Working

Working Freelance in Mexico

Working Freelance on a project

If you currently work (or potentially could work) freelance in the knowledge economy, today’s working landscape offers opportunities to explore the geographical options, including moving to Mexico.

With the rapid development of the Internet, and increasing numbers of people working in “knowledge” trades, business today is more portable than it ever has been.  Modern communications technology, the ‘digital economy’, and changing work practices in modern business are giving rise to some unique opportunities for people with the skills, expertise, and aptitude for working on a freelance basis.

Besides the attractions of a good year-round climate and great culture, there are other practical reasons why Mexico is becoming increasingly attractive for professionals working independently in the knowledge economy.

Case Study

Carol, a freelance graphic designer, moved from her home in Canada to Mexico. She has well-established relationships with existing clients, and good working relationships with design agencies in Canada and the U.S. who call on her to undertake other design work.

She talks with her clients using Skype.  She’s in her late twenties, and had become disillusioned in her current situation, which also featured paying living costs that just kept rising while the fees she charges remain flat in what is a competitive commercial environment.

She worked out that by moving to Mexico, she would save on living costs, and enjoy year-round sunshine which she loves and helps with her general well-being.  The Spanish she learned in high school is being improved as she takes a local course and, being immersed in the language here, it’s improving every day.

Her clients don’t notice any difference in their arrangements.  Hers is the ideal profile of a young professional who can realize benefits by moving to Mexico.

If you currently work (or potentially could work) freelance in the knowledge economy, today’s working landscape offers you an opportunity to explore the geographical options, including moving to Mexico.

Besides the attractions of a good year-round climate and great culture, there are other practical reasons why Mexico is becoming increasingly attractive for professionals working independently in the knowledge economy, and some of these include:

Communications: Reliable communications services are the backbone of a knowledge worker’s infrastructure. Mexico has the best-developed telecommunications network in Latin America.  High speed data connections, WiFi, and high-speed mobile internet are widely available. See the Communications in Mexico guide for full details.

Living Costs: Anyone living in the US, Canada or Europe over the last few years will not have missed the increases in living costs, which are taking up ever-higher percentages of incomes.  Living costs in Mexico are generally lower and could thus extract less from your overall budget and enable you to keep more of your earnings (which also means more money for savings like retirement funds). See Cost of Living in Mexico for more information.

No Car: While many people could not conceive life without a car in places like the US, Canada and the UK, it’s quite possible to live without one, and live well in Mexico.  Public transport is adequate and taxis are inexpensive, so when you need a car, you can have a car and a driver for less than the cost of running your own car. See our article Living in Mexico Without a Car to learn more about this.

Working Structure: You have two broad choices: close down your company in your home country and set up a company in Mexico, or keep your home-country company active and use it to trade from while you are in Mexico.  How you set this up depends on your individual circumstances, and you should take professional advice to ensure you comply with filing requirements and stay legal.  A good accountant will help you do this.

Those who already work freelance understand that the work style exacts certain demands in return for the flexibility it offers, and these demands don’t change by moving to Mexico. It’s not wise to move to Mexico purely for financial reasons, and if you do this, you might end up gaining some money but losing elsewhere.

Foreigners who have successfully moved their freelance business to Mexico came with a vision and a plan that went beyond saving money: they sought a change of environment, a different cultural scene, and were prepared to adapt to a new way of living.  We recommend that your decision about moving here to work should be made ‘in the round’, and not on the whim of any single aspect, or perceived benefits taken in isolation.

Our guides to Working in Mexico give an excellent overview of the work environment here, including self-employment, and outline the key considerations you need to take into account.

Mexico eBooks for Freelancers: If you’re currently working freelance in your home country, or are preparing to work on a freelance basis and want to explore whether Mexico is right for you, we recommend these eBooks which, together, create a “Freelancer’s Knowledge Kit” for working in Mexico.