Mexican law and taxation are constantly changing, and Spanish-speaking legal and financial advice is essential to ensure proper practices are followed and compliance achieved.
Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world and the second most populated in Latin America, bringing significant opportunities for investment and business. Often ranked as one of the world’s top emerging markets, Mexico has more free trade agreements (FTAs) than any other country in the world – 12 FTAs with 46 countries, making it a significant international trade hub. Mexico is part of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), which significantly facilitates trade and incorporates legal processes and agreements.
Our bilingual Spanish and English-speaking legal and tax experts understand how to operate successfully in Mexico, and have an understanding of the country’s hierarchies, regulations, laws, taxation and business culture. In Mexico where positive business relations/friendships are highly valued, our experience in cross-cultural investments mean we can build lasting relationships with both our clients and professional in-country peers on their behalf.
Mexican Legal and Tax Systems
Mexico is a federal republic that comprises of 31 states and the federal capital, Mexico City. Each of the 32 federal entities has its own constitution, civil code, local laws and regulations, as well as its own executive, legislative and judicial authorities, making the legal system highly complex. Regarding taxation, it takes an average of 337 business hours each year for businesses to pay their taxes. The corporate tax, which is 30%, takes 155 hours alone.
Knowledge of Mexico´s legal system, which does not differentiate between domestic companies and those owned by foreigners, is essential in order to do business in the country. Our bi-lingual legal and tax experts can ensure compliance with ever-changing laws and regulations and allow you to focus on your investment.
Mexican Federal and Civil law
Commercial matters in Mexico are governed by federal law which applies to the entire country, although the judges that resolve commercial disputes are both local and federal. Recent amendments to the Mexican Commerce Code have attempted to provide greater consistency in judicial resolution of disputes through its commercial and procedural laws.
Although there are exceptions, as a general rule there are no ownership restrictions on foreign investors and Mexican companies controlled by foreign investors, and they can:
- own 100% of the equity of Mexican companies
- purchase fixed assets from Mexican individuals or entities
- engage in new activities or produce new products
- open and operate establishments
An important characteristic of commercial law in Mexico is that, unlike some other countries, commercial matters in Mexico are governed separately from strictly civil matters. As a result, matters such as family, property, contract and inheritance issues are local jurisdiction, with each state having its own civil code and code of civil procedures.
With increased international litigation in Spanish-speaking countries, we have developed a virtual Hispanic Dispute Resolution Centre in London via our offices based in the Strand. We have a core of bilingual Spanish and English-speaking lawyers, who together they have deep expertise in international arbitration in different markets, providing a solution for faster dispute resolution, avoiding the time and expense of traditional litigation, and can facilitate the smooth handling of the ADR from start to finish.
Property & Land Ownership in Mexico
Mexican civil law matters are of local jurisdiction, meaning each state and the Federal District has its own civil code and civil procedures (Mexican law establishes certain restrictions on land ownership by foreign investors in Mexico including:
- Foreign individuals and companies may not hold direct title to property in Mexico located within 100 km from the border or 50 km from the coastline (the “Restricted Zone”) however, they may hold a beneficial interest under a Mexican trust.
- Mexican companies with foreign equity may hold direct title to property located in the Restricted Zone if they engage in non-residential activities.
- Foreign individuals and Mexican companies with foreign equity participation may hold direct title to nonrural land located outside the Restricted Zone.
- Foreign individuals may hold direct title to rural land located outside the Restricted Zone.
How we can help
Mayra C. Rubio Espíritu,
Mayra C. Rubio Espíritu is a Mexican lawyer with over 25 years’ experience. She has a double qualification as a lawyer in Mexico and Spain. Member of the Madrid Bar Association (Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Madrid, ICAM) and since 2011 has had her own law firm specializing in legal affairs between Mexico and Spain.
She has been appointed by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico to serve as a legal advisor at the Consular Section of the Mexican Embassy in Spain, where she offers legal service to Mexican residents and investors. For the last 2 years, she has been part of the Legal Guidance Service at the ICAM where she advises the immigrant community in Madrid.
Our lawyers work across sectors and borders to deliver truly international commercial advice, mitigating risk and highlighting opportunities. Our ability to be able to provide in-house, country-specific legal expertise is something that few UK-based law firms like us can offer.
Del Canto Chambers offers a turnkey project management approach with a full-service support system, including decision-making protocols and timelines. We offer proven turnkey solutions to successfully manage international projects with multiple local country partners, helping you navigate international complexities. This holistic turnkey approach facilitates effective coordination between different parties, and jurisdictions, ensuring that projects are delivered on time and budget, from initial execution through to completion.
With coronavirus related travel restrictions set to continue for the foreseeable future, and increased international litigation in Spanish-speaking countries, we have developed a virtual Hispanic Dispute Resolution Centre in London via our offices based in the Strand.
Our country experts have a genuine appreciation and understanding of the culture and traditions of Mexico, which need to be considered as part of the professional advice they provide. As members of The Leading Edge Alliance, the second-largest international association in the world, we work with local accounting, financial, tax and business advisory services we can put our clients in touch with local Mexican business support.
How can we help you?
Our Spanish-speaking legal experts are able to offer a wide range of Mexican services to businesses and individuals looking to invest in Mexico and have the knowledge to explain the Mexican legal system, demystify the taxation regimes and identify risks and opportunities so you can achieve your objectives.