Business risks

Australian companies are advised to spend time investigating the market, obtain professional advice where appropriate and thoroughly investigate the issues in entering the market and before establishing business relationships.

Australian firms wishing to operate in this market should commit to the highest level of corporate behaviour and familiarise themselves with Australia's laws and penalties pertaining to bribery of foreign officials.

Bribery of foreign public officials is a crime. Australian individuals and companies can be prosecuted in Australia for bribing foreign officials when overseas. Further information on the regulations governing bribery of foreign public officials is available.

For further information on frauds, scams, personal and asset security, intellectual property protection and other business risks please read more about legal issues.

Intellectual property protection

Industrial property is regulated by the Industry Property Law enacted in June 1991. This law regulates, amongst other things, patents, trademarks, industrial designs, licenses, slogans, franchises, etc. It is not necessary to submit for prior approval and registration contracts for the use of patents, trademarks or trade names or for providing technical assistance or know-how.

However, for due protection of patents, trademarks and copyrights, license agreements for these should be registered with the proper Mexican authorities, particularly to ensure enforceability vis-a-vis third parties.

Dispute resolution

The Mexican legal system is a written law based on the Roman or civil law tradition. Mexico is a federal country and its legal system has federal, as well as local laws, for each of the 31 states and for the Federal District (Mexico City, and Federal District, or DF) that forms the country.

The Mexican legal system is integrated by federal laws (i.e. Commercial Code, Federal Code of Civil Procedures and Federal Civil Code) and by local laws of each of the Mexican states (i.e. Civil Code for the Federal District and Code of Civil Procedures for the Federal District).

The scope of local laws is limited to the state that enacted them, and the scope of federal laws applies to all Mexican states, including the Federal District. However, it will be necessary to address the nature of the act in question and the specific area of law to determine whether it is a local or a federal matter (i.e. the Commercial Code, which is a federal law, contains substantive and procedural rules; it regulates commercial acts in general and establishes the rules governing the commercial court proceedings, which can be processed by local courts [ordinary] and/or federal courts because, under Mexico’s Constitution, there is concurrent jurisdiction between local and federal courts with respect to disputes involving the application of the Commercial Code).