What You Need to Know About International Shipping as a Small Business

Modern digital technology has made it easier than ever for small businesses to operate and flourish. In days gone by, small businesses would be limited in the number of customers or clients they could serve, unable to grow their market without significant expansion.

Today, online retail platforms allow just about anyone to start a small business of their own and quickly begin operating internationally. However, while it may be more straightforward than ever before, there are a number of factors that need to be considered when shipping internationally as a small business. Read on to find out more.

Identify Your Target Markets

Rather than immediately opening up your business to the world, it’s worth taking the time to research and identify specific international markets where your business could be successful. Track and assess the level of demand for your products in a particular country before making the decision to ship your goods there. Along with the US and UK, China, Japan, and Germany are also some of the largest eCommerce markets, so these could be options when looking for possible target locations. 

Start Small

When it comes to shipping internationally, sometimes your best bet is to start close to home. Look at the countries that neighbor yours. These can often act as the perfect starting point for businesses looking to ship internationally. Shipping costs will be less because of the geographical proximity, and you may have an easier time marketing and promoting your products in countries that are close by.

Think About The Law

While you might be well versed on the particular laws that affect your business in your home country, these laws can be very different when you are looking to expand into new jurisdictions. If you have business liability insurance, make sure it will cover you if a customer from another country sues you. If it falls short on protection, companies such as Spott might just be the answer to your liability protection requirements. 

Additionally, many countries will have different customs and import tariffs, it is crucial that you become aware of these and use the information to inform your business strategy.

What Are the Benefits of Shipping Internationally?

The beauty of modern online business is its flexibility and relative ease of growth. As your business makes more sales and revenue, the natural next step will be to scale up your operations. Expanding into new territory is one of the most effective ways to take your business to the next level. You will see increased traffic, sales, and brand awareness, and doors will open for brand new business opportunities. The increased revenue you will see from shipping internationally can then be funneled back into your business to push it even further. 

But entering a market you’re not initially familiar with can be a minefield, so look into liability insurance to keep yourself safe. For example, if you have an Amazon store, you could use Amazon liability insurance to cover any eCommerce sales around the world.


Choosing to grow your business and begin shipping internationally can be a thrilling decision that can come with the potential for long-term success and lucrative returns. However, it’s important to expand your business carefully and with the correct planning and forethought. If you go into these new markets with liability insurance behind you, you can extend your company, your customers, and your reach with a safety net behind you. Use this guide to learn all you need to know about shipping internationally as a small business.

Xavier James is a telecom engineer and a certified marketing trainer with a passion for writing, designing, and anything tech-related.