Steps taken in the last decade have made it much easier for foreigners to own and control coastal property here in Mexico. There are now two legal and very proper ways for foreigners to own property here: forming a trust (fideicomiso) or forming a Mexican corporation.
Forming a Trust (Fideicomiso)
In this method, you set up a trust that buys the property, with yourself as the trust’s beneficiary. A major bank handles the paperwork to form the trust. It also files the annual renewal of the trust. A trust lasts for an initial 50 years, which is easily renewed, and gives you essentially all the rights you’d have if you owned the property in your own name. You can make improvements to the property, pass it on to your heirs, or sell it outright.
The trust system works fine if you plan to buy a single lot. Also, if you plan to live fulltime on a property, you’re technically required to buy through a trust, as the trust is meant for primary residences.
Banks charge a one-time set-up fee for a trust. They then charge a fee every year for renewing the trust. Both the set-up fee and the annual renewal fee are subject to increase.
Forming a Mexican Corporation
Your second alternative is to form a Mexican corporation, in which you own 99% of the shares, the other 1% is donated to a trusted 3rd party. This corporation holds direct title to your property. If you decide later to buy additional property, or perhaps to do business in Mexico, you can use your corporation for all of these. The fees to form and maintain a corporation are much less than those for a trust. And Mexico has no minimum annual tax for corporations if they have no income.
We have English-speaking attorneys who can manage registration of the corporation for you. We also have a qualified CPA firm that can handle annual filings for you as well as any other notifications that may come along.