Let’s explore exporting, together.

You pour your heart—and just about every minute—into running your business. We’re here to make growing it through exporting and understanding that process a little easier. To save you time, we’ve curated this series of easy-to-understand documents to help answer basic questions about exporting terminology, documentation, regulations, and more.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, WEDC’s export development manager is happy to personally answer your specific export-related questions.

Export 101

Export Development Planning

If you think exporting will be part of your business’s future, it’s essential to develop an export strategy. An export plan is your guideline for the development of your international business.


Export Documentation

Export documentation is a necessary process that all exporters must pay close attention to, as documentation requirements vary considerably by country, commodity, and situation.

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Export Readiness

Prior to entering an export market, companies should first determine whether they are export-ready. In order to do so, it is helpful to look at the characteristics common to successful exporters and the fundamental decisions they had to make when considering whether to proactively pursue export market opportunities and the impact it might have on their business.

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International Imperative

One benefit of export trade is its ability to help companies stay afloat even when domestic sales are sluggish. International trade opens an array of opportunities for Wisconsin companies, and the state’s exports play an essential role in powering output, employment, and profits for the economy.

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International Business Travel

Any company involved in international business will eventually need to send staff abroad. When conducting business overseas, there may be visa and health requirements to consider, national holidays to plan around, trade events to align with your visit, and safety concerns to keep in mind.

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International Market Research

Systematic market research and planning is essential to exporting and is instrumental in avoiding costly mistakes. In overseas markets, exporters encounter different income levels and demand cycles; languages, cultures, and environments; laws and regulations; ways of doing business; and levels of risk.

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Finding International Partners

Accurate, up-to-date market intelligence is essential for your company to target the best market opportunities and make informed business decisions when evaluating potential overseas business partners. A good overseas distribution partner is one of the most important decisions to make when starting to sell internationally.

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Rules and Regulations

Foreign Trade Zones

Foreign Trade Zones were created in the United States to provide special customs procedures to U.S. organizations engaged in international trade-related activities.

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Export Classification

The International Harmonized System (HS) is administrated by the World Customs Organization and serves as the foundation for the import and export classification systems used in the U.S.

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Export Regulations/Controls

All U.S. exports (both goods and services) are regulated by the U.S. federal government. To comply with federal law, your company must determine which government agency has jurisdiction over your exports and whether your exports need an export license.

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Foreign Trade Barriers

A trade barrier is generally any government-induced restriction that makes trade difficult or even impossible. Trade barriers have a negative effect on exporters because they interfere with the normal supply and demand and make international trade more complicated.

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Free Trade Agreements

Free trade agreements (FTAs) have proved to be one of the best ways to open up foreign markets to U.S. exporters. Trade agreements reduce barriers to U.S. exports, protect U.S. interests, and enhance the rule of law in the FTA partner country.

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International Intellectual Property Protection

Globalization and the rapid proliferation of technology have elevated the importance of intellectual property protection for small and midsize enterprises.

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Trade Finance

Tax Savings

IC-DISC offers exporters permanent tax savings primarily resulting from a reduction in the tax rate on qualified dividends. It is available to all forms of business organizations.

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Export Pricing

Establishing an appropriate price is one of the most crucial parts of the export marketing mix. When you establish a price for your product in a foreign market, you need to consider the kind of pricing concept you will apply to the product.

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Incoterms® are a series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce and widely used in international commercial transactions. Incoterms provide a common set of rules to clarify responsibilities of seller and buyers for the delivery of goods under a sales contract.

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International Methods of Payment

Among the most prominent concerns for new-to-export companies is the increased exposure to risk of payment default. A successful export transaction starts with the negotiation of a sales contract and ends with a timely payment.

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Export Finance and Risk Mitigation

Export financing is often a key factor in a successful sale. This quick reference is designed to help Wisconsin companies learn the fundamentals of trade finance to turn their export opportunities into actual sales and to achieve the ultimate goal of getting paid for their export sales.

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Foreign Exchange and Currency

Exchange rates are determined in the foreign exchange market, which is open to a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers where currency trading is continuous. Exchange rates represent the linkage between one country and its partners in the global economy.

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