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How to Start an Import and Export Business in the Philippines

April 28, 2015 | Sharon Cheong

If you've been thinking about starting up a new business, then an import export business in the Philippines might be a good idea. This can be a respectable choice for amateur entrepreneurs who are ready to venture out into the business world. If you make the right choices about what product area to work in and how to set up the business properly, you can enjoy good returns on your investment. 

A Business- Friendly Environment 

The first step with any new business should be a comprehensive business plan. This should include realistic budget forecasts for all expenses. You will need to register your new business with the Department of Trade and Industry. You will also need various types of business licenses depending upon the types of products you will be importing and/or exporting. Register your new business in the area where you will be setting up your office or factory. A business permit is always advised and can sometimes be done on the Internet. 

Coordinating with Local Business Owners

It's a good idea to talk to people who are already doing business in the Philippines during your startup process. Often those who have already established a successful business can give you sound advice. They might be able to save you time and money by avoiding common mistakes. You will also need to check the local areas for a good source of suppliers for your products. The key to a successful import export business is to buy as cheaply as possible and this usually means buying in bulk. 

Freight Forwarding Companies 

Be sure to do your research when it comes to working with logistic companies and freight forwarders. Do background checks and ask for references so that you don't end up working with companies that cannot deliver on their promises. One of the toughest elements of establishing a successful import export business regards getting reliable freight forwarding services. Your suppliers and shippers will become almost like business partners so it's important that you can trust them and that transactions are done legally.

Importing Versus Exporting 

If you are a resident of the Philippines and wish to begin exporting products found locally, such as coconut oil, it is necessary to make sure that there is a demand for your product. Check to see what other companies are already exporting the product and the volume of business they're doing. If you decide on an import business, then check to see which products have the highest value. This can be accomplished by checking historical data, economic forecasts, and recent business news in the area. The top imports in the Philippines are currently electronic products, mineral fuels, and transport equipment. The supply and demand will change over time however. 

Acquire a Prominent Address for Your Import Export Business 

New business owners often do not have the working capital to build a luxurious office in the central business district. Having a beautiful office can attract clients and give them the illusion that you are already a successful company. Servcorp Serviced Offices offer many amenities such as a dedicated receptionist, mail forwarding, professional communications networks, and skilled personnel. Please call to learn more about leasing serviced office space in the Philippines.