Is it Hard to Open and Run a Business in Mexico?

Published on: Aug 15 2013 by Thomas Lloyd

Owning a business in MexicoKnow of anyone thinking of starting a small business in Mexico?


An acquaintance of mine here in Playa, Solomon Freimuth, who has guest-posted on some of our other blogs, wrote this article about starting a business in Mexico. I know many expats in Playa who have opened their own business and are very happy with and successful. Yet, Solomon’s caution is worth reading. I’m sure there are enough who give it whirl and don’t make or that’s just not right for them.


He begins thus:


This post is about owning and running a business in Mexico. I have to preface it by saying that by the time you finish, you may be completely discouraged in your dream of entrepreneurial success in paradise. However, there really is a wonderful life to be had in Mexico, and I know many people who have made their lives (and some, their fortunes) here, and who wouldn’t give it up, or change it. On the other hand, I haven’t met anyone who talks about it being easy to make a living here either.


So, let me reiterate – making a living like in Mexico, unlike in “more developed” countries can be very difficult, but it includes an excellent quality of life as a big benefit. To embrace this opportunity, you must be willing to make sacrifices, and accept that things are going to be different from the culture that you are used to.


You can read the whole thing here.


Now, from what I can tell, most of what he says is pretty much true. But I’m just going to qualify it somewhat; people I know who work 60 hour weeks running their own business in Mexico say that they still like it better than their 9-5 job back home. Why? It’s certainly not easy, but they feel that business allows them to connect to people and to the community in a way that wouldn’t be possible back home. They work all day – hard – but they love it. And they do go to the beach! (For examples, see these videos, also linked at the top of this post.)


But Solomon’s warning is right; people shouldn’t take on this approach thinking that they won’t have to work, or that it’s less work. It’s simply more rewarding!


So if your clients (or you) are thinking of opening shop in Mexico, I would say go for it, but make sure they’re prepared for reality.


-by Thomas Lloyd


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