If you're thinking about starting an import-export business, be aware that there is a lot of preparation involved. The import-export business is a potentially lucrative business. Its success depends on your ability to properly set up the business keeping within the trade guidelines of your country and the countries that you plan to import or export goods for profit. Read on to learn how to start an import and export business.
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Contact the consulates or embassies in the foreign countries where you will be importing and exporting goods. These offices provide you with industry directories, manufacturer lists and much more to help your business thrive.
Communicate regularly with your country's consulate to prepare for importing your goods from other countries.
Obtain a registration number from the taxation department in your country.
Ask about the licensing requirements of operating an import-export business in your country. Many countries do not require a license to operate an import-export business unless you are planning to import or export products recognized as "high-risk" like liquor, certain food items or pharmaceuticals. It is a good idea to stick with low-risk items when establishing your business in the beginning so that you will not have to deal with quotas or restrictions.
Make sure that there are no embargoes, or trade barriers, set up against any of the countries that you plan to import or export goods. First contact your own government to find out if there are any embargoes in place for the countries you are considering. Then contact the consulate/embassy to see if there are restrictions against goods from your country.
Check with your bank about getting a Letter of Credit for trading internationally. This will significantly reduce your risk when trading because banks will make sure the goods are delivered before any money is ever exchanged.