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Are you thinking of starting an import export business? According to Import Export Professionals, these 8 tips are what you need to get started.

1. Many countries have set up Consulates and Embassies that have many tasks including promoting the exporting of goods. The Embassy website has lists of manufacturers and email links you can use to source. Consulates are found in different cities while Embassies are found in the nation’s capital.

2. Contact the taxation department in your country to find out about registration numbers or procedures you are required to follow. The registration number is used in all relevant documents.

3. Learn about licensing requirements. Some countries don’t have any licensing requirements. However, if you plan to import/export products considered high-risk such as chemicals, liquor, pharmaceuticals, and certain foods, you may be required to have a license. It’s a good idea to begin with low risk items until you get the hang of it.

4. Many countries have trade barriers, called embargoes. For example, the USA has an embargo against Cuba. You should contact your government to learn whether there are any such embargoes in the country you are considering exporting or importing to. You should also contact the Embassy to learn if there are any restrictions placed on the type of goods you are planning to export to that country.

5. Use a customs broker to do the paperwork required when you are importing. While you can attempt to do the necessary paperwork yourself, it can delay shipments significantly. The fee charged by a custom broker is well worth it.

6. When you are exporting, it is important that you check out all the shipping solutions, as well as customs handling solutions. Do your research. Ask many questions. Each company has their own set of requirements so know what you are getting into.

7. You need to understand Incoterms, which are standard trade definitions. They can be found on the International Chamber of Commerce Website (

8. Talk to your bank to learn about Letters of Credit. This is the most commonly used form of payment when you are dealing internationally. A Letter of Credit will minimize the risk to you because the bank guarantees release of fund to the company providing the goods once the goods are delivered to you.

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An import export business is one of the more difficult businesses to startup. But it can be highly profitable once you have mastered the art. There is plenty of excellent information available online pertaining to starting an import export business. Do your homework. It will make the process that much easier.

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