what is the firs step to export?

Question posted by Yousef Rezaie

do I need to create a company before start exporting?

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Hello Yousef,
Anyone can export you do not have to be a company. However, there are rules and regulations and it may be better to be a company in some circumstances.

There has to be a named exporter just as there has to be a named importer at the other end.
The named exporter is legally responsible for the legality of the export and the statements made to HM Customs at the time of the export.

So even as an individual you have to know what you are doing.

Import duty and tax are likely to be payable at the destination so you need to decide what you are doing about that - it is generally easier if the importer pays.

Documentation is required at the time of export even if you are exporting as an individual via the post. You will need some kind of invoice at the very least.

If you would like to discuss this further please feel free to contact me directly or via Open to Export.


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Giles Dixon, on behalf of Giles Dixon, Solicitors in TW9.


AS Susan says, you do not have to set up a company but you do need to decide what type of business structure to use. ContractStore.com has a useful free guide on setting up a business that you can download at this link: http://www.contractstore.com/Z160-starting-a-business

ContractStore also supplies a wide range of template terms of business and contracts including those for appointing overseas agents and distributors that you may find useful: http://www.contractstore.com/agents-representatives-and-distributor-agreements

Good luck


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HMRC Advisor, on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs in G67.

Information on the Customs requirements for exporting is given in HMRC Public Notice 275. All notices can be found on our website www.hmrc.gov.uk under Quick Links > Library > Official Statistics – Publications – Notices, Info Sheets & Other Reference Materials > Import, Export & International Trade. The Public Notices are in numerical order.

Further detailed information regarding exporting goods outside the EU can be found on our website by using the following link http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageImport_ShowContent&propertyType=document&resetCT=true&id=HMCE_PROD1_032667

You may find the Export Best Practice Guide particularly helpful

HM Revenue & Customs
Customs International Trade & Excise

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Hi Yousef,
sounds as though the good news is that you have already found a product that you know you can export.
This in itself is the first step.

If you expect this to be more than a one-off, then you will need to look at your strategy for on-going sales. If these products are electronic you may need to do some research on a local partner, to ensure they are able to provide after sales service or warranty.
If the products are more for mass consumption then does the importer need some training or some marketing support or materials to help to sell the products.
Will you need to think about trademarks or copyright protection ? In the middle-east it is sometimes a requirement to appoint a local distributor to represent you or your company on this.

When it comes to advice on documentation , you have already received 3 previous replies which cover that aspect.

If on the other hand you need some help on outlining a strategy in breaking into a market or markets then you can discuss further via Open to Export forum or feel free to contact me directly .
best regards

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