Forming a strong relationship with your foreign partner is essential. Trade consultant Joseph Zodl offers these tips to help you put your best foot forward:
- consent to a commitment you can't keep. If you won't be able to sell $1 million worth of widgets, don't promise it in the contract.
- expect the seller to know what you want. Never assume the foreign company understands your expectations.
- overemphasize the contract. Think business, not legal. Use the contract to lay the groundwork for the relationship.
- retain a customs broker. An experienced professional will help your foreign shipment meet the applicable regulations.
- conduct research. If you learn how business is done in a certain country, you can minimize problems.
- prepare to pay upfront. Most international shipments must be prepaid with a letter of credit.
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