Welcome to Destination MexicoCulture - Business Etiquette

Business Etiquette:
  • Business Dress Code: Mexican business people tend to wear suites, especially in cities like Mexico City, which is a relatively formal place. In places like Guadalajara and Monterrey a collared shirt with pants is enough. Shorts do not enter the dress code anywhere except for use in a beach resort. Shorts are not even worn for a picnic. The easiest way to spot a tourist in Mexico City is by looking for people wearing shorts. For such things as picnic, dress casually but elegantly. A polo style shirt, a sweater and sport slacks are best.

  • In Mexico City most offices will be open from 9:00am to 5:00pm; they can however be open as late as 7:00pm from Monday to Friday. Lunch is usually from around 2:00pm and takes between 1 and 2 hours.

  • In Mexican business circles "yes" can mean no and "no" can mean maybe because in Mexico it is impolite to turn people down.

  • The preferred type of business meeting is one that is over breakfast. This meting will be used to get to know eahc other and exchange information over the potential business deal. People tend to have a power breakfast and/or lunch, lasting over two hours, in expensive settings.

  • According to Mexican laws you must translate all your marketing literature, product manuals, labels, and warranty for any business transactions/deals in Mexico.

  • It is customary to address your business partner as "licenciado" which is the equivalent to a bachelors' degree. Do this even if you know that your business partner is not a licenciado. "Ingeniero" (Engineer) and "Doctor" (either medical doctor or PhD) are also quite common.

  • Mexicans are very status conscious. They care about what you wear, what car you drive, etc... Professional titles are also very important.

  • A spoken commitment in Mexican business culture is never binding.

  • Often when phoning a Mexican businessperson you will have to go through 1-3 secretaries before reaching the desired person. These secretaries may not speak English, so have a short sentence in Spanish prepared, asking for the specific person.

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