Familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations of international trade and start a business as an import/export agent.
Question from HBT reader: I want to start working as an import/export agent from home. Where can I get more information about this business?
Starting an import/export business requires you to be thorough in your research. There are many laws and regulations affecting this business.
You must understand customs and shipping regulations, taxing and duties, pricing and profit margins, and more.
Also, with the emphasis on terrorism awareness, you must become familiar with new regulations and other new laws as they come into practice.
To truly be successful in this venture, it is advisable to be intimately knowledgeable about at least one other foreign country – the laws and, preferably, the language of the country – and you should be very well acquainted with American government regulations.
Here are some resources you should visit to begin your research:
- Federation of International Trade Associations
Features goods and services needed by those involved in international trade.
- International Union of Commercial Agents and Brokers
Protects and promotes the common interests of commercial agents and brokers.
- Manufacturers Agents National Association
The national association for independent sales agents.
- SBA Office of International Trade
- The Export Institute of the United States
- “Building an Import/Export Business”, 2nd Edition by Kenneth D. Weiss
- “Start Your Own Import/Export Business”, by Krista Turner
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brett Krkosska provides how-to advice on small business and home-based work issues. He is the founder of HomeBizTools and the publisher of Straight Talk, a syndicated column that offers a unique perspective on today’s business issues.