd, 2011 6:52 pm

    William Lawson happens to be married to the local entrepreneur he is referring to, who has been very successful selling cookies. As I think he is pointing out, it takes more than a quality product to be successful here, as anywhere. If you are a good business person AND have a good product, you can probably make it work here. But you might be starting at a disadvantage without a good understanding of the local culture.

  • WilliamLawson said on March 4th, 2011 1:10 am

    Besides showing about the free cookies, that was what I was getting at. Everyone said “cookies???” but if you do it right, you can be very successful.

  • WilliamLawson said on March 4th, 2011 1:11 am

    meant to say “showing off” :)

  • Leslie said on March 23rd, 2011 2:12 pm

    Hi. I am living in Mexico and have my FM3. I am opening a women’s clothing shop with clothing from India in an expat area. I will be hiring two Mexican women. I am just starting the work papers process. In your experience, is this likely to get approved? How long does the process generally take? is there anything I can do to make my application more favorable? My long-term goal is to expand this store to other tourist areas and larger cities withing Mexico.

  • Adriana said on March 29th, 2011 11:28 am

    Leslie, by Mexico you mean Mexico City? If yes, procedures there have different timing than in Yucatan which is the place in Mexico where we are specialized in opening companies, so I cannot provide you with accurate information on that. If your company complies with the Mexican Government requirements you are likely to be approved. If you are importing clothing from India, you should have the required permits to do such imports and hire a customs broker for it as well. I don´t think there is something you can do to make your application more favorable; sometimes companies or stores that will have a significant amount of employees can be more attractive to the authorities, but this is not your case. My advice will be to always act according to law, present the documents you are being requested and be patient. If you need further information on the subject you can contact me to my e-mail address: adriana@yucatanyes.com

  • Danielle Love said on April 3rd, 2011 12:26 pm

    I am currently an experienced Spanish teacher in the U.S., I recently visited Tulum, Isla Mujers, and a lot of what s between and noticed the need for both Spanish and Englsh learnng. I want to open my own busniness teaching either Spanish to tourists or English to locals or both. I have thought of both opening and actual school and of just being available to go to homes or businesses to teach. I am also interested in being a directora of a Spanish or English language school that is already in existance. What are your thoughts on what would be most sucessful and where. I would rather not live in Cancun.

  • Danielle Love said on April 3rd, 2011 12:37 pm

    Edited:
    I am currently an experienced Spanish teacher in the United States. I recently visited Tulum, Isla Mujeres, and a lot of what is between and noticed the need for both Spanish and Englsh learning. Part of me wants to open my own business teaching either Spanish to tourists or English to locals or both. I have thought of both opening an actual school and of just being available to go to homes or businesses to teach (school w/o the costs of a building). I am also interested in being a directora of a Spanish or English language school that is already in existence. What are your thoughts on what would be most sucessful and where?

  • Steve Wilkinson said on April 3rd, 2011 7:19 pm

    I am a very proficient efficiency engineer an have some experince in consulting on that topic. My wife was born in Mexico an we are neain retirement age. What are the prospects in Yucatan for finding companies in search of cost reduction, problem solving and “lean manufacturing” expertise? I both teach, coach and apply these principles. What companies in the Yucatan should I contact? Thanks, Steve

  • Adriana said on April 6th, 2011 5:57 pm

    Danielle, you could come to Merida or other cities in the Yucatan State to do this. You could start giving classes on your own or contact already existing schools. About opening one, that would also be a good idea, rather than expecting to be hired by someone that you start your own business. What I am trying to say is that all the ideas you have are feasible, althought you have to know there are already language schools here and also private tutors. If you need more information about this, please contact me at adriana@yucatanyes.com

  • Adriana said on April 6th, 2011 6:14 pm

    Steve, there are some manufacturing companies in Yucatan that are known as “maquiladoras”; they are from the apparel and jewerly sectors mostly. Please contact the “Association of Maquiladoras in Yucatan” for further information: http://www.amey.org.mx

  • John said on May 16th, 2011 9:34 am

    I’m 68 and my wife is 52 years old. We are both SCUBA Instructors; I am also a certified cave diver. We have an LLC and a website in the US where we offer a very specific and “high end” form of training. We have no storefront or retail business and seek none. We have 23 years of dive history in Quintana Roo and have wanted to relocate to the area for a long time. I collect Social Security but my wife is still 7.5 years away from touching her retirement money. I speak “good enough” Spanish and some Maya. I spent a month in Merida in 2006 doing a Spanish immersion with a family in Col. Miguel Aleman. I would want to offer the same high end mentoring in Cozumel that we now offer online. I would not want a boat, a store or employees but would use my colleagues there (all Mexicans) just as I have for years when we marketed this as dive travel. I have an operator/guide, a videographer and a cave instructor who I can contract with to support my specialized workshops. I could also perhaps contract with them as a cavern guide, for example, on a limited basis. Can you see any ominous roadblocks to this modest business goal? In short we want to live on Cozumel and supplement our income by doing what we love BUT without stepping on too many local toes.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on May 18th, 2011 3:47 pm

    John, in order to live and stay in Mexico, you will need to qualify for a visa. With your Social Security income, you can probably qualify as a rentista, but your wife may not be able to. It would be best to give us a call to go into this in more detail. As for stepping on local people’s toes in the scuba diving industry on Cozumel, it sounds to us like you would be doing the same thing you are doing in the States, and they are friends with you and get business from you now. We see no reason why that shouldn’t continue and they shouldn’t continue to be happy about it, but you would probably do best to check with one of them to be sure.

  • tabbatha mounce said on May 20th, 2011 4:28 pm

    i am a tattoo artist and i was wondering if progreso has any tattoo shops. i would like to move there and open my own shop. what are the rules and regulations? i’ve been told that you could open up out of your home. while i wouldn’t want to do that it seems like the laws are pretty lax. any info would be appreciated.

  • Adriana said on May 20th, 2011 5:52 pm

    Tabbatha, there must be tattoo shops in Progreso. Regarding rules and regulations you would certainly need a permit from the Health Deparment in Yucatan. In Mexico if you are having a business you have to report it to tax authorities and pay taxes, just like anywhere else. Of course there are “businesses” that do not do it, but they are just lucky they have not been caught. We would be happy to help you do some research in the Progreso are as well as to provide you a complete guide on the regulations you need to comply with to open your shop. If you are interested please contact me at: adriana@yucatanyes.com

  • Theresa Penhasi said on June 16th, 2011 11:53 pm

    I live in Baja California Sur and am interested in opening a very small fishing and tackle store. I am unsure of how to go about obtaining the inventory at retail and importing it without having to open my books to the US government showing that I have sold good in the US. Is the best way to get an import/export license? Would I still be subject to import taxes being on such a small level? I will have one partner in this venture with no employees. Do I need to incorporate? My main concern is getting goods into Mexico retail and not having to show the US government sales on those goods and skirting around import taxes.

  • Irma said on June 20th, 2011 2:36 am

    Hi there. I used to live in Playa del Carmen from 1995-2000 and now I am thinking about going back to start my own business. Last time I was there I noticed that there were still no decent underwear/dessous-shops. I believe, if the shop is adequate (no cheap stuff), it could work. What do you think? Any recommendations? Are there decent manufacturers in Mexico or do you recommend importing?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on June 28th, 2011 2:18 pm

    Theresa, we cannot comment on how to pay or avoid paying US taxes. If you have a business in Mexico, you can incorporate or you can set up a small business (pequeño contribuyente). In either case, you should see a local accountant. Whenever you are in business in Mexico, we recommend that you hire an accountant to help you file your monthly and yearly tax returns.

  • Virginia said on July 10th, 2011 12:00 pm

    I operate a successful gift basket company in the US. I am thinking about moving to Merida. Is this something that is culturally transferable? Does this type of business exist there?

  • Adriana said on July 11th, 2011 5:42 pm

    Virginia, actually we do have these type of businesses here. The basket giving is very traditional in Merida specially during Christmas season; typical products include: wine, champagne, cheese, olives, chocolates, tuna, salmon, olive oil, vinegar,etc (take a look at this site: http://www.rcregalos.com.mx). However this market has been diversifying lately to include other products like fruits and vegetables or plush toys, in order to make it interesting for all seasons. If you have other questions you can contact me to adriana@yucatanyes.com

  • Tina said on July 12th, 2011 7:25 pm

    Myself and my husband are very experienced European hair stylists wondering if a freelance hairstylist would work in the Playa del carmen/Cancun area? We might consider setting up a small salon but at first we would have a web site and do some marketing. Would it be difficult to get a visa? Also is there anywhere else in the Yucatan that this might work?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on July 28th, 2011 1:03 pm

    Tina, you can set up a company and get a visa as the executives of that company. This costs money with a lawyer and an accountant, but it is easy to do. There are, of course, many salons in Mexico. However, a good hair stylist is always a popular person, especially in the expatriate community (one who speaks English). Other places that might have enough traffic for that type of business might be Merida and Tulum… but as you recognize, it is a matter of good marketing. Also, unless you are in a very popular tourist area, like Playa, you will probably need to also cultivate clients from the local community in order to do well. Good luck!

  • Ken said on August 7th, 2011 11:59 am

    I am a canadian dentist looking to move to Mexico.Are there any requirements in order for me to open my own practice or work with/for a local dentist.Is my licence recognized and do I need to any exams to qualify to practice in Mexico. Thank-you Ken S.

  • Adriana said on August 8th, 2011 5:59 pm

    Ken, you will have to validate your studies before the Mexican Ministry of Education (SEP in Spanish) in order for your license to be recognized. You will need to present some documents and wait for approximately 15 days. There is also a fee involved. If you need further information please contact me to adriana@yucatanyes.com.

  • Brian said on September 13th, 2011 10:18 pm

    Hello, my name is Brian and my wife and I recently made a trip to the Mexican Riviera. We loved the area and taveled around Quintana Roo to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Moreles, and Tulum. My wife is a MExican citizen, having been born and raised the first 25 years of her life in Michoacan. We want to open up a clothing and accessory store around the Chetumal area. We noticed there were no high end stores for labels like Nautica, D&G, Polo or Tommy. Can you recommend proper procedures for importing the clothes from America. We are planning on doing this within 6 months and from our trip, we know there is a good market for us. Thank for any suggestions!!!!!

  • Adriana said on September 19th, 2011 6:49 pm

    Brian, we would suggest you to contact a customs broker to help you in the import procedures; as far as we know importing apparel may be subject to taxes depending on the place where you are making the import from. Please contact “Agencia Aduanal del Valle”, they are affiliated to the YES network: http://www.aadelvalle.com.mx, malu@aadelvalle.com.mx.

  • Lawson said on September 22nd, 2011 2:18 am

    Import tariffs on clothing made in Asia are ridiculous plus many Mexicans from this area, even from Merida, cross over to Belize (through Chetumal) to buy ultra cheap knockoffs of brand name merchandise. The people that can afford originals go to Miami or Houston.

    Analyze this idea carefully!

    My two cents…

  • Robert Anderson said on October 13th, 2011 1:57 am

    I have a website business that I operate on my own and make a very decent living. I’ve been doing it for years now, but would like to live in Mexico and do my business work (2-3 hours a day these days) legally and from my home. What is the best way to go about this? Can you recommend resources? What percentage taxes does one pay on income like that?
    Thank you for this great resource!

  • Bruce Donahue said on October 17th, 2011 9:13 pm

    We will be operating a business tied to the cruise lines. My question is do we need to incorporate in Mexico? Or can we be covered by the flag that the vessel is registered with (through maritime law) in Cozumel? We would like to approach this legitimately, and not incur any issues down the line. We will be operating a tourism vessel and offering a variety of services like sightseeing, weddings, and a late night booze-cruise. We will employ 20- 50 people, and our corporation will be mainly individuals from southern Florida. No one will work jobs that can be done by locals; however we will have an American captain that will watch every step.

    We do not want to jeopardize this since there will be a huge expenditure to get this up and running.

  • Betty said on October 17th, 2011 9:43 pm

    Robert, the best way to pay taxes in Mexico will depend on the business activity of your website business. The most significant taxes in Mexico for corporations and individuals are the business flat tax (IETU), income tax (ISR), value added tax (IVA) and tax on cash deposits (IDE). If you need more information about this, please contact me at betty@yucatanyes.com

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on October 18th, 2011 2:44 pm

    Actually, Bruce, there are very strict laws governing this type of activity in Mexico. And the rules are more complicated than we can elaborate in this venue. We suggest that you contact Ignacio Puerto at Puerto Y Pino Law Firm (http://www.puertoypino.com) so that he can refer you to a good lawyer in the Cancun area (same state as Cozumel, Quintana Roo). Ignacio speaks English and he will take care to refer you to someone in Cancun who does as well.

  • Cary said on November 18th, 2011 8:44 am

    I have been visiting Cozumel for 30 years and now have been living there with an FM3-“retired” for about a year and am interested in buying a dive business from a Mexican friend. It includes a boat with all permits, equipment, website,etc. I would employ the current captain. What steps do I need to take? Do I need to keep my Mexican friend as part owner, etc.?

  • Adriana said on November 26th, 2011 12:36 pm

    Cary, we suggest that you contact Ignacio Puerto at Puerto Y Pino Law Firm (http://www.puertoypino.com) so that he can refer you to a good lawyer in the Cozumel area that can offer advise on the business you plan to buy. For preliminary questions, Ignacio can help too.

  • Mike said on February 17th, 2012 3:45 pm

    Adriana,
    I have a Russian partner who desires to move to Mexico. We have the idea of starting a business to serve the ever increasing number of Russian tourists who are visiting the Yucatan. We are in need of doing some market research to learn what tour services are the most beneficial/profitable, etc. Can you point us in the right direction? btw, Luigi Diorio says hello

  • Adriana said on February 17th, 2012 6:44 pm

    Hi Mike, as a starting point, we´d suggest you to visit the website of the Secretary of Tourism in Yucatan: http://sefotur.yucatan.travel/en/; you will find interesting information about what Yucatan offers and also the name and routes of travel agencies and tour companies in the State. If you need further information, you can contact me through my e-mail: adriana@yucatanyes.com. Say hello to Luigi please!

  • Elohisa said on February 20th, 2012 9:54 pm

    Hello There,
    My husband and I are considering the Yucatan as a possible place we may wish to transfer for a few years. We live in Australia at the moment and would like to know if there are any Professional Antique Clock Reapair businesses in Merida, and if it is something people need. My husband has over 30 years experience in repair and restoration of all grandfather, and other types of clocks.
    Thank you.

  • Adriana said on February 24th, 2012 7:37 pm

    Elohisa, there are some stores that sell and repair antique clocks. However, it would be convenient to have more businesses like yours specially for the expat community, whose members speak English and sometimes it is difficult to express themselves with local stores where the owners only speak Spanish. Our advice for you would be that you come to Merida for an exploratory trip and you do some research. If you need our help for this, please contact me through my e-mail adriana@yucatanyes.com.

  • Victoria Safari said on March 12th, 2012 7:20 pm

    I would like to start a sightseeing tour business in Cozumel with the majority of my customers coming from the cruise ships.Where do I start, and do you think this is a good idea?Any advise is appreciated.Thanks

  • Angel said on March 13th, 2012 9:09 pm

    Greetings,

    My name is Angel, my girlfriend and I have recently explored the possibility of moving to Merida and possibly opening up a small Cafe (that also serves spirits) and caters primarily to the Expat community.

    We really aren’t looking to compete with any existing tourist bars, nor are we thinking of building anything too big, we simply want to find a place that we can use to entertain as more of a social club rather than a restaurant.

    I am not sure if there are many places with a similar concept or if the market even exist, nonetheless we plan to take a trip out in May in hopes of learning more about current Americans (or others) working/living in Merida.

    We currently reside in Portland, Oregon, we have successfully owned an establishment like the one described above in a small town in our east coast, we feel very confident that if there are Americans there we can make this work, but I am sure you come across these types of scenarios more often than we do.
    :-)

    Let us know what you think,

    Thanks,

    Angel

  • Adriana said on March 14th, 2012 7:10 pm

    Victoria, the business climate on Cozumel is changing all the time. We cannot recommend whether starting this kind of business is a good idea… in our opinion, you can only make that decision for yourself, and probably only after spending some time there getting to know the place. However, if you have any questions about the technicalities of starting a business in Mexico or doing business in Mexico, we can be of assistance. Thank you for reading the YucatanYES.com website.

  • Adriana said on March 14th, 2012 7:24 pm

    Angel, there is an expat community here and they enjoy going out and having new places where to hang out and meet new people. You´ll see it with your own eyes when you come. Please feel free to contact us to arrange an appointment if you need our assistance while you are in Merida.

  • DanielaCG said on March 22nd, 2012 12:02 pm

    Hi Adriana & YES,

    My Mexican husband & I have been thinking about relocating to Playa Del Carmen (we live in Los Angeles now). I read some previous comments here from a lady who wanted to open a cupcake shop and you advised her to be mindful of the local tastes & culture. Well I want to ask your opinion about opening a pastry shop in Playa: do you think locals would respond favorably to pastries such as cheesecakes, tarts, pies, and European-style pastries, cakes & cookies? I think the tourists would like them, but I really would want to appeal to the locals as well. I’m thinking that my pastries will be something different for them, and if they’re fresh, tasty & natural, good quality sweets, I don’t see why people wouldn’t like them! Will you please let me know what your opinion is about this? Thanks :)

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on April 11th, 2012 1:07 pm

    Elohisa, we do not know of any antique clock repair businesses here in Merida. In order to assess whether or not there is a need for that, we feel you would have to visit here and/or do your own research. Good luck!

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on April 11th, 2012 1:18 pm

    Daniela, we honestly cannot know if your pastry shop would be successful in Playa del Carmen. We encourage you to visit, do your own research and follow your dream. Good luck!

  • Pam said on April 24th, 2012 7:05 pm

    Buenos Noches. Can you tell me if there would be any
    Interest in a custom rug fabricator and ottoman and bench
    Furniture manufacturer in your area?. Would like to
    Expand into Mexico. We have 20 years experience.
    Please advise your opinion. We ship worldwide from our
    Website now.
    Also, thoroughly love your website!

  • Adriana said on April 25th, 2012 6:06 pm

    Pam, we are happy that you enjoy our website! About your question, we do not know if there will be an interest for your type of business in Merida. We encourage to you visit the city and explore it. If you want to begin the procedure to start your business here, we are here to help you with the procedure and paperwork for a small fee. Good luck!

  • DanielaCG said on April 25th, 2012 6:28 pm

    Thank you for the answer! It’s true, nobody can predict the success or failure of a business. However, my question was more about local tastes & preferences when it comes to sweets. For example, here in LA people really love cupcakes, pies, brownies & that kind of stuff. What are the local tastes in that area of Mexico? Based on your observation & knowledge of local preferences, what kind of sweets do Mexicans like? Do they only eat conchas and typical Mexican desserts? Do other types of sweets sell, such as pies, cakes, cupcakes, fruit tarts, cheesecakes, petit fours, etc? Asking you this is part of my research, yes. I just want to know your personal opinions & observations. Many thanks! :)

  • Pam said on April 25th, 2012 7:22 pm

    Adriana,
    Thank you for your reply. We are visiting Oxaca and
    will be in your área next.

  • Adriana said on April 27th, 2012 11:08 am

    Daniela, Mexicans love all kinds of sweets! It´s not like we prefer typical over non-typical, as long as it tastes good, then we´re fine with it! Here in Merida people eat both typical sweets and also cupcakes, cheesecakes, brownies, etc. However, Playa del Carmen is a different market because it is really touristy, a lot more than other cities in Mexico. We think this will give you even a bigger edge, since you will be able to offer your product to a wide variety of people. If you are able to offer something tasty at an affordable price, we don´t see why it wouldn´t work.

  • WilliamLawson said on April 28th, 2012 9:35 am

    Keep in mind safety issues in Playa del Carmen for small independent businesses.

  • DanielaCG said on May 2nd, 2012 4:49 pm

    Many thanks for your answer Adriana! You’re right, there’s so many tourists coming to Playa every year & I’m looking at that as an advantage. When I do finally set up shop there I’ll send you guys a box of samples :)

  • DanielaCG said on May 2nd, 2012 4:51 pm

    WilliamLawson: there are some safety issues for small businesses in Playa? Like robberies? I don’t know anything about that. Please give me more details?

  • Adriana said on May 2nd, 2012 5:52 pm

    Thank you Daniela!

  • TropicalRoo said on May 4th, 2012 6:36 pm

    We would like to open a very hip & small tropical clothing boutique at a beach town in mexico. The clothes would be New U.S Brands brought to Mexico from the U.S. I am a U.S. Citizen and my husband is Mexican. Before we move forward in this brilliant plan I am desperately trying to find rules and laws in regards to importing clothing (into mexico from U.S) on a small scale.

  • Jeremy said on May 5th, 2012 7:55 am

    Hello, this is a great web site. I own a small business in Los Angeles which I’m relocating to Texas. I provide loans to small businesses in the U.S. I would like to open a small call center in Puerto Vallarta. Do you know of any good attorneys in Vallarta/Nayarit? Is it cost effective after all the taxes? I would imagine wages would still be considerably less in Vallarta than San Antonio.

  • Adriana said on May 7th, 2012 4:49 pm

    TropicalRoo, if you want to import goods into Mexico, you will need to get a Tax ID here and file in the “Importer´s Registry” (padrón de importadores in Spanish). You will also need to hire a customs broker. For more details regarding the duties you have to pay for the import, please contact a broker that is close to the beach town in Mexico where you want to do the import. You can chose one from this website, which is from an association of customs brokers in Latin America: http://www.claa.org.mx/socios.php

  • Adriana said on May 7th, 2012 4:55 pm

    Jeremy, thank you. Unfortunately no, we don´t know of attorneys in the Vallara/Nayarit area. My suggestion is that you contact the following organization, they are a group of attorneys from various parts of Mexico (D.F., Monterrey, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí , Puebla, León, Ciudad Juárez and Mérida), perhaps they can recommend one in Vallarta/Nayarit: http://www.lexmex.org

  • SharonC said on May 27th, 2012 5:22 pm

    Hello, love the great info! Thanks! My husband and I own and electrical and HVAC company in the states. Would that be a possible company for an expat or is that monopolized up with many local companies. We stand out here with excellent service. NOt sure if that would even work in Progresso/Merida. Any thoughts?

  • Adriana said on May 29th, 2012 5:11 pm

    Sharon, thanks! We´re glad you like our site. We cannot say if it will work or not, but yes there are many local companies that provide such services. You should try to como here and do some market research and analyze if it would work or not, perhaps it would be good to have one company owned by expats that are looking forward to work for expats!

  • Josh said on May 31st, 2012 6:33 pm

    So next march i am planning on moving to the lovely city of Merida. I have been there 3 times in the last 14 months and have absolutely fallen in love with the city. Luckily that is where my girlfriend is from, so i have a built in support system already, and friends. Anyways, my question is, how big is the fitness community there? My dream would be to open up a gym down there. I am curretly a certified fitess trainer, and soon to be a certified fitness nutritionist. Do you thik this would work well there if that kind of business isn’t already saturated down there? or if there is a need for a gringo trainer for expats? I know there was another trainer who used to be in centro, but i was told he may have moved back to the states. any advice would be truly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Josh

  • Adriana said on June 1st, 2012 5:21 pm

    Josh, there is a growing interest in locals for fitness and nutrition. However, yes there are in Merida plenty of gyms and plenty of nutrionists. However, if you could add to the market something different that is good in costs, we don´t see why it would not be successful. Here are the websites of the 3 biggest gyms in Merida, just so you can get an idea: http://www.meridasportcenter.net/ http://www.exersite.com.mx/merida/ http://goldsgymerida.com.mx/index.html
    There are of course, other smaller gyms.
    Good luck!

  • ALEX said on July 3rd, 2012 7:50 pm

    Adriana just wondering if it is nessesary to hire a lawyer
    in addition to a Notario and an independent Tax Accountant
    when forming SRLde CV Alex

  • Adriana said on July 4th, 2012 12:52 pm

    Alex, to incorporate an S de RL de CV you will definitely need a Notario. After it is incorporated, you will need to hire an accountant to file monthly and annual taxes for the company.

  • Alexander said on July 7th, 2012 3:36 pm

    Hi, this website is great!

    I’d like to set up a business in the Cancun or Tulum area.
    However, I’m not sure what kind of business would be more interesting to other local businesses:

    a) Language school offering language classes in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Chinese. I could also provide language classes focusing on business, technology, etc.

    b) IT company focusing on software engineering, such as development of smartphone apps, logistics software solutions, or server applications

    c) A company giving classes in different IT areas, such as the Microsoft Office, Cisco, Java, C++ Programming, etc.

    Would I need to have any special “teaching licence”?
    I have 3 Bachelor’s degrees and 2 Master’s degrees in computer science, teaching languages, and linguistics respectively.

    I’m a German citizen.

    Best wishes,

    Alexander

  • Adriana said on July 9th, 2012 11:10 am

    Alexander, we´d say you could start with option a) since there´s definitely space for that in Cancun or Tulum because of the tourism/expats living in the area. Of b) and c) we cannot say for sure, it is something you´d have to see and experience once you are established there. You will need to have the appropriate visa to open a business, but not a teaching license.

  • Marc Schulman said on July 9th, 2012 12:13 pm

    I was wondering how different day to day practices of business are different in Mexico then the US. Can you invoice? Do you have to issue a receipt for payment when a receivable is paid by check? Any real differences between accounting in the US and Mexico. Thanks

  • Adriana said on July 10th, 2012 6:14 pm

    Marc, there are many concepts that differ from the way we do business in Mexico than how you do business in the States and these cannot be explained easily in just a few lines. Answering your specific questions: yes you can invoice, here is called “factura” and has a fiscal value, if it does not have a fiscal value, then it is just called “recibo” or “nota”. Most businesses issue “facturas” because they want to deduct taxes. In Mexico, companies should file provisional taxes every month and must comply with an annual tax report with a deadline on March 31st. If you have other questions, you can contact me to my e-mail address: adriana@yucatanyes.com

  • John said on August 3rd, 2012 12:21 am

    Adriana,
    Love the website. I am looking into purchasing a rental property with several suites. This could be rented to locals or expats on short-term. Some of the information i was looking for and can’t find is:
    Is there a reliable demand for apartments in Centro from locals year round? and what would the best way to purchase- trust or corporation. And would this be classed as a business for a visa or not

  • Adriana said on August 9th, 2012 5:56 pm

    John, thank you, we´re happy you like our website. We think any property in Centro can have demand; by locals you mean Mexicans or Yucatecans? If you are referring to Mexicans -from parts of Mexico other than Yucatan-, yes you can find demand, as long as it is well priced. The best way to purchase a property that will have commercial purposes is through a corporation and yes this will be classified as a business for a visa.

  • Rob said on September 2nd, 2012 7:10 pm

    My wife is from the Yucatan but has not lived in Mexico for twenty years. We have been married 14 and are planning on moving from Pennsylvania in the next couple year to Merida. She is a hair stylist and we are thinking of opening up a shop to cater to both expats and locals. She handles the customers…I would run the biz and do the marketing. My question is where do we start looking to see what the financial requirements are to make the move and start a business like that. We were hit with some major financial situations and are pretty much working from scratch. Is there a website or information that would address this?

  • Trevor said on September 3rd, 2012 11:30 am

    Hi there. My wife and I want to move to mexico and possibly get into the property management business in or around Playa Del Carmen. We want to open up this business ourselves and are wondering if there is a demand for this type of service, as well as how hard this would be to do. Navigating all the information on the internet can get confusing. If anyone has done it or can provide any feedback. That would be great. Thank you.

  • Adriana said on September 14th, 2012 6:33 pm

    Rob, you can read through our website, it contains articles published regarding opening a business in Mexico. Also, please feel free to send us e-mails asking the specific information you are interested in knowing: adriana@yucatanyes.com

  • Adriana said on September 14th, 2012 6:39 pm

    Trevor, since we are based in Merida, the information we could provide you about the property management market at Playa del Carmen would not be accurate enough, although we have heard there is demand for the service. We leave this space open for anyone who wants to share his/her comments about it with you.

  • Torie Wright said on October 22nd, 2012 6:35 pm

    We operate a small construction management company in Canada, we have often wondered if we could expand our operations into the Yucatan. Is there much resistance to Canadian construction companies if we do not compete directly with the local firms on fixed price contracts?

  • Adriana said on October 22nd, 2012 11:15 pm

    Torie, we don´t think there is such thing as a resistance to Canadian construction companies in Yucatan. You should come down and do market research to see if it´ll be worthy for you to open your business. There are many local construction companies here, but the market always welcome someone with good prices.

  • Ernest Baca said on November 26th, 2012 4:33 pm

    I would like to start a tour venture with horses down in Telum. I have an idea on what is needed to qualify for the permits and such but have no idea what I need to do with my visa to stay longer then the 180 given. Could i go to Belize when my time is up and stay a few days them come back into mexico or do i need to go back to the us and then re enter mexico. What type of visa do I need to start a small business down here and live?

  • Betty said on December 4th, 2012 11:21 am

    Ernest, your type of visa will depend on your business and if you will open a company or pay taxes as an individual. Please email us at info@yucatanyes.com for more information.

  • Ulysses said on February 26th, 2013 2:15 pm

    Im 30 yrs old just got out of a divorce have 15k left want to relocate to Yucatan i have been doing construction all my life what r the possibilities of me making a decent living

  • Adriana said on February 28th, 2013 12:18 am

    Ulysses, we invite you to read the following article published in Yucatan Living´s website: http://www.yucatanliving.com/yucatan-survivor/the-cost-of-living-in-merida-yucatan.htm; it contains information about the cost of living in Merida, Yucatan.

  • mike said on March 23rd, 2013 4:08 pm

    How does one go about getting involved in the Taxi or transportation business? Do you buy Medallions like in New York? Thank you.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on March 27th, 2013 12:55 am

    Mike, there are special license plates that these vehicles use and that can only be provided to Mexicans or Mexican corporations with a majority of Mexican shareholders.

  • Belinda said on March 27th, 2013 10:44 am

    If I where to start up a business, example Property Managemnt, can I run the business myself or do we have to hire Foreing Nationals to do the work for us?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on March 28th, 2013 1:25 am

    Belinda, you can run the business yourself but you need to have the appropriate type of visa.

  • mike said on March 28th, 2013 8:52 am

    So if I started a mexican corp and had 2 mexican shareholders and myself would that qualify? 2 being the majority? Does it matter how many shares each shareholder has? Could I own 80% and each mexican shareholder own 10%? Could that be done? Thanks

  • Belinda said on March 28th, 2013 12:52 pm

    And which Visa would that one be? Any ideas!!!

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on April 1st, 2013 1:09 pm

    Mike, the majority being who has the higher percentage of shares; so, the corporation should have a Mexican partner with at least 51% of the shares.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on April 1st, 2013 1:18 pm

    Belinda, it would be a temporary resident visa or a permanent resident visa with the authorization to engage in lucrative activities.

  • Justin said on April 2nd, 2013 10:22 am

    Hi,

    I’m an Irish citizen and would like to relocate to the Tulum area and set up a small tourism driven business, incorporating a small ‘hotel’ or B’nB and water sport adventure activities.

    My questions are:

    1. What would I need to qualify for a business/residence visa?

    2. Can a foreigner apply for a mortgage or bank loan to assist with setting up the business? I would have a small deposit to put down. i.e. is finance available for purchasing property?

    3. Would a visa and/or business loan application looked upon more favourably, if the business plan included plans to employ local people.

    Great website by the way!!

    Thanks a mill!

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on April 3rd, 2013 12:29 am

    Justin, we are happy you liked our website, thank you! Answering your questions:

    1. There are two types of visas if you want to stay in Mexico for more than 180 days, one is the temporary visa and the other is the permanent visa. Both of them allow you to set up a business. For further information on each you may want to download our Immigration Guide 2013: http://www.yucatanexpatriateservices.com/category/expatriate-guides

    2) Bancomer can help you with this, they do it. You may want to contact a branch in Tulum or Cancun and contact their Preferred Customers Unit: http://www.bancomer.com.mx/pcu/index.html

    3) If you will employ local people, yes it will help you for your visa. If it will help you for the loan, we suggest you confirm this with executives from the bank.

  • Thomas said on April 8th, 2013 7:14 pm

    Hello,

    I was wondering if I can get advice on starting a small IT PC repair business in Merida. I have a girlfriend who is from the city and I know that with the recent foreign residents that they would probably like to get more English speaking IT help. I am wondering if you think that possibly it is possible to do a simple PC Repair business or it is not good to do there?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on April 8th, 2013 10:48 pm

    Thomas, yes, there is a growing expat community in Merida and we receive multiple requests of English speaking IT help. We think you´d have customers, but of course, at the end, the success of your business will depend on if you can provide a good service, quality and affordable prices. Good luck!

  • Belinda said on April 9th, 2013 12:22 pm

    Can we move down to Yucatan and then apply for the Visa there for the appropriate type of Visa to open up a business.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on April 10th, 2013 12:04 am

    Belinda, you have to apply at a Mexican consulate abroad, you cannot start the process in Mexico. If you need our assistance, you can contact us at info@yucatanyes.com

  • Russell said on April 11th, 2013 2:33 pm

    I am looking to start a business in the Yucatan and figure a limited liability corporate structure would be the route to take. As a corporate officer, what type of visa would I require to work in Mexico? Would that visa requirement change if the business operated less that 180 days a year?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on April 12th, 2013 12:16 am

    Russell, a temporary resident card can work for you as long as you notify Immigration authorities about the activities you will do in Mexico as a corporate officer. If the business operates less than 180 days a year, and you don´t need to be in Mexico for more than 180 days in a row, you could use the FMM checking the box “visitante actividades remuneradas”.

  • Lalomb2604 said on May 6th, 2013 7:55 pm

    How does one go about opening a business in Merida? We would like to come down to Merida for 6 months to a year to set up and get it started but not live permanently. We currently live in the US. Thank you in advance for your response!

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on May 9th, 2013 10:31 am

    Lalomb2604, we could help you set it up; you´ll need to be here to incorporate it (sign the deed) and provide us with your personal information and copies of documents (passport and visa), as well as the purpose of the business. We´d suggest that we set up an appointment to meet when you come down to Merida so we can let you know how we can help you. Or you can write us to info@yucatanyes.com

  • Tom said on May 21st, 2013 4:23 pm

    Starting a yoga/meditation retreat center in the Merida area… visa-wise what are the minimalist financial requirements? And, the path toward permanent resident status from there. It sounds as if starting a business is the less well to do path to residing in Mexico. Yes? Also, properties outside of the city needing a new well… are there foreigner restrictions… like in Baja Sur?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on May 22nd, 2013 12:56 am

    Tom, if you open a business you do not have to show financial statements, just the corporation papers. The path toward permanent resident status if you open a business is that you need to have 4 years with temporary resident status to then apply for the permanent, or if you receive income from a pension of at least 2,500 USD in your last 6 bank account statements. Regarding your other question, we need more information in order to answer you.

  • CarlP said on May 28th, 2013 11:49 am

    Good afternoon I absolutely love Mexico. I am 30yrs old married with two small children 4 and 6 we vacation in the yucatan every year and want to finally move there I have 40k saved I’m a licensed paramedic fire fighter but tired of US life would like to know if I can find a job as a paramedic maybe in a tourist hospital or I was thinking of even opening up a small hookah lounge. We want live simple and enjoy the rich culture Mexico has to offer any suggestions or recommendations! I know living and working is different from vacationing.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on May 29th, 2013 11:00 pm

    Carl, our advice is that the next time you come to the Yucatan for vacations you make appointments with local hospitals so you explain your plans and you can know more about your options. Also, you are going to need to revalidate your studies before the Ministry of Education in Yucatan.

  • Anthony C. said on June 9th, 2013 6:18 pm

    I am considering opening a business in Quintana Roo. Specifically Puerto Morelos. I am just beginning my research in terms of legalities. I’m sorry if the question is repetitive from what has been asked before. What type of visa do I need to apply for in order to legally open a restaurant? Where do I go to apply? If I satisfy the Visa application process can I apply for a liquor license? Do you know the cost of a liquor license? Thank You so much in advance.

  • Chantal said on June 12th, 2013 9:54 pm

    I am interested to know what the policies and regulations are to start up brewery or brewpub. I imagine there are health standards to adhere to. Where can I find this information? Is there even a need In Cancun or Merida for a brewery?

  • Helen said on June 16th, 2013 12:23 am

    Hello! First, thank you for all of the wonderful information you have provided!

    Much like Ulysses, I VERY MUCH want to relocate to Merida. I am in my early 40’s, single, have a VERY modest savings/401k and currently work a full-time job with a decent salary in the US. When I relocate, I would essentially be starting over (and am VERY EAGER for the fresh start)! I have found a quinta outside of town in Merida that I have fallen in love with (an orchard and a 2-story casa) and the father of my best friend is looking into it for me; he has lived in Merida for 13 yrs and sells real estate there. How difficult would it be to start a new business – specifically a B&B and selling fruits from the orchard exclusively to local restaurants that would be organic (meaning no pesticides)? I am ready to put my small house in the states up for sale, take the $50k profit and completely uproot myself. Thoughts?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on June 20th, 2013 12:58 pm

    Anthony, you will need to apply for a temporary resident visa at a Mexican consulate abroad first (which is good for 180 days) and then get the temporary resident card within the next 30 days after your arrival to Mexico. You will need then to incorporate your business and once you have the corporate papers you will ask for permission to Immigration to operate the business. Once you have the appropriate type of visa letting you operate the business, the corporate papers and the tax ID of the company you will be able to request a liquor license; sorry we don´t know the cost of it.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on June 20th, 2013 1:10 pm

    Chantal, yes there are health standards to comply with. You can contact the Ministry of Health in Yucatan for information here: this http://salud.yucatan.gob.mx/?page_id=47.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on June 20th, 2013 1:19 pm

    Helen, thank you, we are happy you enjoyed our site! It wouldn´t be difficult, it would just be a matter of you dediciding how you want to run the B & B (through a corporation or individually), getting the proper type of visa, hire people that can help you and complying with the city regulations for these type of business. Please contact us if you travel to Merida soon so we can set up an appointment to discuss your needs: info@yucatanyes.com

  • Heath said on June 25th, 2013 8:43 am

    Hi I love your site.
    Please help me, I have a persona fisca and RFC and currently working here in PDC, I want to start a Independent Service/Consulting Business .
    I want a company name . Do I have to just regeister a new RFC? I do not want a corporation Like persona morale. But I do need a company name so I can open a bank account and be paid by checks from clients.
    Do i have to go to a notary before or can i just go to SAT and regeister my Business name.
    Thanks

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on June 26th, 2013 11:37 pm

    Heath, if you want a company name you can use it just commercially, without having to incorporate; our advice is that you protect it before the IMPI (Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property). This name cannot have its own RFC or its own bank account unless you decide to incorporate a “persona moral” and use it. You can open a bank account in your name and recieve checks and issue invoices as “Persona Física”. If you have further questions, you can write us to info@yucatanyes.com

  • Phil Argo said on July 22nd, 2013 5:39 pm

    Hi
    Magician from UK Now in Cancun…If I set up a Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (S. de R.L. Will I be able to perform freelance? Getting FM2 for my occupation as freelance magician is not going to happen..Best way to do this please…Much appreciated

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on August 1st, 2013 2:03 pm

    Phil, you may, as an amusement company.

  • Mark Anthony Chalas said on August 9th, 2013 8:08 am

    I called the Mexican Consulate in NYC yesterday to ask what kind of visa I need to operate a busniness in Mexico. I told them I was a US citizen. They told me the only way I can qualify is either to:
    1) Be retired or
    2) show I’ve had $8,000 in my personal account for the last 12 months

    Is this true??

    Thank you in advance for your reply

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on August 9th, 2013 3:47 pm

    Mark, what you need to show is a minimum income of 2,000 USD monthly in your last 6 bank account statements or a minimum monthly balance of 100,000 USD in your last 12 savings/retirement account statements.

  • Dominic Cole said on September 1st, 2013 4:26 pm

    Hello, I have experience teaching enlish and computers using multi-media training programs, do you think a private school using tis type of technology would work on the mayan riviera? or do you think this type of training would be too sophisticated for the mayan people?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on September 5th, 2013 4:07 pm

    Dominic, we think your questions do not have a “yes” or “no” type of answers; it is something you should do some market research on. On the other side, it would be very helpful for the mayan people if someone could teach them English and computers so that they have more skills to find job opportunities. The question would be if they have enough money to pay for such training.

  • DanielaCG said on October 1st, 2013 2:35 pm

    Hola,

    Well I’m finally ready to move to Playa del Carmen next year & open a bakery/pastry shop there. What permits do I need from the government to open such a shop? What are all the regulations that I will need to comply with? I hope you guys can tell me where I can research this, even if it is in Spanish (my husband is Mexican, he can translate for me). You guys assist businesses moving to the Yucatan state & here I am asking about Quintana Roo, sorry! I just don’t know where else to research this & you’re so helpful.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on October 1st, 2013 3:21 pm

    Daniela, please take a look at the website of the Government of the state of Quintana Roo: http://www.qroo.gob.mx/qroo/index.php; you may find helpful information there about opening a business in Playa del Carmen.

  • Brian said on October 1st, 2013 4:02 pm

    I am done with my first year of the Doctor of Chropractic program in the United States of America. Where do I find the requirements to be able to open a practice around Cancun. My wife, who is a Mexican citizen, will own the business. Thank you.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on October 1st, 2013 4:57 pm

    Brian, unfortunately we do not have that information since we are located in the State of Yucatan and we are unfamiliar with the laws and regulations of the State of Quintana Roo.

  • DanielaCG said on October 1st, 2013 6:42 pm

    Muchas gracias!

  • Francis said on October 2nd, 2013 6:19 pm

    Hi, I want to sell educational tours of UK and Ireland here in Mexico. I am working on behalf of a company in the UK. If I sell to agencies, I’m guessing that is straightforward and they would pay the company in UK direct. However, if I want to sell to universities/schools etc., I’m guessing a) they wouldn’t have the capability to pay in GBP and b) this complication might put them off. So they would need an intermediary. What’s the simplest way for me to “solve” this? Do I set up as a Mexican company so they can pay me in MXN and then I pay the company in UK?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on October 3rd, 2013 3:55 pm

    Francis, you could set up a company or file yourself before tax authorities as an individual with entrepreneurial activities.

  • Frank said on December 30th, 2013 2:50 pm

    Good day,
    I am interested in starting a business renting motorcycles to tourists in the cancun to playa del carmen area. i would be the only “employee” of the business to start but would require hiring a local mechanic eventually. i would appreciate any help in guiding me thru the steps to get this venture set up properly from the start.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on January 3rd, 2014 3:31 pm

    Frank, first you need to get a temporary resident card with a work permit from the Immigration Institute and then file yourself as an individual with entrepreneurial activities in your local tax office.

  • Greg said on January 6th, 2014 4:25 am

    Hi, I am similar to Frank, I am planning on opening a scuba diving facility in the Playa/Tulum area, all partners of the company are certified by multiple agencies for the type of dive and instruction we plan to conduct. Is there a resource for finding all necessary steps and what can be done while out of the country and what to do to prepare for coming to mexico. We plan to hire local staff and contract with local companies

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on January 13th, 2014 12:05 pm

    Greg, we´d suggest you to contact the local authorities of Playa del Carmen and tell them about your upcoming plans and that you would like to have information, here´s their website: http://www.solidaridad.gob.mx/. We´d be happy to help you but we only offer services in the State of Yucatan, not in Quintana Roo. Good luck!

  • John said on January 28th, 2014 8:56 am

    Hi

    I live in Quintana Roo and have a Permanent Resident and all my houses and assets are in my wifes name, being originally from USA.

    I am opening a business and a Smart accountant suggested a Persona Fisica con Actividad Empresarial and no where in your site does it talk about this type of a business structure.

    First do you know where i can register a Named Company but not a SA de CV….just want a company name which may become corporation name in future if business does well (can i register it now )???

    It seems like the lawyers make all the money from a SA de CV ……and more taxes……

    But what is the Real Reason starting a small import export sales of products should i open a SA de CV, or would you suggest as my Accountant ¨Persona Fiscisa route” …..

    Also what are my downsides if any ????

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on January 29th, 2014 7:06 pm

    John, in this article under the subtitle “Sole-Ownership Corporation” is where we describe the “Persona Física con Actividad Empresarial”. What you want to do is use a “commercial name” for your company. You can register it at IMPI (Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property), although for tax purposes this name won´t be used but your own. The reason to choose “Persona Física” or “SA de CV” is based on the legal structure you want to give to your company: if you do it as a “Persona Física” you will be personally responsible for any type of problem or inconvenience that may arise in the future (if any); on the other hand, if you choose to do it through a corporation, you will be protected by it, because you won´t have to respond personally (or your assets) for any problem that may arise. This is a decision that you should make with the assistance of your accountant and your attorney.

  • Tomas said on February 16th, 2014 11:19 pm

    Hello, I have a question regarding running a business in the Yucatan area. I have dual citizenship, and have been in contact with someone selling their turn key business. My question is would it be difficult running a business in mexico when ill be in California? I would most definately move if I had the chance, but my other half doesn’t want to move out to the area.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on February 21st, 2014 7:59 pm

    Tomas, you will need to find someone of your trust to run the business, to handle checking accounts and to be able to represent your business before third parties. This is something we could help you with. Please contact us at info@yucatanyes.com for more information.

  • Aaron said on March 11th, 2014 4:25 am

    Hi,
    I am a Canadian citizen researching the possibilities of starting a fishing charter business near Playa Del Carmen.
    Other then Obtaining the proper visa, are there any other regulations pertaining to owning/ operating a charter fishing vessel?
    Also, while visiting the area, it seemed to me that most fishing charter operators are linked to the resorts or a parent company In Some shape or form. By this I mean that the operators seem to pull from a pool of locals to captain their vessels. Is there any truth to this?
    Is there any advice you good provide me inorder to set up this type of venture?
    Thank you

  • Roberto said on March 11th, 2014 10:11 am

    Hi, I am Roberto and i live in Cancun from just one month.
    I’m Italian, i would like to open a Import-export company here, and i would like to speack with you for see the different possibility. Do you have an office here? Could we meet by person. Thanks
    I’m looking forward to hearing from you
    Roberto Girardi

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on March 12th, 2014 7:34 pm

    Aaron, we are based in the State of Yucatan and we are familiar with rules and regulations in our State, not those in the State of Quintana Roo (where Playa del Carmen is). We´d suggest you to contact an attorney based in Playa del Carmen to help you with your business venture.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on March 12th, 2014 7:36 pm

    Roberto, unfortunately we do not have an office in Cancun, just in Merida, Yucatan. If you need assistance for anything in Merida, please contact us at info@yucatanyes.com

  • Romy Buchner said on March 27th, 2014 8:59 pm

    HI there,
    My husband and I would like to open a small b&B or guest house in Yucatan with a small attached cafe as we continue building the guest house. We are hoping to live onsite. I am wondering about two things really, if you know anything about the rules and regulations in reference to living/commercial property zoning and homes, also I was hoping that my husband and I would be the only employees. IS this allowed in Mexico?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on March 28th, 2014 2:14 pm

    Romy, yes you could live your house and do something commercial on it as well, as long as the property is owned by a corporation; if it´s owned through a trust, you would need to have the permit of the bank holding the trust to perform commercial activities. As for being the only employees, you would have to be shareholders of the corporation or being appointed as managers in the deed of incorporation. If you are only registered as employees, you would need to also have Mexican employees to comply with Immigration requirements of work permits. If you need more information you can contact us at info@yucatanyes.com or we could set up an appointment to discuss your questions in person.

  • Maria Magdalena Acuña S. said on May 12th, 2014 10:26 am

    Hola,vivo en Celaya,y busco poner pequeño negocio de venta de pies dulces y de sal,galletas,etc.,pero necesito un socio-a que ponga el capital…
    saludos.

  • Marco Rivas said on June 8th, 2014 5:07 pm

    Hello, I own a party bus business in California and I would like to bring some buses over and start a Party Bus business in Cancun and Playa del Carmen. I would of course start an llc. What would be the biggest obstacles to doing this? Plus, my biggest concern would be dealing with drug cartels and kidnappings. What is the current danger in Cancun for a successful business person. Thank you for your help.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on June 30th, 2014 3:27 pm

    Marco, we can’t give you exact information regarding how safe it will be for you to move there and start a business because we are located somewhere else (Mérida, capital of the State of Yucatán, while Cancún is in the State of Quintana Roo). We think it would be better if you go first and stay for a season in Cancun so you can meet other business men and make your own idea of what living and owning a business in Cancun could be. You could also search for blogs or expat forums specifically for the State of Quintana Roo, we are sure there must be many!

  • Debbie said on September 2nd, 2014 4:01 pm

    I would like to know if anyone knows if you have to be licensed to practice counseling in Mexico? If so, how would one become licensed there?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on September 26th, 2014 4:32 pm

    Debbie, you need to have a work permit issued by the Immigration Institute in order to perform any lucrative activity in Mexico. As far as licenses, it will depend on the type of counseling you would like to do. For further questions you can contact us at info@yucatanyes.com

  • Alex said on October 16th, 2014 5:02 am

    Hey, good info on here!

    I’m looking to move to Merida and start a nutrition consultancy with my partner who lives in there.

    Do I need any pre-requisites for obtaining a Visa with working permit?
    I planned on visiting for 6 months as a tourist first to do some investigating with my girlfriend, however if I were able to get a working visa straight away that would be more beneficial to me.

    Thanks in advance, Alex.

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on October 16th, 2014 6:16 pm

    Alex, if you don´t have a business incorporated yet or a job offer you cannot start the process of obtaining a working permit. You would need to come down as a tourist or as a temporary resident without permit to work.

  • Alex said on October 17th, 2014 2:43 am

    Ok, it looks like tourist Visa then as I don’t think I can obtain a temporary residents visa as I do not meet the criteria set out on the government website. I’m only young (25 is young right?) and don’t meet the economic solvency criteria or neither of the other points.

    How does one obtain such a visa without getting married or having a large amount of cash lying around?

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on October 17th, 2014 5:58 pm

    Alex, the age does not matter, as long as you comply with the financial requirements or any of the other points. You can obtain temporary residency by showing economic solvency or by family unit (by being married to a Mexican citizen or temporary/permanent resident; by having Mexican parents or temporary /permanent resident parents; by having Mexican children or temporary/permanent resident children or by having Mexican siblings or temporary/permanent resident siblings); by proving you have Real Estate with a minimum value or that you are investor with a minimum value of investment; also by proving you own a Mexican corporation that gives jobs to at least 5 Mexican workers. For more information on how to become a Temoprary resident I recommend you to download our Immigration Guide in this link: http://www.mexperience.com/store/vuitem.php?itemid=26

  • Philip Van der Mude said on October 21st, 2014 3:51 pm

    You have a great site , with a ton of info to digest . What is your pricing for your services . I have been visiting the Qroo area every other month since 2012 . Thinking about about a tourism related biz. and spliting my time my month 1/2 in Florida and 1/2 in Cancun. So , I guess a 180 visa renewed all the time would cover me ? I have some questions that need answers, please contact me .

  • Yucatan Expatriate Services said on October 22nd, 2014 5:39 pm

    Philip, thank you! If you will only stay for less than 180 days, a visitor´s visa will work for you. If you plan to work, you´ll need a work permit. If you need more information, please contact us at info@yucatanyes.com

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