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Can You Export “Services”?
December 12, 2023 Eugene Uhm, Business Development Specialist

The mission of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is to support U.S. jobs through the export of goods and services. When people hear “services” included in that mission statement, it often leads to a follow up question about how can services be exported? While goods represent the bulk of exports from the U.S., in 2022 the total value of U.S. exports of services exceeded $928 billion dollars. There is a high demand of U.S. services in the global marketplace.

During the 2023 National Small Business Association’s Washington Presentation event several entrepreneurs who export their professional services, were interviewed. Here is some advice they provided on what to be aware of when thinking about exporting your services.

Nora Oliver, CEO of 10x Nora Oliver LLC, exports her motivational speaking and life coaching services to clients across Europe. “When exporting your services or goods internationally, you want to think of a couple things. When it comes to getting paid, you really must have some sort of insurance, maybe like EXIM insurance or any sort of backup that's going to support you in case you don't get paid.” – Nora Oliver

She also mentioned a few other key items to consider when starting to export their services:

  • Do your homework.
  • Get an agreement or contract with your clients.
  • Consult an attorney who is well versed in international laws.

Dr. Shawn Foley of Foley Works LLC exports consulting and educational services. His advice was for all businesses to understand the language and culture of the country they export their services to.

“The biggest challenge and worry when you're working internationally is the language and the culture. Everything else stems from that.” – Dr. Shawn Foley

If you are a U.S. service provider, protecting your foreign invoices up to 95 percent with EXIM’s invoice insurance (also known as Export Credit Insurance), takes the risk out of exporting.  To learn more from other U.S. companies who have exported their products / services, visit EXIM’s Customer Success Stories.

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EXIM’s Blog postings are intended to highlight various facets of exporting, but the postings are not legal advice, and are not intended to summarize all legal requirements associated with exporting.