Wide-angle view of the Angel of Independence monument in Mexico City, with surrounding modern office buildings and a busy roundabout filled with traffic. The Biz Latin Hub logo and text "México" are overlaid on the bottom left corner of the image.

How Does Business Etiquette Function in Mexico?

Using the appropriate business etiquette in Mexico will define your business partnerships and ultimately your business success. As Mexico continues to expand and prosper economically, a growing amount of investors and business owners are flowing into the country looking for new opportunities. When doing business in Mexico, it is important to use the right business etiquette to show respect and understanding of the local culture. This article will provide you with some tips on how business etiquette functions in Mexico. From market-entry, to company formation to closing business deals, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the Mexican culture and how it affects business relationships.

Doing Business Etiquette in Mexico -Time Is Relative 

Mexico Time Business Etiquette
The concept of time in Mexico is very flexible

Although punctuality is expected on your part, it is normal for Mexicans to arrive later than the set time of an appointment/meeting. Do not be offended by this gesture as the concept of time in Mexico is very flexible. The same applies to deadlines. When a date is set for a task to be completed, the date usually serves as a general target and can easily be moved over a few days, and in some cases, even weeks. Some foreigners actually find that this can be a point of strategic competitive advantage. Often, the services provided by foreigners are seen as more efficient than their local counterparts which can put them in a good position in the competitive marketplace.

Friendship Over Business

Two people sit on a stone bench, each holding a smartphone. One person is dressed in a black jacket with tan pants, while the other wears a magenta blazer with green pants. Practicing business etiquette, they occasionally exchange glances before returning to their screens. The background includes a paved walkway and some greenery.
Following up with people, maintaining new relationships and establishing trust is of vital importance in business relationships

Although you’re probably meeting your Mexican business partners to negotiate and close deals, you can’t lay your cards on the table right away. Following up with people, maintaining new relationships and establishing trust is of vital importance in business relationships. In the long-term, like many other business environments, these soft skills prove to be hugely beneficial in forming and developing of business relationships. Mexicans do business with people they like and trust. Therefore, take the time to nurture your business relationships and get to know your partners outside the business environment. If you get invited to a family event or birthday party, don’t decline. This is much more likely get you the terms you want than a formal business meeting. If you go out to a business lunch, don’t expect to actually discuss business until the very end. So take it easy and share a few laughs with your business partner. Although you might feel unproductive, you might be surprised by the results a friendly lunch might have on your potential business partner’s decisions.

Touching and Greeting

mexico etiquette
Mexicans tend to communicate within a closer physical distance than some western cultures

Mexicans tend to communicate within a closer physical distance than some western cultures. Don’t be alarmed by a friendly pat on the back, touching of your arm or speaking within a close proximity. Backing out of such situations can seem rude and close your line of communication. When greeting a Mexican woman, shake hands only once she extends hers first. But if not, a little bow will serve as a simple friendly greeting to a Mexican woman.

Biz Latin Hub can assist you doing business in Mexico

At Biz Latin Hub, we provide integrated packages of back-office services that are tailored to every need. 

Our portfolio includes accounting & taxation, company formation, due diligence, legal services, and hiring & PEO, and we are active in 16 markets around Latin America and the Caribbean, making us ideal partners for supporting multi-jurisdiction market entry and cross-border operations.

Our experience and understanding of the markets where we operate means that working with us comes with the guarantee of compliance with all local regulations, be that employment law in Mexico or any other legal code related to investment. 

Contact us today  to find out more about how we can support you doing business in Mexico.

Or learn more about our team and expert authors.

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.
Legal Team Mexico
Legal Team Mexico

Legal Team Mexico is the Biz Latin Hub leading experts on doing business in Mexico The Team writes on the news, doing business, law, and changing regulations. The team are experts in corporate law, Administrative law, Employment law, Immigration law and legal advisory services. Read more about them here. You can contact Legal Team Mexico via our "contact us page".

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