4th Borderless Business Congress

Shelter companies in Mexico: manufacturing operating models

Do you want to know how shelter companies in Mexico work? Get to know the operating models for manufacturing and what is the best option for your company.
Main topics

The maquiladora model in Mexico give foreign companies all the benefits they need to grow. To operate a maquiladora, it is necessary to have all the requirements the regulatory decree of maquiladoras (IMMEX) asks for. But also, companies have to decide the type of operating model they want to have. If you are here to know how shelter companies in Mexico work, let’s talk about it.

What is a shelter company?

In Mexico, a shelter operating model is when a foreign company hires services such as administration and manufacturing without actually operating it themselves; they just determine the conditions and receive the final product. It is basically a form of outsourcing.

The advantage of this model is that the foreign company does not have to actually manage the maquiladora in Mexico. As a shelter company, there is no need to look out for the administrative, financial and legal aspects, since somebody else will do it. Some investors see it as gain; others may not think as the best option, but that is why there are other models to select and to ponder what is best for your company.

Other manufacturing models

Besides shelter, there are other three basic models to operate a maquiladora or manufacturing company. These are direct ownership, subcontracting and joint investment. We’ll define the concepts briefly here.

Direct ownership

The direct ownership model, unlike the shelter one, is when the foreign company is set up in Mexico and takes cover of the financial, legal and administrative operations of the company autonomously. It manages and has a total corporate presence in the country (Mexico, in this case).


In the subcontracting model, the foreign company makes a deal with another manufacturing company of its choice to assign a manufacturing process then they need the service.

Joint investment

The joint investment option works for foreign companies that decide to join another company that already exists in Mexico to create a larger plant.

This is how shelter companies in Mexico work. To learn more about the operation of a maquiladora in Mexico, contact the experts. At, we can properly advise you.

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