How do I grow my business internationally?

Many businesses find that they have gone as far as they can in the domestic market and are looking for new frontiers to explore.

Post-Brexit, trading with our nearest neighbours is not as straightforward as before, but there are still great opportunities both in Europe and the wider world to market your products.

Get it right and your business can grow exponentially.

Trading internationally means you’ll need to deal with complex logistics and need to protect your business against international credit risks, export risks, and potential tightening of import and export rules to and from the EU.

What you can do to get started:

Due diligence

Due diligence involves careful investigation of the economic, legal, fiscal and financial circumstances of a business or individual.

A check of this sort is necessary as soon as a company initiates relationships with business partners.

It’s also now possible to access company and credit information online for most of the UK’s common trading partner countries.

Join the UK Export Academy

The free training programme is delivered by international trade experts through online and face-to-face learning, with masterclasses and foundation courses on everything from trade deals to intellectual property to how to reach audiences abroad.

There are also specialised courses for different sectors, ranging from the space industry to food and drink.

Hire a specialist in customs issues

Many businesses hire a person or business with specialist knowledge to deal with customs issues when trading goods internationally, particularly with the EU. These could be freight forwarders, customs agents, customs agents or brokers or fast parcel operators.

Businesses can invest in and use their own customs software, but it is often easier to use an agent who can work closely with accountants to facilitate international trade.

It is important they are given accurate details about the goods so that they can complete any import or export declarations correctly. When using an agent for international trading you will need to provide them with:

  • An EORI number
  • Invoices or contracts which are evidence of any goods you intend to import or export
  • A description of the goods you import or export
  • Any licences that may be appropriate or certification of restricted goods.

New marketplaces

There are many ways to promote your goods or services using marketplace tools like Shopify, Etsy, Amazon and eBay. This is a good way to test your international sales opportunities.

VAT is a complex area

There are differences depending on whether you are selling goods or services to consumers. There are VAT registrations thresholds and different VAT rates in each EU country. Late or non-compliance can result in penalties or fines from the EU tax authorities.

Need advice on growing your business and expanding abroad? Contact us today.