What motivated you to establish V5 Consultores?
V5 Consultores is not just a law firm, but a firm of attorneys, accountants, and chemical engineers that provide legal and business advice to clients including governments. As a multidisciplinary group, we try to identify our clients' problems and look for the optimal solution. We currently have two offices in Mexico City, and we cover areas such as tax consultancy and litigation, foreign trade, customs and regulatory, corporative, contracts, litigation (civil and mercantile), administrative law, criminal law, real estate, compliance, industrial property, health regulatory, and immigration law. We have a small representative office in Miami that acts as a bridge for our clients in the US, Europe, and Latin America interested in doing business in Mexico. At V5 Consultores, we cover many areas, being highly specialized in integrally advising and representing businesses.
What are some of the biggest challenges companies are facing?
People in Mexico are tired of corruption, insecurity, and the lack of opportunities, which is why the majority voted for Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The president is introducing policies to solve these social matters. The increase in minimum wage is a welcome step, but the bigger problem is unemployment and lack of business activity continue. There are also external factors that continue to damage the economy such as a worldwide recession. Mexico needs to instill confidence in investors in order to boost FDI inflows. Moreover, Mexico needs to improve its credit ratings. For us, there are several openings on the horizon because of new laws and legislation. For example, the government has introduced new deductions and taxes for the digital economy. Tax advisors and taxpayers are required to declare all the tax opinions that generate benefit for taxpayers, including deductions, exemptions, and deferrals. Similarly, there are other opportunities to be found in our business line, such as outsourcing regulation and cannabis regulation.
What other areas are you looking to expand into?
Cannabis regulation is one area that we certainly are looking to exploit. Cannabis regulation includes certain administrative and customs laws, and our health regulatory area is doing work on that. Work in such field should definitively increase when the regulations are approved by congress. We look forward to litigation work too, which might be expected to pick up in a low economy as consequence of breach of contracts. We also plan to increase our advisory to our clients in their business relations with the government, including obtaining for them authorizations, and licenses and participating in tenders and bid invitations.
What is your recommendation for a company looking to enter the Mexican market?
Our recommendation is to seek timely expert advice to avoid costly mistakes. Obstacles can be presented such as Mexican bureaucracy, differences in idiosyncrasies, and an evolving law regime. For example, the current government is introducing new regulatory measures regarding our FTA with the US and Canada and a capital gains tax regime to stop companies from transferring gains to jurisdictions with friendlier tax regimes. Thus, when giving advice, V5 Consultores first looks at a company's business line and terms of operation and from there provides a strategy that complies with Mexico's laws and is business efficient.
What are your plans for 2020 and beyond?
We are looking at opening an office in Mérida because it is a growing economy with important domestic and foreign investments, and we have increasing business there. Moreover, the government is planning to invest in the region, and competent advice will be needed. 2020 will be good for us, but we need to be careful with our costs and expenditures as result of the deacceleration of the economy. At present, there is a great deal of work on the tax side, and this trend will continue throughout the year. The trade sector also presents many opportunities for us. 60% of our clients is Mexican and 40% is foreign, mainly from the US, Canada, and Spain.