Lancashire has a long history of exporting across the world, and the county’s businesses are still equally ambitious today.

Moving foreign markets can benefit your business in many ways, from building your profile internationally to experiencing growth that might not be possible at home. But before you make the leap into trading internationally, it’s important to think carefully and do your research.

Location, Location, Location

Deciding on your target country, state or region is a big decision. Is there demand for your product or service in the location you’ve chosen? What impact will local trading laws and tax legislation have on your business? What are the logistical issues involved In getting products to your customers?

Carry out as much market research as you can and speak to those in the know. The relevant Chamber of Commerce, embassies and local trade teams will be able to put you in touch companies already exporting to your chosen destination.

When in Rome

Local knowledge is vital: understanding how a country does business will significantly boost your chance of success there.

Attitudes and laws regarding credit, copyright issues and intellectual property can cause headaches if you’re not aware of them.

Make sure your advisers understand the global market. As members of BKR International, a global accounting association we are able to speak to advisers all over the world with whom we have relationships.

First Steps

Consider how you will do business abroad. Distributing goods direct to consumers using an e-commerce site can seem straightforward, but for sale to EU countries you’ll need to take into account the distance selling thresholds of the country you’re exporting to ( the limit before you have to register for VAT in that country) as well as UK tax rules.

In large countries like India, China and the US, where laws can vary from state to state, securing trusted agents and distributors can make setting up abroad a much smoother process.

Wherever in the world you choose to expand your business, do your homework. Seeking advice from trusted, experienced sources will prepare you for any problems that may arise, and help to make your venture into foreign fields a lucrative one.

To view the international trade pages of the Business Life magazine click here.

To request a complimentary copy please contact Stephanie Warrington at s.warrington@chamberelancs.co.uk or 01254 356473