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How to start an Airbnb in Mexico: Listing your property on Airbnb in 5 easy steps

how to start an airbnb in mexico

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Exploring Mexico’s vibrant culture and stunning landscapes is a dream for many travelers. For property owners, listing a space on Airbnb in Mexico offers a unique opportunity to tap into this thriving tourist market. This guide provides essential steps and insights for successfully launching and managing an Airbnb in Mexico.

List your property on Airbnb in Mexico in 5 easy steps

Do you want to start Airbnb in Mexico? Any property owner can list their property on Airbnb in Mexico by following these 5 steps, which include the necessary legal procedures:

  1. Create an account on Airbnb in Mexico: Start by signing up on the Airbnb platform and setting up your host profile.
  2. List your property: Provide detailed information about your property, including location, amenities, photos, and pricing.
  3. Legal compliance: Ensure compliance with local regulations. In Mexico City, for instance, you may need a permit, especially in commercial or tourist zones.
  4. Safety standards: Meet Airbnb’s safety standards, including having working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  5. Local laws and community rules: Familiarize yourself with local laws regarding short-term rentals and adhere to community guidelines.

Owning an Airbnb in Mexico: Rules and regulations

Owning an Airbnb in Mexico requires adherence to both national and regional regulations. While Airbnb is legal across Mexico, the rules can vary significantly from one region to another.

Nationwide regulations:

  • Registration and permits: Hosts must register with local authorities in some regions. This often involves obtaining a permit or license for short-term rentals.
  • Safety and health standards: Compliance with safety and health regulations, including fire safety, hygiene, and maintenance standards, is mandatory.
  • Zoning laws: Certain areas may have zoning laws that restrict or regulate the use of properties for short-term rentals.

Regional specifics:

  • Mexico City: Requires property registration for short-term rentals and adherence to specific urban housing regulations. The city has contemplated particular regulations to control the impact of Airbnb on local housing markets.
  • Cancun and Riviera Maya (including Tulum): These tourist-heavy areas have more stringent regulations. Property owners may need to comply with additional tourism-related regulations and possibly higher tax rates.
  • Baja California (including Rosarito and Tijuana): Close to the US border, these areas have specific rules for foreign property owners, especially regarding property ownership near coastal and border zones.
  • Oaxaca and Guanajuato: Known for their cultural heritage, these regions may have specific requirements to preserve historical and cultural sites, impacting Airbnb rentals in these areas.


  • Income tax: Rental income is taxable in Mexico. The tax rate can vary based on the amount of income and the owner’s tax residency status.
  • Local taxes: Some regions may impose additional local taxes or tourism fees on short-term rentals.

Foreign ownership:

  • Restricted zones: Foreigners are subject to certain restrictions when buying property within 50 kilometers of the coast or 100 kilometers of international borders. In these areas, foreigners typically use a bank trust (fideicomiso) or establish a Mexican corporation to hold property.
  • Legal advice: It’s crucial for foreign investors, especially Americans, to seek legal advice to navigate the complexities of property ownership in Mexico.

These are the best places to Airbnb in Mexico

Mexico offers diverse locations for starting an Airbnb, each with unique attractions:

  1. Mexico City: A cultural hub with a rich history and vibrant nightlife.
  2. Cancun: Known for its stunning beaches and lively tourist scene.
  3. Tulum: Offers a blend of ancient ruins and modern luxury.
  4. Merida: A city rich in colonial heritage and Mayan culture.
  5. Mazatlan: Famous for its beaches and historic old town.
  6. Rosarito: A coastal city known for its beautiful beaches and artisanal shops.
  7. Oaxaca: Renowned for its indigenous cultures and culinary delights.
  8. Tijuana: A bustling city with a unique blend of Mexican and American cultures.
  9. La Paz: Offers serene beaches and a laid-back atmosphere.
  10. Guanajuato: A UNESCO World Heritage site with colorful architecture.
  11. Huatulco: Known for its pristine beaches and eco-tourism.
  12. Queretaro: A blend of history and modernity, with beautiful baroque architecture.

How to start an Airbnb in Mexico?

Starting an Airbnb in Mexico involves several steps:

  1. Create an Airbnb account.
  2. Research the market: Understand the demand and competition in your chosen location.
  3. Property acquisition: Consider buying a property suited for Airbnb, focusing on popular tourist destinations.
  4. Legal and tax compliance: Ensure you comply with local regulations and understand the tax implications.
  5. Prepare your property: Furnish and equip your property to meet guest expectations.
  6. Create an appealing listing: Highlight the unique aspects of your property and location.
  7. Manage your Airbnb: Provide excellent service, manage bookings efficiently, and gather guest feedback for continuous improvement.

Owning an Airbnb in Mexico can be a rewarding venture if done correctly. Property owners can successfully tap into Mexico’s prosperous tourism industry by understanding the legalities and tax implications and focusing on the guest experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is buying an Airbnb in Mexico a good investment?

Yes, buying an Airbnb in Mexico can be a good investment. With its diverse and attractive tourist destinations, from beachfront properties to cultural urban centers, Mexico offers a high potential for rental income. However, the success of the investment depends on location, property type, and effective management.

How profitable is starting an Airbnb business in Mexico?

Starting an Airbnb business in Mexico can be pretty profitable. The profitability depends on factors like the property’s location, its appeal to tourists, competitive pricing, and occupancy rates. Popular areas like Cancun, Tulum, and Mexico City often see higher profitability due to consistent tourist demand.

Can foreigners Airbnb their property in Mexico?

Yes, foreigners can Airbnb their property in Mexico. However, they must comply with local regulations, obtain necessary permits, and pay taxes on rental income. Foreign owners must understand and adhere to the specific rules of the region where their property is located.

How much tax do I pay on Airbnb rental income in Mexico?

The tax on Airbnb rental income in Mexico varies. Property owners are required to declare their income and pay taxes accordingly. The rate can depend on the amount of income generated and the region’s specific tax laws. Consulting with a tax professional is recommended for accurate tax assessment.

Is Airbnb legal in Mexico?

Yes, Airbnb is legal in Mexico. However, regulations can vary by region. Some areas may require permits or have specific rules for short-term rentals. Property owners should comply with local laws and regulations to operate an Airbnb legally in Mexico.

Can Americans start an Airbnb rental in Mexico?

Yes, Americans can start Airbnb rentals in Mexico. They must adhere to local laws, including obtaining permits and paying taxes on rental income. It’s important for American owners to familiarize themselves with the regulations in the area where their rental property is located.

Can Americans buy Airbnb property in Mexico?

Yes, Americans can buy property in Mexico to use as an Airbnb. However, certain restrictions and regulations exist, especially in areas close to the coast or the border. Americans should seek legal advice to understand the requirements and procedures for property purchase in Mexico for Airbnb purposes.

Written by Matt Timmermans

2 Responses

  1. Hi. Thanks for this information. Do I need to do anything more than what AirBB does for me on my property in Playa Del Carmen? Currently they take out a hefty VAT for the Mexican government. Is there something else I need to file or do?

    1. In addition to the VAT that Airbnb handles for you in Playa Del Carmen, you may need to file local tax returns or meet other local tax obligations. It’s advisable to consult with a local tax advisor to ensure you’re complying with all requirements.

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List your property in Mexico on Airbnb
Airbnb is a globally popular booking platform that allows property owners to list their properties for rent. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to earn a passive income. List your property on Airbnb today!
List your property in Mexico on Airbnb

Airbnb is a globally popular booking platform that allows property owners to list their properties for rent. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to earn a passive income. List your property on Airbnb today!