How to Hire Employees in Mexico: Costs and Checklist

How to Hire Employees in Mexico: Costs and Checklist
Photo by Chantel / Unsplash

As a recruitment lawyer in Mexico, I frequently assist companies in navigating the intricacies of hiring employees. This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge to onboard talent legally and compliantly.

Setting Up Shop: Your Options

Before diving into the nitty-gritty, you'll need to decide how you'll establish your presence in Mexico. Here are the two main routes:

  1. Establish a Mexican Entity: This grants you complete control over your operations but involves legal and administrative setup costs.
  2. Partner with an Employer of Record (EOR): The EOR assumes legal responsibility for your employees, handling payroll, taxes, and social security contributions. This simplifies the process but comes with additional fees. Consult 4Geeks EOR service.

Understanding Mexican Labor Law

Mexico boasts a robust legal framework governing employer-employee relationships. The Federal Labor Law (Ley Federal del Trabajo - LFT) serves as the foundation, outlining employee rights, benefits, and termination procedures ( ).

Pre-Employment Checklist: Get Ready to Hire

  1. Company Registration: Regardless of your chosen route, ensure you're registered with the Mexican Social Security Institute (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social - IMSS) and the Tax Administration Service (Servicio de Administración Tributaria - SAT).
  2. Job Description: Craft a clear and detailed job description outlining responsibilities, qualifications, and compensation.
  3. Employment Agreements: A well-drafted contract clarifies expectations, salary, benefits, and termination clauses.It must comply with the LFT.

The Hiring Process: From Interview to Onboarding

  1. Recruitment: Focus on attracting qualified candidates through legal channels like job boards or professional recruitment agencies.
  2. Selection: Conduct interviews adhering to anti-discrimination laws.
  3. Onboarding: Welcome your new hire with essential paperwork, including the employment contract, tax forms, and social security registration.

Costs to Consider: Budgeting for Employee Hiring

The cost of hiring in Mexico varies depending on your chosen route, employee benefits offered, and salary levels. Here's a breakdown of some key expenses:

  • EOR Fees: EORs typically charge a percentage of the employee's salary for their services.
  • Social Security Contributions: Employers contribute a significant portion (around 35%) to an employee's social security.
  • Payroll Taxes: Payroll taxes in Mexico can be complex, so consulting with a tax advisor is recommended.

Quickstart Checklist for Compliant Hiring

  • Decide on your entity setup (Mexican entity or EOR)
  • Register with IMSS and SAT
  • Develop a compliant job description and employment contract
  • Recruit and interview candidates following anti-discrimination laws
  • Onboard new hires with necessary paperwork and registrations
  • Stay up-to-date on Mexican labor law changes

Holidays in Mexico

Fixed Holidays:

    • January 1: New Year's Day (Año Nuevo)
    • February 5: Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución)
    • March 21: Benito Juarez's Birthday (Cumpleaños de Benito Juarez)
    • May 1: Labor Day (Día del Trabajo)
    • September 16: Independence Day (Día de la Independencia)
    • November 2: Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos)
    • November 20: Revolution Day (Día de la Revolución)
    • December 25: Christmas Day

Variable Holidays: (Dates change year to year)

    • Holy Thursday (Jueves Santo) - falls on the Thursday before Easter Sunday
    • Good Friday (Viernes Santo) - falls on the Friday before Easter Sunday
    • Easter Sunday (Domingo de Pascua)
    • Ascension Day (Día de la Ascensión)


  • Gross Salary: $3,000 USD = 60,000 MXN (conversion)
  • Employer Social Security Contributions: ~35% (estimated) = 21,000 MXN
  • Employee Social Security Withholding: ~7% (estimated) = 4,200 MXN

Employee Net Pay Before Income Tax: 34,800 MXN (60,000 MXN - 21,000 MXN - 4,200 MXN)

Income Tax Calculation (simplified)

Mexico uses a progressive tax system. Here's a hypothetical scenario assuming the employee falls under the 16% tax bracket:

  • Income Tax Withholding: ~16% of 34,800 MXN = 5,568 MXN (approximation)

Estimated Take-Home Pay: 29,232 MXN (34,800 MXN - 5,568 MXN)

Important Note: This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered tax advice. Always consult with a qualified Mexican tax professional for accurate calculations based on your specific situation.

Seeking Additional Support

Hiring in Mexico requires careful planning and adherence to local regulations. Consider seeking assistance from the following resources:

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