A toolkit to widen your export horizons

Deciding to start a business might not be the most difficult decision you’ll ever make.

Finding the right resources that can provide answers to your questions, on the other hand, can be a challenge, especially when conducting business that requires import/export of your products.

The good news? The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has been working on improving the cross-border trading experiences for Canada’s small firms for many years now, and the legwork has paid off in the form of a new resource specifically for small- and medium-sized Canadian businesses.

Recently, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) launched the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Toolkit. The Toolkit was created as a direct result of CFIB’s advocacy work, ensuing that the information is tailored to small business traders.  The Toolkit is now available on CBSA’s website.

Topics you will find:

  • Importing
  • Exporting
  • Government resources
  • Contact information

Earlier this year, CFIB released a report called “Beyond the Big Border”, which addressed some of the issues our members face importing from and exporting to the US.

Here are some suggestions for an improved cross-border trading experience:

  • Consider a freight consolidator to reduce the number of shipments (lower fees and shipping costs).
  • Speak with Customs in advance and take the time to write down the contact’s name and the advice provided.
  • Factor in all of your shipping charges, duties, handling fees, taxes and exchange rates into your product before you order.
  • If you are only importing small amounts and you are not located far from a border, consider getting your own importer’s license

Make a decision to join CFIB’s My StartUp program with a six-month free membership. Learn how we can help your startup by signing up for My StartUp today!

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