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Tips to Starting an Import Business

Tips to Starting an Import Business

Import Business

There’s little doubt that an import business can be extremely lucrative, especially as supply chain issues continue to plague the U.S. following the pandemic. If you can get things shipped to you that are in high demand and low supply, you can make a fortune.

But, there are some important considerations to make before your first ship leaves port. From sourcing your products to ISF filing, you must be prepared prior to go into the import business. These tips should help.

1: Start With Business Basics

Take care of the business basics before you jump into international trade with both feet. Register your business, register an Internet domain, set up a website, purchase any business licenses required to operate in your state, and develop a business plan.

Think about what you’re going to import because everything that comes into the U.S. by ship is going to be scrutinized by the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) for the safety and security of the country so you need to have your ducks in a row.

For example, if you plan to import certain things like cigarettes or alcohol, you’ll need a special permit that can take months to acquire.

You’ll also need to access capital to start your business and keep your company afloat until it really gets going. It’s best to secure your funds before you ever start importing goods so that you can protect yourself both legally and personally.

The amount you’ll need to get started with your import business will depend on what you’re going to import, which leads us to the next tip.

2: Decide on Your Product

Import Business

What you ultimately decide to import will make or break your business. You want to import goods that are in high demand, but that you can easily source and afford before you ever make a sale. You don’t want to promise you can get something that can’t make it into the U.S. or that is impossible to source.

You’ll also want to do your research on market saturation because you don’t want to import the same products as everyone else. The time you put into analyzing the market now will pay off down the road.

3: Source Your Product

Once you decide what products you’re going to import, the next step is to source them. This is very important, especially for your Import Security Filing (ISF).

Since you have to declare the shipper’s name and address, along with the country of origin, you must take care to select your sources based on reputation and reliability. The last thing you need is to have your goods seized in port because the company you’re working with is doing something illegal.

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4: Establish Your Supply Chain

Import Business

Figuring out how to get your products from another country into the U.S. is critical to your success as a business owner. What ports are you going to use? Will you hire a Licensed Customs Broker to make sure you’re compliant with the import laws?

How are you going to get your goods from the port to your warehouse? These things must be nailed down so that you can confidently begin to sell your products to your waiting customers.

Conclusion

It’s a great time to start an import business in the United States. Just be sure you map out your entire business before you start importing to give yourself the best shot at success.

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