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keep you from making costly errors. A good, English speaking accountant will
only charge you about $80 U.S. to $100 U.S. monthly and will take care of
everything, tax reports, payroll tax computations, enrolling of employees with
the Mexican Social Security office (I.M.S.S.) as required by law, and lots more.
From what I have heard from expats who are in or have been in business in
Mazatlán, the competition for the peso is stiff, and you do not get any help
from the government or the Mexican business people. The main, and seem-
ingly only, concern of the government, for foreigners establishing businesses in
Mexico, is that all of the appropriate taxes are paid--on time. The only concern
of the Mexican businessperson is that you're not in competition with him. If
you are, count on being checked closely and often for any violations of
Mexican law, as he knows exactly to whom and where to complain.
Most foreigners who are successful have businesses that are not in competi-
tion with Mexican businesses, have a good Mexican accountant, and keep a low
profile. Many others do business via the Internet and have the money paid to
them in the U.S. (or their own country). Some work as consultants via the
Internet with visits to their own countries for on-site consulting. Another pos-
sibility is to work in your own country for six months and bring your money
to Mazatlán for the other six months of the year--a very attractive alternative.
David Bodwell of Mazatlán Book and Coffee Company has been in busi-
ness here for several years and would be happy to answer any questions you
may have. You can either stop by his bookstore, or so you don't miss him, call
984-5078, or email him at
What about investing in Mexican Stocks and Bonds?
There are many Mexican investment companies that would love to have you
invest in their stocks and bonds. Many expats have made good investments in
Mexican stocks in the past. My caution to you is that if you are looking at the
weak U.S. stock market returns, and see a brighter future in Mexican stocks--
think again. While there are some exceptions, I believe in what a Mexican busi-
nessman told me, "Mexican economy is really dependent on the U.S. economy.
When the U.S. economy gets the sniffles, the Mexican economy catches the flu."
Reasons for spending more time in Mazatlán far outnumber the reasons
not to. For a discussion of home rental, building, buying, and selling, check out
the next chapter.
Char les A. Hall