Starting an EMC/ETC in the USA?


I recently graduated in the USA with a degree in marketing. I am seriously considering starting an Export Management Company/ Export Trading Company to import/export particular food/alcohol products from the south west of England into the US.

I am a UK citizen but if I were to be based in the USA would it be best to act as an ETC, procuring such items for distributors in the US or as an ETC, finding customers for exporters back home in the southwest of England? Would it be possible to do both? or would this potentially be a conflict of interest between seller and buyer?

I am uncertain if these enterprise titles (ETC,EMC) act as agents or distributors. Do the services of these enterprises involve contacting distributors, agents, buyers etc?

I believe there is a high demand for such items in the USA. Would it be best to reach out to manufacturers who already sell to domestic distributors that have total control over branding, retail clients etc? or to manufacturers who possess their own brand and distribution links in the UK? Furthermore, should I reach out to potential buyers in the USA first, before seeking out sellers in the UK?

I have only just started researching the ins and outs of importing and exporting. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance,



Hi Sam,
I was at St. Phillip & St James’ just around the corner from you on Monday donating blood. Small world.

I’d say it’s a good time to be entering the export/import industry given the drive to increase exports and potential impact of leaving the EU could be that all movements into Europe require export declarations. I accept that’s different to your proposal to generate UK/US trade but the same customers may have multiple markets for which you can provide services.

Have you researched import and export procedures via yet? Here is a link for bedtime reading:

There is also a process to get yourself registered to submit declarations.

If you decide to start your business you might find one of our online systems for the production of export documentation and customs messaging useful. Take a look and set a free account up at

Drop me a line if you want to meet up for a chat.



Hi Ian

Thank you for your response. St. Phillips is not far from me at all!

I was also thinking along the same lines in relation to the UK deciding to leave the EU. A trade deal with the United States is inevitable in the coming years. Even though this may not directly influence the food and drinks import/export industry, which is the industry I am looking to start my venture in, it may liberalize trade links between the two nations.

I have flicked through the import and export procedures before but will go over the information in much more detail. I will be undertaking an MBA back in the states for two more years, therefore, it is unlikely my idea will materialize anytime soon; however, I will start learning much more about how I can make this business a reality and write up a business plan over the next couple of months.

Your contact will be greatly valued and I will definitely keep you in mind when I decide to start my business .

My email is

Best wishes,


Export Action Plan