Doing business internationally

Maybe you're ready to expand your business beyond provincial or national borders. Find out what you need to do business internationally, including exporting and importing.

How to export your products or services

Plan your export approach

Before you start: do you want to take a market-driven or product / service driven approach to exporting?

  • Market-driven approach: look at what the foreign market wants, and plan how to get the right product or service to fill their need
  • Product/service-driven approach: Find a foreign country to sell the product or service you already have

Create an international business plan

Your international business plan will help you decide if exporting is worth the risk. Make sure you consider:

  • Your target market
  • Their population and demographics
  • The market demand and needs
  • The country
  • The market's legal considerations
  • Currency and commercial risks
  • Delivery logistics
  • Financial implications

Register for a Canada Revenue Agency import-export program account

Your products could get delayed at the border unless you register for an import-export account with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Make sure you use the right Harmonized System (HS) codes

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (or HS) is the standardized six-digit coding system of names and numbers used by over 200 countries in international trade. Importers and exporters must declare their products using the right codes.

More information on exporting

How to import goods or services into Canada

Want more?

If you still have questions, talk to our team. We'll help you find the answers you need.

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