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Need Exporting Assistance? Small Business Development Centers Can Help

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Need Exporting Assistance? Small Business Development Centers Can Help

Published: March 29, 2013 Updated: July 6, 2016


Have you considered the potential for selling your products or services outside the U.S.?  Your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), an SBA resource partner, can help you get started.

The many international trade services offered by individual SBDCs vary, but most often include:

  • Product/Service Readiness:  Determine if your products or services are suitable for export, and what product adaptations may be required.
  • Export Readiness: Learn if your company meets the key export readiness factors or, what you need to do to become ready.
  • Market Research: Review possible trade barriers, political and economic risks and competitors, in order to identify and rank the best foreign market opportunities.
  • Documentation/Compliance: Learn how to comply with export regulations, product classification, in-country governmental requirements and the effective use of freight forwarders.
  • Trade Finance: Learn how the trade finance programs of the SBA, the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation may help you.
  •  Partner Identification: Get connected to potential sales with U.S. Commercial Service services such as Gold Key or International Partner Search. SBDCs can also advise you of individual state trade assistance programs and incentives.
  • Specialized Areas: Some SBDCs offer assistance in specialized areas such as product certification (i.e. CE Mark, CCC, etc.).

If you think you have a product or service with foreign trade potential, or are already exporting and want to grow those sales, contact your local SBDC for assistance.

About the Author:


at the first, thank to SBDCs. how can I contact SBDCs and be sure that I can receive the (their, its) assistance?
This is excellent advice. Take it from someone who has investigated this market before. Possible trade barriers & political and economic risks and competitors are VERY important things to take into consideration before making the leap into exporting.
I agree with you about the process cumbersome customs procedures, but you need more optimism on this issue, in the U.S. we are always free and democratic mode of operation should all be protected safely most a few small procedures will not affect how much
I really do not understand why every time to go through customs to the procedures to do so much, it made ​​me lose a lot of time.
We look forward to a new trade agreement with Europe!
The import/export business is a complicated one, but I have heard that it is worth it as it can be quite lucrative. I wouldn't normally think of the SBA as a resource for an import/export business, but I will now.
NAFTA what a joke. The government needs to get their stuff straight.
Just curious, why do we have to fill out customs forms when shipping to Canada? Shouldn't NAFTA help that? Also, why is shipping with USPS, FedEx and UPS so expensive when shipping to Canada? Thanks, Teri

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