The 3 Biggest Challenges to Doing Business in Mexico

December 8, 2021

Doing Business in Mexico? Here are the 3 biggest challenges and tips to overcome them.

Businesses face many unique obstacles when conducting business in challenging jurisdictions, and they often change for each country. At Evidencity, our on-the-ground Global Insight Providers (GIP) are experts in these jurisdictions with culturally nuanced skills that allow them to conduct research and provide valuable insight for those looking to do business in these regions.

Our GIP in Mexico was born and raised in the region, a previous employee of Bloomberg and international relations expert, giving her extensive background knowledge and research skills. She knows how to get to the truth. She’s sharing her best pieces of advice for doing business in the challenging jurisdiction of Mexico.

Current Business Landscape

  • Largest Industries: Manufacturing and Energy
  • Current President: Andrés Manuel López Obrador
  • Biggest Exports: Petroleum, Cars and Car Parts, Gold and Silver
  • Fastest Growing Industries: Paperboard & Paper Product Manufacturing, Electronic Components Manufacturing,  Audio & Video Equipment Manufacturing, Air Transportation, Real Estate Rentals

Three Biggest Challenges

  1. Lack of infrastructure and online access. Currently, in most of the country, online access is not available for records and documents due to the lack of infrastructure and websites often being down. This makes it much more difficult for those outside of the country and not on-the-ground to access official information and legitimize it.
  2. Corruption. Mexico has a stigma and history for being corrupt, and sadly it's still true. Corruption starts at the top of the government, but you also feel it in society. Common everyday practices often include corrupt tactics like lies or bribes.
  3. Government distrust. Primarily due to corruption, the general population does not trust the government to have their best interest. This leads to some community sectors acting against the government and anti-government exaggeration within the media.

Four Tips for Doing Business (Right) in Mexico

  1. Be patient. Due to the lack of infrastructure, things take more time in Mexico. Don’t expect things to move as quickly as they do in the United States or other more developed countries.
  2. Understand “Ahorita” and how Mexicans communicate. Communicating and doing business with Mexican people is very different. For example, they don’t know how to say no or “ahorita,” as they call it. This term means that they really don’t want to help you but don’t want to say no to you, which means it won’t likely happen. \
  3. Get a good accountant. Having a good accountant is essential to doing business in Mexico as the local taxes change every year and sometimes even every month. Labor legislation has also changed; outsourcing is now forbidden, and it's essential to know updated hiring laws, worker rights, and obligations.
  4. Don’t give in to the corruption. Sometimes it's not a matter of money or bribes; it's a matter of the people you know and contacts you have. It's good to create non-corrupt relationships and ensure leaders don’t give into corruption.

Facts About Business in Mexico

  • It takes, on average, 10-15 days to get access to physical public records.
  • Like the United States, Mexico has 32 different states within the country, and different rules and laws govern each state.
  • There are 2,400 individual municipalities with individual records only listed in each municipality (they don’t roll up to state level, only roll up to county level).

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