Resources for Canadian Exporters

| December 2, 2015 | Business Planning

If you’ve established a successful business in Canada, there’s no reason you can’t expand your horizons by exporting to other countries. When you diversify by opening the doors to foreign markets, you’ll extend brand awareness globally and protect your company from local economic downturns.

The biggest deterrent to exporting for many small businesses is simply a lack of information. Business owners aren’t well versed in the legalities involved with exporting and expect it to be complicated and time-consuming.
With the right information, resources and support, however, you can take advantage of opportunities to grow your business in foreign markets. Here are a number of free tips and resources to help your company thrive around the globe.

Understand exporting regulations

It’s important to know Canada’s regulations for exporting to overseas companies and follow the rules carefully. These first four steps are basic requirements for any business that wants to export from Canada:

  1. Obtain an import/export business number from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
  2. Contact the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to determine whether a licence or permit is required to export your goods out of country.
  3. Get up to speed on required export documentation. Some businesses hire a licenced customs broker to do this on their behalf.
  4. Follow the import and permit requirements for the countries that will receive your goods.

There’s more to Canadian exporting regulations and from time to time the rules change. Canada Business Network’s free guide to Canadian exporting regulations will quickly help you understand what you need to know and decide whether exporting is for you.
Reach out to emerging markets

Emerging markets offer an exciting opportunity for Canadian companies who can gain a competitive advantage by establishing their exported goods before other businesses move in. However, untested markets can pose special risks small businesses need to be aware of.

Some of these risks for Canadian exporters include issues with currency controls, sanctions and protecting your business from international buyers who don’t pay.

To learn more about how to make the most of opportunities – and manage situations that can put your business at risk – read this free white paper by Export Development Canada (EDC) on how to successfully navigate emerging markets.

The goods on trade finance

Trade finance helps companies manage financial risks in the exporter-importer relationship. Exporters need to feel confident they’ll be paid when their shipment is received; importers want affordable financing solutions such as the opportunity to obtain extended credit on their payment.

A lending institution that specializes in trade finance can help your business facilitate trade with international buyers by offering:

  • Attractive exchange rates.
  • Affordable financing options.
  • Loans secured by a lien on export goods.
  • Flexible payment terms for loans at fixed or variable rates.

Working with a trade finance lender can also support your business by offering factoring, export credit and insurance.

EDC has partnered with Canadian financial institutions so they can provide businesses with international financing solutions. Check out their website for detailed information on financial solutions, services and support when it comes to trade finance.


  • Review the CBSA’s detailed checklist on exporting commercial goods from Canada.
  • Speak with a customs broker for advice on how to prepare export documentation and to arrange international shipment.