The following are basic steps that should be followed before deciding to "go global":
- Carefully assess the business and its products
- Develop a good, solid business plan. – VERY IMPORTANT!
- Conduct ample research (foreign market trends, demographics, political, economic and social environments, etc.)
- Determine the method of foreign market entry (agent/distributor, direct exporting, joint venture, etc.)
- Select an agent or distributor – most small businesses find that it is too costly to sell directly to an end user; therefore finding a good distributor to represent your company and products is crucial.
Not necessarily. All export shipments are carried out on a transaction basis, and 98 percent of all exported products are automatically covered under a general license issued by the U.S. government; this license requires no paperwork. Should a product not fall under a general licensing category, a "validated license" must be obtained from the government. Also, validated licensing may be applicable to countries such as Cuba or China due to foreign policy concerns.
For an application to obtain a validated license, contact the Exporter Assistance Office at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 1099D, Washington, D.C. 20230, (202) 482-4811.
The following public and private organizations offer excellent market and research assistance:
Freight forwarders, international departments of banks, export management companies, small business development and international trade centers (located at community colleges or chambers of commerce), state international offices, export hotline, private firms/consultants.
The most common forms are bill of landing, certificate of origin, commercial invoice, consular invoice, destination control statement, export packing list, inspection certificate, insurance certificate and shipper’s export declaration. Some freight forwarders will do this paperwork for you.
If you are working with a freight forwarder, the forms usually are provided. They can also be obtained from a Government Printing Office or business supply store.
Developed in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and College of DuPage as a service to Illinois businesses under cooperative agreement #SB-2M-00097-15.
Business Development Center
Illinois International Trade Center
535 Duane Street, Office 233
Glen Ellyn IL 60137
Regular Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.