Overview of the RFC registration and update for legal entities
Overview of the RFC registration and update for legal entities

To identify individuals or corporations carrying out economic activities in Mexico, it is mandatory to obtain the Federal Taxpayers Registry ID (“RFC”), which works as a unique code per person or entity. The RFC can be found in tax returns, invoices, procedures with banking institutions and other authorities since it is the means to identify taxpayers in Mexico.

In the last ten years, the tax authority has developed and allocated a significant investment in technology to identify the operations that each taxpayer carries out, such as electronic invoicing, payroll receipts, informative returns, and account statements linked to the RFC, so it is necessary to have it to operate within the legal framework in Mexico.

Who must obtain the RFC?

  • Individuals and legal entities filing periodic returns or issuing acts or activities for their operations.
  • Joint ventures.
  • Legal representatives, partners, and shareholders.
  • Notaries public.
  • Decentralized administrative units and bodies, and other government agencies.

As part of the tax reform that went into effect in 2022, it is an obligation for any individual of legal age. In Mexico, it is reached at 18 years of age.

Federal Taxpayers Registry

The rules to request registration in the RFC for legal entities are found in article 23 of the Federal Tax Code Regulations, which mentions that this process must be carried out once the act or constitutive document is signed if it has been through a notary public. For cases in which legal entities have not been constituted through the said figure, this procedure must be carried out within the month following the signing of the legal act that gave rise to them.

Form “43/CFF Application for registration in the RFC of legal entities in the ADSC” can be found in the Miscellaneous Tax Resolution, Annex 1-A, which also details the procedure to be followed by the legal representative of the recently created legal entity, within the month following the incorporation.

This procedure may be carried out at the offices of the Tax Administration Service (“SAT” per its Spanish acronym), by appointment and with the following requirements:

  • Registered incorporation document.
  • Proof of address.
  • Power of attorney accrediting the legal representation,
  • Legal representative’s official identification.
  • For legal entities, present the valid RFCs of their partners or shareholders.
  • Written document with the valid RFC codes of the partners or shareholders forming part of the structure. If they are residents abroad, generic RFCs must be used.

Process’ resolution
This procedure is resolved when it is carried out, so if the requirements are met, a document or acknowledgment will be obtained containing the RFC registration.

Electronic signature (“E.firma”)

In addition to the mentioned above, it is recommended that the procedure for obtaining the electronic signature (known as the e.firma) be carried out. Its purpose is to have a method to confirm the identity of the person using the RFC. This tool allows its holder to carry out online procedures, enter applications, and submit returns, among other procedures. 

To obtain the e.firma, it is necessary to have the RFC since the e.firma is directly linked to it. As an analogy, the RFC would be the user, while the e.firma would be the password.

It is worth mentioning that, as of 2022, there was a modification to the process for obtaining the e.firma, so it is important to consider the new provision to carry out this procedure successfully. This provision is currently in the procedure file “312/CFF Request for generating the e.firma certificate for legal entities.”

As part of the procedure, it is important to have booked an appointment at the SAT offices. 

To start the procedure, there is a process to carry out before the appointment, which is done through an executable program called “Certiifca,” which the SAT has available on its website. This program will generate “.req” and “.key” files, which must be saved to a USB memory stick and taken to the appointment to certify those files.

The requirements to carry out this procedure are the following:

  • E-mail, which will be linked to the e.firma,
  • A USB memory stick. 
  • Official form “e.firma certificate request.”
  • Protocolized incorporation document.
  • The legal representative’s valid official ID, with RFC and e.firma certificate. 
  • Legal representative’s general power of attorney for domain or administration acts.
  • Proof of address.
  • Submit the valid RFC of each partner or shareholder in the incorporation act. If there are more than five partners, submit an Excel file with each one’s information, such as:
    - RFC.
    - Names and surnames of the partners or shareholders if they are natural persons and corporate names in case of being legal entities.
  • If the RFCs of those persons are not in the articles of incorporation, such information must be stated in writing.
  • Submit a written document containing the RFC of the partner or shareholder having effective control of the legal entity.

As mentioned above, this e.firma serves as the taxpayer’s identity, or the holder’s in this case, so biometric data will be requested, such as fingerprints, a photograph of the person, iris scan, signature, as well as the digitalization of the original documents.

Process’ resolution
At the end of the process, an e.firma certificate will be issued, and the e.firma’s digital certificate file with “.cer” termination. 

It is important to mention that the RFC does not have an expiration date, but the e.firma’s digital certificate does. This digital certificate is valid for four years from the date of its issuance, so it is advisable to renew it before the expiration date to continue counting on its operation.

Other relevant considerations

Ultimate Beneficial Owner

As part of the tax reform that went into effect in 2022, the obligation to have information regarding the legal entity’s beneficial owner was included and may be requested both by the notary public performing the legal act of incorporation or the Authority. 

Broadly speaking, the controlling beneficiary is defined as an individual who directly or indirectly benefits from the legal entity they have an interest in. Please refer to our bulletin on this topic for more information on this subject: =Beneficial Owner: New obligation to identify and keep information=

Mexico is in an environment of constant tax updating, so at JA Del Río, we are at your disposal to advise you on these procedures and any other tax-related matter that you require.

If you require additional information in this regard, contact us, and we will gladly assist you.