QuestionsCategory: businessHow to get set up if importing?
tinchoa asked 4 years ago

Hi Jon
Just ran into your blog / read through your post and want to thank you for all the info. It has helped me a lot already with my project, and can only imagine the amount of people it has put on the right track. 
A friend has a pretty successful clothing brand in Uruguay, targeted to young male millennials and focusing primarily on bathing suites (above the knee with cool designs) and high quality fabric surfer-style / Hawaiian style button downs (not necessarily only flower designs) – mostly short sleeve. Over there he is selling the shorts for $60 and the shirts for $80. Considering the buying power of people over there, it would  be considered a middle upper scale brand for our age group. It is selling well, and the company is ready for something new. Our intention is to import the finished product to the US (I live in Miami), and sell it to retailers to start, approach trade-shows and eventually a web page for the US.
I understand I need to set up a company in the US (most likely going with an LLC) but have a few questions I’d love to get some help with:

  • What legalities do I need in place other than an entity to sell to retailers / what do they require?
    • Credit Card or Paypal Account? Some sort of License? Government approvals?
  • Best way to import? it would be either from Uruguay or India. 
  • Any suggestion on how to approach retailers other than just showing up to store and showing the product?
  • Most effective way to get in front of large amounts of retailers or decision makers?
  • Software to keep track of inventory, prepare for taxes? still choosing outright?

Thanks for all your help

1 Answers
Facebook Profile photoJon Kruse answered 4 years ago

An LLC is great for limiting your liability and being an S Corp can also lower the amount of money you have to pay for taxes. But it costs money to set up and the taxes are more complicated so you have to get a CPA to do everything for you.

I suggest not doing this starting out. You can run as a sole proprietor and file your taxes that way.

I like Quickbooks online for book keeping. 

  1.  Most retailers 
  2. There are a lot of different shipping companies, you should do your research and figure out how fast you want the product to be delivered.
  3. Selling to retailers you need a line sheet, and you want to look professional. Target stores that are a good fit, there are also tradeshow you can go to.

Targeting stores vs selling at trade shows

What is a line sheet?

Try to get people on the phone, emails are easy to ignore. You also want to focus on what you can do for them… everyone usually just focuses on themselves, so instead focus on their company. 
Check out this article importing info