Is it easy to own a biz in Mexico? Haaaahaaahaaa.
Is it worth it?
HELLS YES! There're lots of advantages and benefits with moving your career south of the border, but that topic's for another day.
My hubby and I have been owner chocolatiers and icecreampreneurs in Puerto Vallarta since January 2017 and we LOOOOVE it! Of course it's not all bubble gum and roses - but really, what is?
three worst things about owning a biz in mexico
What's a factura you ask?
You don't want to know - seriously, you DON'T!!! It's like fingernails on a chalkboard or like trying to figure out what a politician really stands for!
It's how the Mexican government tracks business expenses, and every business MUST use facturas for expenses. Here's "a typical” process (keep in mind there's no standard, so this process will vary):
- Find your items and purchase them at the register to get a receipt.
- Go to another counter to get a factura receipt.
- Take paper factura to your office and file it in the "waiting" folder to ensure that you receive an electronic factura.
- Receive an email of the electronic factura (pdf and xml), and file them.
- If you don't receive an electronic factura, you or your accountant will have to check in the government system to see if
an electronic file was received.
- If you paid via cash, take the paper factura, and write a petty check cash from you bank account.
- File the paper factura.
- Go to the bank and cash the check.
Still want to own a biz in Mexico?
Well the good news is that you could always hire someone to do the above craziness... er, I mean process.
I do all of our paperwork for each biz, but our businesses are small. It also gets slow during the summer season, so you'll have time to reorganize and recharge your batteries for the next wave.
Supplies in Mexico (at least in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where we have businesses) are T . O . U . G . H . I mean veryyy TOUGH.
We have two small artisan businesses, so we buy in bulk when we can for packaging and sometimes get small discounts. Most of our supplies are fresh products, though, so discounts are few and far between. In fact, we pay a premium price for premium quality ingredients.
If you read my last article about pets in Mexico, you may remember the TNA syndrome I mentioned… THAT'S NOT AVAILABLE. There are several significant items that just aren't available in Puerto Vallarta/Mexico. Or if they are available, sometimes they run out. For instance, we make chocolate and ice cream and an essential ingredient we use is butter. Well, sometimes the butter we use is not available: period. Not anywhere. Sometimes we can't find cream, peanut butter, honey, cherries...
You get the idea.
We get supplies from FIVE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS around MEXICO and also from the U.S.
And one more thing. For the local fresh supplies that we buy in Puerto Vallarta, it’s not uncommon for us to go to 2, 3, or 4 stores just to find a single item. One day the store will have it, the next day they don't. It's frustrating until you learn to live with it... big lesson for us - "accept what is and go with the flow".
I lied, there's one more thing. Some of our smaller suppliers have a siesta in the middle of the day from 1 to 3pm. And sometimes when a store's hours are 10-4, they may not open right at 10am, maybe not at 10:15 or 10:20. Time here is lackadaisical at best. Remember the big life lesson, it's actually very good for you... "accept what is and go with the flow", "accept what is and go with the flow", "accept what is and go with the flow".
Nope, Todd and I haven't mastered that life lesson yet, but we're trying!
III THINGS IN MEXICO ARE CHEAP
The third worst factor about owning a business.
You can buy anything in Mexico for cheap cheap cheap, right?
Wrong wrong wrong.
While that may be true in some parts of Mexico, it's not true for Puerto Vallarta, where we live. Puerto Vallarta is a popular tourist town, therefore, prices are not always inexpensive for consumers or business owners.
Some supplies we buy for our products are higher than in the U.S., some are cheaper. Gasoline and electricity is definitely higher than the U.S.
You may have heard that labor is cheap in Mexico: well, yes... and no. Minimum wage in certain parts of Mexico is very low compared to the U.S. minimum wage. But if you want good employees, you'd better pay more than minimum wage.
What you may not know is that employees get crazy good benefits. Whether they work full time or part time, they all get the same benefits. An example is that employers pay around 40% extra of a worker’s pay for social security, healthcare, and a housing allowance. Another great benefit is that 10% of a business’ profits go to employees. That's right folks, 10%! These rules can change, but that gives you an idea of the great benefits for Mexican employees.
So there you have it, the three worst things about owning a business in Mexico. Surprised? Confused? Enlightened?
Most importantly, what does Larleen think is the worst thing about owning a biz in Mexico?
Questions, comments, anything to add? Write a comment below, would love to hear your thoughts.