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From: AT&T and The SBA
Time: 7:34:32 AM
One of America's largest problems is our im-balance of importance and exports. The SBA will just about jump through hoops if they think that you have a chance to succeed in the export market. They will really go the extra mile in this one. Chapman Spira and Carson LLC
Breaking Into The Trade Game: A Small Business Guide This publication is the product of a private/public sector initiative between the U.S. Small Business Administration and AT&T. SBA's participation in this co-sponsorship activity does not constitute an expressed or implied endorsement of the co-sponsors' or participants' opinions, products or services (SBA Authorization Code #93-13-4924710-1). For more information on SBA's programs, call 1-800-8-ASK-SBA.
Co-sponsored by the U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AND AT&T
Breaking Into The Trade Game: A Small Business Guide to Exporting was produced under the guidance of G. A. Chiaruttini, Deputy Director, Office of International Trade, U.S. Small Business Administration. Special recognition is given to the Editorial Staff of Colleen Allen, Catherine Funkhouser and Patricia Lefevre, Export Development Specialists, Office of International Trade. A special thanks to Sonja Katharina Satl who provided meticulous editorial support for this project. Kathy Parker and Sheldon Snook, Office of International Trade; Ray Williams, Regional International Trade Officer, Kansas City, Missouri; and Gene Brosterhous, International Trade Director, National SCORE Office, also provided additional editorial support. Developing Your International Business Plan was written at the Lake Michigan College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and International Business Center. The materials and worksheets were adapted from the Oregon SBDC publication, "Your International Business Plan" at Portland Community College. The Lake Michigan College SBDC is partially funded under Cooperative Agreement No. SB-2M-00092-09 by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Layout and cover design by Signal Communications, Bethesda, Maryland.
Breaking Into The Trade Game: A Small Business Guide to Exporting was produced by the U.S. Small Business Administration with the assistance of The Global Source, Inc.
Introduction The U.S. Small Business Administration"s (SBA) Office of International Trade (OIT) developed this Trade Guide as an information tool to assist American business develop international markets. This Guide will help answer questions and take the mystery out of exporting. The United States government has committed enormous resources to help small businesses, like yours, reach overseas markets. Did you know that:
the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) employs 76 District International Trade Officers and 10 Regional International Trade Officers throughout the United States as well has a 10-person international trade staff in Washington, D.C.; the SBA, through its Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) program, oversees 850 volunteers with international trade experience to provide one-on-one counseling to active and new-to-export businesses; the SBA made 348 loans nationally to exporters for more than $123 million in FY 1991 and 617 loans for more than $241 million in FY 1992; the SBA supports over 900 Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). Some SBDCs have designated international trade centers; all SBDCs provide export counseling, referral and/or training; the SBA coordinates the Export Legal Assistance Network (ELAN), a nationwide group of international trade attorneys who provide free initial consultations to small businesses on export related matters; the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) International Trade Administration (ITA) U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) has 68 offices throughout the United States and 120 overseas posts, representing 95 percent of the world market for U.S. products and services; the ITA in Washington, D.C. has industry-specific specialists monitoring export opportunities for U.S. products and services in every sector, from abrasive products to zippers; the DOC sponsors 51 District Export Councils (DECs), comprised of nearly 1,700 business and trade experts available on a volunteer basis to help U.S. firms develop export strategies; the DOC Minority Export Development Consultants Program supports more than 107 Minority Business Development Centers throughout the United States; the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) maintains a $30 million budget for export promotion of U.S. commodities through trade fairs and other activities; like DOC, USDA has a large group of country specialists focusing on a range of products from oilseeds to poultry; the Export-Import ../Bank of the United States _Eximbank.css) has trained specialists in 24 states and in Puerto Rico through its City/State program to provide export financing assistance to small businesses; the Eximbank has financed over $11.3 billion of U.S. exports in 1991, with 18.4 percent of Eximbank's authorizations going to support small business exports? The SBA and a multitude of federal, state and local government agencies are ready to assist you in opening new avenues of opportunity in the international marketplace. With their help, and with the information contained in this guide, you will find that access to international markets is possible and profitable.
Overview A SMALL BUSINESS EXPORT SUCCESS STORY Small businesses throughout the United States have gained international exposure and increased profits through exporting. Consider the case of Novi, Inc., a California-based business. Company President Michael Stoff tells his story:
"In November of 1986, when I began my business venture, Novi, Inc., I knew that my Tune-Tote (a stereo system for bicycles) had the potential to be successful in international markets. Although I had no prior experience in this area, I began researching and collecting information on international markets. I was willing to learn, and by targeting key sources for information and guidance, I was able to penetrate international markets in a short period of time. One vital source I used from the beginning was SBA. Through SBA I was directed to a program that dealt specifically with business development -- the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). I was assigned an advisor who had run his own import/export business for 30 years. The services of SCORE are provided on a continual basis and are free.
"As I began to pursue exporting, my first step was a thorough marketing evaluation. I targeted trade shows with a good presence of international buyers. I also went to DOC for counseling and information about the rules and regulations of exporting. I advertised my product in Commercial News USA, distributed through United States embassies to buyers worldwide. I utilized DOC's World Traders Data Reports to get background information on potential foreign buyers. As a result, I received 60-70 inquiries about Tune-Tote from around the world. Once I completed my research and evaluation of potential buyers, I decided which ones would be most suitable to market my product internationally. Then I decided to grant exclusive distributorship. In order to effectively communicate with my international customers, I invested in a fax. I chose a U.S. bank to handle international transactions. The bank also provided guidance on methods of payment and how best to receive and transmit money. This is essential know-how for anyone wanting to be successful in foreign markets."
Michael Stoff knows about success in foreign markets. In just one year of exporting, sales topped $1 million and increased 40 percent in the second year of operations. Today, Novi, Inc. is a large distributor of wireless intercom systems which exports to over ten countries.
Breaking Into The Trade Game: A Small Business Guide to Exporting can assist your company's international marketing efforts. This Guide highlights the export success stories of many small businesses. It is both a comprehensive how-to manual and reference book providing you with the contacts and resources to ease your entry into markets around the world.
Part I: Becoming an Export Success Story takes you through the exporting process with stories of small businesses all around the United States that have found exporting to be an exciting and profitable way to expand their business.
Chapter 1: Making the Export Decision includes an international business plan to assess your company's export readiness, business goals and commitment;
Chapter 2: Identifying International Markets explains how to conduct foreign market research and the resources available to assist you;
Chapter 3: Foreign Market Entry discusses methods of distributing your product abroad with an emphasis on exporting;
Chapter 4: The Export Transaction details the steps involved in making trade happen, including setting prices, negotiating the sale and determining legal aspects of exporting;
Chapter 5: Export Financing outlines government and private sector financing resources and methods of payment;
Chapter 6: Transporting Goods Internationally focuses on moving goods overseas, including packaging and labelling; and
Chapter 7: Strategic Alliances and Foreign Investment Opportunities explores other methods of market entry beyond exporting, such as joint ventures and off-shore manufacturing facilities.
Part II: The Exporter's Directory is a comprehensive directory of contacts and information sources to assist you as you go global.
PART I: BECOMING AN EXPORT SUCCESS STORY Chapter 1 Making the Export Decision Exporting is crucial to America's economic health. Increased exports mean business growth, and business growth means more jobs. Yet, only a small percentage of potential exporters take advantage of these opportunities. It is critical for U.S. businesses to think globally. Your decision to read this book indicates an interest in exporting. However, you may have discovered your company is already competing internationally -- foreign-owned companies are competing with you in your "domestic" markets. The division between domestic and international markets is becoming increasingly blurred. Your business cannot ignore international realities if you intend to maintain your market share and keep pace with your competitors. Making the export decision requires careful assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of expanding into new markets. Once the decision is made to export, an international business plan is essential. This chapter presents the advantages and disadvantages of exporting and offers a sample business plan.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF EXPORTING Consider some of the specific advantages of exporting.Exporting can help your business:
enhance domestic competitiveness increase sales and profits gain global market share reduce dependence on existing markets exploit corporate technology and know-how extend the sales potential of existing products stabilize seasonal market fluctuations enhance potential for corporate expansion sell excess production capacity gain information about foreign competition In comparison, there are certain disadvantages to exporting.Your business may be required to: develop new promotional material subordinate short-term profits to long-term gains incur added administrative costs allocate personnel for travel wait longer for payments modify your product or packaging apply for additional financing obtain special export licenses These disadvantages may justify a decision to forego exporting at the present time. For example, if your company's financial situation is weak, attempting to sell into foreign markets may be ill-timed. On the other hand, some companies have been successful selling abroad even before they have made any sales domestically:
Landmark Systems of Vienna, Virginia, had virtually no domestic sales before it entered the European market. Landmark had developed a software program for IBM mainframe computers and located an independent distributor in Europe to represent their product. In their first year, 80 percent of their sales were attributed to exporting. In their second year, sales jumped from $100,000 to $1.4 million -- with 70 percent attributable to exports.
As you can see, there are no hard-and-fast rules as to which businesses should export, and which should not. In the case of Landmark Systems mentioned above, a foreign distributor produced results before any significant domestic sales occurred. Landmark Systems' decision to export, like that of many other small business exporters featured in this guide, was based on careful planning.
THE NEED FOR AN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PLAN Behind most export success stories is a plan. Whether formally written down, or sketched out informally at a meeting of your management team, an international business plan is an essential tool to properly evaluate all the factors that would affect your company's ability to go international. An international business plan should define your company's:
commitment to international trade; export pricing strategy; reason for exporting; potential export markets and customers; methods of foreign market entry; exporting costs and projected revenues; export financing alternatives; legal requirements; transportation method; and overseas partnership and foreign investment capabilities. Creating an international business plan is important for defining your company's present status, internal goals and commitment, but is also required if you plan to seek export financing assistance. Preparing the plan in advance of making export loan requests from your bank can save time and money. Completing and analyzing an international business plan helps you anticipate future goals, assemble facts, identify constraints and create an action statement. It should also set forth specific objectives, an implementation timetable and milestones to gauge success.
International Business Plan The purpose of the International Business Plan workbook is to prepare your business to enter the international marketplace. This workbook will serve as a step-by-step guide to lead you through the process of exporting your product to an international market. The workbook is divided into sections. Each section must be completed before you start the next section. After you have completed the entire workbook, you will be ready to develop an international business plan to export your product. Once the business plan is completed, an in-depth analysis of your readiness to export can be completed.
PRODUCTS/SERVICES STEP 1: Select the most exportable products to be offered internationally.
To identify products with export potential for distribution internationally, you need to consider products that are successfully distributed in the domestic market. The product needs to fill a targeted need for the purchaser in export markets according to price, value to customer/country and market demand.
What are the major products your business sells?
What products have the best potential for international trade?
STEP 2: Evaluate the products to be offered internationally.
What makes your products unique for an overseas market?
Why will international buyers purchase the products from your company?
How much inventory will be necessary to sell overseas?
IDENTIFYING PRODUCTS WITH EXPORT POTENTIAL List below the products you believe have export potential. Indicate the reasons you believe each product will be successful in the international marketplace. Products/Services Reasons for Export Success 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.
Decision Point: These products have export potential.
PLANNING What is the purpose of completing this workbook?
You know that you want to see your company grow through exporting.
Five reasons it will be worth your time and effort:
Careful completion of this workbook will help evaluate your level of commitment to exporting. The completed workbook can help you evaluate your product's potential for the international trade market. The workbook gives you a tool to help you better manage your international business operations successfully. The completed workbook will help you communicate your business ideas to persons outside your business and can be an excellent starting point for developing an international financing proposal. Businesses managed are more successful when working from a business plan. Can't I hire someone to do this for me? No! Nobody will do your thinking or make decisions for you. This is your business. If the business plan is to be useful, it must reflect your ideas and efforts -- not those of an outsider.
Why is planning so important? The planning process forces you to look at your future business operations and anticipate what will happen. This process better prepares you for the future and makes you more knowledgeable about your business. Planning is vital for marketing your product in an international marketplace. Any firm considering entering into international business transactions must understand that doing business internationally is not a simple task nor one for the faint of heart. It is stimulating and potentially profitable in the long-term but requires much preparation and research prior to the first transaction.
In considering products for the international market, a business needs to be:
Successful in its present domestic operation. Willing to commit its resources of time, people and capital to the program. Entry into the international market may take as long as two years to generate profit with cash outflow during that period.
Sensitive and aware of the cultural implications of doing business internationally. Developing a business plan helps you assess your present market situation, business goals, and commitment which will increase your opportunities for success.
What's the bottom line for me if I do the plan? Research shows that small business failure rates among new businesses are significantly lower for new businesses that have developed a business plan.
Isn't planning just for the big companies? Planning is important for any organization that wants to approach the future with a plan of action. The future comes whether you are prepared for it or not. A business plan helps you anticipate the future and make well-informed decisions because you have thought about the alternatives you will be facing.
How often do I have to do this? A plan must be revised as needed, at least once a year. Planning is a continuous process. You will be surprised how much easier it is to develop a business plan after the first time. Plus, after a revision or two you will know more about your international business market opportunities to export products.
Determining your business goals can be a very exciting and often challenging process. It is, however, a very important step in planning your entry into the international marketplace. The following exercise is intended to help you clarify your short and long-term business goals.
STEP 1: Define long-term goals.
What are your long-term goals for this business in the next 5 years? Examples: increase export sales by ___% annually; develop country cultural profiles. How will the international trade market help you reach your long-term goals? STEP 2: Define short-term goals.
For your international business, what are your first year goals? Examples: attend export seminars, select a freight forwarder. What are your two-year goals for your international business products/services? STEP 3: Develop an action plan to reach your short-term goals by using international trade.
STEP 1: Determine your industry's growth for the next 3 years.
Talk to people in the same business or industry, research industry-specific magazines, attend trade fairs and seminars.
STEP 2: Research how competitive your industry is in the global markets.
Utilize the National Trade Data Bank (NTDB), obtain import/export statistics from the Bureau of the Census, and contact the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) district office in your area.
STEP 3: Find out your industry's future growth in the international market.
Contact the SBA or the U.S. Foreign & Commercial Service (US & FCS) district office and contact a DOC country or industry desk in Washington, D.C.
STEP 4: Research federal or state government market studies that have been conducted on your industry's potential international markets.
Contact SBA, your state international trade office, a DOC country or industry desk in Washington, D.C.
STEP 5: Find export data available on your industry.
Contact your SBA or DOC district office.
YOUR BUSINESS/COMPANY ANALYSIS
STEP 1: Why is your business successful in the domestic market? What's your growth rate?
STEP 2: What products do you feel have export potential?
STEP 3: What are the competitive advantages of your products or business over other domestic and international businesses?
PROS AND CONS OF MARKET EXPANSION Brainstorm a list of pros and cons for expanding your market internationally. Based on your product and market knowledge, determine your probability of success in the international market.
Industry/Product: Pros Cons 1. 1. 2. 2. 3. 3. 4. 4. 5. 5. 6. 6. 7. 7. 8. 8. 9. 9. 10. 10. 11. 11. 12. 12.
PROBABILITY OF SUCCESS
0% 25% 50% 75% 100%
MARKETING YOUR PRODUCT Given the market potential for your products in international markets, how is your product unique?
What are your product's advantages?
What are your product's disadvantages?
What are the competitive product's advantages?
What are the competitive product's disadvantages?
What are the needs that will be filled by your product in a foreign market?
What competitive products are sold abroad and to whom?
How complex is your product? What skills or special training are required to: Install your product? Use your product? Maintain your product? Service your product?
What options and accessories are available?
Has an aftermarket been developed for your product?
What other equipment does the buyer need to use your product?
What complementary goods does your product require?
If your product is an industrial good: What firms are likely to use it? What is the useful life of your product? Is use or life affected by climate? If so, how? Will geography affect product purchase, for example transportation problems? Will the product be restricted abroad, for example tariffs, quotas or non-tariff barriers?
If the product is a consumer good: Who will consume it? How frequently will the product be bought? Is consumption affected by climate? Is consumption affected by geography, for example transportation problems? Will the product be restricted abroad for example tariffs, quotas or non-tariff barriers? Does your product conflict with traditions, habits or beliefs of customers abroad? STEP 1: Select the best countries to market your product.
The U.S. Small Business Administration and the United States and Foreign Commercial Service may be of assistance in providing product market analysis. Since the number of world markets to be considered by a company is very large, it is neither possible nor advisable to research them all. Thus, your firm's time and money are spent most efficiently by using a sequential screening process. The first step in this sequential screening process for the company is to select the more attractive countries for your product. Preliminary screening involves defining the physical, political, economic and cultural environment. Rate the following market factors in each category.
Select 2 countries you think have the best marketpotential for your product; Review the market factors for each country; Research data/information for each country; Rate each factor on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being thebest; and Select a target market country based on your ratings MARKET FACTOR ASSESSMENT COUNTRY/RATING COUNTRY/RATING Demographic/Physical Environment:
Population size, growth, density Urban and rural distribution Climate and weather variations Shipping distance Product-significant demographics Physical distribution and communication network Natural resources Political Environment:
System of government Political stability and continuity Ideological orientation Government involvement in business Attitudes toward foreign business (trade restrictions, tariffs, non-tariff barriers, bilateral trade agreements)
National economic and developmental priorities Economic Environment:
Overall level of development Economic growth: GNP, industrial sector Role of foreign trade in the economy Currency: inflation rate, availability, controls, stability of exchange rate Balance of payments Per capita income and distribution Disposable income and expenditure patterns Social/Cultural Environment:
Literacy rate, educational level Existence of middle class Similarities and differences in relation to home market Language and other cultural considerations Market Access:
Limitations on trade: high tariff levels, quotas Documentation and import regulations Local standards, practices, and other non-tariff barriers Patents and trademark protection Preferential treaties Legal considerations for investment, taxation, repatriation, employment, code of laws
Customer needs and desires Local production, imports, consumption Exposure to and acceptance of product Availability of linking products Industry-specific key indicators of demand Attitudes toward products of foreign origin Competitive offerings Local Distribution and Production:
Availability of intermediaries Regional and local transportation facilities Availability of manpower Conditions for local manufacture
Indicators of population, income levels and consumption patterns should be considered. In addition, statistics on local production trends, along with imports and exports of the product category, are helpful for assessing industry market potential. Often, an industry will have a few key indicators or measures that will help them determine the industry strength and demand within an international market. A manufacturer of medical equipment, for example, may use the number of hospital beds, the number of surgeries and public expenditures for health care as indicators to assess the potential for its products.
What are the projected growth rates for the two countries selected over the next 3-5 years?
STEP 2: Determine Projected Sales Levels
What is your present U.S. market percentage?
What are the projected sales for similar products in your chosen international markets for the coming year?
What sales volume will you project for your products in these international markets for the coming year?
What is the projected growth in these international markets over the next five years?
STEP 3: Identify Customers Within Your Chosen Markets
What companies, agents or distributors have purchased similar products?
What companies, agents or distributors have made recent requests for information on similar products?
What companies, agents or distributors would most likely be prospective customers for your export products?
STEP 4: Determine Method Of Exporting
How do other U.S. firms sell in the markets you have chosen?
Will you sell direct to the customer?
Who will represent your firm?
Who will service the customers needs?
STEP 5: Building A Distributor or Agent Relationship
Will you appoint an agent or distributor to handle your export market? What facilities does the agent or distributor need to service the market? What type of client should your agent or distributor be familiar with in order to sell your product? What territory should the agent or distributor cover? What financial strength should the agent or distributor have? What other competitive or non-competitive lines are acceptable or not acceptable for the agent or distributor to carry? How many sales representatives does the agent or distributor need and how often will they cover the territory?
Will you use an export management company to do your marketing and distribution for you? YES NO
If yes, have you developed an acceptable sales and marketing plan with realistic goals you can agree to?
SUPPORT FUNCTIONS To achieve efficient sales offerings to buyers in the targeted markets, several concerns regarding products, literature and customer relations should be addressed.
STEP 1: Identify product concerns.
Can the potential buyer see a functioning model or sample of your product that is substantially the same as would be received from production?
What product labeling requirements must be met? (Metric measurements, AC or DC electrical, voltage, etc.) Keep in mind that the European Community now requires 3 languages on all new packaging.
When and how can product conversion requirements be obtained?
Can product be delivered on time as ordered?
STEP 2: Identify literature concerns.
If required, will you have literature in language other than English?
Do you need a product literature translator to handle the technical language?
What special concerns should be addressed in sales literature to ensure quality and informative representation of your product?
STEP 3: Identify customer relations concerns.
What is delivery time and method of shipment?
What are payment terms?
What are the warranty terms?
Who will service the product when needed?
How will you communicate with your customer? . . . through a local agent, telex or fax?
Are you prepared to give the same order and delivery preference to your international customers that you give to your domestic customers?
MARKETING STRATEGY In international sales, the chosen "terms of sale" are most important. Where should you make the product available at your plant: at the port of exit, landed at the port of importation or delivered free and clear to the customer's door? The answer to this question involves determining what the market requires, and how much risk you are willing to take. Pricing strategy depends on "terms of sale" and also considers value-added services of bringing the product to the international market.
STEP 1: Define International Pricing Strategy.
How do you calculate the price for each product?
What factors have you considered in setting prices?
Which products' sales are very sensitive to price changes?
How important is pricing in your overall marketing strategy?
What are your discount policies?
What terms of sales are best for your export product?
STEP 2: Define promotional strategy
What advertising materials will you use?
What trade shows or trade missions will you participate in, if any?
What time of year and how often will foreign travel be made to customer markets?
STEP 3: Define customer services
What special customer services do you offer?
What types of payment options do you offer?
How do you handle merchandise that customers return?
SALES FORECAST Forecasting sales of your product is the starting point for your financial projections. The sales forecast is extremely important, so it is important you use realistic estimates. Remember that sales forecasts show the expected time the sale is made. Actual cash flow will be impacted by delivery date and payment terms.
Step 1: Fill in the units-sold line for markets 1, 2, and 3 for each year on the following worksheet.
Step 2: Fill in the sales price per unit for products sold in markets 1, 2 and 3.
Step 3: Calculate the total sales for each of the different markets (units sold x sales price per unit).
Step 4: Calculate the sales (all markets) for each year - add down the columns.
Step 5: Calculate the five year total sales for each market - add across the rows.
SALES FORECASTS - FIRST FIVE YEARS 1 2 3 4 5 Market 1 Units Sold Sale Price/Unit Total Sales
Market 2 Units Sold Sale Price/Unit Total Sales
Market 3 Units Sold Sale Price/Unit Total Sales
Total Sales All Markets
COST OF GOODS SOLD The cost of goods sold internationally is partially determined by pricing strategies and terms of sale. To ascertain the costs associated with the different terms of sale, it will be necessary to consult an international freight forwarder. For example, a typical term of sale offered by a U.S. exporter is cost, insurance and freight (CIF) port of destination. Your price includes all the costs to move product to the port of destination. A typical cost work sheet will include some of the following factors. These costs are in addition to the material and labor used in the manufacture of your product.
export packing forwarding container loading documentation inland freight consular legalization truck/rail unloading bank documentation wharfage dispatch handling bank collection fees terminal charges cargo insurance ocean freight other misc. bunker surcharge telex courier mail To complete this worksheet, you will need to use data from the sales forecast. Certain costs related to your terms of sale may also have to be considered. Step 1: Fill in the units-sold line for market 1, 2, and 3 for each year.
Step 2: Fill in the cost per unit for products sold in markets 1, 2, and 3.
Step 3: Calculate the total cost for each of the products - (units sold x cost per unit).
Step 4: Calculate the cost of goods sold - all products for each year - add down the columns.
Step 5: Calculate the five-year cost of goods for each market - add across the rows.
COST OF GOODS SOLD - FIRST FIVE YEARS
1 2 3 4 5
Market 1 Units Sold Sale Price/Unit Total Sales Market 2 Units Sold Sale Price/Unit Total Sales Market 3 Units Sold Sale Price/Unit Total Cost Cost of Goods Sold All Markets
INTERNATIONAL OVERHEAD EXPENSES To determine overhead costs for your export products, you should be certain to include costs that pertain only to international marketing efforts. For example, costs for domestic advertising of service that do not pertain to the international market should not be included. Examples of most typical expense categories for an export business are listed on the next page. Some of these expenses will be first year start-up expenses, and others will occur every year. Step 1: Review the expenses listed on the next page. These are expenses that will be incurred because of your international business. There may be other expense categories not listed -- list them under "other expenses."
Step 2: Estimate your cost for each expense category.
Step 3: Estimate any domestic marketing expense included that is not applicable to international sales.
Step 4: Calculate the total for your international overhead expenses. EXPENSE COST Market 1 Market 2 Market 3 Total Yr 1 Legal Fees Accounting Fees Promotional Material Travel Communication Equip/Telex Advertising Allowances Promotional Expenses (e.g., trade shows, etc.) Other Expenses Total Expenses Less Domestic Expenses Included Above, if any Total International Start-up Expenses
PROJECTED INCOME STATEMENT - YEAR 1 to 5, ALL MARKETS You are now ready to assemble the data for your projected income statement. This statement will calculate your net profit or net loss (before income taxes) for each year.
Step 1: Fill in the sales for each year. You already estimated these figures; just recopy them on the work sheet.
Step 2: Fill in the cost of goods sold for each year. You already estimated these figures, just recopy on the work sheet.
Step 3: Calculate the Gross Margin for each year (Sales minus Cost of Goods Sold).
Step 4: Calculate the Total Operating Expenses for each year.
Step 5: Calculate the Net Profit or Net Loss (Before Income Taxes) for each year (Gross Margin minus Total Operating Expenses).
PROJECTED INCOME STATEMENT - YEAR 1 to 5, ALL MARKETS
1 2 3 4 5 International Sales Cost of Goods Sold Gross Margin
International Operating Expenses: Legal Accounting Advertising Travel Trade shows Promotional Material Supplies Communication Equipment Interest Insurance Other
Total International Operating Expenses
BREAK-EVEN ANALYSIS The break-even is the level of sales at which your total sales exactly covers your total costs and operating expenses. This level of sales is called the Break-Even Point Sales Level (BEP sales). In other words, at the BEP sales level, you will make a zero profit. If you sell more than the BEP sales level, you will make a net profit. If you sell less than the BEP sales level, you will have a net loss. The worksheet will calculate your BEP sales level for any year of operations. The steps listed below will assume that you are calculating the BEP sales level for Year 1.
Step 1: Fill in your Total Sales, Total Cost of Goods Sold, and Total Gross Margin for Year 1 on the following page.
Step 2: Calculate the Gross Margin percent using the formula which is given on the work sheet. The Gross Margin percent tells you what percentage of each dollar of sales results in Gross Margin.
Step 3: Fill in the Total Operating Expenses for Year 1.
Step 4: Calculate the BEP sales level using the formula which is given. Your need to reach this level of sales just to break even.
Note: In addition to a break-even analysis, it is highly recommended that a profit and loss statement be generated for the first few actual international transactions. Since there are a great number of variables relating to costs of goods, real transactions are required to establish actual profitability and minimize the risk of losses.
STEP 1: Total Sales: $ Total Cost of Goods Sold: $ Total Gross Margi:n $
STEP 2: Total Gross Margin: $ Gross Margin %: $ Total Sales: $ Gross Margin % = 0. (Leave the Gross Margin $ in a decimal format. The format is 0.347 - not 34.7%).
STEP 3: Total Operating Expenses: $
STEP 4: Total Operating Expenses: $ BEP Sales Level: $ Gross Margin %: $ BEP Sales Level: $
TIMETABLE This is a worksheet that you will need to work on periodically as you progress in the workbook. The purpose is to ensure that key tasks are identified and completed to increase the success of your international business.
STEP 1: Identify key activities By reviewing other portions of your business plan, compile a list of tasks that are vital to the successful operation of your business. Be sure to include travel to your chosen market as applicable.
STEP 2: Assign responsibility for each activity For each identified activity, assign one person primary responsibility for the completion of that activity.
STEP 3: Determine scheduled start date For each activity determine the date when work will begin. You should consider how the activity fits into your overall plan as well as the availability of the person responsible.
STEP 4: Determine scheduled finish date For each activity determine when the activity must be completed.
ACTION PLAN PROJECT/TASK PERSON START DATE/FINISH DATE
STEP 1: Verify completion of previous pages. You should have finished all the other sections in the workbook before continuing any further.
STEP 2: Identify your business plan audience. What type of person are you intending to satisfy with this business plan? The summary should briefly address all the major issues that are important to this person. Keep in mind that this page will probably be the first read by this person. It is extremely important the summary be brief yet contain the information most important to the reader. This section should make the reader want to read the rest of your plan.
STEP 3: Write a one-page summary. You will now need to write no more than a page summarizing all the previous work sheets you have completed. Determine which sections are going to be most interesting to your reader. Write one to three sentences that summarize each of the important sections. These sentences should appear in the order of the sections of your business plan. The sentences must fit together to form a summary and not appear to be a group of loosely related thoughts. You may want to have several different summaries, depending on who will read the business plan.
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PLAN SUMMARY:
PREPARING AN EXPORT PRICE QUOTATION Setting proper export prices is crucial to a successful international sales program; prices must be high enough to generate a reasonable profit, yet low enough to be competitive in overseas markets. Basic pricing criteria - costs, market demand, and competition - are the same for domestic and foreign sales. However, a thorough analysis of all cost factors going into a cost, insurance and freight (CIF) quotation may result in prices that are different from domestic ones.
"Marginal cost" pricing is the most realistic and frequently used pricing method. Based on a calculation of incremental costs, this method considers the direct out-of-pocket expenses of producing and selling products for export as a floor beneath which prices cannot be set without incurring a loss. There are important principles that should be followed when pricing a product for export, summarized below.
COST FACTORS In calculating an export price, be sure to take into account all the cost factors for which you, the exporter, are liable.
Calculate direct materials and labor costs involved in producing the goods for export.
Calculate your factory overhead costs, prorating the amount of overhead chargeable to your proposed export order. Deduct any charges not attributable to the export operation (i.e., domestic marketing costs, domestic legal expenses), especially if export sales represent only a small part of total sales.
Add in the other out-of-pocket expenses directly tied to the export sales, such as:
travel expenses catalogs, slide shows, video presentations promotional material export advertising commissions transportation expenses packing materials legal expenses* office supplies* patent and trademark fees* communications* taxes* rent* insurance* interest* provision for bad debts market research credit checks translation costs product modification consultant fees freight forwarder fees *These items will typically represent the cost of the total operation, so be sure to prorate these to reflect only the cost of producing the goods for export. 5. Allow yourself a realistic price margin for unforeseen costs, unavoidable risks, and simple mistakes that are common in any new undertaking. 6. Also allow yourself a realistic profit or mark-up.
OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER Market Demand - As in the domestic market, product demand is the key to setting prices in a foreign market. What will the market bear for a specific product or service? What will the estimated consumer price for your product be in each foreign market? If your prices seem out of line, try some simple product modifications to reduce the selling price, such as simplification of technology or alteration of product size to conform to local market norms. Also keep in mind that currency valuations alter the affordability of goods. A good pricing strategy should accommodate fluctuations in currency.
Competition - As in the domestic market, few exporters are free to set prices without carefully evaluating their competitor's pricing policies. The situation is further complicated by the need to evaluate the competition's prices in each foreign market an exporter intends to enter. In a foreign market that is serviced by many competitors, an exporter may have little choice but to match the going price or even go below it to establish a market share. If, however, the exporter's product or service is new to a particular foreign market, it may be possible to set a higher price than normally charged domestically.
QUOTE PREPARATION An Export Costing Worksheet that may guide you in preparing export price quotations follows.
EXPORT COSTING WORKSHEET Reference Information 1. Our Reference 2. Customer Reference 3.Customer Information: 3. Name 5. Cable Address 4. Address 6. Telex No. 7. Fax No.
Product Information: SIC Code: 8. Product 9. No. of Units 10. Net Weight (unit) 11. Gross Weight 12. Dimensions ___ x___ x___ 13. Cubic Measure ____(sq.in.) 14. Total Measure 15. H.S. No.
16. Price (or cost) per unit ______ x units _____Total__________ 17. Profit (or markup) 18. Sales Commissions 19. FOB FACTORY PRICE
Fees-Packing, Marking, Inland Freight:
20. Freight Forwarder 21. Financing Costs 22. Other charges 23. Export Packing 24. Labeling/Marking 25. Inland Freight to 26. Other charges (identify) 27. FOB, PORT CITY PRICE (EXPORT PACKED)
28. Unloading (heavy lift) 29. Terminal 30. Other (identify) 31. Consular Document (if required) 32. Certificate of Origin (if required) 33. Export License (if required) 34. FAS VESSEL (OR AIRPLANE) PRICE
35. Based on ________ weight _________ measure 36. Ocean ___________ Air ____________ 37. On Deck _________ Under Deck _____ 38. Rate ____________ Minimum ________ Amount _________
39. Coverage required _________________ 40. Basis ___________ Rate____________ Amount _________
41. CIF, PORT OF DESTINATION PRICE
EXPORT PROGRAMS & SERVICES This worksheet helps you identify organizational resources that can provide programs and services to assist you in developing your international business plan and increase your export sales.
SBA USDOC SBDC Trade Assoc University World Trade Ctr CommCollege
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Readiness to Export Assessment Market Research Studies Counseling Training Seminars Education Programs Publications Export Guides DataBanks Trade Shows Financing
Chapter 2 Identifying International Markets
To succeed in exporting, you must first identify the most profitable international markets for your products or services. Without proper guidance and assistance, however, this process can be time consuming and costly -- particularly for a small business.
The U.S. federal government, state governments, trade associations, exporters' associations and foreign governments offer low-cost and easily accessible resources to simplify and speed your foreign market research. This chapter describes those resources and how to use them.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESOURCES
Many government programs and staff are dedicated to helping you, the small business owner, assess whether your product or service is ready to compete in a foreign market.
The U.S. Small Business Administration Many new-to-export small firms have found the counseling services provided by the SBA's Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) particularly helpful. Through your local SBA District office, you can gain access to more than 850 SCORE volunteers with experience in international trade.
"Our SCORE counselor is really like a big brother to us and our company," says Jim Hadzicki, Vice-President of San Diego-based Revolution Kites, a recreational kite manufacturer. Exports now account for 24 percent of their sales in just three years. "I recently went on a trip to Tokyo to line up a distributorship. Our SCORE counselor helped me list our objectives, what I was to do and ask about and even told me what gift I should take to the Japanese representative," says Hadzicki.
Two other SBA-sponsored programs are available to small businesses needing management and export advice: Small Business Development Centers and Small Business Institutes affiliated with colleges and universities throughout the United States:
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) offer counseling, training and research assistance on all aspects of small business management.
The Small Business Institute (SBI) program provides small business owners with intensive management counselling from qualified business students who are supervised by faculty. SBIs provide advice on a wide range of management challenges facing small businesses -- including finding the best foreign markets for particular products or services.
The U.S. Department of Commerce
The U.S. Department of Commerce's (DOC) International Trade Administration (ITA) is a valuable source of advice and information. In ITA offices throughout the country international trade specialists can help you locate the best foreign markets for your products. Oklahoma exporter OK-1 Manufacturing Co. has found the foreign market research available through the ITA extremely useful:
"The Oklahoma District ITA office prepared a market research study to determine whether we should export our fitness accessory items to Japan," says Sherry Teigen, OK-1 Manufacturing Co. export manager. Today, the company exports to Japan in addition to 20 other countries. Since it began exporting, the company staff has grown by 75 and Sherry's husband, OK-1's President, Roger Teigen, won the 1991 SBA Exporter of the Year award.
District Export Councils (DECs) are another useful ITA-sponsored resource. The 51 District Export Councils located around the United States are comprised of 1,800 executives with experience in international trade who volunteer to help small businesses export. Council members come from banks, manufacturing companies, law offices, trade associations, state and local agencies and educational institutions. They draw upon their experience to encourage, educate, counsel and guide potential, new and seasoned exporters in their individual marketing needs.
The United States and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) helps U.S. firms compete more effectively in the global marketplace with trade specialists in 69 United States cities and 70 countries worldwide. US&FCS offices provide information on foreign markets, agent/distributor location services, trade leads and counseling on business opportunities, trade barriers and prospects abroad.
The United States Department of Agriculture
If you have an agricultural product, you should investigate the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). With posts in 80 embassies and consulates worldwide, the FAS can obtain specific overseas market information for your product. The FAS also maintains sector specialists in the United States to monitor foreign markets for specific U.S. agricultural products.
Most state commerce and economic development offices have international trade specialists to assist you. Many states have trade offices in overseas markets. Dial Tool and Manufacturing of Franklin Park, Illinois, found the Illinois State office in Hong Kong very helpful:
After visiting the Illinois State office in Hong Kong, Dial Tool and Manufacturing President Steve Pagliuzza reports that he was able to sign on sales reps for his company's metal stamping equipment: "My state office in Hong Kong gave me several names of potential reps. We eventually signed them on and are now successfully exporting to Asia, in addition to Europe, Canada and Mexico. In four years, 15-20 percent of our sales now come from exporting."
Port Authorities are a wealth of export information. Although traditionally associated with transportation services, many port authorities around the country have expanded their services to provide export training programs and foreign-marketing research assistance. For example, the New York-New Jersey Port Authority provides extensive services to exporters including XPORT, a full-service export trading company.
PRIVATE SECTOR RESOURCES
In addition to government-supported resources, private sector organizations can also provide invaluable assistance.
World Trade Centers, import-export clubs and organizations such as the American Association of Exporters and Importers and the Small Business Exporter's Association can aid in your foreign market research.
The National Federation of International Trade Associations lists over 150 organizations in the U.S. to help new-to-export small businesses enter international markets. Many of these associations maintain libraries, databanks and established relationships with foreign governments to assist in your exporting efforts.
More than 5,000 trade and professional associations currently operate in the United States; many actively promote international trade activities for their members. The Telecommunications Industry Association is just one association which leads frequent overseas trade missions and monitors the pulse of foreign market conditions around the globe. Whatever your product or service, a trade association probably exists that can help you obtain information on domestic and foreign markets.
Chambers of Commerce, particularly state chambers, or chambers located in major industrial areas, often employ international trade specialists who gather information on markets abroad.
HOW TO GATHER FOREIGN MARKET RESEARCH
Now that you know where to begin your research, you should next identify the most profitable foreign markets for your products or services. You will need to:
classify your product; find countries with the largest and fastest growing markets for your product; determine which foreign markets will be the most penetrable; define and narrow those export markets you intend to pursue; talk to U.S. customers doing business internationally; research export efforts of U.S. competitors. Classifying your product
The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code is the system by which the United States government classifies its goods and services. Knowing the proper code for your product or service can be useful in collecting and analyzing data available in the United States.
Data originating from outside the United States -- or information available from international organizations -- are organized under the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) system, which may assign a different code to your product or service.
Another method of classifying products for export is the Harmonized System (HS). Knowing the HS classification number, the SIC and the SITC codes for your product is essential to obtaining domestic and international trade and tariff information. DOC and USDA trade specialists can assist in identifying the codes for your products. The United States Bureau of the Census (USBC) can help identify the HS number for your product.
Finding countries with the largest and fastest growing markets for your product
At this stage of your research, you should consider where your domestic competitors are exporting. Trade associations can often provide data on where companies in a particular industry sector are exporting their products. The three largest markets for U.S. products are Canada, Japan and Mexico. Yet these countries may not be the largest markets for your product.
Three key United States government databases can identify those countries which represent significant export potential for your product: SBA's Automated Trade Locator Assistance System (SBAtlas), Foreign Trade Report FT925 and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Trade Data Bank (NTDB).
SBA's Automated Trade Locator Assistance System (SBAtlas) is offered only by the U.S. Small Business Administration and provides current market information to SBA clients on world markets suitable for their products and services. This valuable research tool supplies small business exporters with information about where their products are being bought and sold and which countries offer the largest markets. The Country Reports detail products imported and exported by various foreign nations. Data are supplied by the DOC's USBC and member nations of the United Nations. This information can be obtained through a SCORE counselor at the SBA District and Regional Offices and at SBDCs and SBIs. This service is free to requesting small businesses. Foreign Trade Report FT925 gives a monthly country-specific breakdown of imports and exports by SITC number. Available by subscription from the Government Printing Office, the FT925 can also be obtained through DOC ITA offices.
The National Trade Data Bank (NTDB) contains more than 100,000 U.S. government documents on export promotion and international economic information. With the NTDB, you can conduct databank searches on country and product information. NTDB can be purchased by subscription and used with a CD-ROM reader, or can be used at Federal libraries throughout the United States. DOC ITA offices will also conduct specific NTDB searches to meet your foreign market research needs.
Once you learn which are the largest markets for your products, determine which are the fastest growing markets. Find out what demographic patterns and cultural considerations will affect your market penetration.
Several publications provide geographic and demographic statistical information pertinent to your product: The World Factbook, produced by the Central Intelligence Agency; World Population, published by DOC's USBC; The World Bank Atlas, available from the World Bank; and the International Trade Statistics Yearbook of the United Nations. Volume Two of this U.N. publication (available at many libraries) lists international demand for commodities over a five-year period.
DETERMINING THE MOST PENETRABLE MARKETS
Once you have defined and narrowed a few prospective foreign markets for your product, you will need to examine them in detail. At this stage you should ask the following questions:
how does the quality of your product or service compare with that of goods already available in your target foreign markets?
is your price competitive in the markets you are considering?
who are your major customers? Answering these questions may seem overwhelming at first, but many resources are available to help you select which foreign markets are most conducive to selling your product.
The DOC's ITA can link you with specific foreign markets. ITA offices are part of the US&FCS and communicate directly with FCS officers working in United States Embassies worldwide. FCS staff and in-country market research firms produce in-depth reports on selected products and industries that can answer many of your questions regarding foreign market penetration.
One small business exporter who regularly uses foreign market information obtained through the DOC's US&FCS is Fabri-Quilt Inc. of North Kansas City, Missouri.
According to Fabri-Quilt President Lionel Kunst, "When I decide to enter a foreign market, the Commerce Department ITA office in Missouri sends information on my company to the Foreign Commercial Service Officer in the country where I want to export. They send me back information on that particular country and even make appointments for me when I decide to visit the market myself." Of the product line Fabri-Quilt exports, 25 percent of their sales can be attributed to exporting.
You can also order a comparison shopping service report through ITA district offices. The report is a low-cost way to conduct research without having to leave the United States.
SBA's and DOC's Export Legal Assistance Network (ELAN) provides new exporters with answers to their initial legal questions. Local attorneys volunteer, on a one-time basis, to counsel small businesses to address their export-related legal questions. These attorneys can address questions pertaining to contract negotiations, licensing, credit collections procedures and documentation. There is no charge for this one-time service, available through SBA or DOC district offices.
Trade Opportunities Program (TOPs) of the DOC can furnish U.S. small businesses with trade leads from foreign companies that want to buy or represent their products or services. These trade leads are available in both electronic or printed form from the DOC. Participating companies must pay a modest fee to gain access to this service.
Other important issues about the target foreign markets you should explore are:
political risk considerations, the cultural environment, and whether any product modifications, such as packaging or labelling, will make the product more "exportable." One U.S. poultry producer discovered it had to modify its product to make it more palatable to Japanese consumers:
Atlanta-based Gold Kist Inc. found that, to be successful in Japan, they needed to cut and package their chicken parts to meet Japanese consumer preferences. That change required substantial modification in Gold Kist's operations. The alteration paid off: Gold Kist's Don Sands reports, "In 1988, we shipped 5.3 million pounds of poultry to Japan, 9 million in 1989 and 12 million in 1990."
Identifying market-specific issues is easily accomplished by contacting foreign government representatives in the United States. Commercial posts of foreign governments located within embassies and consulates can assist you in obtaining specific market and product information.
American Chambers of Commerce (AmChams) abroad can also be an invaluable resource. As affiliates of the United States Chamber of Commerce, 61 AmChams, located in 55 countries, collect and disseminate extensive information on foreign markets. While membership fees are usually required, the small investment can be worth it for the information received.
Another fundamental question to ask country-specific experts is what market barriers, such as tariffs or import restrictions (sometimes referred to as non-tariff barriers), exist for your product? Specialists at U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) should be consulted on trade barriers.
Tariffs are taxes imposed on imported goods. In many cases, tariffs raise the price of imported goods to the level of domestic goods. Often tariffs become barriers to imported products because the amount of tax imposed makes it impossible for exporters to profitably sell their products in foreign markets.
Non-tariff barriers are laws or regulations that a country enacts to protect domestic industries against foreign competition. Such non-tariff barriers may include subsidies for domestic goods, import quotas or regulations on import quality.
To determine the rate of duty, you will need to identify the Harmonized Tariff section which corresponds to the product you wish to export. Each country has its own schedule of duty rates corresponding to the section of the Harmonized System of Tariff Nomenclature, I-XXII.
DEFINING WHICH MARKETS TO PURSUE
Once you know the largest, fastest growing and most penetrable markets for your product or service, you must then define your export strategy.
Do not choose too many markets. For most small businesses, three foreign markets will be more than enough, initially. You may want to test one market and then move on to secondary markets as your "exportise" develops. Focusing on regional, geographic clusters of countries can also be more cost effective than choosing markets scattered around the globe.
After you have identified the best export markets, your next step will be to determine the best way to distribute your product abroad. Chapter 3, "Market Entry," discusses distribution methods.
Chapter 3 Foreign Market Entry
Having determined the best international markets for your products, you now need to evaluate the most profitable way to get your products to potential customers in these markets.
There are several methods of foreign market entry including exporting, licensing, joint venture and off-shore production. The method you choose will depend on a variety of factors including the nature of your particular product or service and the conditions for market penetration which exist in the foreign target market.
Exporting can be accomplished by selling your product or service directly to a foreign firm, or indirectly, through the use of an export intermediary, such as a commissioned agent, an export management or trading company.
International joint ventures can be a very effective means of market entry. Joint ventures overseas are often accomplished by licensing or off-shore production. Licensing involves a contractual agreement whereby you assign the rights to distribute or manufacture your product or service to a foreign company. Off-shore production requires either setting up your own facility or sub-contracting the manufacturing of your product to an assembly operator.
Licensing and off-shore production are discussed in Chapter 7, "Strategic Alliances and Foreign Investment Opportunities."
Of the various methods of foreign market entry, exporting is most commonly used by small businesses. Start-up costs and risks are limited, and profits can be realized early on.
There are two basic ways to export: direct or indirect. The direct method requires your company to find a foreign buyer and then make all arrangements for shipping your products overseas. If this method seems beyond the scope of your business' in-house capabilities at this time, do not abandon the idea of exporting. Consider using an export intermediary:
American Cedar, Inc., a Hot Springs, Arkansas, producer of cedar products reports that 30 percent of its product sales now comes from exporting: "We displayed our products at a trade show, and an export management company found us. They helped alleviate the hassles of exporting directly. Our products are now being distributed throughout the European Community from a distribution point in France," says American Cedar President Julian McKinney.
Many small businesses like American Cedar have been exporting indirectly by using an export intermediary. There are several kinds of export intermediaries you should consider.
Commissioned agents act as "brokers," linking your product or service with a specific foreign buyer. Generally, the agent or broker will not fulfill the orders, but rather will pass them to you for your acceptance. However, they may assist, in some cases, with export logistics such as packing, shipping and export documentation.
Export Management Companies (EMCs)
EMCs act as your "off-site" export department, representing your product -- along with the products of other companies -- to prospective overseas purchasers. The management company looks for business on behalf of your company and takes care of all aspects of the export transaction. Hiring an EMC is often a viable option for smaller companies that lack the time and expertise to break into international markets on their own. EMCs will often use the letterhead of your company, negotiate export contracts and then provide after-sales support. EMCs may assist in arranging export financing for the exporters but they do not generally assure payment to the manufacturers. Some of the specific functions an EMC will perform include:
conducting market research to determine the best foreign markets for your products; attending trade shows and promoting your productsoverseas. assessing proper distribution channels; locating foreign representatives and/or distributors; arranging export financing; handling export logistics, such as preparing invoices,arranging insurance, customs documentation, etc.; and advising on the legal aspects of exporting and other compliance matters dealing with domestic and foreign trade regulations. EMCs usually operate on a commission basis, although some work on a retainer basis and some take title to the goods they sell, making a profit on the markup. It is becoming increasingly common for EMCs to take title to goods.
Export Trading Companies (ETCs)
ETCs perform many of the functions of EMCs. However, they tend to be demand-driven and transaction-oriented, acting as an agent between the buyer and seller. Most trading companies source U.S. products for their overseas buyers. If you offer a product that is competitive and popular with the ETC buyers, you are likely to get repeat business. Most ETCs will take title to your goods for export and will pay your company directly. This arrangement practically eliminates the risks associated with exporting for the manufacturer.
ETC cooperatives are United States government-sanctioned co-ops of companies with similar products who seek to export and gain greater foreign market share. Many agricultural concerns have benefited from ETC cooperative exporting, and many associations have sponsored ETC cooperatives for their member companies. The National Machine Tool Builders' Association, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and the National Association of Energy Service Companies are a few examples of associations with ETC co-ops. Check with your particular trade association for further information.
The Export Trading Company Act of 1982
This legislation encourages the use and formation of EMCs/ETCs by changing the antitrust and banking environments under which these companies operate. The Act increases access to export financing by permitting bank holding companies to invest in ETCs and reduces restrictions on trade finance provided by financial institutions. Under the Act, banks are allowed to make equity investments in qualified ETCs.
Foreign Trading Companies
Some of the world's largest trading companies are located outside the United States. They can often be a source of export opportunity. U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) representatives in embassies around the world can tell you more about trading companies located in a given foreign market.
Exporting through an Intermediary -- Factors to Consider
Working with an EMC/ETC makes sense for many small businesses. The right relationship, if structured properly, can bring enormous benefits to the manufacturer, but no business relationship is without its potential drawbacks. The manufacturer should carefully weigh the pros and cons before entering into a contract with an EMC/ETC. Some advantages include:
Your product gains exposure in international markets --with little or no commitment of staff and resources from your company.
The EMC/ETC's years of experience and well-establishednetwork of contacts may help you to gain faster access to international markets than you could through establishing a relationship with a foreign-based partner.
Using an intermediary lowers or eliminates your exportstart-up costs, and, therefore, the risks associated with exporting. You can negotiate your contract with an EMC so that you pay nothing until the first order is received.
Your intermediary will guide you through the exportprocess step-by-step. Over time, you will develop your own export skills. Some disadvantages of exporting through an intermediary include:
You lose some control over the way in which your product is marketed and serviced. Your company's image and name are at stake. You will want to incorporate any concerns you may have into your contract, and you will want to monitor closely the activities and progress of your intermediary.
You may lose part of your export-sales profit margin bydiscounting your price to an intermediary. However, you may find that the economies of scale realized through increased production offset this loss.
Using an intermediary can result in a higher pricebeing passed o to the overseas buyer or end-user. This may or may not affect ynour competitive position in the market. The issue of pricing should be addressed at the outset. Export Merchants/Export Agents
Export merchants and agents will purchase and then re-package products for export, assuming all risks and selling to their own customers. This export intermediary option should be considered carefully, as your company could run the risk of losing control over your product's pricing and marketing in overseas markets.
Allowing another company, which already has an export distribution system in place, to sell your company's product in addition to its own is called "piggyback" exporting.
Piggyback exporting has several advantages. This arrangement can help you gain immediate foreign market access. Also, all the requisite logistics associated with selling abroad are borne by the exporting company. Oklahoma-based DP Manufacturing's winches were attached to another product and sold abroad by another company. DP Manufacturing now handles its own exports and reports that 15 percent of its sales comes from international markets.
How to Find Export Intermediaries
Small businesses often report that intermediaries find them -- at trade fairs and through trade journals where their products have been advertised -- so it can often pay to get the word out that you are interested in exporting.
One way to begin your search for a U.S.-based export intermediary is in the Yellow Pages of your local phone directory. In just a few initial phone calls, you should be able to determine whether indirect exporting is an option you want to pursue further.
The National Association of Export Companies (NEXCO) and the National Federation of Export Associations (NFEA) are two associations that can assist in your efforts to find export intermediaries. The Directory of Leading Export Management Companies is another useful source (see Part II, The Exporter�s Directory).
DOC's Office of Export Trading Company Affairs (OETCA) can also assist in providing information on how to locate ETCs and EMCs, as well as ETC cooperatives in the U.S. The office, under a joint public/private partnership, compiles the Export Yellow Pages, which provides the names and addresses of EMCs/ETCs, as well as other export service companies, such as banks and freight forwarders. Manufacturers, or producers, can also be listed in the guide free of charge; 50,000 copies are distributed worldwide annually. Contact your local U.S. Department of Commerce district office for information on being listed or for a free copy of the directory.
Locating the best export intermediary to represent you overseas is important. Do your homework before signing an agreement.
While indirect exporting offers many advantages, direct exporting also has its rewards: although initial outlays and the associated risks are greater, so too can be the profits.
California exporter Bayley Suit, Inc. reports that 80 percent of its sales come from exporting. The company president says that "40 percent of sales come from the Pacific Rim and 40 percent from the UK and Europe. In just a few years, exports have pushed our gross sales from $1 million to $4 million."
Direct exporting signals a commitment on the part of company management to fully engage in international trade. It may require that you dedicate a staff person or even several personnel to support your export efforts, and company management may have to travel abroad frequently.
Selling directly to an international buyer means that you will have to handle the logistics of moving the goods overseas. But, as the case of Ekegard, Inc. reveals, the extra efforts can pay off:
Using agents based in Pakistan and Thailand, Iowa-based Ekegard, Inc. states that 80 percent of its sales now come from exporting -- quite an achievement in just three years. According to Ekegard President Janne Ekstam, "Exporting helps to offset fluctuations in the United States economy."
Different Approaches to Direct Exporting
Like manufacturers' representatives in the United States, foreign-based representatives or "agents" work on a commission basis to locate buyers for your product. Your representative most likely will handle several complementary, but non-competing product lines. An agent is, generally, a representative with authority to make commitments on behalf of your firm. Be careful, therefore, about using the terms interchangeably. Your agreement should specify whether the agent/rep. has legal authority to obligate the firm.
Foreign distributors, in comparison, purchase merchandise from the U.S. company and re-sell it at a profit. They maintain an inventory of your product, which allows the buyer to receive the goods quickly. Distributors often provide after-sales service to the buyer.
Your agreement with any overseas business partner -- whether a representative, agent or distributor -- should address whether the arrangement is exclusive or non-exclusive, the territory to be covered, the length of the association, and other issues. (See Chapter Four, The Export Transaction, for additional information on negotiating agent/distributor agreements.) Kansas-based Airparts Companies has been extremely successful using overseas distributors:
"We employ 1,200 distributors worldwide," says Marta E. Maxwell, president of Airparts Companies, Inc. of Wichita, Kansas. With over $13 million in sales and 38 employees, Maxwell attributes 70 percent of her sales to exporting.
Finding overseas buyers for your products need not be more difficult than locating a representative here in the United States. It may require, however, an investment of time and resources to travel to your target market to meet face-to-face with prospective partners. One way to identify those interested in your product is to tap the DOC's Agent/Distributor Service. This program provides a customized search to identify agents, distributors and representatives for United States products based on the foreign companies' examination of the United States product literature.
"The Commerce Department Agent/Distributor Search located a distributor for us in India, and we've had a good working relationship for three years," says Shirley Wright, a representative of the Wisconsin biotechnology firm Promega. Promega derives more than 30 percent of its sales from exporting.]
Other sources of leads to find foreign agents and distributors are trade associations, foreign chambers of commerce in the United States and American chambers of commerce located in foreign countries.
Many publications can be useful. The Standard Handbook of Industrial Distributors lists agents and distributors in more than 90 countries. The Manufacturers' Agents National Association also has a roster of agents in Europe (see Part II, The Exporter's Directory).
Foreign government buying agents
Foreign government agencies or quasi-governmental agencies are often responsible for procurement. In some instances, countries require an in-country agent to access these procurement opportunities. This can often represent significant export potential for U.S. companies, particularly in markets where U.S. technology and know-how are valued. Foreign country commercial attaches in the United States can provide you with the appropriate in-country procurement office. Retail Sales
If you produce consumer goods, you may be able to sell directly to a foreign retailer. You can either hire a sales representative to travel to your target market with your product literature and samples and call on retailers, or you can introduce your products to retailers through direct-mail campaigns. The direct-marketing approach will save commission fees and travel expenses. You may want to combine trips to your target markets with exploratory visits to retailers. Such face-to-face meetings will reinforce your direct marketing.
Direct Sales to End-User
Your product line will determine whether direct sales to the end-user are a viable option for your company. A manufacturer of medical equipment, for example, may be able to sell directly to hospitals. Other major end-users include foreign governments, schools, businesses and individual consumers.
HOW TO FIND BUYERS
Advertise in Trade Journals
Many small businesses report that foreign buyers often find them. An ad placed in a trade journal or a listing in the DOC's Commercial News USA can often yield innumerable inquiries from abroad. Commercial News USA is a catalog-magazine featuring U.S. products and distributed to 125,000 business readers in over 140 countries around the world and to over 650,000 Economic Bulletin Board users in 18 countries. Fees vary with the size of the listing. Many U.S. companies have had enormous success in locating buyers through this vehicle:
"When overseas buyers contacted us we were thrilled," says Maryland's Marine Enterprises Vice President Brenda Dandy, discussing the results of a listing her company bought in Commercial News USA. Exports now represent 20 percent of Marine Enterprises' sales.
Participate in Catalog and Video/Catalog Exhibitions
Catalog and Video/Catalog exhibitions are another low-cost means of advertising your product abroad. Your products are introduced to potential partners at major international trade shows -- and you never have to leave the United States. For a small fee, the US&FCS officers in embassies show your catalogs or videos to interested agents, distributors and other potential buyers.
A number of private sector publications also offer U.S. companies the opportunity to display their products in catalogs sent abroad. A few include Johnston International's Export Magazine, The Journal of Commerce and the Thomas Publishing Company's American Literature Review.
Pursue Trade Leads
Rather than wait for potential foreign customers to contact you, another option is to search out foreign companies looking for the particular product you produce. Trade leads from international companies seeking to buy or represent U.S. products are gathered by US&FCS officers worldwide and are distributed through the DOC's Economic Bulletin Board. There is a nominal annual fee and a connect-time charge. The leads also are published daily in The Journal of Commerce under the heading, "Trade Opportunities Program" and in other commercial news outlets.
Another source of trade leads is the World Trade Centers (WTC) Network, where you can advertise your product or service on an electronic bulletin board transmitted globally.
If your product is agricultural, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) disseminates trade leads collected by their 80 overseas offices. These leads may be accessed through the AgExport FAX polling system, the AgExport Trade Leads Bulletin, The Journal of Commerce or on several electronic bulletin boards.
Exhibit at Trade Shows
Trade shows also are another means of locating foreign buyers. DOC's Foreign Buyer Program certifies a certain number of U.S. trade shows each year. Foreign buyers are actively recruited by DOC commercial officers, and special services -- such as meeting areas and translators -- are provided to encourage and facilitate private business discussions.
International trade shows are another excellent way to market your product abroad. Many U.S. small businesses find that going to a foreign trade show once just is not enough:
"You have to hang in there," said Allen-Edmonds Shoe Corporation President John Stollenwerk. "In the beginning, in many countries where we displayed our products at foreign trade shows, we saw no results. But gradually people began to take our product, American made shoes, seriously. We market our shoes as `the world's finest.' That's one way American companies can compete." Twelve percent of Wisconsin-based Allen-Edmonds sales are derived from exporting.
Through a certification program DOC also supports about 80 international fairs and exhibitions held in markets worldwide. U.S. exhibitors receive pre- and post-event assistance. The USDA FAS sponsors about 15 major shows overseas each year.
Participate in Trade Missions
Participating in overseas trade missions is yet another way to meet foreign buyers. Public/private trade missions are often organized cooperatively by federal and state international trade agencies and trade associations. Arrangements are handled for you so that the process of meeting prospective partners or buyers is simplified.
Matchmaker Trade Delegations are DOC-sponsored trade missions to select foreign markets. Your company is matched carefully with potential agents and distributors interested in your product. Tennessee-based Shaffield Industries, a futon manufacturer, reaped excellent returns as a result of a 1991 Matchmaker trade mission to Asia:
"I was especially surprised at the high-level of appointments scheduled for us during the Matchmaker trade mission. Each was a true prospect," stated David Goff, comptroller for Shaffield Industries. As a result of the mission, his company negotiated the sale of three containers of his product to South Korea and two containers to Taipei.
Being properly prepared for the kinds of inquiries you might encounter on overseas trade missions is important. The SBA offers pre-mission training sessions through its district offices and the SCORE program. Contact your local SBA office for a schedule of upcoming "How to Participate Profitably in Trade Missions" seminars.
Contact Multilateral Development Banks
In developing countries, large infrastructure projects are often funded by multilateral development banks such as the World Bank, the African, Asian, Inter-American Development Banks and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.Multilateral development bank (MDB) projects often represent extensive opportunities for U.S. small businesses to compete for project work. DOC estimates that MDB projects could amount to at least $15 billion dollars in export contracts for United States businesses.
One U.S. small business that successfully entered the international marketplace by bidding on a World Bank project is DSI of Poestenkill, New York:
"As a result of World Bank loans to the People's Republic of China, DSI received over $1 million dollars in contracts for laboratory equipment," reports DSI President Dave Ferguson. Exports now account for 60-70 percent of DSI's business.
Development bank projects can be an excellent way to start exporting. Many U.S. small business exporters have benefited from large MDB projects through subcontracting awards from larger corporations.
A list of MDBs is included in Part II, The Exporter's Directory. From their Washington, D.C. headquarters, many MDBs hold monthly seminars to acquaint businesses with the MDB procurement process. Additionally, the DOC's Office of Major Projects can be of assistance in identifying contracting and subcontracting opportunities.
QUALIFYING POTENTIAL BUYERS OR REPRESENTATIVES
Once you locate a potential foreign buyer or representative, the next step is to qualify them by reputation and financial position. First, obtain as much information as possible from the company itself. Here are a few sample questions you will want to ask:
What is the company's history and what are the qualifications and backgrounds of the principal officers? Does the company have adequate trained personnel, facilities, resources to devote to your business? What is their current sales volume? What is the size of their inventory? How will they market your product (retail, wholesale or direct)? Which territories or areas of the country do they cover? Do they have other U.S. or foreign clients? Are any of these clients your competitors? It is important to obtain references from several current clients. What types of customers do they serve? Do you publish a catalogue? What is their sales force? When you have this background information and are comfortable about proceeding, then obtain a credit report about their financial position. DOC's World Trade Data Reports (WTDRs), available from your local District ITA Office, are compiled by US&FCS officers. A WTDR can usually provide an in-depth profile of the prospective company you are investigating. There are also several commercial services for qualifying potential partners, such as Dun & Bradstreet's Business Identification Service and Graydon reports. U.S. banks and their correspondent banks or branches overseas, and foreign banks located in the United States can provide specific financial information.
In this chapter we have discussed methods of market entry, how to find potential foreign buyers and representatives and how to qualify whom you will be doing business with overseas. Advance market research and preparation is the best way for a small business to define a potential export market. The next question that needs to be explored involves how to accomplish the business of exporting -- that is, how the deal should be structured, the topic of Chapter 4, "The Export Transaction."
Chapter 4 The Export Transaction Pricing
Pricing products to be competitive in international markets can be a challenge; pricing that works in one market may be totally uncompetitive in another. Although there is no one formula for establishing prices for exported products, there are a number of strategic and technical considerations that you can make in order to determine an appropriate pricing structure.
A pricing strategy is a key component of your export marketing plan. The selected pricing structure should be an integral part of your market penetration objectives. Your goals will vary depending on the target overseas market. Are you entering the market with a new or unique product? Are you selling excess or obsolete products? Can your product demand a higher price because of brand recognition or superior quality? Maybe you are willing to reduce profits to gain market share for long-term growth. Your pricing decisions will be affected by your company's goals.
It is important to obtain as much information as possible on local market prices as part of your market research. Pricing information can be collected in several ways. One source is overseas distributors and agents of similar products of equivalent quality. When feasible, traveling to the country where your products will be sold provides an excellent opportunity to gather pricing information. U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) can also assist in determining appropriate prices through its Customized Sales Survey.
Joseph S. Brown III, President of Bruce Foods Corp., obtained pricing information for food products sold in overseas markets using the Commerce Department's Customized Sales Survey. Although exporting since 1946, Brown is constantly on the look-out for new markets for his products: "We now export to 75 countries," the Louisiana business owner says.
To compile the Customized Sales Survey, DOC's US&FCS research specialists in the target country interview importers, distributors, retailers, wholesalers, end-users and local producers of comparable products. They also inspect similar products on the market. Your customized report, available for a fee, is usually completed within 45 days.
Marketing Your Product
To successfully market a product in a domestic market, the manufacturer must take into consideration consumer preference, industry standards, correct labelling and other consumer-driven considerations.
When entering a foreign market, the manufacturer should consider the tastes and preferences in each market as part of marketing strategy. Frequently, only a small change may be required to successfully market the product. The color of the product, the design of the package, the size of the product all may need adjustment.
Consideration should be given to the product name (it may inadvertently have a negative connotation in the local language), cultural and/or religious connotations, appearance of container, compliance to standards (different electrical power, metric dimensions and local product regulations).
Another consideration when planning market strategy is understanding ISO 9000. The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) was founded in 1946 by 25 national standardization organizations including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Ninety countries now hold membership in ISO.
In 1987, the ISO issued ISO 9000, a series of five documents (ISO 9000, 9001, 9002, 9003 and 9004) that provide guidance on the selection and implementation of an appropriate quality management program (system) for a supplier's operations. The purpose of the ISO 9000 series is to document, implement and demonstrate the quality assurance systems used by companies that supply goods and services internationally. ISO standards are required to be reviewed every five years. Revised versions are expected to be published in early 1994. Information on the status of these revisions can be obtained from:
The American Society for Quality Control (ASQC) 611 East Wisconsin Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53202 Phone: 414/272-8575 or 800/248-1946 FAX: 414/272-1734
There are three ways for a manufacturer to prove compliance with the requirements of one of the ISO 9000 standards. Manufacturers may evaluate their quality system and self-declare the conformance of the system to one of the ISO 9000 quality systems. Second-party evaluations occur when the buyer requires and conducts quality system evaluations of suppliers. These evaluations are mandatory only for companies wishing to become suppliers to that buyer. Third-party quality systems and evaluations and registrations may be voluntary or mandatory and are conducted by persons or organizations independent of both the supplier and the buyer. Interpretations of an ISO 9000 standard may not be consistent from one registrar to another.
The supplier's quality system is registered, not an individual product. Consequently, quality system registration does not imply product conformity to any given set of requirements. The demand for ISO 9000 registration in Europe and elsewhere seems to be coming primarily from the marketplace as a contractual rather than a regulatory requirement. As conformity to the ISO 9000 standards becomes recognized and required by foreign and domestic buyers and used by manufacturers as a competitive marketing tool, the demand for ISO 9000 compliance is expected to increase in non-regulated areas. It is therefore critical for manufacturers to determine what are their buyers' requirements regarding ISO 9000 compliance. Additional information on U.S., foreign and international voluntary standards, government regulations and rules of certification for nonagricultural products is available from:
National Center for Standards and Certification Information(NCSCI)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) TRF Building, Room A163 Gaithersburg, MD 20899 Phone: 301/975-4040 FAX: 301/926-1559
For information on the EC 1992 Single Market program, copies of Single Market regulations, background information on the EC or assistance regarding specific EC trade opportunities or potential problems, contact:
The Office of EC Affairs International Trade Administration, Room 3036 14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-5823 FAX: 202/482-2155
Methods of International Pricing
The cost-plus method of international pricing is based on your domestic price plus exporting costs (documentation expenses, freight charges, customs duties and international sales and promotional costs). Any costs not applicable, such as domestic marketing costs, are subtracted. The cost-plus method allows you to maintain your domestic profit margin percentage, and thus to set a suitable price. This method does not, however, take into account local market conditions. Your price may be too high to compete in a foreign market.
Different marketing costs and/or modifications to the product could change the cost basis dramatically, making the product either more or less costly for export. As a result, using the "marginal-cost" method provides a more realistic means of determining true cost of producing your product for export.
To use the marginal-cost method, first determine the fixed costs of producing an additional unit for export. Fixed costs include production cost, overhead, administration and research and development. A cost saving may be realized if additional units of the product can be produced without increasing the fixed costs. There may also be instances where certain fixed costs are covered by domestic production and do not need to be added to export expenses.
Product modification expenses, dictated by the target market, are then added to the production costs to establish a "floor price." The floor price serves as a threshold for the firm to know when it would incur a loss. Using the floor price as a base, variable export costs for the product can be added. Some of the variable costs will be one-time or start-up expenses that should be discounted appropriately. Variable expenses include:
Local regulations and customs may require special labelling, translated instructions or different packaging to appeal to local tastes. The selected mode of distribution may also require a particular kind of packaging.
Foreign Market Research
There may be fees for specialized services and publications used to gather market information.
Advertising and Marketing
Firms selling directly into new markets will most likely be responsible for the entire promotional effort. The firm can incur high initial outlays to establish product recognition in the new market. If an agent, distributor or trading company is employed, they can handle advertising and marketing as part of their contract.
Translation, Consulting and Legal Fees
Product instructions, sales agreements and other documentation typically will need to be translated into the local language. Expert translation of product labeling and instructions will enhance local marketing. Although many sales agreements are standard, it is advisable to have legal counsel review binding documents.
Foreign Agent/Distributor Product Information and Training
Agents and distributors may require special training in order to effectively market and service your products. This is true even if the agent sells products similar to your firm's products. Training will not only enable the agent to better represent your company's interests but gain a better understanding of your particular product.
After-Sales Service Costs
Product warranties and service contracts will enhance your product's image as a quality item. An appropriate after sales service guarantee can support your sales efforts in the new market. Do not, however, promise service or warranties based on U.S. standards that you cannot deliver.
After taking these expenses into account, insurance, freight, duties and a profit margin can be added to arrive at a customer price. Depending on the market, currency fluctuations can affect significantly your locally based profit margin and the final price offered to the customer. For new-to-export companies, price products in U.S. dollars and request payment in dollars. This is not an unusual request.
This approach may be appropriate if your company is selling a new product or if you are trying to position your product or service at the upper-end of the market. Selecting this option may attract competition and limit the market for your product while, at the same time, produce big profit margins.
This is a lower risk approach as contrasted to the high- or low-price option. Here you should be able to match competitors, build a market position and produce reasonable profit margins.
This approach may be relevant if you are trying to reduce inventory and do not have a long term commitment to the market. You will, no doubt, impede competition but also produce low profit margins.
There may be no single strategy that is ideal for every company. Often companies draw upon a mix of options for each market or product.
Setting Terms of Sale Price Quotations
The pro-forma invoice is the most commonly used document to give price quotations to potential customers. The quotation in a pro-forma invoice is usually considered binding, although prices may change prior to final sale. To prepare the invoice, you should give a detailed description of the product, an itemized list of charges and sale terms. Prices should be quoted in United States dollars to reduce foreign exchange risks. The invoice should also indicate the period during which the price quotation is valid.
You should be familiar with the common terms of sale used in international trade before preparing your pro-forma invoice. International Commercial Terms (INCOTERMS) are the universally recognized terms used in export and import ../contracts. These terms refer to the rights and obligations of each party_ who pays what costs.css; when title to goods is transferred; and where the goods should be delivered. A complete list of INCOTERMS published in the book Incoterms 1990 can be obtained from the International Chamber of Commerce and should be a permanent part of your business library (see Part II, The Exporter's Directory).
SHIPPER: Reference No. RB20693 Smith and Jones Co. Date: July 18, 1993 5555 Railroad Ave. New York, N.Y. 10001 Customer P.O. No. 212-555-1234 Terms of Payment: Estimated Date of Shipment
SOLD TO: SHIP TO:
Grupo Estevez, S.A. de C.V. Juarez Industriale Tamales No. 1 Piso 2 454 Blvd. Cortez 12345 Cd. Polanco Mexico 11115 Mexico D.F. Mexico
VIA: Aero Cortez
ITEM QUANTITY DESCRIPTION UNIT PRICE TOTAL PRICE
100 Computer US $50.00 US $5,000.00 motherboards FOB factory 5,000.00 Inland Freight Forwarder fees 100.00 Air freight 1,200.00 Five (5) sealed cartons Insurance 20.00 Gross weight: 10 lbs. C.I.F. Mexico 6,320.00
The above offering is based on current prices and is valid 60 days from invoice date.
*NOTE: This pro-forma invoice is only a sample. It is advisable to contact a freight forwarder in advance of shipping.
NEGOTIATING SALES AND DISTRIBUTOR AGREEMENTS
Knowing how to include INCOTERMS in a contract is important, but this represents only one aspect of the sales agreement. Legal rights and obligations of the parties should be spelled out in a single document, which can be incorporated into the final invoice. Frequently, the terms and conditions are contained on the back of the invoice.
Some of the terms and conditions necessary in a written sales agreement include:
Delivery Terms -- Risk of Loss
A force majeure clause is standard in most agreements. This clause excuses the exporter from responsibility where a default in performance is caused by events beyond the exporter's control, such as war, acts of God or labor problems.
Payment and Finance Terms
In addition to defining the terms of payment, provisions should be included for late payments, partial payments and remedies for non-payment. The terms of payment should consider the use of letters of credit.
Sales contracts generally describe the goods and their qualities, workmanship and durability. In some cases, the exporter is obligated by the law in the country of import. The importer will require the exporter to warrant that the goods meet certain standards of construction and performance.
Acceptance of Goods
Frequently, the importer ../will insist upon the right to inspect the goods upon delivery.css; if found defective, the importer can reject them and refuse to pay. However, the importer is still liable for country-of-importation duties and other taxes. The export documents should reflect any such requirements.
Intellectual Property Rights
Protection of the exporter's patents, trademarks or copyrights should be assured in the agreement. However, protection under the laws of the foreign country are not automatic, and you should not assume that your product is protected.
The obligations of the parties for payment of taxes other than customs duties should be defined in writing.
It is advisable to specify how and where any disputes will be resolved, as well as which nation's law would be applied. Bear in mind that different countries have varying arbitration laws and systems which may apply.
AGENT AND DISTRIBUTOR AGREEMENTS
If you choose to use an agent or distributor, it will be necessary to develop a formal contractual agreement. Agent and distributor agreements spell out in more detail the issues mentioned above and define other aspects of the relationship between the parties to the agreement.
In the contract it is important to:
specify the goods and/or services covered; describe the agent or distributor's sales territory, and whether they will have exclusive or non-exclusive sales rights; set the length of the term for which the agreement is applicable and agree upon specified minimum sales volumes and objectives; outline protection of intellectual property; describe other types of obligations imposed on the parties, violations of which would justify termination of the contract; and list specific intellectual property rights granted to the agent or distributor. When negotiating and drafting contractual agreements, it is recommended that you consult an attorney with experience in international trade and exporting. Your company's business lawyer may be able to handle your questions or refer you to an "export-oriented" attorney. Your local bar association may provide referral services, as well.
Under agreement with the Federal Bar Association and DOC, SBA sponsors the Export Legal Assistance Network (ELAN). ELAN is a network of attorneys located throughout the United States who specialize in international trade. Your local SBA office can assist in locating an ELAN attorney who will provide a free, initial legal consultation to discuss your export-related questions.
As an initial introduction, however, you may want to review the information contained in International Business Practices, which covers the legal aspects of doing business in over 100 countries. Copies are available from US&FCS offices or from the Government Printing Office.
Terms for financing export sales should be discussed during contract negotiations. While the U.S. seller will want to be paid as soon as possible, the foreign buyer will want to delay payment as long as possible, preferably until after the goods are resold. These two conflicting objectives will factor into any negotiations on export financing.
In addition to reaching a compromise on the method of payment, the U.S. exporter must also be able to offer the foreign buyer favorable financing terms -- otherwise the sale could be lost to a foreign competitor with an equivalent product but better payment terms.
The final step in completing the export transaction is arranging for payment, the subject of Chapter 5, "Export Financing."
Chapter 5 Export Financing
FINANCING EXPORT SALES
Few would disagree that small businesses must look overseas for profit opportunities in the 1990s. However, to compete successfully, small firms must offer financing arrangements that are competitive with exporters of other nations. This chapter will discuss three major influences on an exporter's ability to arrange competitive financing:
today's banking environment how to approach a lender methods of payment UNDERSTANDING THE BANKING ENVIRONMENT
In the United States, most small firms turn first to their local banks for export finance assistance. However, during the past decade many banks have decided not to focus on export financing.
The banks' reasons for doing so have varied -- many cut their international operations due to the huge losses they incurred on overseas debt; others may have chosen to concentrate on more lucrative lines of business, such as home equity loans or mergers and acquisitions.
Consequently, during the 1980s export finance expertise in many U.S. banks deteriorated. Even today, most smaller banks do not retain any staff with expertise in international trade. This is not to say, however, that such help is unavailable -- only that small businesses must be persistent and tenacious in their efforts to find it. For example, if a small business loan officer is unwilling to work with his or her bank's international staff (or the bank is unwilling to work with a correspondent), exporters should consider establishing a second banking relationship or, if necessary, moving all their accounts to a more aggressive lender. Don't be afraid to shop.
Given the difficulty most small business exporters face when seeking financing, it is imperative that financial arrangements be made in advance. Finding a lender willing to consider such a request requires that the borrower ensure that the purpose of the loan makes sense for the business, and that the request is a reasonable amount. Prospective borrowers also should understand some key distinctions before beginning discussions with a lender.
HOW TO APPROACH YOUR LENDER FOR EXPORT FINANCING
Venture Capitalists and Lenders
Before approaching a bank for financial assistance, small exporters should understand the distinction between venture capitalists and lenders. Venture capitalists invest in a business with the expectation that as the business grows, their equity in the business will grow exponentially. On the other hand, lenders are not in the venture capital business -- they make their money on the difference between the rate at which they borrow money and the rate at which they lend to their customers. International Trade Services and Export Lending
Small exporters should also understand the distinction between international trade services and international trade lending. Although many banks offer international trade services, such as advising and negotiating letters of credit, the banks' international divisions are not authorized to lend money. International lenders, on the other hand, have the authority to make loans, as well as provide related services. Exporters should verify that the bank officer with whom they are dealing has the authority to lend for an export transaction.
Working Capital Financing and Trade Financing
It is also important to note the difference between general working capital financing and trade financing. A small firm's ability to qualify for general working capital financing depends on, among other things, the strength of its balance sheet and its prospects for generating sufficient earnings over the life of a loan to repay it. Trade finance, on the other hand, generally refers to financing individual transactions (or a series of like transactions). In addition, trade finance loans are often self-liquidating -- that is, the lending bank stipulates that all sales proceeds are to be collected by it, and then applies the proceeds to pay down the loan. The remainder is credited to the account of the borrower.
The self-liquidating feature of trade finance is critical to many small, undercapitalized businesses. Lenders who may otherwise have reached their lending limits for such businesses may nevertheless finance individual export sales, if the lenders are assured that the loan proceeds will be used solely for pre-export production; and any export sale proceeds will first be collected by them before the balance is passed on to the exporter. Given the extent of control lenders can exercise over such transactions and the existence of guaranteed payment mechanisms unique to -- or established for -- international trade, trade finance can be less risky for lenders than general working capital loans.
Pre-export, Accounts Receivable and Market Development Financing Exporters should understand the distinctions between the various types of trade finance. Most small businesses need pre-export financing to help with the expense of gearing up for a particular export sale. Loan proceeds are commonly used to pay for labor and materials or to acquire inventory for export sales. Others may be interested in foreign accounts receivable financing. In that case, exporters can borrow from their banks an amount based on the volume and quality of such accounts receivable. Although banks rarely lend 100 percent of the value of the accounts receivable, many will advance up to 80 percent of the value of qualified accounts. Foreign credit insurance (such as Eximbank's Export Credit Insurance Program) is often used to enhance the quality of such accounts.
Financing for foreign market development activities, such as participation in overseas trade missions or trade shows, is often difficult for small businesses to arrange. Most banks are reluctant to finance such activities because, for many small firms, their ability to repay such loans depends on their success in consummating sales while on a mission -- prospects that in many cases are speculative. Although difficult for many small firms to do, the recommended source for financing such activities is through the working capital of the firm or, in certain cases, through the use of personal credit cards.
Finally, take time to make sure your banker understands your business and products. Have a detailed export plan ready and, most important, be able to clearly show how and when a loan will be repaid.
METHODS USED TO FINANCE EXPORTS
A small business exporter's principal concern should be to ensure that he or she will be paid in full and on time. Foreign buyers may have concerns as well, including uncertainty that the goods ordered will meet the necessary specifications and arrive in a timely manner. As a result, it is imperative that the terms of payment be agreed upon in advance and in a manner satisfactory to both parties.
The payment method exporters use can significantly affect the financial risk of a particular export sale. In general, the more generous the sales terms are to a foreign buyer, the greater the risk to the exporter. The primary methods of payment for international transactions, ranked in order of most secure to the exporter to least secure, include:
payment in advance letters of credit documentary collections (drafts) consignment open account Payment in advance
Paying in advance is often too expensive and risky for foreign buyers. Yet, this method of payment is not uncommon. Requiring full payment in advance may cause lost sales to a foreign (or even another domestic) competitor who is able to offer more attractive payment terms. In some cases, however, where the manufacturing process is specialized, lengthy or capital-intensive, it may be reasonable to insist upon partial payment in advance, or on progress payments.
Letters of Credit (LC)
A letter of credit is an internationally recognized instrument issued by a bank on behalf of its client, the purchaser. The LC actually represents the bank's guarantee to pay the seller, provided the conditions specified on it are fulfilled. Of course, the purchaser pays its bank a fee to render this service.
The rationale behind the use of an LC is reliance by the seller on the credit worthiness of the bank, which is normally more reliable than that of the purchaser. It is also easier to verify by the seller's bank. Moreover, this vehicle can be structured to protect the purchaser because no payment obligation arises until the goods have been satisfactorily delivered as promised.
The conditions of the LC are spelled out on the LC itself. When the conditions of delivery have been satisfied (usually by the documented, satisfactory and timely delivery of the goods), the purchaser's bank makes the required payment directly to the seller's bank in accordance with the terms of payment (in 15, 30, 60 or 90 days, whichever is specified).
The greatest degree of protection is afforded to the seller when the LC has been issued by the buyer's bank and confirmed by the seller's bank. LCs may be utilized for one-time transactions, or they can cover multi-shipments, depending upon what is agreed between the parties. Also, make sure you can deliver within the terms of the LC. It is suggested that you review the details of such documentation with a bank that has LC experience.
LETTER OF CREDIT
Buyer Agrees to buy product Agrees to ship goods if LC is opened Requests bank to issue LC LC assures payment if proper documents are presented Ships goods and submits shipping documents to bank for payment
Verifies documents for compliance Payment is made immediately or upon maturity of accepted draft Payment is made when documents received or accepted
Documentary Collection (Drafts)
Documentary collections involve the use of a draft, drawn by the seller on the buyer, requiring the buyer to pay the face amount either on sight (sight draft) or on a specified date in the future (time draft). The draft is an unconditional order to make such payment in accordance with its terms, which specify the documents needed before title to the goods will be passed.
Because title to the goods does not pass until the draft is paid or accepted, both the buyer and seller are protected. However, if the buyer defaults on payment of the draft, the seller may have to pursue collection through the courts (or possibly, by arbitration, if such had been agreed upon between the parties). The use of drafts involves a certain level of risk; but they are less expensive for the purchaser than letters of credit.
BUYER SELLER Agrees to buy products Agrees to be paid via documentary collection Ships goods and submits shipping documents to bank for collection or acceptance
Documents released to buyer against payment or acceptance Seller receives payment at sight upon acceptance
When goods are sold subject to consignment, no money is received by the exporter until after the goods have been sold by the purchaser. Title to the goods remains with the exporter until such time as all the purchase conditions are satisfied. As a practical matter, consignment is very risky. There is generally no way to predict how long it might take to sell the goods; moreover, if they are never sold, the exporter would have to pay the costs of recovering them from the foreign consignee.
An open account transaction means that the goods are manufactured and delivered before payment is required (for example, payment could be due 14, 30, or 60 days following shipment or delivery). In the United States, sales are likely to be made on an open-account basis if the manufacturer has been dealing with the buyer over a long period of time and has established a secure working relationship. In international business transactions, this method of payment cannot be used safely unless the buyer is credit worthy and the country of destination is politically and economically stable. However, in certain instances it might be possible to discount open accounts receivable with a factoring company or other financial institution, referred to above.
The following diagram assesses the relative strengths and weaknesses of each method of payment: METHOD USUAL TIME OF PAYMENT GOODS AVAILABLE TO BUYER RISK TO EXPORTER RISK TO IMPORTER Cash in advance Before shipment After payment None Dependent upon exporter shipping goods Letter of credit After shipment when documents complying with LC are presented After payment Very little Relies on exporter to ship goods Documentary Collection Sight Draft On presenta tion of draft to buyer After payment If draft unpaid, must dispose of goods Relies on exporter to ship goods Documentary Collection- Time Draft On maturity of draft Before payment Relies on buyer to pay draft; no control of goods Almost none Consignment After sale Before payment High Low Open Account After shipment as agreed Before payment Relies on buyer to pay his account None
PRIVATE SECTOR EXPORT FINANCING RESOURCES
International trade transactions traditionally have been financed by commercial banks. Commercial banks can make loans for pre-export activities. They can also help process letters of credit, drafts and other methods of payment discussed in this chapter. Banks have also become increasingly involved in making export loans backed by United States government export loan guarantees.
Many larger banks have international departments which can help with your company's particular export finance needs. If your bank does not have an international department, it probably has a correspondent relationship with a larger bank that can assist you.
Private Trade Finance Companies
Private trade finance companies are becoming increasingly more commonplace. They utilize a variety of financing techniques in return for fees, commissions, participation in the transactions or combinations thereof. International trade associations, such as a District Export Council, can assist you in locating a private trade finance company in your area.
Export Trading and Management Companies
Both EMCs and ETCs provide varying ranges of export services, including international market research and overseas marketing, insurance, legal assistance, product design, transportation, foreign order processing, warehousing, overseas distribution, foreign exchange and even taking title to a supplier's goods. All of these services can leverage the limited resources of small businesses.
Factoring houses, also called factors, purchase export receivables on a discounted basis. Using factors can enable the exporter to receive immediate payment for goods while at the same time alleviating the hassles associated with overseas collections.
Factors purchase export receivables for a percentage fee at 2-7 percent below invoice value, depending on the market and type of buyer. The percentage rate will depend on whether the factor purchases the receivables on a recourse or non-recourse basis. In the case of a non-recourse purchase, the exporter is not bound to repay the factoring house if the foreign buyer defaults or other collection problems arise. Therefore, the percentage charge will be greater with non-recourse purchases.
Similar to factoring, exporters relinquish their rights to future payment in return for immediate cash. Where a debt obligation exists between the parties, it is sold to a third party on a non-recourse basis, but is guaranteed by an intermediary bank.
One U.S. exporter which used forfaiting found the benefits substantial:
Ed Lamb, President of Custom Die and Insert of Lafayette, Louisiana, was able to sell a 180-day letter of credit through a forfaiting house and got paid 178 days sooner. Forfaiting enabled Custom Die and Insert to consummate a $2.3 million-dollar export order to the Middle East.
GOVERNMENT EXPORT FINANCING RESOURCES
Because private sector financing providers will only assume limited risk regarding foreign transactions, the U.S. government has become increasingly involved in providing export financing assistance.
U.S. government export financing assistance comes in the form of guarantees made to U.S. commercial banks which in turn make the loans to exporters. Federal agencies, as well as certain state governments, have their own particular programs as noted below:
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) SBA provides financial and business development assistance to help small businesses develop export markets. The SBA assists businesses in obtaining the capital needed to explore, establish or expand international markets. SBA's export loans are available under SBA's guarantee program. As a prospective applicant, you should request that your lender seek SBA participation, if the lender is unable or unwilling to make a direct loan.
The financing staff of each SBA district and branch office administers the financial assistance programs. You can contact the finance division of your nearest SBA office for a list of participating lenders. The business development staff of each SBA district and branch office can provide counseling on how to request export financial assistance from a lender.
Borrowers can use different SBA loan programs and types of loan guarantees simultaneously, as long as the total SBA-guaranteed portion does not exceed the agency's $750,000 statutory loan guarantee limit to any one borrower. The lender may charge a maximum interest rate of 2.75 percentage points above the New York prime interest rate, or 2.25 percentage points above New York prime if the maturity is less than seven years.
Regular Business Loan Program
The SBA can guarantee up to 90 percent of a bank loan up to $155,000. For larger loans, the maximum guaranty is 85 percent up to $750,000.
Small businesses that need money for fixed assets and for working capital may be eligible for the SBA's regular 7(a) business loan guarantee program. Loan guarantees for fixed-asset acquisition have a maximum maturity of 25 years. Guarantees for general purpose working capital loans have a maximum maturity of seven years. Export trading companies (ETCs) and export management companies (EMCs) also may qualify for the SBA's business loan guarantee program.
To be eligible, the applicant's business generally must be operated for profit and fall within size standards set by SBA. Loans cannot be made to businesses involved in creation or distribution of ideas or opinions, such as newspapers, magazines and academic schools. Other types of ineligible borrowers include businesses engaged in speculation or investment in rental real estate.
Export Revolving Line of Credit Program The Export Revolving Line of Credit (ERLC) Program offers a credit line up to 36 months. Any number of withdrawals and repayments can be made as long as they do not exceed the dollar limit of the credit line, and the disbursements are made within the stated maturity period. Loan maturities are generally for 12 months, with options to renew.
Loans can be used to finance labor and materials for manufacturing or wholesaling for export, to develop foreign markets or to finance foreign accounts receivable. Foreign business travel and participation in trade shows are also among the eligible uses, but a regular 7(a) business loan may be more appropriate for these purposes.
Applicants must satisfy eligibility criteria established for all SBA loans. Also, the applicant must have been in business -- not necessarily exporting -- for at least 12 months' continuous operation before filing an application. The 12-month requirement may be waived by the SBA regional office, if the firm's management has sufficient export experience or enough management ability to warrant an exception.
The International Trade Loan Program
The International Trade Loan Program provides long-term financing to help small businesses compete more effectively and to expand or develop export markets.
Loan maturities cannot exceed 25 years, excluding the working capital portion of the financing. The SBA's guarantee cannot exceed 85 percent of the loan amount. The agency's maximum share for facilities or equipment loans is $1 million, plus $250,000 for working capital.
Proceeds may be used to purchase or upgrade facilities or equipment, and to make other improvements that will be used within the U.S. to produce goods or services.
No debt payment is allowed. Proceeds can be used to buy land and buildings; build new facilities; renovate, improve or expand existing facilities; and purchase or recondition machinery, equipment and fixtures. The working capital portion of the borrowing could be in the form of either an ERLC or a portion of the term loan.
Applicants must establish either of the following to meet eligibility requirements:
Loan proceeds will significantly expand existing export markets or develop new ones. The applicant's business is adversely affected by import competition. Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Financing A Small Business Investment Company (SBIC), approved and licensed by the SBA, may also provide equity or working capital exceeding the agency's $750,000 statutory maximum. SBICs can invest in export trading companies in which banks have equity participation as long as other SBIC requirements are met.
Export-Import ../Bank of the United States _Eximbank.css)
Eximbank is an independent federal government agency responsible for assisting the export financing of U.S. goods and services through a variety of information service and insurance, loan and guarantee programs. Eximbank has undertaken a major effort to reach more small business exporters with better financing facilities and services, to increase the value of these facilities and services to the exporting community, and to increase the dollar amount of Eximbank's authorizations supporting small business exports.
Eximbank's export financing hotline provides information on the availability and use of export credit insurance, guarantees, direct and intermediary loans extended to finance the sale of U.S. goods and service abroad.
Briefing programs are offered by Eximbank to the small business community. The program includes regular seminars, group briefings and individual discussions held both within the Bank and around the country.
Export credit insurance programs reduce an exporter's risk and can be obtained through an insurance broker or from Eximbank's Insurance Division. A wide range of policies is available to accommodate many different export credit insurance needs. Insurance coverage:
protects the exporter against the failure of foreign buyers to pay their credit obligations for commercial or political reasons; encourages exporters to offer foreign buyers competitive terms of payment; supports an exporter's prudent penetration of higher risk foreign markets; and gives exporters and their banks greater financial flexibility in handling overseas accounts receivable. During the first two years, the new-to-export insurance policy offers a short-term (up to 180 days) insurance policy geared to meet the particular credit requirements of smaller, less experienced exporters. Under the policy, Eximbank assumes 95 percent of the commercial and 100 percent of the political risk involved in extending credit to the exporter's overseas customers. This policy frees the smaller exporter from "first loss" commercial risk deductible provisions that are usually found in regular insurance policies. The special coverage is available to companies which are just beginning to export, or have an average annual export credit sales volume of less than $2,000,000 for the past two years, and meet the SBA definitions of small business.
The umbrella policy also covers short-term receivables of companies with only limited experience in export trade. These policies are available to commercial lenders, state agencies, finance companies, export trading and management companies, insurance brokers and similar agencies to insure their clients' receivables. Exporters are eligible if they have average annual export credit sales of less than $2,000,000 for the past two years and meet the SBA definitions of small business.
The Working Capital Loan Guarantee Program assists small businesses in obtaining crucial working capital to fund their export activities. The program guarantees 100 percent of the principal and interest on working capital loans extended by commercial lenders to eligible U.S. exporters. The loan may be used for pre-export activities such as the purchase of inventory, raw materials, the manufacture of a product or for marketing. Eximbank requires the working capital loan to be secured with inventory of exportable goods, accounts receivable or by other appropriate collateral.
Direct and Intermediary Loans
Eximbank provide two types of loans, direct loans to foreign buyers of U.S. exports and intermediary loans to fund responsible parties that extend loans to foreign buyers of U.S. capital and quasi-capital goods and related services. Both the loan and guarantee programs cover up to 85 percent of the U.S. export value, with repayment terms of one year or more.
Direct loans of any size and long-term loans to intermediaries are offered at the lowest interest rate permitted under the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) arrangement for the market and term.
Medium-term intermediary loans are structured as "standby" loan commitments. Under this arrangement, the intermediary may borrow against the remaining undisbursed loan at any time during the term of the underlying debt obligation. There is a prepayment fee if it is triggered by prepayment of the foreign borrower.
Guarantees of the Eximbank provide repayment protection for private sector loans to credit worthy buyers of U.S. capital equipment and related services. The guarantee is available alone or may be combined with an intermediary loan.
Most guarantees provide comprehensive coverage of both political and commercial risks but political risks only coverage is also available. The guarantee covers 100 percent of principal and interest. In the event of a default, the guaranteed lender must file a claim no less than 30 and no more than 150 days after the default. The claim will be paid within five business days after receipt.
Customary repayment terms for capital goods in international trade are: Contract Value Maximum Term Less than $75,000 2 years $75,000 - $150,000 3 years $150,000 - $300,000 4 years $300,000 or more 5-10 years*
* depending on the nature of the sale and the OECD classification of the buyers'country.
Loans for projects and large product acquisitions, such as aircraft and capital-intensive machinery, are eligible for longer terms while lower unit value items such as automobiles and appliances receive shorter terms.
Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC)
The United States Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) operates Export Credit Guarantee Programs to provide United States agricultural exporters or financial institutions a guarantee that they will be repaid for short- and intermediate-term commercial export financing to foreign buyers. These programs protect against commercial or noncommercial risk if the importer's bank fails to make payment. Under one program, the CCC will guarantee credit terms of up to 3 years and under another, credit terms from 3 to 10 years are guaranteed. (For more details, see Part II, The Exporter's Directory.)
State Export Financing Programs
A number of state-sponsored export financing and loan guarantee programs are available. Many cities and states have established cooperative programs with the Eximbank and can provide specialized export finance counseling. Details of these programs are available through each state department of commerce or trade office.
Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin all provide direct or indirect export financing assistance.
Once an exporter determines the kind of export financing assistance to be used and which payment method, the next step is to arrange for delivery of the goods to the buyer's destination. It is important to assess the various transportation options available, the subject of Chapter 6, "Transporting Goods Internationally."
Chapter 6 Transporting Goods Internationally Now that financing has been arranged, steps must be taken to ensure that the goods for export are packed and shipped properly to reach their destination. When transporting goods internationally, proper documentation and correct packaging are critical to the export process.
One of the main differences between selling domestically and exporting is the documentation required. Providing proper documentation with your shipments is essential, if the goods are to arrive safely and on time.
Although the paperwork involved in exporting may be more burdensome and costly than that required for domestic sales, it should not deter you. Consider the case of Hood Equipment Inc. of Iron River, Wisconsin:
"We began exporting our forestry equipment in 1977. Now exports amount to 40 percent of our sales. While export documentation requirements can be time consuming, 40 percent of our sales depend on it so we have to do it," says export manager Joyce Hood. Ms. Hood credits her company's international freight forwarder as "a great help."
THE ROLE OF THE FREIGHT FORWARDER
The international freight forwarder acts as an agent for the exporter in moving cargo to the overseas destination. These agents are familiar with the import/export rules and regulations of foreign countries, methods of shipping, United States government regulations and the documents connected with foreign trade.
Freight forwarders can assist with an order from the start by advising the exporter of the freight costs, port charges, consular fees, costs of special documentation and insurance costs as well as their handling fees -- all of which help in preparing the pro-forma invoice and price quotations. Freight forwarders may also recommend the best type of packing for protecting the merchandise in transit; they can arrange to have the merchandise packed at the port or containerized. The cost for their services is a legitimate export cost that should be figured into the price charged to the customer.
When the order is ready to ship, freight forwarders should be able to review the letter of credit, commercial invoices, packing list to ensure that everything is in order. Freight forwarders can also reserve the necessary space on board an ocean vessel, if the exporter desires.
The exporter may ask the freight forwarder to make arrangements with the customs broker to ensure that the goods comply with customs export documentation regulations. In addition, they may have the goods delivered to the carrier in time for loading. Freight forwarders may also prepare a bill of lading and any special required documentation. After shipment, they can forward all documents directly to the customer or to the paying bank.
In preparing your goods for international transport, you must first determine what mode of transport you will use. When shipping to Mexico and Canada, land transportation may be the preferred method of transport. Other forms of international shipments are sea and air.
Maritime shipping is almost always slower and less expensive than air. However, an exporter must factor in the additional costs of sea freight, such as surface transportation to the dock. Another factor is the time value of money: payment may not be made until the ship reaches its destination -- ocean freight can be significantly longer than air freight. Your international freight forwarder can assist in weighing the pros and cons of different modes of transportation.
Once you have decided on the best mode of transporting your goods, you must begin to compile the necessary documents.
Export Documentation Checklist -- Documents Prepared Before the Shipment
Commercial Invoice/Consular Invoice
After the pro-forma invoice is accepted, the exporter must prepare a commercial invoice. The commercial invoice is necessary for both the exporter and importer.
The exporter needs the commercial invoice to prove ownership and secure payment. The description of the goods on the commercial invoice must correspond exactly to the description in the letter of credit or other method of payment. There can be no exceptions.
The importer needs the commercial invoice since it is often used by Customs authorities to assess duties. For this reason, it is common practice to prepare a commercial invoice in English and in the language of the destination country. The freight forwarder can advise you when a translated copy is necessary.
Similar to a commercial invoice, a consular invoice is required by certain countries. The consular invoice must be prepared in the language of the destination country and can be obtained from the country's consulate, and often must be "consularized."
In some countries, the commercial invoice must be prepared on a special form known as a "customs invoice." Your importer may request this of you.
Export controls are based on the type of goods being shipped and their ultimate destination. Most exports do not require a license, per se. Technically, most exports are shipped under a "general" license which does not require an application.
Should your particular export be subject to export controls, then a "validated" license must be obtained. In general, your export would require a "validated" license if export of the goods would: threaten United States national security; affect certain foreign policies of the United States; or create short supply in domestic markets. Check with the U.S. Department of Commerce's (DOC's) Bureau of Export Administration (BEA) to determine if your product may be subject to export controls (see Part II, The Exporter's Directory).
Shipper's Export Declaration (SED)
The most common document used by exporters is the Shipper's Export Declaration (Form 7525-V), for mail shipments valued at more than $500, and required for other shipments valued at more than $2,500. In addition, a SED must be prepared for all shipments covered by an Individually Validated Export License (IVL), regardless of value. The SED enables the Bureau of the Census to monitor for statistical purposes the kinds of products being exported from the United States. The SED must be presented to the carrier before the shipment departs.
A sample SED follows:
A Shipper's Export Declaration Form 7525-V cannot be reproduced here. The form is available through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402 and local Customs district offices.
Three items appearing on the SED may cause confusion:
Item 14, "Schedule B Description of Commodities"
You will need to determine the official description of the commodity you are shipping by obtaining a copy of the United States government publication entitled, Harmonized System/Schedule B Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States and then transfer the appropriate description onto the SED. This is available from the Government Printing Office and from most freight forwarders.
Item 21, "Validated License No./General License Symbol"
If your product for export is controlled, the "validated" license number is inserted in this space. If you are exporting under a "general license," one of eight possible "General License Symbols" must be noted. The three most commonly used symbols are:
G-Dest (General Destination): authorizes the export of any items not requiring a validated license GLV (General License Limited Value): authorizes the export of a single shipment of limited-value items GTE (General License for Temporary Export): authorizes the export of items for trade shows, training or temporary use abroad Item 22, ECCN (Export Control Commodity Number)
Only necessary when a "validated" license is required, the ECCN is the number assigned to your commodity from the Bureau of Export Administration's Commodity Control List. This special number must be supplied on the SED.
Shipper's Export Declaration
SED forms can be obtained through international freight forwarders, the Government Printing Office or local Customs district offices. The "Exact Way to Fill Out the Shipper's Export Declaration" is available from the Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC 20233.
Certificate of Origin (where applicable)
Although the commercial invoice may contain a statement of origin, some countries (particularly those subject to certain free trade treaties, such as Canada or the Caribbean Basin) require Certificates of Origin. Certificates of Origin allow for preferential duty rates if the exporter's country has an agreement with the importer's country to allow entry of certain products at lower tariffs.
Export Packing List
Considerably more detailed and informative than a standard domestic packing list, an export packing list itemizes the material in each individual package and indicates the type of package: box, crate, drum, carton, etc. It shows the individual net, legal, tare and gross weights and measurements for each package (in both U.S. and metric systems). Package markings should be shown along with the shipper's and buyer's references. A copy of the packing list should be attached to the outside of a package in a waterproof envelope marked "packing list enclosed." The list is used by the shipper or forwarding agent to determine the total shipment weight and volume and whether the correct cargo is being shipped. In addition, customs officials (both U.S. and foreign) may use the list to check the cargo. The original packing list should be forwarded along with your other original documents in line with the conditions of sale.
If the exporter is providing insurance, a certificate will be needed confirming the type and amount of coverage for the goods being shipped. Normal accepted practice for coverage is 110 percent of the CIF value. This certificate should be made in negotiable form and must be endorsed before submitting to the bank.
Many foreign purchasers request that the seller certify that the goods being shipped meet certain specifications. This certification is usually performed by an independent inspection firm.
Documents Used During the Inland Movement of the Goods Shipper's Instructions
As an exporter, you are responsible for providing your freight forwarder with the necessary information regarding your shipment. The more details you provide, the greater the chances of your goods moving problem free. Your freight forwarder can provide you with a commonly used form for noting instructions.
Inland Bill of Lading
Inland bills of lading document the transportation of goods between inland points and the port from where the export will emanate. Rail shipments use "waybills on rail." "Pro-forma" bills of lading are used in trucking.
This document is prepared by the freight forwarder giving instructions to the trucking or railroad company where the goods for export are to be delivered.
This document transfers shipping obligations from the domestic to the international carrier as the shipment reaches the terminal.
Bill of Lading/Air Waybill
Bills of lading and air waybills provide evidence to title of the goods and set forth the international carrier's responsibility to transport the goods to their named destination. There are two types of ocean bills of lading used to transfer ownership:
Straight (non-negotiable): provides for delivery of goods to the person named in the bill of lading. The bill must be marked "non-negotiable." Shipper's Order (negotiable): provides for delivery of goods to the person named in the bill of lading or anyone designated. The shipper's order is used with draft or letter-of-credit shipments and enables the bank involved in the export transaction to take title to the goods if the buyer defaults. The bank does not release title to the goods to the buyer until payment is received. The bank does not release funds to the exporter until conditions of sale have been satisfied.
When using air freight, "air waybills" take the place of bills of lading. Air waybills are only issued in non-negotiable form, therefore the exporter and the bank lose title to the goods once the shipment commences. Most air waybills also contain a customs declaration form.
Goods shipped for export require substantially greater handling than domestic shipments. The exporter must pack the goods to ensure that the weight and measurements are kept to a minimum, breakage is avoided, the container is theft proof, and that the goods do not suffer the stresses of ocean shipment, such as excess moisture.
In addition to proper packing, the exporter should be aware that certain markings are necessary on goods transported internationally. Some countries require that the country of origin be marked on the outside of the container, and even have regulations as to how the mark of origin should appear.
The second type of marking with which the exporter should be familiar is labeling. Food and drugs must often carry special labeling as determined by the laws of the country of destination.
Third, certain "shipping marks" must appear on the outside of the package. The weight and dimensions should be visible and any special instructions should be shown, and you may want to repeat these instructions in the language of the importer's country.
If your business is not equipped to package your goods for export, there are export packaging companies which can perform this service for you. Ask your international freight forwarder for a list of export packaging companies in your area.
Many businesses, after achieving success in exporting, or as an alternative to exporting, contemplate joint ventures or licensing agreements with foreign companies to produce goods overseas. Some companies even set up their own off-shore operations. "Strategic Alliances and Foreign Investment Opportunities" are the topic of Chapter 7.
Chapter 7 Strategic Alliances and Foreign Investment Opportunities
If your company is interested in delving further into the international trade arena, licensing, joint ventures and off-shore operations should be explored. While direct exporting may be a profitable method of market entry for some businesses, licensing to a foreign company manufacturing rights to your product or setting up a foreign manufacturing joint venture may be viable alternatives.
In comparison, setting up off-shore manufacturing operations may be a more economical way of doing business: Kansas-based Extru-Tech, Inc. is exploring this possibility:
"Because of the high cost of shipping our products and the customs duties involved, we are seriously considering setting up a manufacturing facility in the Far East, our biggest market," says Extru-Tech President Kenneth E. Matson.
This chapter will discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of alternatives to direct exporting, how to find licensing and joint venture manufacturing partners and how to finance overseas investment.
Licensing involves a contractual arrangement whereby a company licenses the rights to certain technological know-how, design and intellectual property to a foreign company in return for royalties or other kinds of payment. This arrangement worked well for a small business exporter from Virginia:
"We export our 'Peace Frogs' T-shirts directly to Japan, but in Spain per capita income is lower, competition from domestic producers is stronger, and tariffs are high, so we licensed a Barcelona-based company the rights to manufacture our product," says Peace Frogs president Catesby Jones.
Licensing offers a small business many advantages, such as rapid entry into foreign markets and virtually no capital requirements to establish manufacturing operations abroad. Returns are usually realized more quickly than for manufacturing ventures.
The disadvantages of licensing are that control may be lost over manufacturing and marketing, and more important, that the licensee may become a competitor if too much knowledge and know-how is transferred. Take care to protect trademarks and intellectual property.
One way to help ensure that your intellectual property is protected is to secure proper patent and trademark registration. In the interim before your patent is filed, you may ask a potential licensee to sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement barring the licensee from manufacturing the product itself, or having it manufactured through third parties. Make sure such agreements are not in violation of laws in the host country.
Patents should be filed with the appropriate foreign government within one year of U.S. filing, in order to obtain patent protection under the Paris Convention, the international agreement on patents. Patent rules vary from country to country, so it is important to consult a competent international patent and trademark attorney.
Licensing to a foreign company the rights to your product will require a carefully crafted licensing agreement. Consulting an attorney is critical since rules on licensing also vary from country to country. Be careful that the agreement does not violate host country antitrust laws. Under the antitrust laws of many countries, the licensee cannot set the price at which a product will be re-sold by the licensor.
Foreign Manufacturing Joint Ventures
In contrast to licensing arrangements, foreign manufacturing joint ventures allow for the U.S. company to have a stake and management role in the foreign operation. Joint ventures require more of a direct investment than licensing and require training, management assistance and technology transfer.
Joint ventures can be equity or non-equity partnerships. Equity joint ventures are contractual arrangements with equal partners. Non-equity ventures involve the host country partner in the arrangement with a greater percentage. In some countries, a joint venture is the only way for a foreign company to set up operations. Laws often require that a certain percentage of stock belong to a citizen of the host country.
Foreign manufacturing joint ventures are risky in that geographical and cultural factors may interfere with the smooth running of operations. You will have to deal with entirely new management, located in a different country, whose first language may not be English.
Despite the drawbacks, using a foreign partner can have many benefits: the partner will have intimate knowledge of the target market and may have business and political contacts to make market entry easier.
Partner Selection Issues
Finding a suitable partner is critical to the success of any licensing or manufacturing joint venture arrangement.However, this can be a time consuming and difficult process without proper assistance. Recognizing this fact, the United States government has a special program to facilitate overseas partner selection.
The DOC Matchmaker Trade Delegations are an excellent way to make joint venture and licensee contacts. Matchmakers provide one-on-one pre-screened business appointments for U.S. companies in a foreign country. One U.S. company which was particularly successful as a result of a Matchmaker was Texas-based Made In USA:
"As a result of a Matchmaker trade mission, I was able to consummate a Finnish joint venture which resulted in $6 million in sales," says Jan Schwenk, a principal with Made in USA, a software development company. Exports now account for 25 percent of the company's business.
A limited number of Matchmaker Trade Delegations are held each year. For companies unable to take advantage of a Matchmaker, you may consider the DOC's "Gold Key Service." For U.S. firms planning to visit a country, US&FCS overseas staff will assist in developing a market strategy, setting up orientation briefings, making introductions to potential joint venture partners, providing interpreters for meetings and helping with follow-up planning. Fees vary from country to country. The steps that can be involved in foreign partner selection are as follows:
Contact your local DOC office. Discuss your target market and what kind of partner you are seeking. They can tell you whether a Matchmaker program fitting your needs is scheduled. If not, they will send your request to the appropriate Foreign Commercial Service representative abroad. A list of potential partners will be forwarded to you. Contact each one with letter of introduction. After responses from potential candidates are obtained, conduct a financial and business reference check on the most qualified candidates. If you are unable to do this in-house, use a credit reporting firm.
Make a trip abroad, either with a Matchmaker Trade Delegation or individually, to meet with potential licensees or joint venture partners.
Having made your final selection, begin contract negotiations with the assistance of legal counsel. Foreign Investment Opportunities
Many companies find that, as a result of exporting profitably and licensing or joint venturing the manufacture of their products abroad, it becomes a more viable method of market entry to set up off-shore production operations.
Having only exported since 1988, Z-International, a Missouri-based label manufacturer, opened a plant in Germany in 1990. The plant now employs 12 people and invoiced over DM 4,000,000 in 1991. Company president Fritz Zschietzschmann said that Z-International's initial motivation in setting up the plant was to reach the European market, but now he says, "The doors to all of Eastern Europe will be open for business."
Off-shore manufacturing requires greater investment than licensing or joint venture manufacturing, but also affords the greatest amount of control over operations. Additional factors that may induce a company to set up off-shore production include: high transportation costs, prohibitive tariffs or duties on imports, lower production costs and foreign government investment incentives, such as tax holidays.
If you are seriously considering setting up an off-shore manufacturing plant, you will need to assess whether to acquire an existing facility or to construct a new one. The key factors in this decision-making process are the legal and tax ramifications, where to set up operations, and how to finance the foreign investment. An off-shore operation may offer certain tax benefits and other inducements for your company to make an investment in their country.
Legal and Tax Implications
Much of the decision-making surrounding joint venture or off-shore manufacturing involves legal and tax issues. Some countries actively encourage and promote foreign investment. Countries receptive to, or in need of, foreign investment may have relaxed laws on kinds and amounts of foreign investments allowed and may even offer certain tax benefits.
U.S. and host country attorneys and accountants should be an integral part of the team you assemble to assess whether and where joint venture or off-shore manufacturing would be profitable for your company.
Location, Partner Selection and Financial Assistance
Foreign investment requires a substantial commitment of time and money and a certain amount of risk. Recognizing this fact, the United States government created a separate, business-oriented agency to support American investors entering the international marketplace.
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
OPIC is the lead agency assisting U.S. businesses interested in investment overseas.
OPIC programs are available if the project:
is a new venture, or expansion of an existing business; is located in a developing country where OPIC operates (OPIC operates in 140 countries); will assist in the socio-economic development of the host country; is approved by the host government; and is consistent with the economic interests of the United States and will not have a significant adverse effect on the United States economy or United States employment.
If your potential overseas investment fits these criteria, OPIC can be an extremely useful resource. OPIC offers a variety of programs, including: financing and political risk insurance to help protect your investment and several pre-investment services.
OPIC sponsors investment missions to introduce U.S. businesses to key foreign private sector leaders, government officials and potential joint venture partners. Since its inception in 1975, investment missions to 45 countries have been organized.
SBA-guaranteed loans may be available to fund your company's participation in such missions.
In addition to pre-investment assistance, OPIC provides financing to assist in the setup of overseas operations and risk insurance to mitigate some of the problems associated with investment in developing countries.
Direct loans are available to ventures sponsored by, or significantly involving, U.S. small businesses or cooperatives. OPIC loans range from $500,000 to $6 million. Loan guarantees are also made to lending institutions in the range of $2 million to $25 million, but can be as large as $50 million.
OPIC has also underwritten a number of geographic venture funds, including the Africa Growth Fund, the East European Environmental Fund and the Latin America Growth Fund. If your project fits the criteria necessary to be eligible for access these funds, you may consider applying to the specific fund for financing assistance.
Private investors may be hesitant to undertake long-term investments abroad, given the political uncertainties of many developing nations. To alleviate these concerns, OPIC insures U.S. investments against three major types of political risks: inconvertibility, expropriation and political violence, including civil strife.
Foreign governments, particularly in developing countries, often sponsor special agencies to aid and facilitate foreign direct investment. Some examples include the Mexican Investment Board (MIB), the Portuguese Trade Commission and the Bahrain Marketing and Promotions Office. These foreign investment promotion agencies can provide detailed market information, joint venture leads and make contacts with key officials. They often maintain offices in the United States.
Some countries may also have special funds or financing arrangements to spur foreign investment in particular sectors or geographical areas. Foreign investment promotion agencies can lead you to these sources. Contact the appropriate foreign embassy in the United States for the name of the agency which can assist you.
A FINAL WORD ON GOING GLOBAL
In Chapter 3, we discussed methods of market entry with an emphasis on exporting. In this concluding chapter, we focussed on licensing, joint venture manufacturing and off-shore production as options to be considered along with, or in addition to, exporting.
How you decide to enter overseas markets will depend on a variety of factors unique to your own small business. Going global can be a challenging experience for a small business, but the rewards can be substantial. As Roger Teigen, 1991 SBA Oklahoma Exporter of the Year, put it:
"There is a certain greater adulation in winning when we win in the export market rather than when we win in the U.S. market . . . it is exciting, it is exhilarating."
Let this optimism and enthusiasm be your guide as you go global. The U.S. Small Business Administration, as well as numerous other government agencies at the state and federal level, support and encourage your entry into the international arena. There are a multitude of programs and a worldwide staff to assist you.
The Exporter's Directory Section 1
U.S. Small Business Administration
Smaller firms seeking to participate in the international realm are faced with challenges such as finding overseas markets, dealing with the initial complexities of exporting and financing export sales. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers aid to current and potential small or minority exporters through two major programs: 1) business development assistance and 2) financial assistance. These programs are directed by the SBA's Office of International Trade in Washington, DC, and administered through the SBA's network of field offices around the country.
Office of International Trade U.S. Small Business Administration 409 Third Street, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20416 Phone: 202/205-6720 FAX: 202/205-7272
ALABAMA U.S. Small Business Administration 2121 Eighth Avenue North, Suite 200 Birmingham, AL 35203-2398 Phone: 205/731-1338 FAX: 205/731-1404
ALASKA U.S. Small Business Administration 222 West Eighth Avenue, Suite 67 Anchorage, AK 99513-7559 Phone: 907/271-4838 FAX: 907/271-4545
ARIZONA U.S. Small Business Administration 2828 North Central Avenue, Suite 800 Phoenix, AZ 85004-1025 Phone: 602/640-2315 FAX: 602/640-2360
U.S. Small Business Administration 300 West Congress Street, Room 7-H Tucson, AZ 85701-1319 Phone: 602/670-4739 FAX: 602/670-4763
ARKANSAS U.S. Small Business Administration 2120 Riverfront Drive, Suite 100 Little Rock, AR 72202 Phone: 501/324-5278 FAX: 501/324-5199
CALIFORNIA REGION IX OFFICE U.S. Small Business Administration 71 Stevenson Street San Francisco CA 94105-2939 Phone: 415/744-6432 FAX: 415/744-6435
U.S. Small Business Administration 2719 North Air Fresno Drive Suite 107 Fresno, CA 93727-1547 Phone: 209/487-5605 FAX: 209/487-5636
U.S. Small Business Administration 330 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 1200 Glendale, CA 91203-2304 Phone: 818/552-3210 FAX: 818/
U.S. Small Business Administration 660 J Street, Suite 215 Sacramento, CA 95814-2413 Phone: 916/551-1440 FAX: 916/551-1439
U.S. Small Business Administration 880 Front Street, #4-S-29 San Diego, CA 92188-0270 Phone: 619/557-7269 FAX: 619/557-5894
U.S. Small Business Administration 211 Main Street, Fourth Floor San Francisco, CA 94105-1988 Phone: 415/744-6771 FAX: 415/744-6812
U.S. Small Business Administration 901 West Civic Center Drive, Suite 160 Santa Ana, CA 92703-2352 Phone: 714/836-2494 FAX: 714/836-2528
U.S. Small Business Administration 6477 Telephone Road, Suite 10 Ventura, CA 93003-4459 Phone: 805/642-1866 FAX: 805/642-9638
COLORADO REGION VIII OFFICE U.S. Small Business Administration 633 - 17th Street 7th Floor North Denver, CO 80202-2395 Phone: 303/294-7072 FAX: 303/294-7153
U.S. Small Business Administration 721 19th Street, Fourth Floor Denver, CO 80202-2599 Phone: 303/844-3984 FAX: 303/844-6539
CONNECTICUT U.S. Small Business Administration 330 Main Street, Second Floor Hartford, CT 06106 Phone: 203/240-4700
DELAWARE U.S. Small Business Administration 920 North King Street, Suite 412 Wilmington, DE 19801 Phone: 302/573-6295 FAX: 302/573-6060
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA U.S. Small Business Administration 1110 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Suite 900 P.O. Box 34500 Washington, D.C. 20005 Phone: 202/606-4000 FAX: 202/606-4225
FLORIDA U.S. Small Business Administration 1320 South Dixie Highway, Suite 501 Coral Gables, FL 33146 Phone: 305/536-5521 FAX: 305/536-5058
U.S. Small Business Administration 7825 Baymeadows Way, Suite 100B Jacksonville, FL 32256-7504 Phone: 904/443-1910 FAX: 904/443-1980
U.S. Small Business Administration 501 East Polk Street, Suite 104 Tampa, FL 33602-3945 Phone: 813/228-2594 FAX: 813/228-2111
GEORGIA REGION IV OFFICE U.S. Small Business Administration 1375 Peachtree Street, N.E., Fifth Floor Atlanta, GA 30367-8102 Phone: 404/347-2797 FAX: 404/347-2355
U.S. Small Business Administration 1720 Peachtree Road N.W., Suite 600 Atlanta, GA 30309 Phone: 404/347-2441 FAX: 404/347-4745
U.S. Small Business Administration 52 North Main Street, Room 225 Statesboro, GA 30458 Phone: 912/489-8719 FAX: 912/233-0712
GUAM U.S. Small Business Administration 238 Archbishop F.C. Flores Street, Room 508 Agana, GU 96910 Phone: 671/472-7277 FAX: 200/550-7365
HAWAII U.S. Small Business Administration 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 2213 P.O. Box 50207 Honolulu, HI 96850 Phone: 808/541-2973 FAX: 808/541-2976
IDAHO U.S. Small Business Administration 1020 Main Street, Suite 290 Boise, ID 83702 Phone: 208/334-1782 FAX: 208/334-9353
ILLINOIS REGION V OFFICE U.S. Small Business Administration 300 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 1975 Chicago, IL 60606-6617 Phone: 312/353-5000 FAX: 312/353-3426
U.S. Small Business Administration 500 West Madison, Suite 1250 Chicago, IL 60661 Phone: 312/353-5429 FAX: 312/886-5108
U.S. Small Business Administration 511 West Capitol Street, Third Floor Springfield, IL 62701 Phone: 217/492-4232 FAX: 217/492-4867
INDIANA U.S. Small Business Administration 429 North Pennsylvania Street, Room 100 Indianapolis, IN 46204-1873 Phone: 317/226-7269 FAX: 317/226-7259
IOWA U.S. Small Business Administration 373 Collins Road, N.E., Room 100 Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-3147 Phone: 319/393-2571 FAX: 319/393-7585
U.S. Small Business Administration 210 Walnut Street, Suite 749 Des Moines, IA 50309 Phone: 515/284-4026 FAX: 515/284-4572
KANSAS U.S. Small Business Administration 100 East English Street, Suite 510 Wichita, KS 67202 Phone: 316/269-6273 FAX: 316/269-6499
KENTUCKY U.S. Small Business Administration 600 Martin Luther King Jr. Place, Room 188 Louisville, KY 40202 Phone: 502/582-5971 FAX: 502/582-5009
LOUISIANA U.S. Small Business Administration 1661 Canal Street, Suite 2000 New Orleans, LA 70112 Phone: 504/589-6685 FAX: 504/589-2339
U.S. Small Business Administration 500 Fannin Street, Room 8A-08 Shreveport, LA 75670 Phone: 903/935-5257 FAX: 903/935-5258
MAINE U.S. Small Business Administration 40 Western Avenue, Room 512 Augusta, ME 04330 Phone: 207/622-8378 FAX: 207/622-8277
MARYLAND U.S. Small Business Administration 10 South Howard Street, Room 608 Baltimore, MD 21202 Phone: 410/962-2235 FAX: 410/962-1805
MASSACHUSETTS REGION I OFFICE U.S. Small Business Administration 155 Federal Street, Ninth Floor Boston, MA 02110 Phone: 617/451-2023 FAX: 617/565-8695
U.S. Small Business Administration 10 Causeway Street, Room 265 Boston, MA 02222-1093 Phone: 617/565-5590 FAX: 617/565-5598
U.S. Small Business Administration 1550 Main Street, Room 212 Springfield, MA 01103 Phone: 413/785-0268 FAX: 413/785-0267
MICHIGAN U.S. Small Business Administration 477 Michigan Avenue, Room 515 Detroit, MI 48226 Phone: 313/226-6075 FAX: 313/226-4769
U.S. Small Business Administration 300 South Front Street Marquette, MI 49855 Phone: 906/225-1108 FAX: 906/225-1109
MINNESOTA U.S. Small Business Administration 100 North Sixth Street, Suite 610-C Minneapolis, MN 55403 Phone: 612/370-2343 FAX: 612/370-2303
MISSISSIPPI U.S. Small Business Administration One Hancock Plaza, Suite 1001 Gulfport, MS 39501-7758 Phone: 601/863-4449 FAX: 601/863-0179
U.S. Small Business Administration 101 West Capital Street, Suite 400 Jackson, MS 39201 Phone: 601/965-4384 FAX: 601/965-4294
MISSOURI REGION VII OFFICE U.S. Small Business Administration 911 Walnut Street, 13th Floor Kansas City, MO 64106 Phone: 816/426-7762 FAX: 816/426-5559
U.S. Small Business Administration Lucas Place 323 West Eighth Street, Suite 501 Kansas City, MO 64105 Phone: 816/374-5868 FAX: 816/374-6759
U.S. Small Business Administration 815 Olive Street, Room 242 St. Louis, MO 63101 Phone: 314/539-6600 FAX: 314/539-3785
U.S. Small Business Administration 620 South Glenstone, Suite 110 Springfield, MO 65802 Phone: 417/864-7670 FAX: 417/864-4108
MONTANA U.S. Small Business Administration 301 South Park, Room 528, Drawer 10054 Helena, MT 59626 Phone: 406/449-5381 FAX: 406/449-5474
NEBRASKA U.S. Small Business Administration 11145 Mill Valley Road Omaha, NE 68154 Phone: 402/221-3604 FAX: 402/221-3680
NEVADA U.S. Small Business Administration 301 East Stewart Street, Room 301 Las Vegas, NV 89125-2527 Phone: 702/388-6611 FAX: 702/388-6469
U.S. Small Business Administration 50 South Virginia Street, Room 238 Reno, NV 89505-3216 Phone: 702/784-5268 FAX: 702/784-5069
NEW HAMPSHIRE U.S. Small Business Administration 143 North Main Street, Suite 202 Concord, NH 03301-1257 Phone: 603/225-1400 FAX: 603/225-1409
NEW JERSEY U.S. Small Business Administration Military Park Building, Fourth Floor 60 Park Place Newark, NJ 07102 Phone: 201/645-2434 FAX: 210/645-6265
U.S. Small Business Administration 2600 Mt. Ephrain Avenue Camden, NJ 08104 Phone: 609/757-5183 FAX: 609/757-5335
NEW MEXICO U.S. Small Business Administration 625 Silver Avenue, S.W., Third Floor Albuquerque, NM 87102 Phone: 505/766-1870 FAX: 505/766-1057
NEW YORK REGION II OFFICE U.S. Small Business Administration 26 Federal Plaza, Room 31-08 New York, NY 10278 Phone: 212/264-1450 FAX: 212/264-0900
U.S. Small Business Administration Clinton and Pearl Albany, NY 12207 Phone: 518/472-6300 FAX: 518/472-7138
U.S. Small Business Administration 111 West Huron Street, Suite 1311 Buffalo, NY 14202 Phone: 716/846-4301 FAX: 716/846-4418
U.S. Small Business Administration 333 East Water Street Elmira, NY 14901 Phone: 607/734-8130 FAX: 607/734-4656
U.S. Small Business Administration 35 Pinelawn Road, Room 102E Melville, NY 11747 Phone: 516/454-0750 FAX: 516/454-0769
U.S. Small Business Administration 100 State Street, Room 410 Rochester, NY 14614 Phone: 716/263-6700 FAX: 716/263-3146
U.S. Small Business Administration 100 South Clinton Street, Room 1071 Syracuse, NY 13260 Phone: 315/423-5383 FAX: 315/423-5370
NORTH CAROLINA U.S. Small Business Administration 200 North College Street, Suite A2015 Charlotte, NC 28202-2137 Phone: 704/344-6587 FAX: 704/344-6769
NORTH DAKOTA U.S. Small Business Administration 657 Second Avenue North, Room 218 P.O. Box 3086 Fargo, ND 58108 Phone: 701/239-5131 FAX: 701/239-5645
OHIO U.S. Small Business Administration Federal Building, Suite 850 525 Vine Street Cincinnati, OH 45202 Phone: 513/684-2814 FAX: 513/684-3251
U.S. Small Business Administration 1111 Superior Avenue, Suite 630 Cleveland, OH 44114-2507 Phone: 216/522-8236 FAX: 216/522-2038
U.S. Small Business Administration 2 Nationwide Plaza, Suite 1400 Columbus, OH 43215-2542 Phone: 614/469-6860 FAX: 614/469-2391
OKLAHOMA U.S. Small Business Administration 200 Northwest Fifth Street, Suite 670 Oklahoma City, OK 73102 Phone: 405/231-4301 FAX: 405/231-4876
OREGON U.S. Small Business Administration 222 S.W. Columbia Street, Suite 500 Portland, OR 97201-6605 Phone: 503/326-2682 FAX: 503/326-2808
PENNSYLVANIA REGION III OFFICE U.S. Small Business Administration 475 Allendale Road, Suite 201 King of Prussia, PA 19406 Phone: 215/962-3700 FAX: 215/962-3743
U.S. Small Business Administration 100 Chesnut Street, Room 309 Harrisburg, PA 17101 Phone: 717/782-3840 FAX: 717/782-4839
U.S. Small Business Administration 960 Penn Avenue, Fifth Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15222 Phone: 412/644-2780 FAX: 412/644-5446
U.S. Small Business Administration 20 North Pennsylvania Avenue, Room 2327 Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702 Phone: 717/826-6497 FAX: 717/826-6287
PUERTO RICO U.S. Small Business Administration Carlos Chardon Avenue, Room 691 Hato Rey, PR 00918 Phone: 809/766-5572 FAX: 809/766-5309
RHODE ISLAND U.S. Small Business Administration 380 Westminister Mall, Fifth Floor Providence, RI 02903 Phone: 401/528-4561 FAX: 401/528-4539
SOUTH CAROLINA U.S. Small Business Administration 1835 Assembly Street, Room 358 P.O. Box 2786 Columbia, SC 29201 Phone: 803/765-5298 FAX: 803/765-5962
SOUTH DAKOTA U.S. Small Business Administration 101 Main Avenue, Suite 101 Sioux Falls, SD 57102 Phone: 605/330-4231 FAX: 605/330-4215
TENNESSEE U.S. Small Business Administration 50 Vantage Way, Suite 201 Nashville, TN 37228-1504 Phone: 615/736-5039 FAX: 615/736-7232
TEXAS REGION VI OFFICE U.S. Small Business Administration 8625 King George Drive, Building C Dallas, TX 75235-3391 Phone: 214/767-7659 FAX: 214/767-7870
U.S. Small Business Administration 300 East Eighth Street, Room 520 Austin, TX 78701 Phone: 512/482-5288 FAX: 512/482-5290
U.S. Small Business Administration Wilson Tower 606 North Carancahus, Suite 1200 Corpus Christi, TX 78476 Phone: 512/888-3331 FAX: 512/888-3418
U.S. Small Business Administration 10737 Gateway West, Suite 320 El Paso, TX 79935 Phone: 915/540-5676 FAX: 915/540-5636
U.S. Small Business Administration 4300 Amon Carter Boulevard, Suite 114 Ft. Worth, TX 76155 Phone: 817/885-6504 FAX: 817/885-6516
U.S. Small Business Administration 222 East Van Buren, Suite 500 Harlingen, TX 78550 Phone: 210/427-8533 FAX: 210/427-8537
U.S. Small Business Administration 9301 Southwest Freeway, Suite 550 Houston, TX 77074 Phone: 713/773-6500 FAX: 713/773-6550
U.S. Small Business Administration 1611 10th Street, Suite 200 Lubbock, TX 79401 Phone: 806/743-7462 FAX: 806/743-7487
U.S. Small Business Administration 505 East Travis, Room 103 Marshall, TX 75670 Phone: 903/935-5257 FAX: 903/935-5258
U.S. Small Business Administration 7400 Blanco Road, Suite 200 San Antonio, TX 78216 Phone: 210/229-4501 FAX: 210/229-4556
UTAH U.S. Small Business Administration 125 South State Street, Room 2237 Salt Lake City, UT 84138-1195 Phone: 801/524-3215 FAX: 801/524-4160
VERMONT U.S. Small Business Administration 87 State Street, Room 205 Montpelier, VT 05602 Phone: 802/828-4422 FAX: 802/828-4485
VIRGIN ISLANDS U.S. Small Business Administration 4200 United Shopping Plaza, Suite 7 Christiansted St. Croix, VI 00820-4487 Phone: 809/778-5380 FAX: 809/778-1012
U.S. Small Business Administration Federal Office Building, Room 210 Veterans Drive St. Thomas, VI 00802 Phone: 809/774-8530 FAX: 809/774-2312
VIRGINIA U.S. Small Business Administration 400 North Eighth Street, Room 3015 P.O. Box 10126 Richmond, VA 23240 Phone: 804/771-2400 FAX: 804/771-8018
WASHINGTON REGION X OFFICE U.S. Small Business Administration 2615 Fourth Avenue, Room 440 Seattle, WA 98121 Phone: 206/553-5676 FAX: 206/553-4155
U.S. Small Business Administration 915 Second Avenue, Room 1792 Seattle, WA 98174-1088 Phone: 206/220-6520 FAX: 206/220-6570
U.S. Small Business Administration Farm Credit Building, 10th Floor, East West 601 First Avenue Spokane, WA 99204-0317 Phone: 509/353-2806 FAX: 509/353-2829
WEST VIRGINIA U.S. Small Business Administration 168 West Main St., Fifth Floor Clarksburg, WV 26301 Phone: 304/623-5631 FAX: 304/623-0023
U.S. Small Business Administration 550 Eagan Street, Suite 309 Charleston, WV 25301 Phone: 304/347-5220 FAX: 304/347-5350
WISCONSIN U.S. Small Business Administration 212 East Washington Avenue, Room 213 Madison, WI 53703 Phone: 608/264-5542 FAX: 608/264-5541
U.S. Small Business Administration 310 West Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 400 Milwaukee, WI 53203 Phone: 414/297-1231 FAX: 414/297-1377
WYOMING U.S. Small Business Administration 100 East B Street, Room 4001 P.O. Box 2839 Casper, WY 82602-2839 Phone: 307/261-5761 FAX: 307/261-5499
U.S. Department of Commerce 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Room 3850 Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-2867 FAX: 202/482-5933
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) encourages, serves and promotes the nation's international trade, economic growth and technological advancement. Within DOC, the International Trade Administration (ITA) promotes world trade and is the official U.S. government organization that coordinates all issues concerning trade development, international economic policy and programs and trade administration.
ITA units include: 1) country experts, 2) industry experts and 3) domestic and overseas commercial officers.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION U.S. Department of Commerce 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Room 3850 Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-2867 FAX: 202/482-5933
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC POLICY OFFICES
Office of Africa U.S. Department of Commerce Room 3317, HCH Building 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-2175
Office of the Near East U.S. Department of Commerce Room 2039, HCH Building 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-4441 FAX: 202/482-0778
Office of South Asia U.S. Department of Commerce Room 2031, HCH Building 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-2954 FAX: 202/482-3550
Office of Western Europe U.S. Department of Commerce Room 3043, HCH Building 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-5341 FAX: 202/482-2897
Office of European Community Affairs U.S. Department of Commerce Room 3036, HCH Building 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-5276 FAX: 202/482-2155
Office of Eastern Europe, Russia and Independent States U.S. Department of Commerce Room 3413, HCH Building 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-1104 FAX: 202/482-4505
Office of Latin America U.S. Department of Commerce Room 3025, HCH Building 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-2436 FAX: 202/482-4726
Latin America/Caribbean Business Development Center Room 3203, HCH Building 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-0841 FAX: 202/482-5933
Office of Canada U.S. Department of Commerce Room 3033, HCH Building 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-3101 FAX: 202/482-3718
Office of Mexico U.S. Department of Commerce Room 3826, HCH Building 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-0300 FLASH FACTS: 202/482-4464 FAX: 202/482-5865
Office of China, Hong Kong and Mongolia U.S. Department of Commerce Room 2317, HCH Building 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-5527 FAX: 202/482-1576
Office of the Pacific Basin U.S. Department of Commerce Room 3820, HCH Building 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-4008 FAX: 202/482-4760
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Japan U.S. Department of Commerce Room 2318, HCH Building 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-4527 FAX: 202/482-0469
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE COUNTRY DESK OFFICERS
Commerce Department Desk Officers are a source for information on trade potential for U.S. products in specific countries. Desk officers collect information on country's regulations, tariffs, business practices, economic and political developments, market size and growth and trade data.
U.S. Department of Commerce 14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230
Country Phone (202) Room Afghanistan 482-2954 2029B Albania 482-4915 3413 Algeria 482-1870 2039 Angola 482-4228 3021 Antigua and Barbuda 482-2527 3021 Anguilla 482-2527 3021 Argentina 482-1548 3021 Aruba 482-2527 3020 Armenia 482-2354 3318 Azerbaijan 482-2354 3318 Australia 482-3646 2308 Austria 482-2920 3039 Bahamas 482-2527 3021 Bahrain 482-5545 2039 Baltic States 482-3952 3318 Bangladesh 482-2954 2029B Barbados 482-2527 3021 Belarus 482-2354 3318 Belgium 482-5401 3042 Belize 482-2527 3021 Benin 482-4228 3317 Bermuda 482-2527 3021 Bhutan 482-2954 2029B Bolivia 482-1659 3029 Botswana 482-4228 3317 Brazil 482-3871 3017 Brunei 482-3875 2308 Bulgaria 482-4915 3413 Burkina Faso 482-4388 3317 Burma 482-3875 2308 Burundi 482-4388 3317 Cambodia 482-3875 2308 Cameroon 482-5149 3317 Canada 482-3101 3303 Cape Verde 482-4388 3317 Caymans 482-2527 3021 Central African Republic 482-4388 3020 Chad 482-4385 3317 Chile 482-1495 3017 China 482-2462 2317 Colombia 482-1859 3025 Comoro Islands 482-4564 3317 Congo 482-5149 3317 Costa Rica 482-2527 3021 Cuba 482-2527 3021 Cyprus 482-3945 3044 Czechoslovakia 482-2645 3143 Denmark 482-3254 3413 Djibouti 482-4564 3317 Dominica 482-2527 3021 Dominican Republic 482-2527 3021 Ecuador 482-1659 3025 Egypt 482-4441 2039 El Salvador 482-2527 3020 Equatorial Guinea 482-4228 3317 Estonia 482-2354 3318 Ethiopia 482-4564 3317 European Community 482-5278 3036 Finland 482-3254 3413 France 482-8008 3042 Gabon 482-5149 3317 Gambia 482-4388 3317 Georgia 482-2354 3318 Germany 482-2434 3409 Ghana 482-5149 3317 Greece 482-3945 3042 Grenada 482-2527 3021 Guadeloupe 482-2527 3021 Guatemala 482-2527 3021 Guinea 482-4388 3317 Guinea-Bissau 482-4388 3317 Guyana 482-2527 3021 Haiti 482-2527 3021 Honduras 482-2527 3020 Hong Kong 482-3832 2317 Hungary 482-2645 3413 Iceland 482-3254 3037 India 482-2954 2029 Indonesia 482-3875 2308 Iran 482-1870 2039 Iraq 482-4441 2039 Ireland 482-2177 3039 Israel 482-1870 2039 Italy 482-2177 3045 Ivory Coast 482-4388 3317 Jamaica 482-2527 3021 Japan 482-2425 2318 Jordan 482-1857 2039 Kazakhstan 482-2354 3318 Kenya 482-4564 3317 Korea 482-4957 2308 Kuwait 482-1860 2039 Kyrgyzstan 482-2354 3318 Laos 482-3875 2308 Lebanon 482-4441 2039 Lesotho 482-4220 3317 Liberia 482-4388 3317 Libya 482-5545 2039 Luxembourg 482-5401 3046 Macao 482-2462 2317 Madagascar 482-4504 3317 Malawi 482-4228 3317 Malaysia 482-3875 2308 Maldives 482-2954 2029B Mali 482-4388 3317 Malta 482-3748 3049 Martinique 482-2527 3021 Mauritania 482-4388 3317 Mauritius 482-4564 3317 Mexico 482-0300 3028 Moldova 482-2354 3318 Mongolia 482-2462 2317 Montserrat 482-2527 3314 Morocco 482-5545 2039 Mozambique 482-5148 3317 Namibia 482-4228 3317 Nepal 482-2954 2029B Netherlands 482-5401 3039 Netherlands Antilles 482-2527 3021 New Zealand 482-3647 2308 Nicaragua 482-2527 3021 Niger 482-4388 3317 Nigeria 482-4288 3317 Norway 482-5149 3037 Oman 482-1870 2039 Pacific Islands 482-3647 2308 Pakistan 482-2954 2029B Panama 482-2527 3020 Paraguay 482-1548 3021 People's Rep of China 482-3583 2317 Peru 482-2521 2038 Philippines 482-3875 2308 Poland 482-2645 3413 Portugal 482-4508 3044 Puerto Rico 482-2527 3021 Qatar 482-1070 2039 Romania 482-2645 6043 Rwanda 482-4388 3317 Russia 482-2354 3318 So Tom &a; Pr�ncipe 482-4338 3317 Saudi Arabia 482-4652 2039 Senegal 482-4388 3317 Seychelles 482-4564 3317 Sierra Leone 482-4388 3317 Singapore 482-3875 2308 Somalia 482-4564 3317 South Africa 482-5498 3317 Spain 482-4508 3045 Sri Lanka 482-2954 2029B St. Barthelemy 482-2527 3021 St. Kitts- Nevis 482-2527 3021 St. Lucia 482-2527 3021 St. Martin 482-2527 3021 St. Vincent- Grenadines 482-2527 3021 Sudan 482-4564 3317 Suriname 482-2527 3021 Swaziland 482-5148 3317 Sweden 482-4414 3037 Switzerland 482-2920 3039 Syria 482-4441 2039 Taiwan 482-4957 2308 Tajikistan 482-2354 3318 Tanzania 482-4228 3317 Thailand 482-3875 2308 Togo 482-5149 3317 Trinidad & Tobago 482-2527 3021 Tunisia 482-1860 2039 Turkey 482-5373 3045 Turks & Caicos Islands 482-2527 3021 Turkmenistan 482-2354 3318 Uganda 482-4564 3317 Ukraine 482-2354 3318 United Arab Emirates 482-5545 2039 United Kingdom 482-3748 3045 Uruguay 482-1495 3021 Uzbekistan 482-2354 3318 Venezuela 482-4303 3029 Vietnam 482-3875 2308 Virgin Islands (UK) 482-2527 3021 Virgin Islands (US) 482-2527 3021 Yemen, Rep. of 482-1870 2039 Yugoslavia 482-2615 3413 Zaire 482-5149 3317 Zambia 482-4228 3317 Zimbabwe 482-4228 3317
Trade Development Industry Officers work with businesses and associations to identify trade opportunities and obstacles by product or service, industry sector and market. They develop export marketing plans and programs as well as conduct trade missions, trade fairs, marketing seminars and business counseling. Trade Development U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 3832 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-1461 FAX: 202/482-5697
TRADE DEVELOPMENT INDUSTRY UNITS
TECHNOLOGY AND AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES U.S. Department of Commerce Room 2130 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-1872 FAX: 202/482-3383
BASIC INDUSTRIES U.S. Department of Commerce Room 4043 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-0614 FAX: 202/482-5666
SERVICE INDUSTRIES & FINANCE U.S. Department of Commerce Room 1128A 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-5261 FAX: 202/482-4775
TEXTILES, APPAREL & CONSUMER GOODS U.S. Department of Commerce Room 3100 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-3737 FAX: 202/482-2331
In addition to the major industry sectors, cross-sectoral units provide statistical data and analyses useful in export development and coordinate Trade Development's overall export promotion efforts.
OFFICE OF TRADE & ECONOMIC ANALYSIS U.S. Department of Commerce Room 2815 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-5145 FAX: 202/482-5697
OFFICE OF EXPORT PROMOTION COORDINATION U.S. Department of Commerce Room 2001 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-4501 FAX: 202/482-5697
ITA/US&FCS DISTRICT OFFICES
The US&FCS oversees 47 district offices and 21 branch offices in cities throughout the United States. ITA trade specialists can provide export counseling, export programs and assistance through 51 District Export Councils nationwide comprised of nearly 1,800 business and trade experts who volunteer to help U.S. firms export.
ALABAMA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 2015 Second Avenue, North, Room 302 Birmingham, AL 35203 Phone: 205/731-1331 FAX: 205/731-0076
ALASKA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office World Trade Center Alaska, Suite 319 4201 Tudor Center Drive Anchorage, AK 99508-5916 Phone: 907/271-6237 FAX: 907/271-6242
ARIZONA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 230 North First Avenue, Room 3412 Phoenix, AZ 85025 Phone: 602/379-3285 FAX: 602/379-4324
ARKANSAS U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 425 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 700 Little Rock, AR 72201 Phone: 501/324-5794 FAX: 501/324-7380
CALIFORNIA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 11000 Wilshire Boulevard, Room 9200 Los Angeles, CA 90024 Phone: 310/575-7105 FAX: 310/575-7220
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 6363 Greenwich Drive, Suite 230 San Diego, CA 92122 Phone: 619/557-5395 FAX: 619/557-6176
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 250 Montgomery Street, 14th Floor San Francisco, CA 94104 Phone: 415/705-2310 FAX: 415/705-2297
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 3330 Irvine Avenue, Suite 305 Newport Beach, CA 92660-3198 Phone: 714/660-1688 FAX: 714/660-8039
COLORADO U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 1625 Broadway, Suite 680 Denver, CO 80202 Phone: 303/844-3246 FAX: 303/844-5651
CONNECTICUT U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 450 Main Street, Room 610 B Hartford, CT 06103 Phone: 203/240-3530 FAX: 203/240-3473
DELAWARE (Delaware serviced by Philadelphia ITA office) U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 475 Allendale Road, Suite 202 King of Prussia, PA 19406 Phone: 215/951-4980 FAX: 215/951-7959
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (D.C. serviced by Gaithersburg, MD ITA office) U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office c/o National Institute of Standards and Technology Room A102, Building 411 Gaithersburg, MD 20899 Phone: 301/975-3904 FAX: 301/948-4360
FLORIDA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS Branch Office 107 West Gaines Street, Room 366G Tallahassee, FL 32399-2000 Phone: 904/486-6469 FAX: 904/487-1407
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 224 Federal Building 51 SW First Avenue Miami, FL 33130 Phone: 305/536-5268 FAX: 305/536-4765
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS Branch Office 128 North Osceola Avenue Clearwater, FL 34617 Phone: 813/461-0011 FAX: 813/449-2889
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS Branch Office 200 East Robinson Street, Suite 695 Orlando, FL 32801 Phone: 407/648-6235 FAX: 407/648-6756
GEORGIA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 4360 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road Suite 310 Atlanta, GA 30341 Phone: 404/452-9101 FAX: 404/452-9105
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office Room A-107120 Bernard Street Savannah, GA 31401 Phone: 912/652-4204 FAX: 912/652-4241
HAWAII U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 4106 Federal Building 300 Ala Moana Boulevard Honolulu, HI 96850 Phone: 808/541-1782 FAX: 808/541-3435
IDAHO U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 700 West State Street, Second Floor Boise, ID 83720 Phone: 208/334-3857 FAX: 208/334-2787
ILLINOIS U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 55 East Monroe Street, Room 1406 Chicago, IL 60603 Phone: 312/353-4450 FAX: 312/886-8025
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office Illinois Institute of Technology 201 East Loop Drive Wheaton, IL 60187 Phone: 312/353-4332 FAX: 312/353-4336
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 515 North Court Street P.O. Box 1747 Rockford, IL 61110-C247 Phone: 815/987-8123 FAX: 815/987-8122
INDIANA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office Penn Wood, Suite 106 11405 North Penn Street Carmel, IN 46032 Phone: 317/582-2300 FAX: 317/582-2301
IOWA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 210 Walnut Street, Suite 817 Des Moines, IA 50309 Phone: 515/284-4222 FAX: 515/284-402
KANSAS U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 151 North Volutsia Wichita, KS 67214-4695 Phone: 316/269-6160 FAX: 316/683-7326
KENTUCKY U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 601 West Broadway, Room 636B Louisville, KY 40202 Phone: 502/582-5066 FAX: 502/582-6573
LOUISIANA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office Two Canal Street 431 World Trade Center New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504/589-6546 FAX: 504/586-2337
MAINE U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 77 Sewall Street Augusta, ME 04330 Phone: 207/622-8249 FAX: 207/626-9156
MARYLAND U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 431 U.S. Customhouse 40 South Gay Street Baltimore, MD 21202 Phone: 410/962-3560 FAX: 410/962-7813
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office c/o National Institute of Standards and Technology Room A102, Building 411 Gaithersburg, MD 20899 Phone: 301/975-3904 FAX: 301/948-4360
MASSACHUSETTS U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 307 World Trade Center Boston, MA 02210 Phone: 617/565-8563 FAX: 617/565-8530
MICHIGAN U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 1140 McNamara Building 477 Michigan Avenue Detroit, MI 48226 Phone: 313/226-3650 FAX: 313/226-3657
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 300 Monroe N.W. Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Phone: 616/456-2411 FAX: 616/456-2695
MINNESOTA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 110 South Fourth Street, Suite 108 Minneapolis, MN 55401 Phone: 612/348-1638 FAX: 612/348-1650
MISSISSIPPI U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 201 W. Capitol Street, Suite 310 Jackson, MS 39201-2005 Phone: 601/965-4388 FAX: 601/965-5386
MISSOURI U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 8182 Maryland Avenue, Suite 303 St. Louis, MO 63105 Phone: 314/425-3305 FAX: 314/425-3381
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 601 East 12th Street, Room 635 Kansas City, MO 64106 Phone: 816/426-3141 FAX: 816/426-3140
MONTANA (Montana served by the Portland ITA Office) U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office One World Trade Center, Suite 242 121 SW Salmon Street Portland, OR 97204 Phone: 503/326-3001 FAX: 503/326-6351
NEBRASKA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 11133 O Street Omaha, NE 68137 Phone: 402/221-3664 FAX: 402/221-3668
NEVADA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 1755 East Plumb Lane, #152 Reno, NV 89502 Phone: 702/784-5203 FAX: 702/784-5343
NEW HAMPSHIRE (N.H. serviced by the Boston ITA Office) U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 307 World Trade Center Boston, MA 02210 Phone: 617/565-8563 FAX: 617/565-8530
NEW JERSEY U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 3131 Princeton Pike Building #6, Suite 100 Trenton, NJ 08648 Phone: 609/989-2100 FAX: 609/989-2395
NEW MEXICO U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 625 Silver Avenue SW, Third Floor Albuquerque, NM 87102 Phone: 505/766-2070 FAX: 505/766-1057
NEW YORK U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 26 Federal Plaza, Room 3718 New York, NY 10278 Phone: 212/264-0634 FAX: 212/264-1356
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 111 West Huron Street, Suite 1312 Buffalo, NY 14202 Phone: 716/846-4191 FAX: 716/846-5290
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 111 East Avenue, Suite 220 Rochester, NY 14604 Phone: 716/263-6480 FAX: 716/325-6505
NORTH CAROLINA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 400 West Market Street Greensboro, NC 27401 Phone: 919/333-5345 FAX: 919/333-5158
OHIO U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 9504 Federal Building 550 Main Street Cincinnati, OH 45202 Phone: 513/684-2944 FAX: 513/684-3200
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 668 Euclid Avenue, Room 600 Cleveland, OH 44114 Phone: 216/522-4750 FAX: 216/522-2235
OKLAHOMA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 6601 Broadway Extension Oklahoma City, OK 73116 Phone: 405/231-5302 FAX: 405/841-5245
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 440 South Houston Street, Room 505 Tulsa, OK 74127 Phone: 918/581-765O FAX: 918/581-2844
OREGON U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office One World Trade Center, Suite 242 121 SW Salmon Street Portland, OR 97204 Phone: 503/326-3001 FAX: 503/326-6351
PENNSYLVANIA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 475 Allendale Road, Suite 202 King of Prussia, PA 19406 Phone: 215/962-4980 FAX: 215/951-7959
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 1000 Liberty Avenue, Suite 2002 Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4194 Phone: 412/644-2850 FAX: 412/644-4875
PUERTO RICO U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office Room G-55, Federal Building (Hato Rey) San Juan, PR 00918 Phone: 809/766-5555 FAX: 809/766-5692
RHODE ISLAND U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 7 Jackson Walkway Providence, RI 02903 Phone: 401/528-5104 FAX: 401/528-5067
SOUTH CAROLINA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 1835 Assembly Street, Suite 172 Columbia, SC 29201 Phone: 803/765-5345 FAX: 803/253-3614
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 9 Liberty Street, Room 128 Charleston, SC 29424 Phone: 803/765-5345 FAX: 803/253-3614
SOUTH DAKOTA (S.D. serviced by the Omaha District Office) U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 11133 O Street Omaha, NE 68137 Phone: 402/221-3664 FAX: 402/221-3668
TENNESSEE U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 404 Jason Robertson Parkway, Suite 1114 Nashville, TN 37219 Phone: 615/736-5161 FAX: 615/736-2454
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 22 North Front Street, Suite 200 Memphis, TN 38103 Phone: 901/544-4137 FAX: 901/575-3510
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 301 East Church Avenue Knoxville, TN 37915 Phone: 615/545-4637
TEXAS U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office P.O. Box 12728, Capitol Station Austin, TX 78711 Phone: 512/472-5059 FAX: 512/320-9424
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 1100 Commerce Street, Room 7A5 Dallas, TX 75258 Phone: 214/767-0542 FAX: 214/767-8240
U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 2625 Federal Building 515 Rusk Street Houston, TX 77002 Phone: 713/229-2578 FAX: 713/229-2203
UTAH U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 324 South State Street, Suite 105 Salt Lake City, UT 84111 Phone: 801/524-5116 FAX: 801/524-5886
VERMONT (Vermont served by the Boston ITA Office) U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 307 World Trade Center Boston, MA 02210 Phone: 617/565-8563 FAX: 617/565-8530
VIRGINIA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 400 North Eighth Street, Suite 8010 Richmond, VA 23240 Phone: 804/771-2246 FAX: 804/771-2390
WASHINGTON U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 3131 Elliott Avenue, Suite 290 Seattle, WA 98121 Phone: 206/553-5615 FAX: 206/553-7253
WEST VIRGINIA U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 405 Capitol Street, Suite 807 Charleston, WV 25301 Phone: 304/347-5123 FAX: 304/347-5408
WISCONSIN U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 517 East Wisconsin Avenue, Room 596 Milwaukee, WI 53202 Phone: 414/297-3473 FAX: 414/297-3470
WYOMING (Wyoming serviced by the Denver ITA Office) U.S. Department of Commerce ITA/US&FCS District Office 1625 Broadway, Suite 680 Denver, CO 80202 Phone: 303/844-3246 FAX: 303/844-5651
BUREAU OF EXPORT ADMINISTRATION (BXA)
The BXA counsels U.S. firms attempting to export controlled products, issues export licenses and holds seminars on export regulations.
U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Export Administration Office of Export Licensing Room 1099, HCH Building 14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202/482-8536 FAX: 202/482-3322 BXA services include:
Export License Application and Information Network (ELAIN) Phone: 202/482-4811
System for Tracking Export License Application (STELA) Phone: 202/482-2752
Export Licensing Voice Information System (ELVIS) Phone: 202/482-4811
Export Seminars Phone: 202/482-6031
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY
Provides information about foreign standards and certification requirements. Maintains a GATT Hotline which reports on the latest technical notifications of proposed foreign regulations that may affect trade.
U.S. Department of Commerce Technology Administration NIST Physics Building, Room A363 Gaithersburg, MD 20899 Phone: 301/975-4040 FAX: 301/963-2871 GATT Hotline: 301/975-4041
Section 2 SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS
INTERNATIONAL TRADE PROGRAMS
SBDC INTERNATIONAL TRADE PROGRAMS
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide a wide range of business assistance including export counseling. There are over 900 SBDCs throughout the United States. Some SBDCs have designated International Trade Centers; all SBDCs provide trade counseling/referral.
SEPARATE SBDC INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTERS
ALABAMA University of Alabama in Birmingham 1717 Eleventh Avenue South, Suite 419 Birmingham, AL 35294-4410 Phone: 205/934-7260 FAX: 205/934-7645
Alabama International Trade Center University of Alabama 400 North Martha Parham Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0396 Phone: 205/348-7621 FAX: 205/348-6974
CALIFORNIA California Department of Commerce 801 K Street, Suite 1700 Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: 916/324-5068 FAX: 916/322-5084
Export Small Business Development Center of Southern California 110 East Ninth Street, Suite A-761 Los Angeles, CA 90079 Phone: 213/892-1111 FAX: 213/892-8232
FLORIDA Trade Expansion Center University of West Florida Building 79, Room 196 Pensacola, FL 32514 Phone: 904/474-3016 FAX: 904/474-2030
Florida Atlantic University P.O. Box 3091 Boca Raton, FL 33431 Phone: 407/367-2273/2271 FAX: 407/367-2272
GEORGIA University of Georgia Chicopee Complex 1180 East Broad Street Athens, GA 30602 Phone: 706/542-5760 FAX: 706/542-6776
ILLINOIS Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs 620 East Adams Street Springfield, IL 62701 Phone: 217/524-5856 FAX: 217/785-6328
College of Dupage 22nd & Lambert Road Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 Phone: 708/858-2800, Ext. 3052 FAX: 708/790-1179
Bradley University 141 North Jobst Hall, First Floor Peoria, IL 61625 Phone: 309/677-3075 FAX: 309/677-3386
Small Business Development Center Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville Campus Box 1107 Edwardsville, IL 62026 Phone: 618/692-2929 FAX: 618/692-2647
LOUISIANA Northeast Louisiana University College of Business Administration 700 University Avenue Monroe, LA 71209 Phone: 318/342-5506 FAX: 318/342-5510
University of New Orleans 368 Business Administration Bldg. New Orleans, LA 70148 Phone: 504/286-6978 FAX: 504/286-7197
MICHIGAN Wayne State University 2727 Second Avenue Detroit, MI 48201 Phone: 313/577-4848 FAX: 313/577-4222
Center for International Business Development Michigan State University 6 Kellogg Center East Lansing, MI 48824-1022 Phone: 517/353-4336 or 1-800-852-5727 FAX: 517/336-1009
MISSISSIPPI University of Mississippi Old Chemistry Building, Suite 216 University, MS 38677 Phone: 601/232-5001 FAX: 601/232-5650
International Trade Center Hinds Community College P.O. Box 1170 Raymond, MS 39154 Phone: 601/857-3536 FAX: 601/857-3535
OREGON Lane Community College 99 West 10th Avenue, Suite 216 Eugene, OR 97401 Phone: 503/726-2250 FAX: 503/345-6006
Portland Community College SBDC 121 SW Salmon Street, Suite 210 Portland, OR 97204 Phone: 503/274-7482 FAX: 503/228-6350
PENNSYLVANIA University of Pennsylvania The Wharton School 444 Vance Hall Philadelphia, PA 19104 Phone: 215/898-1219 FAX: 215/573-2135
Wharton Export Network 3733 Spruce Street, Suite 413 Philadelphia, PA 19104 Phone: 215/898-4861 FAX: 215/898-1299
Lehigh Small Business Development Center The Rauzh Business Center, No. 37 Bethlehem, PA 18015 Phone: 215/758-3980 FAX: 215/758-5205
Kutztown University Small Business Development Center 2986 North Second Street Harrisburg, PA 17110 Phone: 717/233-3120 FAX: 717/233-3181
TENNESSEE Small Business Development Center Memphis State University Memphis, TN 38152 Phone: 901/678-2500 FAX: 901/678-4072
TEXAS North Texas Small Business Development Center Dallas Community College 1402 Corinth Dallas, TX 75215 Phone: 214/565-5833 FAX: 214/565-5813
Small Business Development Center P.O. Box 58299 2050 Stemmons Freeway World Trade Center, Suite 150 Dallas, TX 75258 Phone: 214/747-1300, Code 68 FAX: 214/748-5774
University of Houston Small Business Development Center 601 Jefferson Street, Suite 2330 Houston, TX 77002 Phone: 713/752-8404 FAX: 713/752-8484
South Texas Border Small Business Development Center University of Texas at San Antonio 801 South Bowie San Antonio, TX 78205 Phone: 512/224-0794 FAX: 512/222-9834
WASHINGTON Washington State University College of Business and Economics 245 Todd Hall Pullman, WA 99164-4727 Phone: 509/335-1576 FAX: 509/335-0949
International Trade Institute North Seattle Community College 9600 College Way North Seattle, WA 98103 Phone: 206/527-3732 FAX: 206/527-3734
OTHER SBDCs ACTIVE IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE
ARIZONA Arizona Lead Small Business Development Center 2411 West 14th Street Tempe, AZ 85281 Phone: 602/731-8720 FAX: 602/731-8729
COLORADO Colorado Office of Business Development 1625 Broadway, Suite 1710 Denver, CO 80202 Phone: 303/892-3809 FAX: 303/892-3848
Front Range Community College Small Business Development Center 3645 West 112th Avenue Westminster, CO 80030 Phone: 303/460-1032 FAX: 303/466-1623
IDAHO Boise State University College of Business 1910 University Drive Boise, ID 83725 Phone: 208/385-1640 FAX: 208/385-3877
International Trade Coordinator Lewis Clark State College 500 Eighth Avenue Lewiston, ID 83501 Phone: 208/799-2465 FAX: 208/799-2831
INDIANA Indiana Economic Development Council One North Capital, Suite 420 Indianapolis, IN 46204-2248 Phone: 317/264-6871 FAX: 317/264-3102
IOWA Iowa State University 137 Lynn Avenue Ames, IA 50010 Phone: 515/292-6351 FAX: 515/292-0020
Northeast Iowa Small Business Development Center Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce 770 Town Clock Plaza Dubuque, IA 52001 Phone: 319/588-3350 FAX: 319/557-1591
Eastern Iowa Small Business Development Center 304 West Second Avenue Davenport, IA 52801 Phone: 319/322-4499 FAX: 319/322-3956
MASSACHUSETTS University of Massachusetts School of Management, Room 205 Amherst, MA 01003 Phone: 413/545-6301 FAX: 413/545-1273
MISSOURI University of Missouri, Columbia 300 University Place Columbia, MO 65211 Phone: 314/882-0344 FAX: 314/884-4297
Central Missouri State University Small Business Development Center Grinstead 75 Warrensburg, MO 64093-5087 Phone: 816/543-4402 FAX: 816/543-8159
Missouri Southern State College Small Business Development Center 107 Matthews Hall 3950 Newman Road Joplin, MO 64801 Phone: 417/625-9313 FAX: 417/625-9782
Southwest Missouri State University Small Business Development Center 901 South National Box 88 Springfield, MO 65804 Phone: 417/836-5685 FAX: 417/836-6337
MONTANA Montana Department of Commerce SBDC 1424 Ninth Avenue Helena, MT 59620 Phone: 406/444-4780 FAX: 406/444-2808
NEBRASKA University of Nebraska, Omaha 60th & Dodge Streets, CBA Room 407 Omaha, NE 68182 Phone: 402/554-2521 FAX: 402/554-2747
University of Nebraska, Omaha 1313 Farnam, Room 132 Omaha, NE 68182 Phone: 402/595-2381 FAX: 402/595-2388
NEVADA University of Nevada SBDC Mail Stop 032 Reno, NV 89557-0100 Phone: 702/784-1717 FAX: 702/784-4337
NEW HAMPSHIRE University of New Hampshire 108 McConnell Hall Durham, NH 03824 Phone: 603/862-2200 FAX: 603/862-4468
International Resource Center 601 Spaulding Turnpike, Suite 29 Portsmouth, NH 03801-2833 Phone: 603/334-6074 FAX: 603/334-6110
NEW JERSEY Rutgers University Ackerson Hall, Third Floor 180 University Avenue Newark, NJ 07102 Phone: 201/648-5950 FAX: 201/648-1110
NEW YORK State University of New York SUNY Plaza, S-523 Albany, NY 12246 Phone: 518/443-5398 FAX: 518/465-4992
International Trade Coordinator Small Business Development Center State University College, Buffalo 1300 Elmwood Avenue Buffalo, NY 14222 Phone: 716/878-4030 FAX: 716/878-4067
Small Business Development Center Rockland Community College at Suffern 145 College Road Suffern, NY 10901 Phone: 914/356-0370 FAX: 914/356-0381
NORTH CAROLINA University of North Carolina 4509 Creedmoor Road, Suite 201 Raleigh, NC 27612 Phone: 919/571-4154 FAX: 919/571-4161
OHIO Ohio Department of Development 77 South High Street Columbus, OH 43266-1001 Phone: 614/466-2711 FAX: 614/466-0829
Southeast Ohio Small Business Development Center Ohio University at Athens Innovation Center One President Street, Suite 014 Athens, OH 45701 Phone: 614/593-1797 FAX: 614/593-1795
Toledo Small Business Development Center 218 North Huron Street Toledo, OH 43604 Phone: 419/243-8191 FAX: 419/241-8302
Lake County Small Business Development Center Lake County Economic Development Center Lakeland Community College Mentor, OH 44080 Phone: 216/951-1290 FAX: 216/953-4413
Marietta College SBDC Marietta College Marietta, OH 45750 Phone: 614/374-4649 FAX: 614/374-7585
RHODE ISLAND Bryant College 1150 Douglas Pike Smithfield, RI 02917 Phone: 401/232-6111 FAX: 401/232-6416
SOUTH CAROLINA University of South Carolina College of Business Administration 1710 College Street Columbia, SC 29208 Phone: 803/777-4907 FAX: 803/777-4403
VIRGINIA Virginia Department of Economic Development P.O. Box 798 Richmond, VA 23206-0798 Phone: 804/371-8253 FAX: 804/371-8185
Northern Virginia Small Business Development Center 4260 Chainbridge Road, Suite B-1 Fairfax, VA 22030 Phone: 703/993-2131 FAX: 703/993-2126
Longwood Small Business Development Center Longwood College 515 Main Street Farmville, VA 23901 Phone: 804/395-2086 FAX: 804/395-2359
James Madison University Small Business Development Center College of Business Zane Showker Hall, Room 523 Harrisonburg, VA 22807 Phone: 703/568-3227 FAX: 703/568-3299
Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads 420 Bank Street, P.O. Box 327 Norfolk, VA 23501 Phone: 804/622-6414 or 804/825-2957 FAX: 804/622-5563 or 804/825-2960
WASHINGTON, D.C. Howard University Small Business Development Center 2600 Sixth Street, N.W. Room 128 Washington, D.C. 20059 Phone: 202/806-1550 FAX: 202/806-1777U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
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