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Export Services

The DCSBDC Network – Your Gateway to Global Markets

95% of the world market is outside the U.S. and 97% of all U.S. exporters are small businesses. Let the DC Small Business Development Center Network experts in international trade and exporting help you take advantage of international markets.

  • Is your company serious about growing its business? 
  • Have you ever considered exporting your products or services to foreign markets?
  • Are you looking to expand your current exports to new markets?

Export Toolkit 
Exporting can offer your company major growth opportunities in new markets outside the United States. Today it’s easier than ever for a company, regardless of size, to sell goods and services across the globe. The international trade team at the DC SBDC Network can guide your company and help you plan for and execute a successful export strategy. The DC SBDC Network’s international trade experts provide free individual, customized counseling, training, and technical assistance in the areas of:

Export Resources

Numerous free and easy-to-use resources are available online to help you whether you are just beginning to plan your export strategy or want to expand your existing business. Click on any of the topics above to access these tools.
Documents on Regulations: Export.gov: International Commercial Terms
International Chamber of Commerce: International Commercial Terms
Global Standards
Common export documents
Finding Schedule B export codes
AES Filing
Export Regulations – Commodity Jurisdiction
Commodity Jurisdiction Request
Export Administration Regulation Downloadable Files
Export Licenses, Standards and Economic Sanctions
Consolidated Screening List
Trade Sanctions Information
EU Regulations
Documents on Logistics:
Export.gov guide to shipping your product overseas
Shippers Association
Ports of Entry
Freight Forwarders
SBA Guide to Transportation and logistics
Carnets (duty-free shipping)
Freight Forwarding
Shipping Your Products
Tariffs & Import Fees
Tariffs, Quotas, and Non-Tariff Barriers
Pricing, Quotations, and Terms
Export Documentation
AES Electronic Filing Overview
International Legal Considerations
Other Resources:
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau; Industries regulated through the U.S. Department of Treasury
Export Legal Assistance Network: Free initial consultations from attorneys and private law firms for businesses looking to begin exporting

Export Readiness

  • How do I know if my company is ready to export?
  • What resources and time will my company need to commit to export successfully?
  • What expertise does my company need to begin or expand exporting?

Our international trade team will work with you to assess your export readiness and to understand the steps to take in the export process. To get started, the following are online tools available to assess whether your company is ready for export or expansion of exports.
Export.gov Questionnaire
Assessing Export Readiness
Export Readiness Assessment

Export Planning

  • How will exporting affect the long term goals of my core business?
  • How will my company measure success in exporting?
  • If my company already has a business plan, do I need an export business plan?

Developing an export business plan is an essential step in preparing a successful export strategy. Not only does an export plan serve as a guide for your company as it pursues opportunities in foreign markets, but it is a required document if your company plans to secure export finance support. The following are online tools, books, courses, and tutorials that offer basic and comprehensive guides for first-time exporters:
Sample Outline for and Export Plan
Tools for First Time Exporters – Export Questionnaire, free tools and templates
Export Planning and International Marketing Tools – Free guides and templates for export preparation
A Basic Guide to Exporting: Online book from Export.gov
Exporting Basics: Online book from Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development
Take Your Business Global: Short videos that provide examples of how small businesses expanded with support from government resources
Export University: Export education and training program for new and experienced exporters
Michigan State University globalEdge: Series of tutorials and online course modules

Market Research

  • How do I select the most appropriate market(s) for my product or service?
  • Is there market data and statistics available for foreign markets?
  • Are there changes or modifications to my product or service that need to be made to be competitive in foreign markets?
  • Where can I find tariff and import fee information for foreign markets?

The following links include market data and statistical resources for foreign markets. Our international trade team includes trade analysts who can support your market research activities.
Trade Data from Export.gov: Trends by region, country and industry to help guide companies towards specific markets; data includes pricing for similar products to help calculate competitiveness
Market/Country Commercial Guides: Market Research Library from the U.S. Commercial Service
Export Data from the U.S. Census Bureau: Global goods and services export data
Country-Specific U.S. Trade Information: Listing of U.S. Commercial Service offices by country
Country-Specific Statistics and Insight: Data from Michigan State University
TradeStats Express: U.S. trade statistics (nationwide and by state)
Industry Canada: Statistics on where products are sold/shipped
100 Essential Resources for Doing Business in China: For businesses interested in the Chinese market
Global Market Opportunity Assessment: Module from Michigan State University

Export Financing

  • How can I finance my international sales?
  • What risks does my business take in entering foreign transactions?
  • Are there protections available to mitigate financial risks in exporting?

The potential rewards of exporting can outweigh the risks but it is critical for companies to learn the best ways to finance and protect their international activities. There are many programs and mechanisms available through private capital sources as well as U.S. government trade agencies designed for small business exporters. Our international trade team will work with you to identify the most appropriate financial structure for your company’s exports.

International Marketing

Market your products and services in international markets.

Federal Contracting

Take advantage of export contracting opportunities with leading U.S. and multi-national trade agencies.

Trade regulations and logistics

  • How can I receive information on foreign regulations, standards, or certification requirements for my product?
  • Do I need an export license to ship my product to foreign markets?
  • What services do freight forwarders provide and how can I find one?
  • What are Incoterms and why do I need to understand them?

Each market has its own set of standards and regulations related to imports and it is critical for U.S. companies to understand these and how they will affect their export plans. Freight forwarders can be an invaluable resource for new exporters through moving products to market as well as navigating import and export regulations on behalf of exporters from U.S. point of origin to foreign market.

Networking and business matchmaking

Connect with leading international trade agencies, foreign business delegations, and potential clients and customers from around the world.

International trade is a major source of jobs and additional financial opportunities for the Washington, DC community. As part of the President’s National Export Initiative, the DCSBDC is here to help companies and entrepreneurs understand and plan for new market export opportunities. Register today for counseling and let us help you become a successful exporter.