International trade presents incredible opportunities to make money as an import broker. The customs brokerage market grows every year. By specializing as an import broker, you can rapidly grow a client base. Businesses and individuals turn to import brokers for their detailed knowledge of the extra legal and procedural steps required when dealing with international trade. After all, a business owner cannot complete their financial business plan without understanding the processes they must undergo to trade legally. In this post we’re going to look at the steps involved in setting yourself up as an import broker to take advantage of these growth opportunities.
Study For The License Exam
The first step to becoming an import broker is to obtain your Customs Broker License. The exam to obtain a license is administered twice a year. It is highly recommended that you take a course to prepare for the examination. Courses usually last several weeks and cost a few hundred dollars. The price you pay to prepare for the exam will save you time later on by reducing the likelihood that you will have to retake the exam. Prepare carefully for the exam, as it will be impossible to get started as an import broker without your Customs Broker License.
Obtain Your Broker’s License And Set Up Your Business
Once you have passed the exam, the next step is to obtain your Customs Broker’s License. Apply through the Customs and Border Patrol, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. You will be required to submit your test scores. You will also have to choose a port where you will operate your import brokerage. Because this step of the process is a matter of national security, the wait on passing a background check can be up to a year. Use this wait time to start setting up the foundation of your import broker business by figuring out location, financing and other logistical matters.
Get Certified To Boost Your Credentials
Beyond the initial licensing, there are courses and certifications that will help you get your import brokerage off the ground. Organizations such as NCBFAA (National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America) offer a Certified Customs Specialist program to stay current in import regulations. Consider obtaining these extra credentials to make your import broker business stand out. Extra credentials will tell potential clients that you know the ins and outs of your area of specialty. Clients will know they can rely on your import broker business to guide them through the customs process.
Choose A Growing Market To Specialize In
Become specialized in a growing market to ensure that your new business can attract clients. To guarantee yourself success, look into the top traits of business owners in the industry of your choice. There is no legal requirement to hire a customs broker, so it will boost the growth of your import brokerage if you are well acquainted with the filing and legal requirements in particular industries. There is a huge market, for instance, in the import of exotic or speciality foreign automobiles. Knowledge of such a particular market will aid in making connections, finding new clients, and building your expertise. Clients will learn to trust your detailed knowledge of the importing process to meet their specialized needs. This advanced knowledge will help your new import brokerage grow.
Build A Client Base Through Expertise And Networking
Once you are able to attract your first clients, grow your import broker business by advertising your expertise and networking. Learn why marketing is important for brand recognition and cash flow increases. As mentioned earlier, advanced certifications and specialized knowledge will grow your reputation, but you will also need to network. Ask your clients if they know of any other businesses or individuals who could use your particular skill set. Attend industry events and connect with other customs brokers. Once your import broker begins to grow, you may find that your advanced skill set makes networking even easier.
There is a rising demand for import brokers. By becoming an import broker, you are establishing yourself in a thriving industry that allows major room for growth and profit. Prepare for the licensing exam carefully. Take on extra coursework and certifications to boost your profile. Become specialized in a particular market niche so that clients rely on your advanced knowledge. As with any brokerage business, always network to find new connections. With these steps in mind you can get started in a very lucrative industry as an import broker.