What Small Businesses Should Know About Tariffs

August 13, 2018

(Updated September 19, 2018)

By Peter J. Cazamias, SBA –

Recently, the United States Government announced several new tariff increases. The U.S. Department of Commerce implemented tariffs on steel and aluminum imports for national security reasons. Separately, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced tariffs to combat unfair trade practices on certain Chinese goods. Additional tariffs on a larger list of goods from China are expected in the future.

Small businesses should become familiar with what imported products are impacted, to make informed business decisions as tariffs could increase the total cost of certain imported goods. (more…)

The Commerce Control List and Self-Classification

December 10, 2012

Where do I find the Commerce Control list?; Do I need a license to export my good?; How to Reference the ECCN; Designation of EAR99; Source: Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy. We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly. We are guided on this mission by our strong and capable workforce, our readiness to innovate, and our abiding commitment to our customers.

Exporting Tool Review: SBA’s Export Business Planner

December 4, 2012

By BizFilings Business Owner’s Toolkit

Here’s a riddle for the export-eager entrepreneur: What clocks in at 192 pages and is free? Unless you have a habit of absconding with condensed Gideon Bibles, the only answer we have is the SBA’s Export Business Planner.

This massive tool is designed for “business owners who are exploring exporting.” While we recommend other resources if you’re merely exploring the possibilities of exporting, such as export.gov’s “Export Questionnaire“ or “Basic Guide to Exporting,” the Planner remains the go-to tool when you’re past considering exporting and ready to commit resources to this aspect of your business.

Once you download the tool (a PDF), simply skim the first few chapters as they contain largely fluff or information you should already know if you’ve come this far in the exporting planning process. We’ll cover the chapters that matter most. (more…)

Duty Tariffs – Computing Duties and Taxes

November 28, 2012

A look at computing duties and taxes for your product in the many country markets where you will be selling.

The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy. We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly. We are guided on this mission by our strong and capable workforce, our readiness to innovate, and our abiding commitment to our customers.

Three Questions Worth Considering Before Opening an International Location

October 18, 2012

With 95 percent of the world’s consumers located outside of the United States, expanding your operations outside our borders can be a smart strategy for your business. Can being the operative word.

Your research may reveal a sizable market for your product or service in a foreign country. But before you open your doors in a different country, see how well you can answer these make-or-break questions.

1. Is your local business strong?

Most small business experts recommend achieving success at the local level before shooting for international stars. If you’re not already in business, you might be tempted to start from the ground up in a country with cheaper labor and fewer regulations. (more…)

Embargoes and Sanctions

October 10, 2012

Shipping to Embargoed Countries; Shipping to Sanctioned Countries; Special controls; Office of Foreign Assets and Control (OFAC); Source: Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

What is a Freight Forwarder? Part 2

September 3, 2012

The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy. We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly. We are guided on this mission by our strong and capable workforce, our readiness to innovate, and our abiding commitment to our customers.

Finance Your Venture’s Exporting with the Government’s Help

August 31, 2012

A record $184.4 billion in goods and services were exported by U.S. businesses in March 2012, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures.  If you’re ready to join this growing export community, chances are you will need financing resources to take your small business to the international level.  Consider the SmallBusiness Administration (SBA) and its partners for loan programs to assist you with the various financial needs involved in beginning your exporting endeavor.

Export Express Loan Program. Financing is available for export transactions including support for standby letters of credit and export development expenses such as product literature translation.  The financing can be a term loan or a revolving line of credit.

To find the simplest and quickest financing avenue offered by the SBA, check with your existing lender to see if they participate—if so, you can apply directly with them—or go to the list of participating lenders by state which can be found on the SBA’sExpress Loan site. (more…)

What is a Freight Forwarder? Part 1

August 4, 2012

Pro Forma Invoice; Help you Ship Economically; Help you Ship Safely; Ship in Compliance with U.S. export laws; International Transportation Department.

The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy. We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly. We are guided on this mission by our strong and capable workforce, our readiness to innovate, and our abiding commitment to our customers.

Exporting EAR99 Items: Screening Your Transaction, Lists to Check and Red Flags

August 1, 2012

Screening Your Transactions; No License Required (NLR) Rules; Lists to Check Before Exporting; Red Flags; Source: Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy. We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly. We are guided on this mission by our strong and capable workforce, our readiness to innovate, and our abiding commitment to our customers.