Table of Contents
Mexico at a Glance
- Currency: Mexican Peso, MXN ($, Mex$)
- Population: 129.15 million (10th largest)
- Economy/GDP: $2.31 trillion (13th largest)
- Top Sectors: Tobacco, petroleum, mining, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, motor vehicles, electronics, and tourism.
- Ease of Doing Business: Ranks 60 in the world, according to the World Bank’s latest Doing Business report from 2019
- Languages: The official and most widely spoken language in Mexico is Spanish. There are indigenous languages spoken by a small percentage of the population which include various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional languages. Mexico has a very low proficiency in English as it’s ranked 92nd in speaking English as a second language, according to Education First’s English Proficiency Index, which analyzes data from 2.2 million non-native English speakers in 100 countries.
Grow Your Team in Mexico
Establishing your business presence in Mexico is an important and consequential step. Aligning with an experienced global expansion partner helps you take full advantage of international business opportunities. Rely on Velocity Global’s Employer of Record solution to handle all risk mitigation, payroll, and compliance so you can quickly expand into Mexico.
Whether you plan on hiring a single employee or building a brand new team, our Employer of Record in Mexico provides flexibility to grow your business on your timeline. We help you meet your goals and we do it up to 60% more cost-effectively than with entity establishment.
Ready to take your first step towards growing your presence abroad? Learn how Velocity Global’s Employer of Record in Mexico makes it happen.
Benefits of hiring in Mexico
- Mexico, the region’s second-largest economy, is among the 15 largest economies in the world and it’s the leading exporter in Latin America. The World Economic Forum projects Mexico will be the world’s seventh-largest economy by 2050.
- Mexico is a strategic international business partner with its various commerce agreements and trade bloc partnerships. It has 13 free trade agreements with 50 countries, including USMCA which substituted the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), supporting reciprocal trade between North American countries.
- Mexico’s manufacturing produces $175 billion annually, with electronics, medical devices, and automotive sectors as the country’s leading industries.
- The Mexican government passed a financial technology institutions law in 2018 which promotes new fintech innovation and integration within the country, prompting positive responses from international fintech companies and investors.
Challenges of hiring in Mexico
- Mexico’s construction permits are difficult to obtain for companies constructing new offices. Obtaining the necessary permits and completing required inspections are known to take a significant amount of time and this process notably gives sticker shock to businesses.
- Companies anticipate a strenuous tax process in Mexico. There are specific tax reporting requirements per industry and the approximately 240 hours necessary to correctly file taxes is laborious for businesses. However, with the help of an employer of record in Mexico, you can easily navigate this tax reporting process.
- The Mexican economy is heavily dependent on the U.S. economy. Roughly 80% of Mexican exports are delivered to the U.S. alone, which creates a risk of it being highly susceptible to U.S. economic fluctuations.
Cultural nuances and must-knows of doing business in Mexico
- It is commonplace in Mexican business culture to greet with a handshake, use gendered titles, and address colleagues by their first surname since many Mexicans have two. Afterward, you may be invited to address them by their first name.
- If speaking in Spanish with your colleagues, use the formal “usted” conjugation instead of the informal “tu” conjugation to show respect.
- Personal relationships are a crucial factor in Mexican business culture. Third-party introductions are often key to business success, as Mexicans value working with those they know and trust.
- When doing business in Mexico there is a heavy preference for meetings and communication being face-to-face as much as possible instead of over the phone or virtually.
- The business structure is usually hierarchical, where decisions are made by senior colleagues.
Wages and Salaries in Mexico
Minimum wage and salaries in Mexico
- Mexico’s National Minimum Wage Commission (CONASAMI) raised the general minimum wage in Mexico (salario minimo) on January 1, 2022 to 172.87 pesos per work day.
- CONASAMI raised the 2022 wage for the Northern Border Zone (NBZ) to 260.34 pesos per work day. The NBZ is a set of 43 municipalities in Mexico’s northern states bordering the United States.
Probation period in Mexico
- There is no requirement for a probation period in Mexico. However, initial training periods must not exceed 90 days for employees. Probation periods cannot extend beyond 30 days for indefinite term employment contracts or employment exceeding 180 days. Additionally, initial training periods of up to 180 days can take place for leadership or management positions.
Bonus payment in Mexico
- Article 87 of Mexico’s federal labor law states that all employees in Mexico are entitled to an annual bonus. The bonus is known as an aguinaldo and it must be paid by December 20, giving it the nickname of a Christmas bonus. Aguinaldo is separate from vacation pay and it’s equivalent to 15 days of wages for all employees with one year or more of service.
Onboarding in Mexico
- In Mexico, a written employment agreement, signed by both employer and employee, is mandatory by law. Employment agreements must include the following information:
- Personal information of the employer and employee
- Employment duration
- Probation period, if applicable
- Training and instruction provisions
- Employee’s duties
- Place of work
- Work schedule
- Employment benefits
- Any other terms agreed between employer and employee
- Employee’s beneficiaries, in case of employee’s death
Termination and notice period in Mexico
- There is no legal obligation in Mexico for employers or employees to notify the other in advance of termination or resignation. Notice periods can only be legally enforced if agreed in advance by both employer and employee, however, this is uncommon.
- Instead of a notice period, employees who are terminated for reasons other than gross misconduct are entitled to a severance payment of three months’ wages.
- Employees terminated without cause are entitled to severance payments in all of the amounts described below:
- 90 days of wages
- 20 days of wages for each year of service
- 12 days of wages for each year of service, where the wage is capped at twice the amount of the daily minimum wage
- Any accrued wages and benefits such as paid leave, leave premium, and Christmas bonus
Leave Entitlements in Mexico
Annual leave in Mexico
- Mexican federal labor law guarantees employees annual paid leave dependent on the employee’s length of service. The statutory minimum amount of annual leave days are as follows:
- After one year of service, six days of annual leave
- After two years of service, eight days of annual leave
- After three years of service, 10 days of annual leave
- After four years of service, 12 days of annual leave
- After the fourth year of service, an employee’s annual leave entitlement increases by two days for every four years of service.
- On top of their regular wages, employees are entitled to a vacation premium. This premium is 25% of their salary, payable during the leave’s duration.
Parental and maternity leave in Mexico
- Article 170 of Mexico’s federal labor law provides the right of working mothers to a paid maternity leave of six weeks before and six weeks after childbirth. Mothers are also entitled to additional resting breaks during the nursing period, six months after childbirth.
- Paternity leave in Mexico consists of five days’ paid leave, including in the event of adoption. A new mother is entitled to six weeks of maternity leave in Mexico in the case of adoption.
Sick leave in Mexico
- The Mexican federal labor code designates a maximum of 52 weeks of leave in the case of illness or injury. The illness or injury must be certified by medical authorities of Mexico’s national social security system, the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), for paid time off to apply. IMSS pays employees 60% of their regular wages beginning from the fourth day of their absence.
Regional and national holidays in Mexico
- Mexico has seven public holidays in a calendar year, which are not included in the minimum paid leave entitlement and they are taken in addition to annual leave. The following are national holidays in Mexico:
- New Year’s Day (January 1)
- Constitution Day (February, the specific day fluctuates each year)
- Benito Juarez Day (March, the specific day fluctuates each year)
- Labor Day (May 1)
- Independence Day (September 16)
- Revolution Day (November, the specific day fluctuates each year)
- Christmas Day (December 25)
Employment Benefits in Mexico
- Mexico’s government benefits programs are administered by the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS). The IMSS was founded in 1943 and it’s responsible for providing social security services to Mexican society. The Department collects contributions from employers and employees to maintain the Mexican Social Security scheme, which maintains pensions, survivor benefits, short-term disability, long-term disability, healthcare, and paid leave entitlements.
Tax and Social Security in Mexico
- Individuals are considered Mexican tax residents if they have established a residence in the country, regardless of the number of days spent in Mexico.
- Mexican residents pay Mexican income tax on their worldwide income. Non-residents are taxed only on their Mexican-source income.
Tax thresholds in Mexico
- As of 2022, the Mexican income tax brackets are:
- Up to MXN 7,735.00: 1.92%
- MXN 7,735.01 – MXN 65,651.07: 6.4%
- MXN 65,651.08 – MXN 115,375.90: 10.88%
- MXN 115,375.91 – MXN 134,119.41: 16%
- MXN 134,119.42 – MXN 160,577.65: 17.92%
- MXN 160,577.66 – MXN 323,862.00: 21.36%
- MXN 323,862.01 – MXN 510,451.00: 23.52%
- MXN 510,451.01 – MXN 974,535.03: 30%
- MXN 974,535.04 – MXN 1,299,380.04: 32%
- MXN 1,299,380.05 – MXN 3,898,140.12: 34%
- Above MXN 3,898,140.12: 35%
- The corporate income tax rate in Mexico is 30%.
Health insurance in Mexico
- Mexico enjoys an efficient healthcare system consisting of public and private schemes. The majority of Mexican hospitals are internationally recognized as high quality and staffed by highly trained medical personnel. Mexico has universal health coverage and its public healthcare is used by a majority of the country’s residents. Mexico’s public healthcare is administered through the Instituto Mexicano de Seguro Social (IMSS); this covers patients for most health services and prescription medications. Employed residents are automatically enrolled in the IMSS system and their contributions to the scheme are deducted by their employer. Although public healthcare in Mexico is relatively high, service quality differs between hospitals and residents may experience long waiting periods for non-emergency procedures.
Pension in Mexico
- Employees in Mexico are subject to eligibility requirements for the state’s old-age retirement pension. Qualifying conditions for the state’s old-age pension include being at least 65 years old and submitting at least 1,250 weeks of contributions to the Instituto Mexicano de Seguro Social (IMSS). The legal monthly minimum for the old-age retirement pension is 3,123.18 pesos.
Payroll in Mexico
- Using an employer of record in Mexico helps make the payroll process easy and compliant.
Tax due dates in Mexico
- In Mexico, the tax year is the calendar year. The tax return filing deadline is April 30.
Payroll cycle in Mexico
- The payroll cycle in Mexico is generally bi-weekly, where payments are made on the 15th and the last working day of the month.
Average working hours in Mexico
- The maximum duration of each work shift is as follows:
- Eight hours for a daytime work shift, where 48 hours is the maximum per week
- Seven hours for a night-time work shift, where 42 hours is the maximum per week
- Seven and a half hours for a combined day-night work shift, where 45 hours is the maximum per week
Overtime in Mexico
- Overtime in Mexico is considered time worked after a scheduled shift and it must be paid at double or triple the regular rate. When overtime pay is applicable, it must be paid at a rate of:
- Twice the regular hourly wage, when overtime does not exceed nine hours in a week
- Three times the regular hourly wage, when overtime exceeds nine hours in a week
Why Work in Mexico?
Mexico is located in the southern portion of North America, bordered by the United States to the north, the Gulf of Mexico to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Mexico is the third-largest country in Latin America and the region’s second-largest economy.
Mexico is a tactful business partner as it’s the leading exporter in Latin America and it’s among the largest economies in the world. Its numerous trade agreements and strong manufacturing sector have helped to secure Mexico as a strategic international ally.
Those searching for reasons to work and live in Mexico can look forward to a low cost of living, a laid-back culture, a friendly social atmosphere, diverse topography, and delicious traditional foods. Mexicans share cultural values with a heavy emphasis on family and friends, leisure time, respect, and personal dignity.
The climate in Mexico is quite varied as the country covers a large mass of land. The Tropic of Cancer separates the country into temperate and tropical zones. The northern region experiences lower temperatures during the winter months, while the southern region has temperatures that are consistent year-round and vary due to elevation. Mexico’s topography includes a wide range of landscapes from coastal plains, to temperate highlands, to mountain ranges that climb to over 10,000 feet above sea level.
Mexico offers its residents and visitors history and culture, composed of influences passed down by scores of civilizations. Mexico is world-famous for the friendliness of its people, its ancient ruins and temples, historic art and architecture, beautiful beaches, and delectable cuisine. Additionally, Mexico’s music and dance traditions are showcased in carnivals and celebrations throughout the entire country, all year round.
Mexico has developed an extensive transportation network to meet the needs of its large economy. The most common and inexpensive mode of transportation in Mexico is by bus. Buses are the most efficient form of long-distance transport and big cities’ metro systems are the most well-known of Mexico’s public transport options. Every Mexican city and rural village has at least one bus terminal, making it accessible throughout the country.
Mexico is revered for its welcoming community, rich culture and history, natural beauty, and cooking. If you’re looking for a place to expand your business in Latin America, Mexico is a notable option to explore.
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