Dealing With The Law When You’re Selling Overseas


Since the dawn of the internet, starting a retail business has become a much easier task. You don’t need a store or shop, and you don’t need to drum up customers by attracting them with windows displays and colourful signs. Instead, you need only set up an online store to start selling in the modern world. Of course, though, with this added ease comes a lot of challenges. For those shipping products to other countries, running their store can be a lot more complicated than they might expect, but this post is here to help you out with it.

Prohibited Goods

The very first area for you to consider when you’re approaching something like this is prohibition. A lot of countries have strict rules about the products and items which their citizens are allowed to buy, and this can often cover simple things which you wouldn’t expect. For example, e-cigarettes and alcohol are banned throughout much of the Middle East. If you were to ship to these places, you could find your products disappearing with customs, leaving your customers very unhappy. Most online store systems have ways to restrict your sales based on location, with options like WooCommerce making it incredibly easy to follow the law.

Taxation Laws

Along with items which aren’t allowed into certain places, it’s also important to consider the duty which must be paid on goods which you’re shipping to other places. Tax is crucial to most societies, and this means that they will work hard to ensure that everyone pays the right amount. An international taxation compliance attorney can help you with this. It’s worth going down this route if you’re unsure of what you need to do to keep your company safe from tax laws, even if you have to pay. Once your business starts selling overseas, it’s worth considering it an international one.

Customs Declarations

If you’ve sent items to other countries before, you’ve probably had to fill out a customs form or two in your time. This forms are crucial to your overseas sales, providing information to the customs officers at the other end, ensuring that they don’t have to break your parcels open to find what’s inside. Failing to fill them out correctly can result in the recipient having to pay fines, though. This makes it worth declaring exactly what you’re sending, even if it means that you have to pay more to send it, as you could find yourself losing customers if you break these laws.

Selling items to other countries is a complicated and often expensive process. There are a lot of hurdles to jump, but it makes sense to work hard to do it correctly from the very beginning. Trying to sort this out once your business is established will be even harder, and most people will want to focus on their work at this point. If you need help with this, it could be worth talking to a consultant or two, as their time is usually free when you meet them for the first time.