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Invest in Mexico

General information how to invest in Mexico:  

Reasons to invest in Mexico

Mexico's strengths        

Trade agreements         



        Investing in Mexico step–by–step


Basic considerations

Getting a VISA: National Immigration Institute.  

A visa is required by foreign citizens who enter into Mexico with the purpose of looking for investment options, making an investment or supervising it, representing foreign companies or doing commercial transactions. The General Law on Population (LGP) and its By-laws (RLGP) regulate this matter in Mexico.

The proceedings shall be carried out before the National Immigration Institute. The petitioner will receive a reply within the legal term (35 calendar days).

General requirements:

  1. The foreign citizen or his legal representative shall complete the Immigration Procedure Request form and meet the requirements for each case. All documents shall be filed in original and in copy.

  2. Foreign passport in full force and effect, filed in a copy and the original to be reviewed by the immigration authorities.

  3. In case the party carries out the process through a proxy or a legal representative, they shall prove their capacity through a power of attorney granted by the foreign national and a copy of the ID document containing the photograph and signature of the proxy or legal representative, as the case may be.

For further information visit:  

Opening a business in Mexico

Regulation and Registration of Foreign Investment

Responsible authority: Foreign Investment Office. Ministry of Economy.  

Foreign legal entities who intend to perform business activities in Mexico shall obtain authorization from the Ministry of Economy.

Foreign entities that intend to set up in Mexico, even if not governed by corporate laws by the Federal Civil Code, shall obtain authorization from the Ministry of Economy.

This authorization will be granted within two weeks prior accomplishment of the following requirements:

  1. Foreign entities shall prove that their companies have been incorporated pursuant to their countries laws

  2. Their social contract and other constituent documents shall not be contrary to the Mexican laws

  3. For foreign legal entities that are established in Mexico or have settled an agency or branch in the country; or for foreign entities that have a representative with residence in the seat of operation, authorized to comply with the relevant obligations assumed

For further information visit:  

Procedures before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE)

Responsible authority: Legal Affairs Office. Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  

An authorization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is required for the incorporation of companies. To that effect, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pursuant to the provisions of Article 13 of the aforementioned regulations, shall grant authorization for the incorporation of companies solely when the intended corporate name or denomination has not been reserved by another company. Likewise, if the requested corporate name or denomination includes words or terms specifically regulated by other laws, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall condition approvals to the obtainment of other authorizations required by such legal provisions.

For further information visit:  

Property and Commerce Public Registry, Commercial Notary and Notary Public

Property and Commerce Public Registry (PCPR)

The PCPR is a public institution that guarantees certainty, juridical security and protection to the property, its transmission, obligations and the effects of the inscribed rights, as well as the juridical acts carried out by individuals and legal entities.

The PCPR is an institution subject to each State of the Mexican Republic responsible of providing security and publicity to certain juridical acts implicating real estate or business corporations.

For further information on PCPR, visit:



Public Broker

The basic function of the Public Broker is to guarantee the legal security and certainty, exerting a control of legality in the commercial transactions and other matters of federal competition, offering a professional and impartial advising with the obligation to keep the professional secret that imposes the Law, which represents a confidence element for those who use their services.

The Ministry of Economy is responsible for the application of the Public Brokerage Federal Law; through the head office of Commercial Regulation that authorize the Public Brokers, subject to the fulfill of the requirements established in the Law and supervised its functions.

Public Brokers entitled by the Ministry of Economy:  



Notary Public

The Mexican Notary Public is a specialized attorney with advanced legal knowledge, who participates in commercial and civil matters as a public attester and legal adviser to investors, entrepreneurs and individuals.

In Mexico, acts that are executed before the presence and under the advice of a Notary Public have full evidentiary value in all courts around the country, and are an absolute guarantee of legality and legal certainty.

The Notary Public is a legal professional, who undertakes public tasks within the framework of non-contentious activities initiated by the State, and he/she performs numerous social tasks within the scope of Mexico's national society, and to this extent he/she is a public official and autonomous delegate of State's public authority.

The Notary Public shall intervene in:

Real estate purchases and sales, incorporation of companies, granting of powers of attorney, purchase and shares of companies, trusts in beaches and borders, wills and inheritances, financial and credit operations, civil and commercial arbitration, etc.

National Registry of Attesters-Notaries in the Mexican republic by entity:  

Procedures before the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS)

Responsible authority: IMSS  

  1. Employer registration before the Mexican Social Security Institute

Refer to this procedure, at:  

Upon completion of this procedure, the companies will be automatically registered in the National Worker's Housing Fund and the Retirement Savings System.

 2. Company registration with the Occupational Risk Insurance of the Mexican Social Security Institute.

Refer to this procedure, at:  

These procedures with IMSS shall be carried out within five business days after hiring the workers.

Procedures before the National Worker's Housing Fund (INFONAVIT)

Responsible authority: INFONAVIT.  


Pursuant to the Law, employers shall comply with the following procedures:

  1. Registration of the employer and the employee in the INFONAVIT

  2. Submitting before the INFONAVIT a notice of any change regarding domicile, denomination or firm, increase or decrease of fiscal obligations, suspension or renewal of activities, closing, merging, division, alienation and bankruptcy statement and payment suspension, as well as any other circumstance that affects its registry before the Institute

  3. Submitting before the INFONAVIT a notice of entry, ending, wages modification, absences and disabilities and any other fact regarding employees that is necessary for the INFONAVIT

  4. Determine and pay contributions in the housing account of the National Housing Fund, as well as to withhold and pay allowances in the INFONAVIT´s offices, or if necessary, in the receiving entities as indicated by the INFONAVIT

  5. Employers shall register their workers by means of the authorized forms from the INFONAVIT, in its offices, or in the entities previously authorized by it, within 5 business days as of the date the labor relationship was initiated. In case a worker renders his/her services to several employers, each employer shall be obliged to register him/her in the INFONAVIT

  6. The employer shall submit the IMSS social security number of the employee in order to register him/her


Refer to:  


Expedite Business Start-Up System (SARE)

Responsible authority: Federal Commission for Regulatory Improvement (COFEMER).

The Expedite Business Start-Up System (SARE) is a scheme that promotes the opening of all kinds of companies in one business day through the identification of the minimum federal procedures necessary to complete the set up and start operations, simplification of procedures and the expeditious processing by the federal authorities.

In addition, companies performing one of the 685 business activities (agribusiness, industrial, trade and services) deemed of low public risk and that are described in the Exhibit to the Decree establishing SARE, issued in the Official Gazette on January 28, 2002, will have up to 3 months to meet other federal mandatory requirements after obtaining the Taxpayer'sRegistry Number. During that period, the federal authorities may not request information or perform visits to verify compliance with such procedures.

As regards low risk activities and their benefits, the scheme was based on the 1999 Mexican Classification of Goods and Businesses (CMAP) by INEGI. Such activities account for 80% of the most frequent businesses in our country and are susceptible of being developed by micro, small and medium enterprises.

Other Procedures

Procedures before the Ministry of Health (SS)

In those activities where the Notice of Functioning is required, companies shall submit before the Ministry of Health the procedure: SSA-04-001-A Notice of Functioning, mode A initial, within 10 business days after obtaining the registration in the Federal Taxpayer's Registry.

For these procedures, refer to:  

Procedures before the Ministry of Environment (SEMARNAT)

In addition, when the Notice of registration as a company that produces hazardous waste is specified in the activities carried out by the company, it shall submit before the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources the procedure: INE-04-004-A, Notice of registration as a company that produces hazardous waste, mode A General, within three months at the most after obtaining the registration in the Federal Taxpayer's Registry.

For this procedure, refer to:  


Three government levels: federal, state and municipal procedures

The opening of new businesses involves the three government levels; therefore it is essential to coordinate actions to make agile and reduce the corresponding procedures to the minimum.

Expedite Business Start-Up System (SARE) success depends mostly on its implementation in the States and Municipalities, since they establish regulations and procedures for a new business to incorporate and start operations in their territory.

To implement an expedite business start-up system in most of the States and Municipalities, it is necessary to add the steps for land use and the operation license.


Tax regime

Responsible Authority: Tax Administration Service. Ministry of Treasure.  

Individuals or entities (companies, associations, or partnerships, among others) that are governed by the legislation of another country in light of their nationality, domicile, residence, seat of operation, and other criteria, shall be deemed foreign nationals for taxation purposes.

In order to explain the applicable tax regime, foreign nationals are distinguished as residents in Mexico or residents abroad.


Residents in Mexico

Tax legislation deems the following persons as residents in Mexico:

  • Nationals and foreign individuals who have established their residence in Mexico.

  • When they have a residence in another country, they shall be deemed as residents in Mexico if they have their center of vital interests in the country; i. e., that more than 50% of the annual income of an individual is derived from a source of wealth located in Mexico, or, that the center of their professional activities is located in Mexico, among other cases.

  • Individuals with Mexican nationality that are State officers or employees thereof, even when the center of their vital interests is located abroad.

  • Entities (companies, associations or partnerships, among others) that have been incorporated pursuant to Mexican law, as well as those that have established in Mexico their main place of business or the seat of their management.

For further information visit:  

Residents abroad

Tax legislation deems the following persons as residents abroad:

  • Nationals and foreign individuals who do not have their residence in Mexico. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if they have their residence in Mexico, they shall be deemed as residents abroad if they do not have their center of vital interests in this country; i.e., that more than 50% of their annual income is not derived from a source of wealth located in Mexico, or, that the center of their professional activities is not located in Mexico, among other cases.

  • Entities (companies, associations or partnerships, among others) that are not incorporated pursuant to Mexican law, as well as those that have not established in Mexico their main place of business or the seat of their management, but that maintain one or more permanent establishments in Mexico.

For further information visit:  

Investment incentives

Foreign trade incentives programs

  • Import Tax Refund to Exporters (DRAWBACK): Offers the possibility of paying back a duty previously paid on exporting excisable articles or on re-exporting foreign goods.

  • Manufacturing, Maquila and Export Service Industry (IMMEX): The IMMEX Program is an instrument which allows the temporary importation of goods that are used in an industrial process or service to produce, transform or repair foreign goods imported temporarily for subsequent export or provision of export services, without covering the payment of general import tax, value added tax and, where appropriate, countervailing duties.

  • Sectorial Promotion Programs (PROSEC): These programs are aimed at legal entities that produce certain goods, allowing them to import diverse goods for use in the development of specific products at preferential ad-valorem tariffs (General Import Tax), regardless of whether the goods to be produced are for export or the domestic market. 


Tax incentives programs

  • Immediate deduction: It is a deduction that applies to encourage investment in the country, except in the metropolitan areas of Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara. However, this deduction applies to projects that require the use of labor-intensive, non-polluting and does not need to make an intensive use of water.

  • Federal tax incentives for companies that do not have established residence in Mexico: Eligible maquila companies (now IMMEX) under certain conditions are granted a significant reduction in the payment of income tax.

  • Tax credit for federal tax on R&D: Eligible companies can receive a tax credit of 30% of total spending on research and development activities (R&D), including process and design


Technological development and innovation programs

  • Innovation incentives programs: Supporting programs for companies that invest in research, technology development, and innovation aimed to develop new products, processes, or services.

  • International Fund: It is an International Cooperation Fund for the promotion of scientific and technological research between Mexico and the European Union which supports projects in the following formats: joint research projects and the creation and strengthening of research networks.


For more information on these and other programs, contact the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT):

José Flores Díaz

Trade Commissioner of Mexico

Unidad de Promoción de Inversiones y Negocios Internacionales (UPINI)

22nd Floor, Menara Tan & Tan, No. 207, Jalan Tun Razak

50400Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel.: +6 03 21646362 Ext.:16

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