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A small business guide to import and export

Deciding whether to start trading abroad? It’s a big decision for any small business to take – but it could be a move that really benefits your company.

Perhaps you’re already trading abroad but want to take things to the next level.

In any case, it’s worth taking the time to understand the complexities of importing and exporting. While international trade gives your business the chance to find new suppliers and more customers on a global scale, things can get costly and complicated too.

From contracts and Incoterms to dealing with currency costs and VAT, there is plenty to get your head around.

To help you get the basics sorted so you have a platform to build your importing or exporting strategy, we have a created a new guide.

The small business guide to import and export will provide you with advice and information on these areas and more.

It will also help you in your bid to grow your business in other markets and/or take the right steps to deal with customs when importing goods.

The small business guide to import and export covers the following topics:

  • Where to start with international trade
  • What to consider when exporting goods
  • What to consider when importing goods
  • Declarations and documentation
  • Potential disruption: managing Brexit

Excerpt from The small business guide to import and export

You might not consider your business to be trading internationally, when in fact you are. In reality, you’re engaging in international trade if you:

  • Sell anything to a foreign customer
  • Provide a service in another country
  • Employ somebody who resides in another country.

Deciding whether to trade overseas is a big decision for any small business. There’s a lot to consider, from who to trade with to the practical steps you’ll need to take to trade successfully. In this guide, we hope to get you ‘match fit’ for this big step.

Where to start

Almost half (49%) of UK businesses expect the amount of trade they carry out will increase in the next 12 months, while only 9% expect it to decrease, according to research produced by Sage in conjunction with YouGov in April 2019 (We Power the Nation survey).

This figure is an impressive one considering the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and ongoing  international tensions between the US and China, and China and South Korea.

Understanding the complexities of importing and exporting

While trading internationally means that, as a small business, you have the opportunity to find suppliers and customers globally, the process can be costly and complex.

You’ll need to take into consideration not only the price of goods, but transportation costs, fees charged by outsourced service providers, and charges levied by government agencies for export/import duty and VAT.

The small business guide to import and export

Deciding whether to trade abroad is a big decision for any small business. Learn what you need to do take the leap and discover how importing and exporting can benefit your company.

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