If you are interested in opening a business in Mexico or buying property south of the border the first thing you need to do is hire a Notary to guide you through the legal process. A Notary (or Notario) in Mexico has very similar functions to an American notary, but the importance and power that a Notario has in Mexico is much greater.
The Notario is a legal professional, invested with public faith by the State, who provides legality and gives authority to transactions in Mexico. A Notario always maintains a high level of professionalism and implements total impartiality and full autonomy in their actions, which are limited to the legal framework and the rule of law of the state that they are appointed to.
The requirements to be a Notario are different in each state, since they are established by local law. However, in general terms it is required to be a licensed lawyer in Mexico, have provable experience working in a notary, have a good reputation both personal and professional and approve or in his case, be the winner of an opposition examination.
A notario is usually appointed by the Governor. The number of notaries are limited as they are appointed based on the population of the city and their jurisdiction is restricted to the state they are based on. Notary certifications are usually handed down from generation to generation and are very closely guarded.
That is to say, all notaries are lawyers, but very few lawyers achieve the status of notary. This is very different from the United States where literally anyone can take a test and become a notary (I know this as I was a notary for a time).
In Mexico, like all countries in Latin America using the same notary system, the Notario’s functions are to advise his clients, interpret their will, write, read, explain and authorize all relevant documents.
The Notario assists in various acts such as powers of attorney, incorporation of companies, as well as purchases, donations, mortgages, trusts and inheritance. The Notary also attests facts, makes notifications, requirements, existence and capacity of people, recognition of signatures, gives faith to legal protocols and facts in general.
A Notario plays a vital role when an American purchases land in Mexico, its main task is to identify the parties that celebrate the contract (buyer and seller), explain the content of the contract and resolve doubts.
You must also go to the Notary to determine the characteristics of the property you are about to purchase, the amount of time it will take to complete the operation and arrange your different types of payment methods. He will review and perform the paperwork needed for the deed in addition to evaluating what the value of the property is determining the corresponding taxes. All this will allow him to check and correct any misunderstandings.
Once the established requirements that an American needs to comply with to buy real estate have been met, the taxes have been paid, the documents signed and sent to the public registry, the transmission of the property and the testimony that corresponds to the buyer will be delivered so that it is registered in the Public Registry of the Property and the change of owner is made.
Finally, consider that the expenses of the Notary’s fees are paid by the buyer. Remember that resolving doubts involving the purchase of real estate in Mexico does not generate any cost, since the advice and consultancy is offered free of charge throughout the country.
The expenses on the services performed by the Notario depend on the state where he is located, but only one sixth of the total of the expenses corresponds to purchasing fees. The rest is applied for different reasons: procedures for obtaining different certificates, taxes for acquisition and expenses generated by the appraised and the new house scriptures.
Also, if you are looking to start your own company in Mexico the Notario is also capable of performing all those tasks for you and guiding you through the whole process which includes dealing with various government entities. The Notario performs before the Public Registry of Property and Commerce. Once the company is registered, an original copy is delivered to each of the shareholders. This process is much longer and it is advisable to contact a trustworthy and respectable Notario before opening a company in Mexico.
I hope you’ve found this article on the Role of a Notary in Mexico to be helpful. For more information, or for assistance in starting a business offshore, please contact us at email@example.com or call us at (619) 550-2743. We’ll be happy to refer you to experts in Mexico who can assist you.